Is it possible to make a watch providing a novel and entertaining display of time that is wearable in a variety of settings and will be respected years from now? GaryG believes that he owns such a piece: the Upside Down made by independent watchmaker Ludovic Ballouard.
I am the resident “collector” for Quill & Pad. My enduring love affair with good watchmaking began in my formative years and has accompanied me throughout my adult life. In the fortunate position to be able to acquire luxury timepieces as an adult, I am choosy in terms of quality and meaning and do not follow the mainstream art of collecting as it is primarily understood today.
I have been an active contributor to online horological fora for about a decade as I have also become very interested in learning the art of macro photography and even take lessons with wizard photographer Ming Thein. I joined Quill & Pad as the concept of talking about what interests the contributors (and therefore the readers) rather than the act of being an amplifier for industry press releases appeals to me greatly.
Entries by GaryG
MrsG, GaryG’s charming wife, is perhaps most enthusiastic about her collection of Southwestern Native American arts and jewelry, but here Gary takes a look at her interesting watches, which include excellent examples from Jaeger-LeCoultre, Blancpain, Alain Silberstein, Audemars Piguet, and more.
Many of you are likely to have come across at least a few heated discussions of “finishing,” a topic that seems to fascinate, and divide, watch enthusiasts. Like many people, GaryG’s starting point for serious watches was with a well-priced brand long known for its expertise in developing movements, justly viewed as offering good value for money – but not necessarily for the refinement of its movement finishing, at least on its less expensive pieces. Read on to discover what he has learned since then.
The time is now, according to GaryG, for large watch brands to seize the opportunity to make a real difference to the health of the mechanical watch industry and the prosperity of their brands. He thinks that 2020 is the year for CEOs to commit to entering their best new pieces in the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG).
One of the great advantages of belonging to the relatively close-knit community of watch collectors is having the opportunity to see and photograph a lot of great watches. Here GaryG takes on the formidable F.P. Journe Tourbillon Souverain with his mighty camera and collecting knowledge.
If cases get too little attention from watch collectors, GaryG feels that the straps and bracelets that turn a timepiece into a wristwatch seem to get even less. And of late, especially with the controversy surrounding the introduction of the “integrated” bracelet of A. Lange & Söhne’s new Odysseus, he has been pondering metal watch bracelets and what makes them so special.
Wouldn’t it be splendid to have everything your heart desired? Well, it’s a nice fantasy but it’s not going to happen for GaryG. And besides, he’s not so sure that the experience of “selling to buy” isn’t actually a significant part, albeit a bittersweet one, of the collecting experience. Find out why here.
Now, it seems fairly evident that we are on the down slope of either a cyclical correction in prices or, if one takes a less optimistic view, a permanent loss of watch value as the mechanical timepiece industry faces a variety of challenges and potential disruptions. So what’s a collector to do? And what lessons can we draw, both from watch auction results and the history of other luxury categories, to guide us?
GaryG loves a surprise! And in the case of the newly-minted H. Moser x MB&F Endeavour Cylindrical Tourbillon and MB&F x H. Moser LM101, he is surprised not once, but twice: two distinctive watches that somehow manage the tricky task of maintaining the core brand identity of the lead brand for each, while successfully integrating identifiable cues from the other.
Like many collectors, GaryG has bought and sold a number of watches at auction over the years. Being a systematic type of guy, Gary has taken the time to analyze his philosophy of auction bidding. Here he shares some of the tactics he uses with the hope that some may be useful to you in your own bidding.