GaryG looks at, and listens to, Patek Philippe’s splendid References 5074P minute repeater. He considers the 5074P to be one of the finest contemporary wristwatches; it is a piece that awes him every time he handles one. And now you can look at it in every detail right here.
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
GaryG has already written about the struggles that independent watchmakers face simply to survive. Expressing oneself through horological art may well be a noble calling, but it’s definitely one of the tougher ways to make a living. Chanel’s very recent investment in F.P. Journe caused Gary to think about the pros and cons of outside investment into indies and he shares his thoughts here.
Several months ago, Ian Skellern published a provocative article taking issue with the current state of online watch journalism. Specifically, he criticized what in his view is the low quality and repetitive nature of what we see online. But are things really uniform and uniformly bad or are there distinct types of online sources and content? GaryG wonders how we think about the different business models and value propositions of watch sites, and what it tells us about how the future may unfold.
GaryG loves independent watchmaking and independent watchmakers; one of his great joys as a collector is having the feeling that, in a small way, he is supporting their efforts. So he put some thought into why independent watchmakers struggle in a business sense and how they can remain relevant in changing market situations.
GaryG was sitting at his breakfast table on the morning of January 18, 2013, when during his morning scan of news he saw a photo of something breathtaking. It was Logical One by Romain Gauthier – a watch he immediately knew that he would own someday. He was captivated by the white gold version with frosted gold movement: this was “the one” for him.
GaryG was delighted to take possession of an Invention Piece 1 with its inclined double tourbillon, while a good friend of his replied in kind with a purchase of the quadruple-tourbillon Invention Piece 2. Ever since, he has been dying to get these two gorgeous monsters side by side in the light tent. And the time has finally come!
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.
This is the story of a daily-wear watch: the Tsunami by Japanese independent watchmaker Hajime Asaoka. It’s not a “beater” as it’s too beautifully made for that description, and some folks justifiably take offense at characterizing a five-figure expenditure in those terms. But it is a watch that GaryG suspects that he will be wearing a lot and in a variety of settings.
In GaryG’s view, every successful independent watchmaker has elements of a “house style” that may attract some buyers and put off others, but nonetheless sets him or her apart. And, at the highest level, this style goes beyond “branding” to become an expression of the personality and artistic vision of the creator. In the picturesque Swiss town of Thun, Beat Haldimann and his small team distinguish themselves by focusing on technical virtuosity of the highest order, as typified by the Haldimann H1 Flying Central Tourbillon.
Given GaryG’s musings on these pages about the relative roles of rarity and complication in driving the value of a watch, he thinks it appropriate to dedicate this “Behind the Lens” entry to a piece that is both complicated and limited in production: Patek Philippe’s Reference 5950A. What’s so special about this watch? Well, first of all it’s a split-seconds chronograph. What else?