Oh, those Geneva auctions! While GaryG’s intention is usually to browse the rare pieces on offer, gain an education from his auction-house friends and escape unscathed, it seems that more often than not there is a piece that puts him into bidding mode. And sometimes that piece is entirely unanticipated as was the case of the Vacheron & Constantin Reference 4560 triple calendar that he stumbled across at a Sotheby’s preview. Here is why he bought it.
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
Cracking the seal on the box of the H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Tourbillon Concept Tiger’s Eye revealed a deep and constantly shifting play of light as the stone dial caught the afternoon light coming in through the window. Over the days that GaryG had the watch for shooting, it became his quest to capture the variety of moods conjured up by this dial. And we think he has done just that.
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.
Here, GaryG outlines in some depth why he bought a Vianney Halter Deep Space Tourbillon, providing commentary on a collector’s mindset and the motivations, delights, and possible misgivings. And, of course, there are amazing photographs.
A good friend of GaryG’s owns a cream-dialed Reference 2526, and Gary has often admired it over the years but hadn’t really understood the role that the 2526 plays in Patek Philippe’s history until talking with him and other watch pals and doing some late-night online research. Read on to learn why he bought this special “Gobbi Milano” edition from 1954 in an exciting spur of a moment.
GaryG’s first rule when it comes to collecting is to avoid setting too many exclusionary rules. With watches, he believes that it’s the passion that separates collectors from investors and accumulators. Which brings him to another rule: deriving the full enjoyment from the things you own.
It’s a bit unusual for GaryG to be writing this soon about a newly acquired piece – this one only arrived a little over a week ago – so he will reserve the right to add pluses and minuses in future articles once this watch has gotten substantial wrist time. Already, though, there are several reasons why he can say that he’s smitten with this watch. Read on to discover what he likes and whether he has any quibbles.
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.
Despite the virus restrictions, GaryG has managed to venture out from time to time for brief, top-secret rendezvous in parking lots and on park benches to receive and return the generous loans of friends’ watches to photograph. Recently, he had the chance to shoot a true classic: a second-series Reference 3450J perpetual calendar made by Patek Philippe, which he shares with us here.
The “unobtanium” phenomenon isn’t limited to watches from the past, there are a variety of references for which supply seems to lag demand. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the current market for select steel sports watches. Here GaryG highlights some interesting dynamics caused by that imbalance, led by a loud chorus of complaints from prospective buyers.