Back in 2018, 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.
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
While his friends’ paths into serious collecting have been fairly diverse, GaryG started with Jaeger-LeCoultre, which opened his eyes to the world of fine watchmaking and served as the foundation for his ongoing fascination with horology. Take a look at Gary’s history collecting fascinating timepieces by this Swiss brand.
In 2006 GaryG spotted two objects of desire at a California dealer: Vianney Halter’s dramatic Antiqua and Contemporaine timepieces. They were out of his reach, but in 2007 he found a Contemporaine in white gold offered at a price that was about one-third its original retail value on eBay. What could possibly go wrong?
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!
This is the story of the final watch – or, truthfully, pair of watches – that GaryG happened upon at a Sotheby’s auction in late 2017 and felt that he just had to have: two 1970s prototype pieces made by Jaeger-LeCoultre. But why “unsalable”? Find out here!
GaryG provides us with a look at why he bought the A. Lange & Söhne Double Split even though he already owned the brand’s Datograph. The Double Split watch is the world’s only double rattrapante capable of both split-second and split-minute interval timing.
A generous friend recently offered GaryG the opportunity to shoot his white gold Kari Voutilainen Masterpiece Chronograph II so that Gary is able to share delightful photos of both his custom pink gold Chronograph II in comparison with his friend’s custom white gold version.
Over the twenty-odd years that GaryG has been buying “serious” watches, he has purchased more pieces bearing the Jaeger-LeCoultre brand name than any other, by far. Within the Jaeger-LeCoultre pantheon, one watch sub-group stands out for him: the Reverso. Between his wife and he, they’ve bought a total of seven Reverso models. Given that, why add another? In this instance, the Reverso Tribute to 1931?
Seems it wasn’t that long ago that GaryG wrote his first “Objects of Desire” article about the watches of Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey, finishing with the sentiment that given the prices of their watches that he was unlikely to be able to buy any of the ones he truly lusted after anytime soon. Gary’s observation at the time was “go big or go home.” As you will see, he ended up going big and is now the proud owner of a Greubel Forsey Invention Piece 1.
While GaryG thinks it’s all the more impressive that designers continue to delight us with new looks, many watches are often very similar. And trying to describe the slippery slope from vague resemblance to outright theft is not a simple task. So he begins down at the lower end of the grade with so-called homage watches and moves up the GaryG Styling Statute of Limitations from there.