The initial online response to the new Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 collection launched to great fanfare at the 2019 SIHH in January was extremely negative, and even among those who withheld judgment until handling the watches, “lukewarm” seemed to be the general view. Having let the dust settle a bit, GaryG takes a look at the anatomy of what he thinks was a dismal product launch (though not necessarily a dismal product).
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
The buyer of this unique-piece Kari Voutilainen Masterpiece Chronograph II was inspired by the look of the F.P. Journe “Black Label” Chronomètre Souverain already in his collection. And GaryG finally gets it into his light tent, sharing not only what he thinks, but also what he sees behind his lens.
When GaryG first considered an article on this topic some time ago, the title was going to be “How High is Up?” in reference to what, at the time, was the ongoing escalation in the prices of both new and used watches and the flood of higher-end, highly complicated timepieces from makers both large and small. Times have changed, and so has the market. Here is GaryG’s advice.
Watch collecting should be fun! Yes, it’s important to show the proper respect for the designers and makers of the watches we all love, but at the same time I think it’s completely appropriate to go beyond somber and traditional daily watches and give a bit of free rein to one’s desire for more flamboyant timepieces.
Once in a while on the collector forums, a question is posed: is there anyone in the collector community who has never, ever, owned a Rolex? As a general rule, respondents to these queries tend to express disbelief that such a creature could possibly exist given the quality and ubiquity of the brand’s watches. Well, folks, GaryG is here to tell you that such people do exist, and that he is one of them. How could it be? And then what happened?
For this edition of Behind the Lens, GaryG shares a series of photographs of one of the great watches of our time, the Philippe Dufour Duality. The Duality, with its linked twin escapements, was originally planned for production in a series of 25 watches. In a turn of events that seems almost unbelievable today, a lack of initial demand eventually led Dufour to limit production to just nine pieces, one of which is owned by a good friend of Gary’s.
For this special article, GaryG has the pleasure of covering the wonderful Grönefeld One Hertz. For a watch fanatic, and especially for lovers of independent watch brands, it’s a dream come true to meet the makers of the watches that we admire. With the Grönefeld brothers, it’s that pleasure multiplied by two.
It was with great interest (as a watch enthusiast) and some trepidation (as a humble photography student of polymath Ming Thein) that GaryG took on the task of photographing a pre-production example of Ming’s latest, Model 19.02 GMT.
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 the Sotheby’s preview. Here is why he bought it.
GaryG encountered Konstantin Chaykin’s Joker, whose “face” is literally just that: two googly eyes show the hours and minutes with their respective pupils and a lolling red tongue displays the phase of the moon. He was transfixed, moments later placing his order. Find out why here.