Entries by GaryG

You Are There: Breguet’s Art And Innovation In Watchmaking Exhibition

I had the privilege of being invited to the recent pre-opening gala for the San Francisco exhibition of the works of Abraham-Louis Breguet.

Since the foundation of my collecting passion has a lot to do with gaining access to the behind the scenes world of watches, I made a point of shuffling my “day job” schedule to attend. And now you can come along.

Behind The Lens: Beat Haldimann’s H1 Flying Central Tourbillon

In my 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.

Sex Sells – But What, For Whom, And To Whom?

When someone says “I’m no prude,” it is pretty easy to imagine what typically comes next: a prudish commentary on some aspect of modern society or youth culture. I like sex. There we go! To the point and leaves no doubt as to intent, I’d say. That said, I typically try to keep my interests in sex and watches somewhat distinct. But does the industry at large?

Why I’ve Never Owned A Rolex – And Why I Might Yet

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, I’m here to tell you that such people do exist, and that I’m one of them. How could it be?

Exclusive: The Giulio Papi No. 1 Pocket Watch

Sometimes persistence pays off. After a few well-placed questions, the shopkeeper brought out a relatively innocent looking skeletonized pocket watch. With a wry smile, he suggested that the buyer take a look at the tiny lug, leaving my friend flabbergasted. “G.N. Papi No.1” is a clear reference to Giulio Papi. The legendary watch industry figure who leads Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi and now my friend has stumbled across what could be his very first timepiece from 1984.

My Wife, The Watch Collector

For Quill & Pad’s themed “Ladies’ Week” in my role as resident collector, my thoughts turned immediately to that other collector in my life: my charming wife. MrsG is perhaps most enthusiastic about her collection of Southwestern Native American arts and jewelry, but let’s get started with a look at her interesting watches, which include excellent examples from Jaeger-LeCoultre, Blancpain, Alain Silberstein, Audemars Piguet, and more.

GaryG Goes To Paris To Pick Up Custom Boucheron Cufflinks Or How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Ah, Paris! City of Lights, Paname, Babylon on the Seine – no matter how one refers to it, there is nothing remotely like it. For the watch collector, it’s a great place to visit as well with boutiques aplenty, some owned and operated by the major brands; high-end mega-stores like Bucherer; and smaller independent retailers like Chronopassion and Dubail. Recently, I took a quick weekend trip to Paris and while there I took the opportunity to pack in as much fun as possible. Come along with me and join in!

You Are There: Visiting The Vianney Halter Workshop

One of the great things about making friends in the watchmaking communities is that sooner or later, one starts receiving invitations to visit the places where the beautiful handwork in horology actually happens: the manufactures of the big brands and the ateliers of the independents. I’ve now had the opportunity to take part in many such visits and I can tell you with some confidence that there is nothing quite like visiting with Vianney Halter at his workshop in the small Swiss town of Sainte-Croix, Switzerland.

Why I Bought It: Greubel Forsey Invention Piece 1

Seems it wasn’t that long ago (in reality, it was close to a year ago) that I wrote my first “Objects of Desire” article about the watches of Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey, finishing with: given the prices of their watches I was unlikely to be able to buy any of the ones I truly lusted after anytime soon. My observation at the time was “go big or go home.” As you will see, I’ve ended up going big and am now the proud owner of a Greubel Forsey Invention Piece 1.

Celebrity Ambassadors: Good Marketing Or Terrible Waste?

A few weeks ago, I had the very enjoyable experience of attending a day hosted by Audemars Piguet and the Watch Enthusiasts of New York (WENY) filled with watches, watchmaking, and lively conversation. In the evening, we were treated to something that for me was quite unusual but that in the world of luxury goods marketing is commonplace: an interaction with one of the brand’s ambassadors, in this case Sir Nick Faldo. Read on to learn what is it that leads watch brands to engage celebrities.