Ian Skellern tried, but didn’t quite manage, to come up with a more diplomatic way of saying this, so he just came out with it: up to this point, he had not generally been a fan of Bovet 1822. So he was surprised by just how much he was impressed with the Ottantasei by Pininfarina and would be very happy to wear one daily. But there is one niggle that he just can’t shake off . . .
About Ian Skellern
I am the co-founder and technical editor of Quill & Pad. I am also a Swiss-based independent journalist specializing in high-end watches and founder of 'underthedial', a digital communication agency focusing on independent brands. I am also the author of 'Hands of Time,' a book celebrating the 25th anniversary of the AHCI (Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants).
Many watches hold a special significance for their owners. Some timekeepers may be a powerful emotional reminder of an esteemed person, place, or event. Others the long-searched-for keystone in a valued collection. There are watches that can change your mood and generate a smile just by thinking about them. There are even watches that have changed lives, and the Two-Minute Tourbillon by Jean Daniel Nicolas significantly changed Ian Skellern’s life. Read how right here.
Ian Skellern and his wife serendipitously chanced upon “seeing” the aurora borealis while visiting Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and the excitement of that led to months of research. And that research led to spending a few days in the Arctic Circle in the north of Sweden. Here is what Ian has learned about the northern lights so far, some of it firsthand.
The short documentary film ‘Time Piece’ features two of the world’s best living watchmakers, Philippe Dufour and Vianney Halter, and provides excellent insight into what makes the watches by these masters so special.
Why do high-end watches cost so much? To answer the question, Ian Skellern looked at low production numbers and high complexity, but the cost he focuses on here is hand-finishing, because unlike low production numbers and high complexity, ultra-high-level hand-finishing is not easy to appreciate.
Whether Geneva Watch Days takes place or not, and whether it’s deemed successful or not because of all the travel and quarantine restrictions, doesn’t change the fact that there was a good chance that it could have run very successfully. Which means Ian Skellern was wrong in calling Bulgari CEO Jean-Christophe Babin delusional for organizing it. And for that he apologizes.
You may have heard of a few or more of the following historical people and events: Thomas Mudge, George Graham, John Harrison, the Longitude Prize, Captain James Cook, and the mutiny on the ‘HMS Bounty.’ However, you are less likely to have heard the name of a horologist who played a pivotal role in all of the above: Larcum Kendall (1719–1790). Come with me on a worldwide adventure involving timekeeping and history.
The GPHG Academy will soon be making its submissions for the 2020 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. As Ian Skellern began putting rough lists of watches together, he realized that he was likely only aware of a fraction of watches that are both eligible and noteworthy. And as his favorite niche sectors are likely to be different than yours, many of you will know about watches that he, and perhaps other Academy members, don’t. So please let us know your favorite new watches in the categories here and we’ll take them into consideration.
This year, 2020, marks the tenth anniversary of the death of one of the greats of the modern watch industry, Peter Baumberger. Dr. Helmut Crott, his longtime friend and founder of the Dr. Crott auction house in Germany, recently sent me a tribute he had written for the occasion. But first I’d like to first take the opportunity to share an anecdote of my own regarding “Peter, the utter bastard,” as I will always (fondly) think of him.
De Bethune celebrates the tenth anniversary of its groundbreaking DB28 in 2020 and, as Ian Skellern’s relationship with the model goes back the full decade, it seems an appropriate time for him to share the story of how he came to launch the DB28, own a DB28, and what he thinks of the DB28 after wearing one regularly for seven years.