The fact is that if many people do not appreciate superlative hand-finishing, then fewer will pay for superlative hand-finishing, so there is likely to be less superlative hand-finishing on offer. So why are we in a golden age for appreciating it right now? Ian Skellern explains.
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).
Entries by Ian Skellern
The Two-Minute Tourbillon by Jean Daniel Nicolas is a watch that changed Ian Skellern’s life. Read how right here!
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.
At the 2019 SIHH, Ian was jolted at a private Hermès presentation by a watch so new that it would not be launched for a couple of months yet: the Slim d’Hermès Titane. Two things surprised him about the Slim d’Hermès Titane: just how much he liked it (and “liked” as in “he wants to buy one”) and how, when Ian personally focuses on the independents, did he start considering Hermès?
The Breguet Tradition collection, as exemplified here by the Tradition Automatique Seconde Rétrograde 7097, does just what it says on the label: provide tradition. And it does that very well as Ian Skellern illustrates in a comparison with an original 200-year-old Abraham-Louis Breguet Souscription pocket watch.
Blast from the past! This post is a “reprint” of an article Ian wrote that was first published on The PuristS in 2005 and it covers Felix Baumgartner, Urwerk, the Harry Winston Rare Timepieces Opus V, The Urwerk 103.03, plus an Urwerk 103.03 user review. Enjoy!
Ian doesn’t usually have time to look at his photos on a screen until well after the SIHH. And as it’s after the fair now, here are his Top 5 wristshots from SIHH 2019. Plus five more that he felt well deserving. And then one more that he just couldn’t let go.
The Naked Watchmaker (TNW), aka Peter Speake-Marin, has recently began a series of deconstructions of a broad selection of modern Breguet watches and movements, starting with the Classique 5177, a relatively simple (for Breguet) three-hand dress watch with date. Here Ian shares a few details that The Naked Watchmaker didn’t reveal.
The most common choice for classic dress watches has to be gold, but have you ever wondered where that gold originally came from? And by “originally” Ian Skellern isn’t referring to a gold mine on earth but the original source of the gold before it even arrived on our planet. Spoiler alert: it involves an explosion, a very big explosion!
The 2018 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) has just finished and here are the brands, watches, and personalities that went home with well-deserved trophies.