Here’s a prediction by Ian Skellern: the relatively nondescript AMC movement Urwerk presented at the 2018 SIHH will not only become one of the horological highlights of the decade, but will take its place among history’s most significant timepieces ever. That’s a bold statement. Here Ian explains why he thinks AMC is so important.
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).
Two-hundred fifty years ago, Longitude Prize-winning clockmaker John Harrison made clocks losing just one second per month. But that wasn’t enough for him: in his later life, Harrison claimed that he could make a wall clock with a then-unheard-of-precision of just one second over 100 days! And 250 years later, it turns out he was right.
The Geophysic True Second and Geophysic Universal Time were not just great value watches, they were great watches. Launched in 2015, this rebooted collection has now been discontinued, which for many has made the watches even more enticing.
John McGonigle has launched the H-B1, the first watch under his solo brand Oileán. It’s a beautifully hand finished triple-calendar column wheel chronograph powered by a highly modified new-old stock Valjoux 88 movement. While not cheap, Ian Skellern thinks it’s the best value-for-money, exquisitely hand-finished, complicated watch he has ever seen.
There are a plethora of places to see in Porto − the city center is a UNESCO World Heritage site − but one absolute must for wine aficionados is to spend a couple of hours across the river Douro in Vila Nova de Gaia visiting a Port house and tasting the wines. Follow me on such a journey . . . saude!
Fine watches and fine whisky, for many the two go together like single malt birds of a feather. Urwerk founders Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei have been known to enjoy a smooth amber tipple or two, and as discerning gentlemen with discerning taste in haute horlogerie it’s perhaps not surprising that Baumgartner and Frei also have discerning taste when it comes to whisky: single malt by The Macallan.
Urwerk and MB&F are two stalwarts of contemporary watchmaking with, superficially at least, much in common. Here Ian Skellern shares what he thinks are the significant similarities and differences between these two leaders in modern independent watchmaking.
This Breguet souscription pocket watch number 1836 was created just after the French Revolution in 1796 and was sold in 1807 for £600. A testament to the quality of the movement’s design and the skill of its watchmaker, after more than 200 years it still runs perfectly today, which makes it the perfect role model for Breguet’s modern Tradition line. But what relationship does Ian have to it?
Peacocks on Quill & Pad? Well, if luxury is defined as an inessential, desirable item that is expensive or difficult to obtain, then peafowl surely fit the bill as well as any fine mechanical watch. Here Ian Skellern shares more than you are likely to ever need to know about free-ranging peacocks/peafowl, recounting his colorful journey to sharing a garden with Bonnie and Clyde along the way.
This is a family affair: a story of Ian’s wife Brigitte, her horse Gucci, his father Neil, and an engraved Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classique. And this is a good example of how and why you might want to commission a work of art on the back of a Reverso.