SalonQP isn’t simply a watch exhibition: it’s a watch exhibition inside an art gallery (the Saatchi Gallery), a setting that both the defines and enriches the brands and watches on display. And Hermès, very cleverly and very creatively, especially attracted visitors’ attention at SalonQP.
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
SalonQP, London’s premier watch exhibition, ran from the 6th through the 8th of November 2014 at the prestigious Saatchi Art Gallery in central London. It was bigger and better than ever in terms of both size and visitor numbers.
Read on for more than just a few reasons (and lots of photos) why SalonQP is my favorite watch exhibition.
I am a big fan of MB&F’s crazy Horological Machines and think that they make world of watchmaking much, much richer. Despite that, I have had a hard time imagining one on my own average-sized, conservative wrist. Whereas previous Horological Machines have been high-tech, miniaturized machines, the curved case and eye-like domes make HM6 feel organic and corporeal. . . a nice, friendly and (despite the titanium case) soft animal begging to be touched.
Now we get to the real nitty-gritty at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.: the Aiguille d’Or. There are no ifs, and or buts any more, just a decision on which of the 72 pre-selected watches is the best overall timepiece of the year. It is the most prestigious of the awards given.
Which could be our panel’s favorite to win? The Margot by Christophe Claret? Urwerk EMC? Perhaps the De Bethune DB29 Maxichrono Tourbillon? Or will it be something else entirely?
The Petite Aiguille category is for watches under 8,000 Swiss francs (approx $8,500). The contenders are Bell & Ross BR03-92 Ceramic Black Matte, Chopard Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Chrono, Montblanc Meisterstück Heritage Moonphase, Seiko Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36,000 GMT, TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887 Chronographe “Racing,” and the Zenith El Primero Synopsis.
The Sports watch category has always been one of the most hotly contested prizes because these are the watches that many people actually wear. Our pre-selected contenders in the Sports category this year are: the Bell & Ross BR126 Vintage Sport Heritage GMT Flyback, Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Chronographe Flyback, the Aerofusion Chronograph Pelé by Hublot, Tissot’s T-Touch Expert Solar, the Tudor Heritage Ranger, and the El Primero Lightweight by Zenith.
Contendors in the Artistic Crafts category of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève are: Chanel’s Coromandel Twin Volute Enchantée, Precious Watch Attrape-Moi… Si Tu M’aimes by Chaumet, Greubel Forsey’s Art Piece 1, Arceau Millefiori by Hermès, Jaquet Droz’s Petite Heure Minute Relief Saisons and Hisui by Kari Voutilainen. Which of these exceptional works of art would you choose in this category if you were on the jury?
According to the GPHG’s rules, these are watches demonstrating exceptional mastery of the art of jewelry and gemsetting, which is also distinguished by the choice of stones. The contendors are: Bulgari’s Diva High Jewellery Emeralds, Lion Mosaique by Chanel, Green Carpet Collection Watch by Chopard, Graff’s Multi-Colored Butterfly watch, the Ultimate Emerald Signature by Harry Winston and Arceau Temari by Hermès.
In a recent article about the Glashütte Original PanoMaticInverse, author Joshua Munchow introduced the PanoMaticInverse’s distinctive three-quarter movement plate with a poem. We thought it was quite a good poem, and we think it deserves its own post. Why the three-quarter plate? In simple terms, three-quarter and full movement plates are the only way to absolutely know that everything is held perfectly in place with no possible chance of shifting or alignment issues.
Just look at the contenders in this heavyweight Tourbillon division: Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Automatique, Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon, Grönefeld Parallax Tourbillon, Montblanc Villeret ExoTourbillon Rattrapante, TAG Heuer Carrera MikroPendulum Tourbillon, and the Blancpain Villeret 12-Day One-Minute Flying Tourbillon. Our panel just managed to reach a majority decision, but it was a close race.