What is the most precious element of any watch brand? Its manufacture? Its skilled employees? Its brand ambassadors? Its boutiques? Martin Green thinks that it’s none of those, because the most important asset of a brand is its so-called DNA. Here he explains how brands better used their DNA at the 2018 SIHH.
About Martin Green
I am the resident gentleman of Quill & Pad. A Dutch national with familial ties to the United States of America, I unwittingly landed in the world of watches just before I turned 18. My grandfather always had an interest in timepieces, and I decided that I would celebrate my eighteenth birthday with the purchase of my very first Swiss wristwatch. Little did I know that this would open a wormhole propelling me into a universe that I am now very happy to call home. I currently serve as editor-in-chief of 'Watchtishis?!,' a magazine dedicated to affordable watches, and executive editor of 'Timetation Magazine,' which focuses on the artistic side of haute horlogerie. I also represent AOS watches and am one-half of a consultancy company called GreenKopp, which is at home in the luxury field.
Entries by Martin Green
There is a certain sense of irony in it: while trying on a new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore I realized during the 2018 SIHH that current trends seem to favor smaller watches. It seems that the watch world has finally returned to its senses with smaller sizes. And that is a good thing!
Christiaan van der Klaauw presented the world’s smallest mechanical planetarium in 1999 and the first three-dimensional moon phase in a wristwatch six years later. Today, designers Daniël and Maria Reintjes run the astronomical brand, so Martin Green and Boris Pjanic visited the workshop to see how things are going.
Wandering the halls of the Palexpo, where the 2018 SIHH took place, Martin noticed plenty of trends. And while many of them have already been shared here and there, he noticed one trend he felt hadn’t been mentioned yet: how few diamond-set watches there were!
For a niche brand yet to celebrate its third birthday, Ferdinand Berthoud has made quite a horological impact: its Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud FB1 won the prestigious Aiguille d’Or at the 2016 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. And now for 2018, the nascent brand presents an interesting and well-finished regulator: the Chronomètre FB 1R.6-1.
Founded in 1991, until now Hennessey has made a name for itself by extracting huge amounts of horsepower (chiefly) out of American sports cars and SUVs while keeping them drivable and dependable. Now comes the Venom F5, the first full Hennessey and one that can do up to 300 mph – if there were tires available to hold up at this speed.
With the FVF Emotional Horology No 1 Superligero, Franc Vila moves beyond the craziness of his Cobra designs to enter the realm of handmade, complex haute horlogerie delights that evoke emotion not only with the design and composition of the watch, but also the finish. To accomplish this, Vila has teamed up with independent watchmaker Rexhep Rexhepi of Akrivia.
There wasn’t even a concept Audi A7 a few years ago, yet now it is high on everyone’s wish list. This is also unlikely to change, as the release of the 2019 model year pulls the A7 even further into the future. Martin Green examines why.
The de Fossard Solar Time Clock isn’t so much a clock but a time-telling sculpture because it unites the past, present, and future in a single object. Its design is rather futuristic, almost timeless, and the same can be said of the mechanics, but rather than reaching into the future like the design, they go back to the heyday of clockmaking.
Dandies and Piaget have always enjoyed a natural alliance. There are several reasons for this: first and foremost, there is the brand’s decision to make only watches using precious metals; secondly, there is the decision to fit them with manufacture movements that are as small and thin as possible – something that allows nearly unprecedented freedom for the brand’s designers. Let’s have a look at some dandy Piaget models!