Sometimes persistence pays off. After a few well-placed questions, the shopkeeper brought out a relatively innocent looking skeletonized pocket watch. With a wry smile, he suggested that the buyer take a look at the tiny lug, leaving my friend flabbergasted. “G.N. Papi No.1” is a clear reference to Giulio Papi. The legendary watch industry figure who leads Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi and now my friend has stumbled across what could be his very first timepiece from 1984.
This is the first installment in a new series of articles focusing on a single concept. I’m calling it “Here’s Why.” Here I explain here’s why a watch is more like a motorcycle (and an iPod) than a car. To help me find the answers, I spoke to a few serious motorbike riders who also love mechanical watches, such as Bremont ambassador Charley Boorman and motorcycle enthusiast and watch journalist Keith Strandberg. The answers will surprise you.
I have been an admirer of Panerai since the late 1990s, so getting a chance to go out to the Isle of Wight for the British Classic Week in Cowes, where Panerai is the time partner for the Classic Yachts Challenge, was a fantastic experience. I had the chance to see and photograph a number of recent Panerai releases in their natural habitat over the race weekend.
The Opus 5 by Felix Baumgartner/Urwerk for Harry Winston is one of the best of this series of exceptional timepieces. But, as this drawing by Urwerk designer Martin Frei from June of 2003 shows, one of the original ideas behind Urwerk’s Opus 5 was a digital display in a model christened with the working title “Time Bandit.”
Even the sweet taste of the nectar of Zeus pure mortals call Marsala wine that I was sipping on a terrace in the middle of the Piazza del Duomo in Syracuse, Sicily, and even the sensational view of that grandiose rococo church in front of me could not erase the horrible image from my mind. Caressing my arm, Mrs. What Makes Me Tick was doing her best to shake me out of my shock by trying to persuade me that it wasn’t all that bad and that things could have been worse. Worse?
When writing ‘Bridging Art and Mechanics: The Unabridged Story of the Corum Golden Bridge,’ I discovered much more about Corum’s artistic co-founder, René Bannwart, including the fact that he was the creator of Omega’s flagship Constellation and Seamaster lines.
Romain Gauthier’s Logical One is a masterpiece of complicated mechanics, boasting − as with all of the models in his collection − a level of finishing rivaled only by the likes of Philippe Dufour, Greubel Forsey, and Kari Voutlainen. That’s high praise, indeed. With its four patents, Logical One delivers what it promises: a re-imagined complication laid out very logically. And the most recent edition of the timepiece taking home the 2013 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève prize for best men’s complication is a surprising all-black version.
Having the chance to wear the H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour Perpetual Calendar for several weeks reminded me a great deal of the evening the brand launched in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. So in addition to reporting here on the watch itself, I’m going to also provide a few details of recent history regarding this lovely, classic perpetual calendar.
Calculating large numbers is a pain if all you have handy is your brain and a pencil. This is why people have created systems and objects to make the process easier. The Greubel Forsey Quantième Perpétuel à Équation has a mechanical computer that calculates the dates for the perpetual calendar and equation of time. This is a complete departure from the traditional perpetual calendar mechanism.
I have attended the odd auction. I have even gone to auctions with the intent to bid on a watch. But that hadn’t yet worked out for me. Not until I saw that Parisian auction house Artcurial was auctioning off what was left of Alain Silberstein’s inventory and put in an absentee bid on a long shot. I had little hope.