Just about every top tennis player can boast a significant watch sponsorship. Just about everyone that is, except for the one who knows the most about timepieces: world number six Tomas Berdych.
I went to the theater recently and saw a typical raunchy comedy called ‘Neighbors.’ Much to my surprise, I saw something I cannot remember ever seeing in a mass-marketed movie: a 3D scanner and 3D printer being used by the main characters in a funny circumstance. (For said circumstance, please watch the movie because it cannot be discussed here.)
Last week I visited the Leica factory and spent some time admiring an exhibition placed in the spacious foyer of this massive new factory building called “36 aus 100” (“36 from 100”). This image of the soldier wearing two watches – perhaps very, very briefly reminding me of the late Nicolas G. Hayek’s penchant for wearing two timepieces – caught my attention.
Wetzlar, Germany is to optics like La Chaux-de-Fonds is to Swiss watchmaking. In fact, with Leica’s focus on handcrafting and precision, it could almost be part of the watch industry itself.
Small format photography as we know it today – also known as 35 mm – was born a century ago in Wetzlar, when Oskar Barnack made the very first Leitz camera.
Côme de Valbray, co-founder of Valbray watches, is the perfect example of the typical Leica customer. An avid amateur photographer for many years, the trained engineer perfectly understands and appreciates the luxury camera brand. Leica celebrated its centennial in May 2014 with a number of amazing new elements: inauguration of a brand-new factory building housed within a complex called the Leitz Park, a number of special new products and, of course, the Valbray EL 1 Chrono.
Last week Quill & Pad co-founders Ian Skellern and Elizabeth Doerr went to the Mille Miglia: Elizabeth as the guest of principal sponsor Chopard, Ian (in a support car) covering Roland Iten, a main sponsor with five cars in the event, and Mr. Roland Iten himself, who competed in the race in a 1953 Porsche 356 Pre A Coupé 1500 , driving more than one thousand grueling miles through the Italian countryside.
Ian, Elizabeth and Roland now discuss this unique adventure and invite you to listen in.
As part of my “enthusiast collector” role here at Quill & Pad I will be taking a look at watches that strike my fancy, and sharing the visual results with you along with a few observations on photography, the watches themselves, and the collectors who own them.
Let’s get started, shall we? Our subject for this episode: the F.P. Journe Tourbillon Souverain with remontoir d’égalité.
The Mille Miglia is a ray of sunshine in your heart,” famous Belgian race car driver Jacky Ickx writes in Chopard’s commemorative book celebrating 25 years of being the race’s global sponsor. “The Mille Miglia is one of the last great adventures possible today,” concurs Karl-Friedrich Scheufele. Chopard’s co-president is racing his 25th Mille Miglia this year. Here are a few impressions from the last couple of days and nights on the strada italiana. . . .
The 2014 Mille Miglia runs for four days from 15 through 18 May 2014. Thursday, the 15th of May, 2014 is day one of the 2014 Mille Miglia. While there are regular checkpoints, marshals and police, it seems like anything goes; anyone can join in the race – while it’s called a time trial, the Mille Miglia is to all intents and purposes a Gumball Rally-type road race.
Only a few sporting events are fortunate enough to transcend the confines of their sports. But for these special few, their name and reputation evoke powerful associations, even among those who care little for the sport itself.
And when it comes to endurance racing in historic cars, one name stands above all others: the Mille Miglia in Italy.