Given GaryG’s musings on these pages about the relative roles of rarity and complication in driving the value of a watch, he thinks it appropriate to dedicate this “Behind the Lens” entry to a piece that is both complicated and limited in production: Patek Philippe’s Reference 5950A. What’s so special about this watch? Well, first of all it’s a split-seconds chronograph. What else?
One of the great pleasures GaryG has of being a contributor here at Quill & Pad is that it gives him an excuse to set aside other priorities on a regular basis and immerse himself in the world of macro watch photography. Along the way, he has been asked by a number of folks to reveal techniques that he uses to create the images you see in his articles, so here he shares some of his tips.
GaryG ordered a Hasselblad X1D. He had never shot with a medium-format camera before, and the resolving power, color rendering, and ability to seemingly wrap light around a subject completely blew him away. So when Hasselblad announced that it would be offering a 120 mm macro lens for the X1D, he was among the very first to sign up. But did it make a difference in his watch photography?
GaryG meanders through some observations on the state of the industry, 2020 occurrences, and his own year in watches, including the watches he bought in 2020 and the watches he’d like to buy. And there are also his favorite photos from this year’s shooting interspersed to keep it lively. Enjoy!
How time flies! It seems like only yesterday that GaryG penned an article about wristshots. But that was back in 2015. And in 2017 that he posted thoughts and images on how to – and how not to – take watch photographs for sharing. It seemed to Gary that it’s about time for an update on both – as while some things remain the same, much has changed.
GaryG was delighted to take possession of an Invention Piece 1 with its inclined double tourbillon, while a good friend of his replied in kind with a purchase of the quadruple-tourbillon Invention Piece 2. Ever since, he has been dying to get these two gorgeous monsters side by side in the light tent. And the time has finally come!
If you like watches at all, you have certainly seen wristshots and perhaps you have even posted a few of your own. Like the selfie, wristshots seem to be ubiquitous these days. But where did wristshots come from, why do they exist, and what are the pitfalls to look out for? GaryG shares a few tips on what he has learned works and what doesn’t.
In this installment of Behind the Lens, GaryG shares a series of photographs of one of the great watches of our time, the Philippe Dufour Duality. The Duality, with its linked twin escapements, was originally planned for production in a series of 25 watches. In a turn of events that seems almost unbelievable today, a lack of initial demand eventually led Dufour to limit production to just nine pieces, one of which is owned by a good friend of Gary’s.
In GaryG’s view, every successful independent watchmaker has elements of a “house style” that may attract some buyers and put off others, but nonetheless set him or her apart. And, at the highest level, this style goes beyond “branding” to become an expression of the personality and artistic vision of the creator. In the picturesque Swiss town of Thun, Beat Haldimann and his small team distinguish themselves by focusing on technical virtuosity of the highest order as typified by the Haldimann H1 Flying Central Tourbillon.
One of the inconveniences associated with the current restrictions on gatherings is that GaryG’s local watch gang hasn’t met in person so he hasn’t been able to borrow interesting watches to shoot. However, just prior to the lockdown in California, he did pick up an intriguing piece from a pal: the Anniversary by Vianney Halter. Check it out in every great photographic variation here.