There is a wide variety of criteria that Martin Green might apply to make a list of his top 5 watches of 2021, but he has chosen to follow the most important one: whether when he first saw the watch it brought a rush of excitement and continues to do so every time he sees it. Here he shares his five favorites of 2021, and some may surprise you.
John McGonigle has launched the H-B1, the first watch under his solo brand Oileán. It’s a beautifully hand-finished triple-calendar column wheel chronograph powered by a highly modified new-old stock Valjoux 88 movement. While not cheap, Ian Skellern thinks it’s the best value-for-money, exquisitely hand-finished, complicated watch he has ever seen.
Elizabeth Doerr was particularly pleased to receive a copy of ‘Konstantin Chaykin: Haute Horlogerie With Russian Soul’ and to discover it was expertly written by Alexey Kutkovoy, both of whom she has known and respected for many years. Her verdict? “There is nothing left to say but ‘spectacular’.”
Koen Simon is a 26-year-old watch collector from The Netherlands. A regular reader of Quill & Pad, he is a fan of high-end watchmaking. He recently sent us this story about how and why he acquired his rare two-tone Orion timepiece by Christiaan van der Klaauw, which we are pleased to share here.
Stephen McGonigle, owner and co-founder of McGonigle watches, has been regularly asked by friends and watch aficionados over the years to make something that they could afford – or at least aspire to. Making a relatively affordable watch that he could be proud of was a challenge. A challenge McGonigle has met with the first watch from his new Magon brand: the Fórsa Titanium, an automatic column wheel chronograph in a distinctive tonneau-shaped case.
Despite all its scholarly technology, Elizabeth Doerr finds Antoine Preziuso’s Stella Polare Tourbillon Muonionalusta to be far more wearable for slimmer wrists than some of his other creations. Not only that, this watch is the culmination of the independent watchmaker’s journey to capture a shooting star.
In November 2021 collectors have the chance to see (and possibly buy) all four Philippe Dufour watches in one place, making Phillips’ Geneva Watch Auction: XIV what could well be the watch auction of the decade. Joshua Munchow takes a look at each of the four Philippe Dufour models on the block and examines why this is likely to leave its mark on the auction world for years to come.
Konstantin Chaykin is widely known for incredibly complicated horology and the amusing Joker collection. Here he decided to honor the myth of the Minotaur with a variation on the Joker line, which instantly became Joshua Munchow’s favorite iteration to date: the Konstantin Chaykin Wristmon Minotaur represents a mechanical and aesthetic shift that reignites Joshua’s desire for one of Chaykin’s limited creations.
A generous friend offered GaryG the opportunity to shoot his white gold Kari Voutilainen Masterpiece Chronograph II so that Gary is able to share delightful photos of both his custom pink gold Chronograph II in comparison with his friend’s custom white gold version.
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.” Check out this superb almost-was timepiece!