Recently, GaryG had the opportunity to handle, photograph, and wear a good friend’s Balancier Contemporain in white gold. His pal had long been a fan of the brand but had always been put off by the size of the watches. At 39.6 mm wide, though, the Contemporain is the most compact Greubel Forsey ever.
As most folks who follow Patek Philippe are aware, the brand has long been in the habit of making unique watches for special customers, including in recent times entertainment luminaries such as Eric Clapton and Michael Ovitz. It was not until 2015, however, that Patek Philippe publicly issued a number of small editions of previously discontinued references, each in previously unmade metal/dial combinations. This Patek Philippe Reference 5070J-013 is one of those ultra-rare birds. And GaryG wonders if it might bring yellow gold back into fashion single-handedly.
A couple of years ago, GaryG wrote about one collector’s obsession with the A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Lumen and the platinum Lange bracelet made by Wellendorff, and wanting to combine the two. The result was spectacular, and now he brings us another view of it told through his own photographs.
One of the best things about dealing with independent watchmakers is the ability to request unique touches on your watch. That’s just what happened after GaryG’s new friend first saw Kari Voutilainen’s Sport28, a titanium-encased watch that itself is quite rare with only eight examples made in total.
GaryG had the good fortune to photograph two sensational unique timepieces from independent German watchmaker Christian Klings.
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 them apart. And, at the highest level, this style goes beyond “branding” to become an expression of the personality and artistic vision of the creator. 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.
GaryG enjoyed the opportunity to check out three of his friends’ rare Patek Philippe pieces, all with salmon-colored dials: Reference 5059G-018 and Reference 3940G-029 perpetual calendars from Patek Philippe’s Vintage Collection and a unique piece Reference 5270G. He shares his thoughts and stunning photos with us here.
GaryG won’t soon forget the pre-opening independents party at Baselworld in 2019 where Kari Voutilainen wasted no time in showing him and a few friends a breathtaking timepiece: his 28ti, number 0, in titanium. Gary shares what happened next here and how it resulted in him photographing this unique piece.
GaryG was delighted when his favorite local independent watch retailer brought out a very special piece, one of five HM9 Sapphire Vision watches in white gold with a vivid purple movement. And he was even more pleased when he was allowed to take some photos to share before the watch was delivered to its happy new owner.
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 people to reveal techniques that he uses to create the images you see in his articles, so here he shares some of his tips.