In this edition of ‘Behind the Lens,’ GaryG pays tribute to the introduction of the A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 on October 24, 1994. He brings us stunning images of two very special variants of the classic watch: the rare Cellini limited edition, of which only 25 were made for the New York City retailer, and the even rarer stainless steel Lange 1, which was not a limited edition per se, but certainly a (very) limited sort-of production watch.
It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Vianney Halter and his work. I strongly believe that one of the defining moments of my development as a collector was taking the plunge and buying an example of his landmark Antiqua in pink gold. But how do two of these rare watches look side by side under the unforgiving lens of my camera?
Recently, a good friend and avid collector gave me the mouth-watering opportunity to photograph two splendid Patek Philippe minute repeaters: the 5074P and 5078P. If you’re one of those people who believe in wearing a watch with your tuxedo, I don’t think you’d ever go wrong in pulling the 5078P out of the safe to wear. What else is interesting about it?
Here begins a very special three-part series looking at, and listening to, two of Patek Philippe’s splendid minute repeaters: References 5074P and 5078P. If there’s any curiosity about which of the two I prefer, I’ll get that question out of the way right now: I consider the 5074P to be one of the finest contemporary wristwatches; it is a piece that awes me every time I handle one.
As regular readers know, the idea of the Behind the Lens series is to present great watches as seen from a variety of visual perspectives. Mostly, I feature watches on loan from my generous friends, but this time let’s look at a piece that I am very fortunate to have in my own collection: the legendary Simplicity by Philippe Dufour in a 37 mm white gold case with white lacquer dial.
For this special article, I have the pleasure of covering the wonderful Grönefeld One Hertz! For a watch fanatic, and especially for lovers of independent watch brands, it’s a dream come true to meet the makers of the watches that we admire. With the Grönefeld brothers, it’s that pleasure multiplied by two.
In my view, every successful independent watchmaker has elements of a “house style” that may attract some buyers and put off others, but nonetheless sets 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.
For those of you who are regular readers of my “Behind the Lens” series, it’s no secret that my watch pals and I are big fans of independent watchmaking.
Here at Quill & Pad we’re also fans of the independents, prominently including Irish watchmaking brothers John and Stephen McGonigle.
Recently, I had the opportunity to photograph an example of the Tuscar One in Ten owned by a good friend. Let’s take a look at some of the results.
Roger Smith holds a special place in the pantheon of independent watchmaking, both on his own merits and as the man who worked most closely with the legendary George Daniels. While any Smith watch is rare, the particular Series 2 that you see photographed in this article is in fact unique: it’s the only such watch in stainless steel that Smith has yet produced.
For this edition of Behind the Lens, I’m sharing 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 mine.