MrsG, GaryG’s charming wife, is perhaps most enthusiastic about her collection of Southwestern Native American arts and jewelry, but here Gary takes a look at her interesting watches, which include excellent examples from Jaeger-LeCoultre, Blancpain, Alain Silberstein, Audemars Piguet, and more.
Many of you are likely to have come across at least a few heated discussions of “finishing,” a topic that seems to fascinate, and divide, watch enthusiasts. Like many people, GaryG’s starting point for serious watches was with a well-priced brand long known for its expertise in developing movements, justly viewed as offering good value for money – but not necessarily for the refinement of its movement finishing, at least on its less expensive pieces. Read on to discover what he has learned since then.
If John Keil was to recommend a brand-new functional diver’s watch to a friend who was looking to spend within a certain price range, these would be his suggestions. Or, more specifically, here is what he would purchase himself in a variety of price categories.
If cases get too little attention from watch collectors, GaryG feels that the straps and bracelets that turn a timepiece into a wristwatch seem to get even less. And of late, especially with the controversy surrounding the introduction of the “integrated” bracelet of A. Lange & Söhne’s new Odysseus, he has been pondering metal watch bracelets and what makes them so special.
Does anyone really care how many jewels their watch has? Watchmaker Ashton Tracy thinks that you’d be surprised how many people do as they’ve been duped by a vintage practice of announcing the amount of movement jewels on watch dials. What is the real story here?
Very, very rarely does Elizabeth Doerr see a watch book where everything fits together in the way a book should: engaging, well-written text; very obviously carefully copyedited; great paper quality; good, clear, pleasing-to-the-eye design; super photography, and an engaging subject matter. And she’s happy to report it does here. ‘Retro Watches’ by Josh Sims and Mitch Greenblatt is a must-read for those interested in affordable, design-focused watches of a quirky bygone era.
The components of a mechanical watch movement are little more than a series of springs and wheels held together by plates and/or bridges. No matter the configuration, complication or finish, the ensemble is secured by the humble movement screw. So it’s a pleasant surprise that several watchmakers have boldly ventured beyond the thread and the slot to reimagine the movement screw as Ryan Schmidt notes.
Wouldn’t it be splendid to have everything your heart desired? Well, it’s a nice fantasy but it’s not going to happen for GaryG. And besides, he’s not so sure that the experience of “selling to buy” isn’t actually a significant part, albeit a bittersweet one, of the collecting experience. Find out why here.
Vintage watches are becoming more and more of a subject in our little world of ticks and tocks. So Elizabeth Doerr set out for Frankfurt very early one Saturday morning to meet up with an old acquaintance, vintage watch dealer Ron Geweniger, to attend the Dr. Crott auction and learn a bit of what goes on behind the bidding.
Now, it seems fairly evident that we are on the down slope of either a cyclical correction in prices or, if one takes a less optimistic view, a permanent loss of watch value as the mechanical timepiece industry faces a variety of challenges and potential disruptions. So what’s a collector to do? And what lessons can we draw, both from watch auction results and the history of other luxury categories, to guide us?