Dominique Renaud began working at Audemars Piguet in 1980. He received his watchmaker education in Besançon, though his family originally hailed from the Vallée de Joux. Renaud and Guilo Papi, both employed by Audemars Piguet at the time, struck out on their own, founding Renaud & Papi SA in 1986 to explore avenues of high complication. So why do I bring this up now?
Post-SIHH reports indicate that the inclusion of the so-called indies was a big success for both visitors and the small brands alike, but also that there was a little grumbling from some of the large established SIHH brands generated by the fact that visitors to the fair remarked − with justification − that there were more interesting watches in the Carré des Horlogers than in the rest of the SIHH altogether. What can the industry learn from their inclusion in 2016’s first fair?
Previously, I had the wonderful opportunity to report on an important and previously unknown watch: the “G.N. Papi 1” pocket watch made by Giulio Papi and now owned by a good friend of mine. At the time, I promised to follow up should more information come to light on the watch. At SIHH 2016, our group of collectors received an update on this timepiece from none other than Giulio Papi himself.
It’s already been six consecutive years that I’ve had the delightful experience of going through SIHH week with several of my closest friends. Our closing discussions centered around four questions, which were focused more tightly on SIHH itself this year due to the inclusion of nine independent watchmakers: what watch did you think was best of show at SIHH? What was the worst watch of the show? What watch displayed at the show would you buy if money were no object? What watch did you see on display that would you buy with your own money?
It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of the MB&F HM6, but, it does have a serious design issue: except for that flying tourbillon, the incredible movement is hidden under a protective titanium case. And what a pity: it’s as if only half of the watch was available to be appreciated. The case shape reflects the movement architecture, but the movement architecture is concealed by the case . . . or it was until HM6 SV came along!
It’s SIHH 2016 week! And already, our California collector group was off to a splendid start with our traditional Saturday evening dinner with friend and genius watchmaker Kari Voutilainen. Kari brought along several of the watches that he will be presenting this week at SIHH, and was kind enough to grant permission for us to show them here before the official start of the show.
One of the big introductions of 2015 in the collector’s world was A. Lange & Söhne’s Zeitwerk Minute Repeater: a watch that both shows and chimes off the time using a “decimal” format of hours, tens of minutes, and minutes rather than the more traditional hours, quarters (15 minutes), and minutes. But the first decimal repeating wristwatch to reach the market wasn’t the Zeitwerk Minute Repeater. It was by independent watchmaker Kari Voutilainen.
In the early 1960s, engineer Kelly Johnson of Lockheed Martin came up with “keep it simple, stupid”, which became better known by its acronym, KISS. Watches that employ clever levers and clearly adhere to the KISS principle are always something that can turn me into a giddy fan boy, and one such piece is the Konstantin Chaykin Genius Temporis. Heck, even the name implies some genius.
It’s pretty interesting to us to find out what you like to read most, and we hope that it’s interesting for you to read, too – particularly at the end of the old year. For this reason, we bring you the top ten most-clicked posts of 2015 on Quill & Pad. Without further ado, here they are in no particular order.
Welcome to the 2015 edition of Quill & Pad’s early Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) predictions in which we pick our favorites and explain why. The six pre-selected finalists in the Men’s category are: MB&F’s anniversary HMX, the Laurent Ferrier Galet Square, Kari Voutilainen’s beautifully finished Voutilainen GMR, the Louis Vuitton Escale Time Zone, and Piaget’s Altiplano 900P, currently the thinnest mechanical watch in the world.