Welcome to the 2017 edition of Quill & Pad’s Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève predictions in which the team picks favorites and explains why. In this edition, our panel wades through the difficult Tourbillon and Escapement Category trying to select a winner.
In 2009, Ulysse Nardin introduced Moonstruck, a watch that was much more than a timepiece to tell the time. It featured a tidal display that worked worldwide. Now it displays world time as well in a sleek new version.
My thoughts have turned to one major system that is always there, but generally hidden from sight: the movement. Here are a few of my favorites and why. And in the philosophy of putting my money where my mouth is, these movements have appeared in one or more watches that I’ve owned personally.
During the final weekend of the America’s Cup finals in Bermuda, where Emirates Team New Zealand won the Auld Mug by defeating two-time winner Oracle Team USA, I had the chance to sit down with Ulysse Nardin’s CEO Patrik Hoffmann for a chat about 2017. Even though Ulysse Nardin’s team, Artemis Racing, had already bowed out in the semifinals of the world’s most prestigious sailing competition life seems to be smooth sailing for the brand.
Sotheby’s June 2017 Important Watches sale in New York City took in $7.4 million. That’s not a sum to be sneezing at for 310 lots sold, with a sell-through rate of 84.2 percent. I was pleased to see that the top ten list of performers at this auction included Richard Mille and Greubel Forsey in addition to Patek Philippe.
The Ulysse Nadrin Marine Tourbillon, which made its debut at SIHH 2017 (Ulysse Nardin’s first showing at the Geneva fair), is not just a classically styled timepiece; it really is so much more than that. Let’s examine why I say that by going through its incredible attributes one by one.
The 35th America’s Cup is well underway in Bermuda, with the high-technology event heading into the final rounds on May 26, 2017. Interestingly, all of the teams for this finals month have watch sponsors, and these even represent brands from each of the four major groups: Swatch Group, Richemont, LVMH, and Kering.
The Ulysse Nardin Marine Regatta contains a single mechanism that can count down from the pre-set race time and then back up as the race gets underway to make an actually useful complication for sailing regattas: the bi-directional countdown chronograph hand. Get the wind in your sails with this cool timepiece!
In its brief existence, the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) awards in homage to passion and talent have already managed to reward some of the greatest personalities in the world of watches for their “passion” and “talent.” In 2016, the awards deservedly went to Ludwig Oechslin and François-Paul Journe.
I’m an expat Aussie who has now lived longer out of Australia than in, but in a few years my (Swiss) wife and I are planning on moving from Switzerland to Airlie Beach in North Queensland, Australia. In September 2016, I flew to the region for a week’s worth of face-to-face meetings to help lay the groundwork for our move.
It was a tight schedule, especially as I was sure to be suffering from jetlag, but it was doable. Especially with the Ulysse Nardin Dual Time on my wrist to help keep track of time there and at home.