The watch nerd that I am, I rarely immediately wear my new watches; I like to put them aside for a few days and let the anticipation grow. When the day finally came that it was time to wear my new Rolex, I took it out of the box and proudly put it on my wrist. And then horror struck. I didn’t feel anything, not a thing! Zilch, nada, niente! What to do?
About What Makes Me Tick
I am the resident storyteller and opinionator on Quill & Pad. According to Mrs. Ecton, my seventh-grade English teacher, the only subject I was able to more or less master was myself, so that’s what I write about! I’ll be sharing my thoughts on watches, those who make them, and those who love them, with the occasional shoe story thrown in because everyone knows the saying: “Your minute repeater chimes better when you’re wearing John Lobb.” I seriously believe that you can’t go around wearing a fantastic watch with crappy shoes. (And vice versa.)
Entries by What Makes Me Tick
In the early days of TimeZone and ThePurists when you posted a question you had to wait a few days for an answer you. And that answer was often detailed and knowledgeable. Then came the guys who had no idea what a free-sprung balance was, but posted ten times a day or more with content that included calling watchmakers and CEOs by their first names. Today, we would probably describe all of these categories of forum posters as internet gurus. The problem being, most are just using up bandwidth.
For a die-hard shoe aficionado, the Berluti moniker probably resonates the same way that Franck Muller’s name does for a WIS: overpriced, under-crafted, and something that clueless wanabees might buy.
But let’s not forget something important: Berluti, like Franck Muller, was a game changer.
Dear De Bethune,
Can I call you Thunie? Or, even better, just DB?
I have decided to place quill upon pad after all these years of watching you . . . no, I’m neither a stalker nor a star-struck groupie.
But more often than not you have intrigued, baffled, dazzled, and surprised me.
You do not remember our first meeting; how could you? You were just a baby, very different from what you are today. You had rather classic looks inside and out, but there was a je ne sais quoi implying that you might grow into something more interesting and perhaps flamboyant . . .
In the early 1990s, I was facing the same dilemma as today: should I buy modern or vintage? The problem was that the modern watches actually all looked vintage, right down to the sizes. There was something lacking, and watch shopping at times almost felt like perusing the yogurt section in a Soviet supermarket.
I’m obviously exaggerating here, but in general it seemed to me that creativity was more or less an afterthought.
Enter Vianney Halter in 1998 with the Antiqua Perpetual. And then what happened next: the birth of ICH (“independent creative horology”).
Even the sweet taste of the nectar of Zeus pure mortals call Marsala wine that I was sipping on a terrace in the middle of the Piazza del Duomo in Syracuse, Sicily, and even the sensational view of that grandiose rococo church in front of me could not erase the horrible image from my mind. Caressing my arm, Mrs. What Makes Me Tick was doing her best to shake me out of my shock by trying to persuade me that it wasn’t all that bad and that things could have been worse. Worse?
“What, another watch?” she almost screamed in disbelief no sooner than I had opened the front door to our little love nest. Rewind to last week. I had been looking for a Roger Smith Series 1 for some time now, and Jones, my watch dealer, happened to finally locate one. I thought that I had played it pretty safe, so I really don’t know how she could have noticed. But then what happened next changed the rest of my life.
One evening while we were sipping away at his ex-wife’s stock of 1945 Pétrus, my buddy Slippery Steve and I contemplated a few of the essential questions in life, the kind that rarely find a real answer. Where do I come from? Is there life after death? Can I wear brown shoes after 6:00 PM? Is my Audemars Piguet a fake? Following on that conversation, Slippery Steve and I offer you six easy ways to recognize if your watch is fake. No prior knowledge needed and entertaining photography guaranteed!
Standing before my eyes was the most perfect of God’s creatures, a wonderful mix of Audrey Hepburn and Penelope Cruz. I think my heart skipped a beat, and I heard the chimes of every single minute repeater Patek Philippe had ever created – all chiming at exactly the same time! Six months later the gentle creature and I were married. This extraordinary story reflects the marvelous world of vintage watches: finding the rare bird, linking it to a story, and never letting it go.
It was a sunny but cool autumn day in 1775, yet young Madeleine was sweating profusely and cussing quite colorfully at young Eugene – her husband. “Bloody zut . . . I can’t take this any longer! When is it finally coming out?” she hissed through gritted teeth. Young Madeleine was giving birth, a most unpleasant affair at the beginning. Once the child was born, he became the star in her sky. Later, she gazed at him tenderly as his dashing good looks brought tears to her eyes . . . like that of all the women blessed enough to cross his path. Meet Quill & Pad’s new contributor, a humble man.