A piece that for me is a long-term keeper, is the wonderful Antiqua by Vianney Halter. The truth is that I fell for the Antiqua when I first saw one more than a dozen years ago; while many of my friends will freely confess that at the time they were at first put off by its looks, I was smitten from the start. But that’s not all that I love about this watch.
Thanks to all who submitted entries to our Photo Caption Competition No. 3 starring none other than Mr. Vianney Halter. Photo Caption Competition No. 4 features a very brightly colored T-Rex looking into what looks like a car mirror (or whatever you deign it to be). Please add your caption suggestions to the comments below the post.
It will come as no surprise to anyone who has read my pieces in the past that I like a good jump hour mechanism. Actually, I love a good jump hour mechanism. There is just something about that instantaneous change driven entirely by mechanical means that fascinates me. And yet not all “digital” watches require the use of jump hours and minutes; some don’t even use a jump at all yet still read digitally. So today I want to break down a list of my seven (plus change) favorite “digital” watches.
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.
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 recent watch auction results and the history of other luxury categories, to guide us?
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”).
One of the great things about making friends in the watchmaking communities is that sooner or later, one starts receiving invitations to visit the places where the beautiful handwork in horology actually happens: the manufactures of the big brands and the ateliers of the independents. I’ve now had the opportunity to take part in many such visits and I can tell you with some confidence that there is nothing quite like visiting with Vianney Halter at his workshop in the small Swiss town of Sainte-Croix, Switzerland.
Following the Swatch Group’s takeover of Harry Winston, a continuation of the Opus series with an Opus 14 seemed in doubt to me, though at Baselworld 2015 Dr. Nayla Hayek, chair of the Swatch Group’s board of directors and CEO of Harry Winston, quietly let it be known that a Harry Winston Opus 14 is forthcoming. What better reason to take a look back at the history-making timepieces of the Opus series.
For the past five years, I’ve had the delightful experience of traveling to Switzerland with several friends to experience SIHH week, before finishing up with a Friday night dinner at which we review our impressions of the week by answering what watch we thought was best of show at SIHH; what was the worst watch; what current-production watch that we saw at any event during the week would we buy if money were no object; and what current-production watch did we see that we would buy with our own money?
It seems like only yesterday, but it was all the way back in January of 2014 that I had the opportunity to sit down for the first time with Elizabeth and Ian and hear their plans for Quill & Pad. Before the year completely gets away, here are a few of my observations and reflections on the industry, my first year at Quill & Pad, and my year in watches.