The term “Frankenwatch” is pejorative, suggesting an impure timepiece cobbled together from parts of questionable origin and vintage. But ask watch collectors to name the best parts from any watch, and they’ll eventually dream up an imaginary watch that only a mad doctor could love. Here’s GP’s very own.
Ticking off the week's news in watches
This Week in Watches: Richard Mille’s RM 11 Flyback Chronograph, new versions of Luminox’s P-38 Lightning, the HODINKEE Music Machine 2, a tough Victorinox and much more.
Better Than What You Made in Art Class
Dig up dirt, mold into desired shape, apply heat. With that kind of recipe, it’s no wonder ceramics have been around for 27,000 years. Sure, you might know the material from DIY pottery and kindergarten art classes, but these days a handful of companies are producing high-quality ceramics that manage to toe the line between stark minimalism and natural roughness. Here are our eight favorites from both ends of the spectrum.
Ticking Off the Latest in Watch News
This Week in Watches: The Sistem51 hits U.S. shores, Audemars Piguet’s new digs, the missing watches of ten great men and much more.
Best of Show
Every year we come away from Salon International Haute Horlogerie, the world’s most prestigious watch show, feeling privileged and awed. This year was no different. The competitive environment of the show, the electric vibe among the attendees and the enthusiasm of brand reps and watchmakers showing off their new creations make the Palexpo in Geneva a wonderful place every January.
After we’ve returned home and slept off the jetlag, we like to poll our team of Timekeeping contributors for their picks from the preceding week. So with our further ado, here are our favorite watches of SIHH 2014.
From Geneva with Love
This time of year, the horological universe revolves around the Palexpo center in Geneva. It’s SIHH — the Salon International Haute Horlogerie, where the watch brands under the Richemont Luxury Group umbrella (and a couple of outlying independents) convene to display their wares in elaborate and opulent “booths” that defy that pedestrian name. Journalists and retailers from around the world descend on Geneva to jostle for first looks at the latest and greatest creations from legendary maisons like Jaeger-LeCoultre, A. Lange & Sohne and Audemars Piguet. Follow our man on the ground, Jason Heaton, as he sends in the latest horological news every half hour.
To refer to the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak as a mere icon is to almost willfully ignore the importance of the watch, the line it inspired, or, indeed, the genre that it gave birth to. Few, if any, timepieces have so thoroughly altered the industry or impacted our conception of watchmaking as the Royal Oak, and for good reason. This timepiece didn’t just save a company. It single-handedly created an entirely new class of watch.
It Was the Best of Times
Nothing helps shake off the doldrums of mid-winter like a visit to Geneva for the annual Salon International Haute Horlogerie. For the uninformed, SIHH is the watch trade show put on by the watch brands under the Richemont Group umbrella and some of their friends. Familiar names like IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Panerai set up shop next to lesser known watchmakers like Parmigiani and Gruebel-Forsey in the grand confines of the Palexpo convention center. We asked Gear Patrol’s Timekeeping writers to weigh in on what impressed them the most from this year’s crop of timepieces. Their picks vary from the classic to the outrageous (see the Tourbillon Yohan Blake, below), and together they represent a great range of SIHH 2013.
High watchmaking goes deep
Earlier this year, Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced its retro-tastic Deep Sea Vintage Chronograph at the annual Salon International de Haute Horlogerie in Geneva. The watch made just about everyone’s “Best Of” list (including ours) with its creamy “aged” luminescent markers, textured dial and old-school pump-style chronograph pushers. The watch was homage to a watch JLC never produced…
From a tiny acorn
The concrete canyons of Manhattan are pretty far away from the wooded alpine serenity of Switzerland’s Vallée de Joux, but it was on Park Avenue that Swiss watch company, Audemars Piguet, decided to kick off a celebration tour for its mightiest creation: the Royal Oak. Appearing in 1972 with a price ten times that of…
15 Moments In Time
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of their iconic Royal Oak, Audemars Piguet is presenting a multi-city exhibit that showcases 100 examples of this historic timepiece in conjunction with the creative talents of three of today’s leading contemporary artists, Sebastien Leon Agneessens, Quayola and Dan Holdsworth. The exhibit, ROYAL OAK 40 YEARS: From Avant-Garde to Icon,…
Patek Philippe takes a walk on the wild side
The Gérald Genta-designed Nautilus from Patek Philippe is a bona fide icon in the watch industry, and much like its counterpart from Audemars Piguet, the Royal Oak, which was also penned by Genta, it has seen minimal changes during its nearly 40 years in production. In fact, to the untrained eye, the ref. 3700 would…
Part trade show, part soiree, all business
Every year, 18 of the major Swiss watch manufacturers pack up their suitcases, shut down their ateliers and head to Geneva to participate in one of their biggest events of the year, the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH). Part trade show, part intimate soiree and all business, SIHH has, for the past 20…
No, that’s not a misprint. That’s the model of the Audemars Piguet timepiece pictured to the right, code: 26050PT.OO.D002CR.01 for you horophiles. Not that $369,300 is that outrageous for a watch of this caliber, but then again I’m not an oil baron. The Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Tourbillon isn’t for the casual dress watch wearer….