Dear Santa: Why this series is important and the Chief Editor’s wishlist

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The time has come for the Chief Editor to reveal his wishlist, but more importantly, to run through his rationale for having this series, and getting all the writers to do an article.

Merry Christmas. We will be taking Christmas Day, but will be publishing a review on Christmas Eve and back on Boxing Day.

Rationale for the Dear Santa series

Some critical comments on the first post in the series attacked us for being tone deaf in this period where the pandemic is wrecking havoc all over the world. Perhaps this may be true, but Deployant is a website on watches, and if we don’t talk about watches, or related horological lifestyle pursuits, we just cease to exist.

We also see this site as a refuge against all the bad news of the virus and to provide comfort to watch lovers everywhere. We do take our mission, simple and unoriginal it may be, very seriously – By collectors, for collectors. For this reason, our entire writer crew are collectors. We are collectors first, and then writers, photographers. Our raison d’etre is watches, horology and associated pursuits.

But also, this exercise for all our writers to think about, and pick 3 watches which they would want, and to pen the rationale for the choices serves a higher purpose. The basis is that everybody is biased. You, me, him, her. Everybody. We are all biased based on our world view, our unique experiences. And this writing exercise serves to allow you, the dear reader, a glimpse into the thinking and biases of our writers. So when you read their reviews, and opinions throughout the year, you understand where they come from and are able to better make decisions for yourself, based on your biases.

This kind of exercise is not new. I picked the idea from an old underground hi-fi magazine called The Absolute Sound. Where the Chief Editor, the late Harry Pearson, publishes his listening room, reference system and outlines his listening biases. And he gets all his writers to do the same. For the same reason. So as readers, we understand where the author is coming from, and the basis of his opinions, and are thus better able to take learning points from the writings.

Alas, in my opinion The Absolute Sound has gone to the dumps, now that Harry has passed, but even before he did, as it slid into commercialism. Something I will NOT let Deployant slide into. If you have noticed, we do not have merchandise to sell. We do not have watch collaborations, nor are we an authorized dealer for any brand. Not that we lack being approached for these. But I stand by the principle that the less we are swayed by the commercial side, the more we are true to our own inherent (and truthful) biases, which we attempt to expose by the Dear Santa essays.

We do need commercial support. It takes money to keep the site operating, keep the lights on. This is a business. And as specialist journalistic websites go, not a small one. We have been serving some 1 TB of data every month for the last year. And recently became the target of brute force attacks. Denial of Service. This last month, we had 7 million brute force attempts at our servers. Against an organic, real request of about 1.2 million. It takes money to keep on operating. And for that, we have banner ads (we are thankful for the brands who support us), sponsored articles, and speaking engagements.

But none of these affect the editorial content of anything we publish. The advertisers and sponsors understand that the writers and the Chief Editor remains totally independent. The opinions expressed are ours and ours alone. The only thing that guides us is the inherent internal biases, which we try to lay bare with the Dear Santa posts.

The Chief Editor’s Wishlist

Not much surprises on this list. Basically it was already expressed some weeks ago in a narrower list with 6 watches in his article “Recommendations for Six Dressy Gold Watches“. But this list of 3 to Santa is more limiting as it is only 3 watches, but at the same time cast over an expanded field of all watches. I will, however, limit this to watches introduced in 2020. And though the Greubel Forsey Hand Made 1 made the list of Six Dressy Gold Watches, and is probably my no. 1 choice, it is strictly a watch which was released in November 2019 (as pointed out by a comment in our IG), and for this short list of 3, I will exclude it.

Ferdinand Berthoud FB2-RE

This is a true masterpiece. Restrained in design, but beaming with technical expertise. An epic new watch with fusée-chain and a remontoir d’égalité, in a more conventional three handed dial layout. Grand feu enamel dial. Very classical aesthetics, in beautifully executed case, dial, hands, and exceptional movement.

No tourbillon this time, unlike the FB1 series, though the price remained at a similar level, asking for S$307,500. A king’s ransom. But for a kingly watch.

This is a masterpiece product if there ever was one. One can criticize the aesthetics chosen, but given the parameters within the selected aesthetic form, one must accept that the FB2 is true to its form. While there can be no argument that the quality of execution and finishing is impeccable and beyond reproach.

Petermann Bedat 1967 Chapter 1

This young duo blew my mind the first time I met them last year in Singapore. And continue to impress when I visited their atelier later. Their work ethic, discipline and attention to detail is superb. And rather than banging their head with the dial design which was uninspiring in their initial effort, they took advise and teamed up with a design house, and came up with this killer dial and case design.

Coupled with the already magnificent movement they have, makes a superior product. The finishing is exceptional. Simply to die for! The jumping seconds mechanism well thought out and very well executed. And at CHF 60,000 it perhaps may be considered as a good investment.

Both Gaël Petermann and Florian Bédat have much to be proud of their work, which is outstanding even if this had not been a debut watch. But all the more so, and winning this year’s GPHG for the Horological Revelation. I am particularly excited to see what both Gaël and Florian get up to in the coming years, and as they mature, how their creations will as well.

Tulloch T-01 First Edition

The first thought that perhaps may come to mind is that this watch, at CHF 36,800 (before taxes) is the least expensive Voutilainen watch in the market! But that would be a great disservice to Shane Tulloch. This remarkable individual taught himself micro-mechanics, and watchmaking. But was not so swell headed that he though he could do it on his own. He sought out Kari Voutilainen and Eric Giroud’s expertise, won over the masters’ approval. The Tulloch T-01 was not only the brainchild of Shane, but he was responsible for developing, designing, and creating the watch while guided by the design métier of Eric and the wisdom of Kari. Construction was done at Kari’s Comblémine facility together with Christophe Beuchat, who is the Director there. Shane worked on the design of the movement, materials and finishing (gear train wheels, bridges, the balance wheel, and the architecture and layout of the movement) together with the team at Comblémine.

I find it to be extremely beautiful. The aesthetics are almost perfect. I say that even though I am not the biggest fans of regulator dials, but still find the T-01 to be most agreeable and very attractive. The tilted regulator layout makes it instantly recognizable, even from across the room. And no doubt, the level of attention lavished on the dial side, with the different frosting finish on the main and sub-dials, the magnificent mirror polished arabic numerals of the hour markers, and the svelte hands all go to make a gorgeous face. Endears the T-01 to us even more. The case furthers its case (pun intended) by exuding elegance. Flip the watch over, and be prepared to be knocked out with the beauty of the finishing. Again the level of attention to embellished the movement is remarkable. This is up there in the stratospheric levels of finishing.

Concluding thoughts

So there it is. This is getting to be longer than I had expected when I sat down to write it. But the first part on the rational had to be done. It is important that you, our dear reader, understand what is behind the thinking of our writers and myself, and how we hope we are of, and will continue to be of service to you as you search for your next horological adventure.



  1. To my embarrassment I don’t know much gaelic (although I was tempted to use google to pretend I did), so what I generally say is “aw tha best and hae a gid yin.” 😉

  2. Eugenio Demmenie on

    Hi Peter,

    I enjoy looking at and reading the posts of you and your colleagues. I wish you all a Good Christmas and all the good wishes for the New Year!


  3. Hi Peter,

    Thank you for your list and your thoughts.

    I think the independent nature of this site’s reviews is the thing that I value most. Following your example – to paraphrase J Gordon Holt of Stereophile: if your reviews are honest and independent, more people will read them, and as a result there will be more advertisers. If, however, reviews are advertiser biased, readers will lose their trust and stop reading, and the advertising will disappear (it’s not lost on me that Holt got a lot of flak for taking on advertising…).

    Love all your choices. Given everyone’s lists, I hope Santa has adequate insurance for his trip over to the Deployant offices…

  4. The Tulloch is absolutely gorgeous, and the relationship with Voutilainen is even more reason to like it. Unfortunately, where I live in Scotland there’s a slightly dreary, unsalubrious housing area called Tulloch, so it would remind of that if I bought one!

    Appreciate your candour about the way you wish to conduct your website – I completely agree.