Rounding up our recommendations for Christmas presents, our Editorial Director Peter gives his picks.
My first pick for the horologist is not a watch, nor an object, but an experience which will last a lifetime of memories and an opportunity to build friendships with fellow collectors and watchmakers. So in that sense, it is the ultimate gift. And one that keeps on giving.
I certainly began my horology journey this way, sojourning nearly 20 years ago to visit these major fairs. In those days, they were held back to back, and one trip to Switzerland is enough. But now, to visit both of them, one will need to make two trips.
I have continued to make the annual pilgrimage because of the immense excitement and thrill of being in situ when the products are being unveiled and also have forged life long friendships with like minded friends who also make the sojourn. A must for any serious watch collector.
The gift: air tickets, hotel accomodation and local transportation. Budget approximately S$10,000 for each fair – Business Class airfare, hotel and expenses. Visiting SIHH will need an invitation from a participating brand, but for BaselWorld, tickets can be purchased at the Messe. For SIHH, most meals will be catered within PalExpo in Geneva, but for Basel, one will need to fight one’s way into the Basel restaurants. We will be running a story of one collector’s experiences as he made the journey to SIHH 2014. Watch these pages.
SIHH 2015 runs from 19-23 January 2015 in Geneva, and BaselWorld 2015 from 19-26 March 2015 in Basel.
2) Carmina by Albaladejo Double Monks
One is expected to be on one’s feet for the fairs, walking. So to be comfortable, one needs good shoes. My next pick will also provide some sartorial flare is a recommendation for a pair of double monk shoes by the Spanish shoemaker Carmina. Now available in Singapore at Kevin Seah Bespoke for S$750 in calf. These shoes are double soled, Goodyear Welted construction and designed on Carmina’s Philly last.
On to the watches. I will focus totally on my favourites, and here are my picks:
3) Grönefeld One Hertz Dune in Platinum
The One Hertz features a dual train movement designed by the Grönefeld brothers. Manufactured in Le Loche by Renaud et Papi, but totally finished and assembled in Holland, the watches are stunningly beautiful. I invite you to review the watch in more detail in an earlier article here.
Price on enquiry as we understand it, only one piece is still available from the total limitation of 12.
4) A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk in White Gold
Not new, indeed has been around since 2009 when it was introduced in Berlin after that year’s SIHH, but still a very desirable piece. Magnificent movement, beautifully finished. And a wonderful large digital time display. Current retail price is S$101,600, inclusive of GST.
More details on my report filed in 2009 on the launch event.
5) Breguet Reine de Naples in Yellow Gold
For the lady horologist, I recommend a watch which is not only very elegant and feminine, but also bears within a well designed, executed and finished mechanical movement with automatic winding. Deployant has convered the Reine de Naples in our Brief Impressions Review article here. Recommended retail is US$35,100 (about S$46,000)
And a bonus piece, I know I said 5 picks, but I just cannot resist this pick. So I exercise my creative license and add one more.
6) Winch Tourbillon by Cabestan in titanium
One of my favourite timepieces, the Cabestan Winch Tourbillon in titanium was initially conceptualized by Vianney Halter. The project suffered major setbacks initially, but the Cabestan project was revived when current owner Lionel Bertoux took over the company in 2012. He immediately partnered with watchmaking genius Eric Coudray, who fixed the remainding technical problems and made the watch reliable. Lionel himself worked to fix the business and operational issues. I think they are mostly out of the woods now, and warrant a recommendation. Current retail is approximately SFr170,000 tax free, delivery in Switzerland.
We wish you a very Blessed Christmas and a wonderful new year. And thank you for your continued support as we continue to build Watch Collector Communities around the globe.