Sunday, 29 August 2010

Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Geneve 2010... & The Case of The Missing Contenders...

"i coulda been a contender! i coulda been somebody" brando in 'on the waterfront'

the GPHG is upon us again and while there are a number of excellent watches in the pre-selection list, there are a lot of no shows as well and brands that are not in the running. so why pray tell, are the likes of rolex, patek, swatch group brands, not vying for any of the prizes?

if the GPHG is touted as the oscars for the watch world then this year is like the 1994 Oscars where forrest gump, shawshank redemption, pulp fiction were in the running for best movie and shawshank redemption and pulp fiction weren't submitted for academy contention for any of the awards they did get nominated for. so why?

tim robbins clearly also wanting to know why... also why in the world shawshank didn't win in any of the categories it was nominated for... WWWHHHHYYYYYY!!???! :)

i don't have the answers but i can make some guesses which may be totally wrong :)
1: they don't want to lose
2: they don't believe the result matters
3: they believe the game could be rigged in some way so why bother. eg submission for consideration to pre-selection
4: being in contention is really not free?

just guesses and like i said i could be wrong on all counts or it could be a combination of these and other factors.

whatever the case, its a shame. the watch that could have won either 1 of these 2 categories, the sports watch and "La Petite Aiguille" (the Small Hand) for watches below chf5000, imho is the tudor monte carlo and for best men's watch, a 5970P would have blown most of the competition away no? (qualifies for participation as it is commercialized after March 2009) but no pateks no rolexes in the running.

how about breguet with its tradition tourbys or glashutte original with their panoinverses which appeal to some? hmmm

ok last words. the watches i like in the pre-selected group are: both MB&Fs, Urwerk Black Shark, Greubel Forsey, UN Freak Diavolo, RM27(but not at that price ;), AP ROO Diver... and thats about it...

do check out the complicated watch category too LINK... i wonder how they whittled from this list to the pre-selected list though... (eg Chanel chosen over the AP, two Journes in the list when the complication for the resonance has been with us for a while... a Vulcain GMT watch in the running in the complicated category? honestly?) and i do have some question marks for some of the other categories too...

looking at them all though, my possible fave watch out of all that have been pre-selected for the 2010 GPHG is this one...
kudos to Max and his team for their creativity and realisation of it... ribbit... ribbit. i hope those watches i like win of course :)

last note... The watches preselected by the jury can be seen at the following locations on the dates noted:
- Singapore : 23rd to 26th September, Timeless Gallery, Ion Orchard Mall
- Zürich : 2nd to 9th October, Les Ambassadeurs, Bahnhofstrasse 64
- Geneva : 15th October to 17th November, UBS Genève, rue des Noirettes 35, Carouge
- Paris : the three finalist watches in each of the seven categories as well as the laureates of the Grand Prix and of the Public Prize will be presented in Paris, at the Salon International de l’Horlogerie de Prestige, Belles Montres, from 26th to 28th November 2010.
so do check em out if u're abouts those locations on those dates.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

"i'm home..."

the scene is john anderton comin home... he utters those two words...
the lights come on and tchaikovsky plays...

everyone needs a break sometime... a time to rest, a time to heal... the hour glass had helped send me back to Ste Croix, to the place i was created and to the best holistic wellness centre for me...
placing me in the caring hands of some of the top folks at manufacture janvier. they worked out the kinks, smoothened the furrows, kneaded out the knots, cleansed and oiled me... I have been made whole again... "i'm home..."

Sunday, 15 August 2010

A Living Legend in Horology... Sir George Daniels

This post has been sometime coming. I had wanted to write about him when he received the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) this year(watch the BBC video on this here). had thought to comment as well on the tribute paid by FP Journe for him. but there will surely be more plaudits, awards and honors coming his way for he is truly one of the great living watchmakers. deep respect for Sir George Daniels for doing things his way, for being a true artist craftsman and independent watchmaker building his watches mostly by himself and by hand, averaging over a 30 year period of about one exceptional watch a year.

I urge all folks interested in horology to watch the series of videos that are shot by Roger Smith at this LINK. the link is to one of the videos but there are a total of 85 on the site. transcripts of each are available too. just amazing stuff...

an exceptional watch maker

from video 75 The future for watchmaking

"As to the future of... I think the prospects are good because watches are much more fashionable now than they were and people do tend to form collections of watches, a different watch for each occasion. And if that trend continues, then the connoisseurs and collectors of watches will begin to want special pieces, special to them only and not available to other collectors, and that's where the manufacturers of handmade watches will come in.

Already there are several young people in horology setting to now to produce their own watches. For most of them, they use a standard movement and get the dials and cases made as appropriate, and that of course won't be good enough in the end for the connoisseur, collecting connoisseur.

He will want in the end his watches made from their fundamentals and the conception, design and construction, he will want that done by an artist craftsman who can give him the kind of exclusive watch that he's looking for.

And those are the people that I have sold watches to in the past and I can't think of any reason why they should diminish. Rather more I think they will increase in number, there will be more people who want to buy these exclusive watches."

Saturday, 14 August 2010

The Importance of Consistency

since it was commented about in my last post... the 5970P...
a watch that one would bet on lasting the next generation at the very least...

i recently had a stay-cation where i spent a night in one of Singapore's 5 star hotels and my oh my how service standards have dropped. i did a similar deal about a year ago and what i remember from it was that the butler service that came with the room was excellent and overall service and treatment was great, which led to a good stay experience. this recent round i had upgraded to a nicer suite and had expected, at minimum, a similar standard of service... but it did not come.

this brings us to the realm of watches. where are the brands today on factors that are important to you and looking in your crystal ball where do u think they will be in 5 years, 10 years or 50 years time?

been thinking of this one of late... a beautiful orange hand explorer...
but there are other orange-y watches on my mind too :)

I hear some people thinking it may be a bit much to expect watches or companies to stay in the business for this period or guide it the right way but some have done it and done it well (watch pics of companies that have succeeded to are in this post) but others have also lost the plot or failed.

that failure would of course lead to a loss of faith in the brand and its product. Eg. If you were to buy into the story concocted by marketing gurus on how great a luxury product from BRAND XYZ is and a year later that same company goes bust (or goes loco and becomes self destructive leading to bad quality/services/product strategies), then you could be in possession of something not so cool no?

showing how a fine steel sport watch design lasts... the nautilus range has expanded to include a number of different
complications but the foundation is a strong one thankfully...

of course another way is buy something that u know has a certain value to YOU and based on that, not care on the future of the brand and its direction. all you would hope for in this case is that someone is able to service the watch for you and thats that.

a watch design that will never go out of style? i think so but not sure if Rolex
will maintain this case and design or supersize all the range...

the thing is people hope that there is a continuity and consistency to the products and services that are offered to them. the expectation is "you best maintain this level or get better but you can't get worse". some brands have suffered because of this lack of continuity and maintenance of offering products and services to a certain level. this likely to have happened due to ownership changes or strategies gone wrong.

so a salute to the long time solid performers and a hope that those who have come into some repute of recent years don't lose the plot too quickly. for what is survival of 10 or 20 years when your hope could be to pass these watches down to the next generation? will they still be desirable then or of value?

with AP the brand may be in the hands of the family but there is fear that too
much dilution may have occured with milking the wonderful royal oak design...

from that to something like this... the survivor is to me the royal oak design pushed to a gory end.
there are a lot of great offshores out there though, from the RBII Ti to the Black Themes(miss that loads) and the new Diver...

even a brand that has been strong in recent years have shown signs of losing the plot with their latest offering for the China market...
coming out with their own version of what was sold in chinatown till now for $50 ;)

the 2010 PP5396R... an example of continuing to do it right...

in the words of the english poets radiohead then, "no alarms and no surprises... please..." hagwe. cheers, raph

Thursday, 5 August 2010

building on a good thing... say it with me now...

"You never actually own a Patek Phillippe. You merely look after it for the next generation." all watch lovers know this tag line of course, its that good an ad campaign :) so we have new ads that continue this theme and they're great...

there's daddy in his office of the company which he is gonna bestow to his son someday...
and in the safe behind the picture on the wall u will find some nice PP grand complications son ;)

there's daddy on his yacht that will be handed to son (together with the PP collection of course ;)

for the ladies they've got somethin new goin on so its... 'something truly precious holds its beauty forever' which is ok... the pics are quite nice... classy...


gotta get me a PP soon as the prices keep on going up and up and up :)

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