Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Tip of the Hat to one Giulio Papi

Giulio Papi held court at the Sincere Watch Academy on 29 Jun and what an informative night it was :) before i go any further HUGE ups to Sincere Watch Academy, Audemars Piguet, and AP Renaud et Papi for making this happen. my thanks.

Mr. Papi is a visionary and a great in the horological world. Stepping out from AP in his early 20s in 1986 when a watchmaker there had informed him that he would take another 20 years of working in AP before he could work on the grand sonneries and other grand complications... he and Dominic Renaud set up Renaud et Papi which became a hothouse for technical innovations and development of not only exceptional timepieces but independent watchmaking talent...

I would first like to share some of the questions & answers that he had provided during and after his talk on repeaters, escapements and equation of times... yes lotsa AP photos will follow... keep your pants on ;)

Raph: what in your view is the best material for chiming watches?
Giulio: a material that is light and strong would make for good chiming watch case. titanium would make for a good case. Rose gold is also a pretty good material as it has copper in its mix.
Question in my head then was why we don't see much titanium chiming watches and answering myself, its probably because of commercial reasons...

Raph: what did he view as the future for horology?
Giulio: making complicated watches that are more robust. making them with parts that a watchmaker could always make. staying true to the artisanal nature of horology in its progression...

Audience member: what watch would he like to make in future?
Giulio: a complicated watch that does not need a user manual. [a great answer which drew appreciative sounds from the audience]
when chatting with him after, i mentioned how great such a proposition was as there was so much fragility in complicated watches. eg. not being able to adjust date and time at any time of day for some calendar watches. having to baby your grand sonneries and other grand comps...

Raph: how long do you test a new escapement before releasing it in watches for sale?
Giulio: for the AP escapement it was tested for 4 years in a lower frequency and 4 years in a higher frequency...

Raph: What complication is your favorite?
Guilio: the perpetual calendar as it has the information that i need on a watch on a day to day basis and it all adjusts automatically... [note, the perp cal is also my fave complication for the same reason]

Raph: what are your thoughts on something like kari's decimal repeater which chimes, the hours and 10s and 1s instead of hours, quarters and minutes?
Giulio shared on how he had built such a watch before but that there were some shortcomings with having it chime the 10s and 1s. he shared on how the human brain can accept 4s and register things better to 4. at this point he pointed over to 4 lovely lasses lounging on the sofas nearby and asked 'how many women do you see?' to which i responded 'too few' but he corrected me to 'u see 4 of em right?' and yup its easy to register up to 4. point proven very effectively.
also he gave the example of 12... and how its divisible by 4... and how we count to twelve and not two-teen similar to thir-teen or four-teen... it was four for thought... i mean food for thought ;)

horology lovers ;) one thing to point out is that mr papi is a most personable man, with no airs about him. friendly, accomodating and has a knack of explaining difficult things in a simple manner which i believe goes towards his philosophy...

A point he shared during his talk which i agreed with was on the number of years before you would need to send a watch with a typical swiss lever escapement in for servicing/lubrication/re-oiling... 5-7 years. yuh not the BS 2-3 years or less that your watch seller recommends u. 5-7 years sounds ok and i know others who stretch it wwwaaaayyyyy more than that and their watches work fine for that time and last lifetimes.... modern oils should mean you shouldn't have to send a watch in for servicing at such short intervals impo...

I did ask his opinion of single axis tourbillons noting that they were meant to negate the effects of gravity in the vertical position and his thoughts of multi-axis tourbillons but you will have to chat with me to hear his thoughts on that ;)

Giulio also shared with us on the developments of the new AP escapement in the ChronAP beating at 43,200bph... the advantages of the movement being better energy, no lubrication, impulse in one direction and higher frequency which leads to better accuracy...

millenary carbon one tourby chrono looks nicer in the carbon to my surprise... but for its price... uhm lotsa other watches i would go for 1st methinks...

on a mate chatting on forged carbon, i confirmed with him that the forged carbon mix was improved with the bumblebee (a pic of mine below which has sadly flown out from my collection) as compared to the Team Alinghi...

[ click to read the rest of the post... expand or collapse ]

he also shared on the following complications... on the workings of the planet and the equation of time...Photobucket

a definite treat for all that was present... i recommend all watch lovers experience these colloquiams

he also spoke on repeaters... i believe he loves some of APs chiming watches very much

some of the AP crew visible in this shot... Oliviero Bottinelli provided lively contributions to the Q&A and discussions as well and helped in translating some of my questions... [thanks Oliviero :) ] and theres Michael... and Victoria and Adrienne from Sincere having an exchange...

Giulio was wearing a blue faced millenary perp calendar on one wrist and on the other... a watch i like loads too... the AP ROO Diver...this shot of it when i had it on my wrist a while back... a lovely addition to the ROO range

some other watches on display... RO equation of time...

grand comp... tourby chrono and repeater...

millenrary chalcedony... sorry for the bad pic as the lights were in its eyes...

blingy tourbillon squelette... one for the ultra rich ladies from russia or china? hmm... almost blinded by the bling :)

signing off... raph-"i have APs on the brain"-meister ;)

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