Editors Choice: My Favorite Articles from 2016
With 2016 almost at an end, I thought it fitting to look back at the last 12 months of Timepiece Chronicle. These are my personal favorite articles that I wrote this year.
10. Blood In The Water: The Ulysse Hammerhead Shark Chronograph
I got a lot of press releases sent to me on a daily basis. Some of useful and interesting, most are not. For whatever reason, the ridiculousness of the Ulysse Nardin Hammerhead Shark chronograph was too much so I wrote a fictional account of its creation. It involved an exhausted Swiss executive and a small boy in love with sharks.
9. The Siren Song of Geneva: How Mega-Auctions Negatively Impact The Vintage Watch Market
Whilst I love seeing world records get broken as much as the next guy, I sometimes wonder that these mega-auctions are a bad thing. Sooner or later this vintage bubble is going to burst and hyping up these themed auctions will only put more air into it.
8. Photo Gallery: My Wittnauer Revue
This is the biggest bargain of the year in my opinion. For around $30, I got this gorgeous mid-century Wittnauer with some of the best lugs I've seen on a watch. Oh, and that amazing dial is pretty damn beautiful as well. Mrs Timepiece Chronicle might be the one wearing it most days, but I try and sneak in some wrist time every now and again.
7. On The Distant Mountains: The New Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36,000 GMT Limited Edition
One of my goals for 2017 is to get my hands on a Grand Seiko. After learning about the time and effort that goes into making them, and the history of the Seiko company, I think that they may be the most undervalued luxury watches around. If that Grand Seiko happens to be this new limited edition GMT with a hi-beat movement, well, consider me one happy guy.
6. Split Second: Update on the Gallet Flight Officer Sale
Once a watch is sold at auction that's usually the last we see of it. Luckily, this wasn't the case for this mint condition Gallet Flight Officer back in July. The winner of the Ebay auction contacted me when he received the watch to say that it looked even better in the steel than it did in the photos. This was a rare glimpse into the life of a watch post-auction, a glimpse I was very lucky to get.
5. Found: The real Rolex Pre-Daytona chronograph worn by Bond (and it's for sale!)
Despite the sexism and casual chauvinism, I love James Bond. He's a dreadful spy and an even worse person but he sure does have great taste in watches. So when I saw that the Rolex Pre-Daytona Chronograph worn in On Her Majesty's Secret Service was to be sold at auction, I knew I had to write about it. An amazing watch for a seriously underrated film.
4. It's just noise to me: Minute repeaters and sonnerie explained
Right at the beginning of the year I wrote my first 'complication explanation' that explained the workings of minute repeaters and sonniere. If you've ever wondered what the difference was, or you can't remember exactly what a grande et petite sonnerie means, then this article is for you.
3. On The Origin of the Species: An In-Depth Look At How American, British and Swiss Watches Claim Origin
In-house movements are dominating the watch industry at the moment but I think a lot of people would be surprised where those movements actually come from. Only 50% of a Swiss movement has to be made in Switzerland to get 'Swiss Made' on it whereas 100% (Give or take 0.001%) of an American movement has to be made in the USA to get 'USA Made'. Are these barriers to easy or to hard to reach? There is only one way to find out.
2. 90 Years of the Rolex Oyster
This was my debut article as a freelance writer and was originally published in Alam Assaat wal Moujawharat in September. Whilst the technical description of an Oyster case is quite dull, it is easily the most versatile and recognisable case in the entire watch world. From divers to dress watches, the Oyster is king.
1. The All-Proof Man: Jimmie Mattern and his Wittnauer All-Proof
I love the story of Jimmie Mattern and the Wittnauer All-Proof. From start to finish, this was an absolute pleasure to write as it was the perfect mix of horological detective work and story-telling. It might not be the most complicated watch ever made, but the All-Proof has a charming simplicity to it.