SalonQP has returned to London’s Saatchi Gallery for another year with an exhibition of fine and rare timepieces from some of the world’s most creative watchmakers and will run from November 2 to 4.
The show includes top-notch seminars and special presentations linking haute horology with historic motoring and classical male tailoring. Here, WatchPro takes you through some of the key exhibitors and the amazing timekeepers they will be presenting.
Andersen Genève produced its first world timer wristwatch in 1990, and has been burnishing its reputation for the complication ever since. In 2015, the company’s owner and watchmaker Svend Andersen created a 25th anniversary edition called the Tempus Terrae in a limited edition of 25 pieces in yellow, red and white gold 39mm cases with a unique blue gold guilloché centerpiece to the dial. The same guillochéd blue gold is also used on the rotor, visible through the back of the case. The Tempus Terrae has two crowns. The first one with the A for Andersen logo sets the time, the second, with a TT and a globe logo selects the time zone. Visitors to SalonQP will get a rare glimpse of the watch, which was an award winner at the 2015 Grand Prix Horlorgerie de Geneve.
Andreas Strehler is taking SalonQP visitors on a voyage back from the moon to the earth with its Sauterelle à heure mondiale. It is three years since the lunar-obsessed watchmaker created its Sauterelle à lune perpétuelle with a moon phase indication that stays accurate to within one day in every 14,189 years. The following year, the watch was made even more accurate, deviating by a day only every two million years. The Sauterelle à heure mondiale focuses back to life on earth. It has a a three-‐dimensional view of the northern hemisphere seen from the north pole at 8 o’clock rotates anticlockwise once in 24 hours under a sapphire crystal minute ring that indicates day and night. The watch still has a moon phase, but it is located on the back of the movement alongside a large world timer for 24 world cities.
No self-respecting billionaire wants to sit down to dinner next to somebody wearing exactly the same watch. Armin Strom is all-but eradicating this risk by letting customers design their own watches using an online app where people can choose the base model, case material, the style and colour of the dial and hands, the clasp, and details right down to the colour of the stitching on the chosen strap. Armin Strom is one of the few watch manufactures able to create a full watch movement under one roof, so the personalised watches can be made to order quickly. Clients start by choosing a movement and its complications from any of the watchmaker’s catalogue before building up the complete watch. The price of the finished watch even changes as different options are chosen. The finished timepiece can be picked up at any nearby authorised Armin Strom retailer or even at the Armin Strom factory in Switzerland where a tour of the factory is included in the price. “I’m very happy to be able to integrate our retail partners in such a groundbreaking project as this. It emphasises the fact that we are all partners,” says Serge Michel, owner of Armin Strom. G. Collins & Sons in Royal Tunbridge Wells is currently the only stockist in the UK.
Arnold & Son
The Tourbillon Chronometer No. 36 from Arnold & Son is a modern tribute to the historical high-precision chronometers made by John Arnold in the 18th century. The 46mm wristwatch is inspired by the pocket chronometer No. 1/36, which will mark its 240th anniversary in 2018. The watch follows classical codes of traditional English chronometer movements with the main pivoting elements such as the wheels, barrels, the tourbillon mounted on their own bridge. Most of the 13 triangular bridges are skeletonised, providing a contemporary sense of three-dimensional depth to the entire timepiece. The one minute tourbillon can be seen from the front and the back of the watch thanks to an opening in the main plate. It keeps perfect time, according to COSC chronometer certifiers. It is made in red gold or stainless steel, limited to 28 examples in each version, and sold on a brown or black alligator leather strap.
Atelier de Chronometrie
Atelier de Chronométrie is officially launching its Number 4 at SalonQP. The watch has been kept under wraps until the first day of the show, so the picture you see here is of the Number 3. The Barcelona watchmaker specialises in handmade watches made to order with designs influenced by the breakthrough 1930s and 40s era of watchmaking. Its timepieces are characterised by simple and minimal case shapes that enhance the beauty and forcefulness of the dials. The only thing WatchPro has been told ahead of QP is that the Number 4 will have a special cloisonné dial, a technique for decorating metalwork objects often using enamel with inlays of cut gemstones, glass and other materials
Breguet is taking part in SalonQP’s homage to the relationship between horology and motoring with a presentation of the Breguet No. 2023, a dashboard timepiece acquired by president and CEO Mark Hayek on behalf of its museum. The piece was originally sold to Bugatti in 1932 and belongs to a series of nine car timepieces that Breguet designed specifically for the brand. Its chrome-plated metal case measures 67 mm in diameter and has a tachymeter scale driven by a mechanical movement with a power reserve of eight days, which is wound using a crown located at 6 o’clock. The dashboard chronograph No. 2023 was produced during the interwar years and demonstrates the highly diverse range of activities carried out by the watch Manufacture.
It is less than a year since Carl Suchy & Söhne, one of Austria’s historic fine watchmakers, was reborn for the 21st century after a 100 year hiatus. The company was originally founded 1822 but succumbed before being revived with the launch of its first watch at the start of the year. SalonQP will see its second piece, the Waltz N°1, which will be made in a limited run of 22. The company says it is the only watchmaker in the world combining Viennese elegance and Swiss precision. Watches can be pre-ordered at SalonQP, but owners will need to wait seven months to receive them. “Alluding to Vienna’s coffee house culture and the rhythm of the Viennese Waltz, the dial features a rotating seconds hands in the form of a waltzing disc,” the company says.
Christophe Claret has something for the ladies at SalonQP in the form of a new edition of the Marguerite watch that it first introduced in 2015. The 2017 edition comes in two dantier versions than the original, but they retain the key feature of two butterflies that flit around a daisy that rotates every hour. There is also a secret message hidden behind numerals 3, 6 and 9 that disappear turn into the words ‘I love you’ or something chosen by the client, when the pusher at 2 o’clock is pressed. Today’s female customers are fascinated by this sort of complication but do not want them housed in clunky men’s cases, Christophe Claret believes, which is why the Marguerite has been shrunk the red gold case from 42.50mm to 36.90mm. It houses self-winding Manufacture movement whose double barrels deliver 72 hours of power.
Czapek & Cie
Czapek & Cie’s star exhibit is the Place Vendôme Tourbillon Suspendu, a family featuring an off-centre tourbillon on a dial with hours, minutes, second time zone, day/night and power reserve, all housed in a platinum or rose gold 43.5mm case. Ten numbered pieces are made in platinum and 15 in gold priced at CHF 99,000 and CHF 89,000. The watch runs a Caliber SXH2: haute horlogerie proprietary mechanical hand-wound movement developed by Chronode and Czapek & Cie with 60 hours of power.
Historic British watchmaker Fears was brought back to life for the first time in decades at Salon QP last year with the launch of its first timepiece since managing director Nicholas Bowman-Scargill took it over. This year it will mark a year in business with the release of three new watches including additions to the Redcliff range of Swiss made quartz watches and an all hand-built mechanical watch, the Brunswick. Redcliff Date and Redcliff Continental join the quartz family, the former with a new ‘passport’ red dial colour, the latter a dual time zone GMT. The Brunswick is the first mechanical watch from Fears in 60 years and is based on a 1924 timepiece in the Fears Heritage Collection It will be assembled in the UK in short runs using a Swiss manual-winding, time-only movement with a pure white enamel dial, made and hand polished in Britain. The Fears Redcliff Date retails for £650, the Redcliff Continental (pictured) is £725 and the Brunswick costs £1,750.
Forex claims it has created the world’s most affordable high end watch in the shape of its rugged Element timepiece. The waterproof 46mm steel diver’s watch has the option of a scratchproof black ceramic bezel. Its case has multiple facets of brushed, mirror-polished and sandblasted surfaces and uses sapphire crystal on the front and back, revealing a Swiss-made Valjoux 7750 self-winding chronograph movement with 43 hours of power. It can be worn with either a black or brown leather strap and sells direct to consumer for £995 with a steel bezel and £1080 with ceramic.
British watchmaker Garrick is displaying its new UT-G01 hand-wound movement at SalonQP, and visitors can see it in action beating inside the company’s latest timepiece, the Portsmouth. The watch also shows the sophistication of Garrick supplier’s craftsmanship in the form of a guilloche dial. That craftsmanship is also highlighted in the S1, a skeletonised timepiece featuring a power reserve indication. Most of the components of the S1, including the gears, hands, dial and bridges are built and finished by hand in the Garrick workshops by master watchmaker Craig Baird.