As watch lovers the world over mentally, fiscally and physically prepare themselves for this March's bonanza of the Basel Watch & Jewelry Fair, I am most interested in seeing a couple of new developments from the two sibling Independent Watchmaking teams, the Grönefelds and the McGonigles, neither of whom interestingly enough are Swiss, rather Dutch and Irish!
Firstly John & Stephen have been creating their project, the Tuscar for a couple of years now and are on the brink of revealing to the word their version of a time only watch. The initial McGonigle watch was a sublime Tourbillon, which I was fortunate enough to be at it's first delivery in Dublin in 2006. It was well received by collectors and many have asked for something less technical and a bit more simple. Well here we go, and I'm very excited to see it. The Tuscar beckons...
This image is courtesy of McGonigle watches:
Meanwhile Tim & Bart have been hard at work over in Oldenzaal, Holland creating their second watch also. This time an amazing technical tour de force, the One Hertz. Sporting an independent gear-train to drive the dead beat seconds mechanism, this watch is wholly conceived by the lads, and has a fascinating finish on the bridges which happen to be made of steel! Unusual material for movements, but promises to be rather neat to look at. They combine a frosted and high polish/black polish finish. The One Hertz has a power reserve under the Jumping seconds hand and tells time over at 2 o'clock.
Video courtesy of Bart Grönefeld:
Additionally, there will be the usual supects to visit to see what they have been up to. Marco Lang has been hard at wok creating a new watch, the Friedrich II, a 40mm steel cased time only beauty with Art Deco Arabics on the dial. The latest in-house Caliber VI, is a classic manual wind derivative of the Caliber V, but without the remontoire and a central second hand, rather the more usual subsiduary seconds hand located at 6 0'clock.
One of my big plans is to have these guys come out to CA to visit this year and meet with collectors over a meal and get to spend some time with the people that make their chosen lifes work possible. I think it is key for these artisan watchmakers to meet with the collectors in order for them to gain an understanding and a greater appreciation of why they create these stunning pieces of horological art.
Continuing to build upon years of relationship, gives me pause to think how fortunate I feel to have my passion be a big part of my professional life. The relationships developed doing what I do are one of the main reasons why I do this.
Anyone looking for anything in particular, a wristshot a certain watch or just a real life picture of a watch, just let me know and I'll work at fitting it into my schedule.
Keep the Independent spirit alive, support these watchmakers, as I believe they represent true innovation and artistry in an all too homogenised field of mechanical watchmaking.