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.
Habring, best known for its Felex timepiece, has added a chiming five minute repeater watch to its 2017 line up, costing just €17,750. The Habring² watch has a waterproof titanium case as standard, which does not make its gong strikes louder, but it does make brighter as it oscillates better. “The transfer of sound works so well because we applied insights from the construction of musical instruments,” explains Richard Habring. The repeater uses an adapted version of the same movement as its Felix stablemate.
German watchmaker Kudoke is urging people to slow down and focus more on the most important values of life: family, love, nature, silence and time. In short, take a panda bear’s approach of serenity, peace, happiness and harmony. This philosophy infuses Kudode’s Panda timepiece, which sees the cuddly mammal nestling on the dial chewing on its favourite bamboo. The watch is skeletonised and engraved by hand and sits inside a 42mm steel case housing a mechanical automatic movement. The watch is priced at €8500.
Lang & Heyne
Germany’s Lang & Heyne is showing its Georg timepiece for the first time in the UK at SalonQP. The watch has a long rectangular gold case that is curved to hug the wearer’s wrist. A white enamel dial with oversized small seconds subdial sits on the Caliber VIII movement that is visible through a clear case back.
Lonville is bringing four Virage models and a few variations of its G24, including a one-off customisation of the G24 model with a red theme, to London. Only two of the company’s Virage 59 GMT timepieces with striking blue dials have been made to date, and both are already sold to clients. However the clients are lending the watches back to Lonville so they can be displayed at QP. One watch that can still be bought is the Virage Gunmetal GMT, although it is also limited to just 18 pieces. The watch’s sunburst-effect dial shows a second time zone on a sub-dial next to a power reserve indicator that counts down the hand-wound movement’s 80 hours of juice. It is housed in a white gold case and presented on a black alligator strap.
No two Manufacture Royale ADN Street Art watches are the same. ADN, French for DNA, is a distillation of the genetic code from the watchmkers’s Opera and Androgyne models and can be personalised by each person who buys one. The watch, housing the MR10 skeletonised movement, uses a three-dimensional, sculptural design to show of the watch’s architecture. It is not small, at 46mm across, but is designed to fit comfortably on the wrist. Voltaire, the philosopher who founded Manufacture Royale in 1770, would be pleaded with the personalised design approach of a watch that retails for around £56,500.
Rebellion has never shied away from the unconventional, but we are going to focus here on one of its more approachable collections, the Predator 2.0, which launched earlier this year and will be central to its SalonQP presentation. The watch fuses Rebellion’s passion for racing technology and aesthetics with its timekeeping skills in the form of a three model range with complications such as a GMT second time zone display and a regulator tourbillon. Other uniquely rebellious watches coming to London are the more challenging Gotham, the stylish Twenty-One and the bonkers Weap One.
Watchmaker Schwarz Etienne and its sister company E20 have now reached the point where they can create entire movements using their own components including hairsprings and balance wheels, the most intricate and labour-instensive of widgets. From now, all Schwarz Etienne calibres will be equipped with in-house balances. E20 also supplies components to watchmaking companies. Visitors to SalonQP will be able to quiz the team that has mastered this most technical of challenges and see how E20 and Schwarz Etienne work together to create contemporary and complicated Swiss timepieces.
Few watchmakers sweat over the tiniest details like Urban Jürgensen. It speaks with reverence about the teardrop shape lugs on the 42mm stainless case of its brand new Alfred, perhaps because it is named after Jacques Alfred Jürgensen, the last watchmaker of the Jurgensen family. The dial, also rewards the closest inspection. It is made using the grenage technique that has its lacquer numerals and other inscriptions recessed into a single piece of silver before being polished smooth using powers, salts and oil. The Alfred’s distinctive hands are also handcrafted, with a single set needing some 50 manufacturing steps and over a day of work to bring them to their blued, mirrored finish. Under the hood is a Jürgensen Caliber P4 that can be seen through a sapphire glass case back. The watch retails for €14,200 and can be collected in person from Urban Jürgensen’s new atelier in Bienne, Switzerland.
Urwerk is 20 years old this years old in 2017; two decades since a 22-year-old Felix Baumgartner set foot in New York and reacquainted himself with Martin Frei, the man who would become Urwerk’s creative director. The pair is marking their anniversary with the creation of the UR-105 CT Streamliner, a watch that oozes with the Manhattan art deco architecture that captivated the young collaborators. “The Streamliner has a minimalist design with few frills and clean lines. In the initial drawings, I thought of the Empire State, the Chrysler and the Comcast buildings. That is why it has that vertical structure that seems to go on forever,” says Mr Frei.
Explaining how the watch works falls to Mr Baumgartner: “The UR-105 CT is a watch with a flexible design. When it is closed, it looks austere, with only the time indication visible. Open the protective cover and you delve into a metallic environment that is quite cold, yet you perceive a notion of speed and an effort at efficiency. The Streamliner’s carousel has been completely redesigned, becoming lighter, stronger and far more effective.” It comes in two versions, one mirror polished steel and one black PVD coated. Both cost CHF 65,000+tax.
Vault is unveiling its first ever watch at an event on the night before SalonQP. The start-up says its mission is to elevate mechanical watchmaking so that it deals with more than timekeeping, and explores the very essence of time. The company was created after its founder, Mark Schwarz, came through a life and death event that prompted him to deeply re-evaluate the meaning of time. He has collaborated with movement specialist Andreas Strehler on the creation of the V1, which is designed to look like a bank vault door protecting its movement, and symbolises the defense of time. The watch is housed in a 46.7 x 39mm case in steel and titanium, gold or platinum. It is limited to 99 units in steel and titanium, 66 in gold and 33 in platinum priced at CHF 50-68,000.
Finnish watchmaker Voutilainen is bringing its handmade GMT-6 timepiece to SalonQP. The watch contains a proprietary movement that was entirely conceived, designed, produced, finished and assembled in Voutilainen workshops. The company has even developed an unusual escapement with two escape wheels that improves efficiency to keep the watch running for longer (65 hours). Just as impressive is the grand feu enamel dial in blue and orange, with a GMT subdial showing day and night at 6 o’clock. The GMT-6 , with its satin-finshed gold hands, comes in a 39mm platinum case with an 18ct white gold crown and sapphire glass used on the front and back.
Wolf’s 1834 winder family is for people that love their watches so much they need to speak to them throughout the day. Thanks to imbedded Bluetooth technology, they can now do just that via an app on any iPhone or Android smartphone that lets them choose from 10 customisable pre-programmed rotation settings and communicate that to the cabinet. The 1834 family looks great as well. It comes in three configurations for 12, 24 o2 32 watches; each includes one or more accessory drawers than can hold four watches and includes a three-piece travel watch roll with a hidden storage component. Prices range £9,499 for the 12-piece cabinet winder to £26,399 for the 32-piece version.