We’re calling it. Winter is here. We’ve broken out the light knits and switched the office AC from ‘cool’ to ‘heat’. One thing that’s not cooling down (see what I did there) is the always-exciting world of watch news. SIHH and Basel collections are starting to trickle into local markets, and now that the big fairs are out of the way, everyone seems to be getting stuck into the year in earnest. The other important news is that we’ve made the shift from beer to darker spirits for our (now fortnightly) winding down. Chin Chin!
Earlier this year Aldo Magada resigned as CEO of Zenith after almost three years in the role. Well, now we know who Magada’s replacement is – Julien Tornare, a man who’s spent the last 17 years working at Vacheron Constantin. We’re hoping that Tornare will bring some stability to Zenith, which has struggled to regain its feet after the infamous (and nearly fatal) reign of Thierry Nataf.
This week we’ve had a (quite unintentional) focus on moon watches, though we’ve been talking about astronomical complications rather than astronauts. Omega has had its mind firmly on the latter category as it kicked off its 60th anniversary Speedmaster celebrations in London. It sounds like it was an epic affair, hosted by science dreamboat Professor Brian Cox at the Tate Modern. Also in attendance were actual dreamboat George Clooney and actual astronaut Buzz Aldrin. What we were most impressed by, though, was Aldrin’s triple wrist game, as spotted by Hodinkee.
Remember that vintage Tudor that didn’t crack the big $100k? Well, turns out that was only because of some eBay red tape. The watch has been picked up by US dealer HQ Milton, who’s asking a cool $350,000 USD (OBRO) for it.
What really mattered
Those clever clogs at the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie finally answered a pretty important question – just what is fine watchmaking? They’ve published a white paper defining what constitutes ‘fine watchmaking’. Over the course of three years they’ve been busy reviewing some 86 brands, of which 64 were determined to meet the criteria. The FHH define fine watchmaking as “excellence in watchmaking, the techniques of watchmaking in symbiosis with the applied arts.” The values that underpin this definition are identity, authenticity, difference or originality, legitimacy and ethics. You can read the full PDF here – it’s pretty abstract stuff, but still important. There’s also some good videos here. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, Longines and Tudor aren’t fine watchmaking, whereas TAG Heuer and Montblanc are.
The week in numbers:
54: Votes on Instagram for the last Apples to Apples. Sorry Cartier, but JLC won this one in a landslide.
5000: Views on our ‘How a mechanical watch works’ video. We bet they all feel a bit smarter now.
122: Years the Rolex Cellini Moonphase module can go without needing adjustment.
4: Our fave Seikos from Basel 2017. All about that Cocktail Time.