February was meant to give us some recovery time from the madness of SIHH, before talk of Baselworld began. But it didn’t really happen like that. The month flew by in a blur of scheduling (well done Elise, queen of ‘hell Tetris’ 🙂 and spotting. In fact, I’m currently writing this dispatch from the airport lounge, en route to London first – where I have a couple of big marks to hit for some A-Grade watch hunting – and then to Basel, when I’ll meet up with the guys and get my key to the T+T frat palace around the corner from Baselworld. It’s going to be my first Basel. The excitement levels are atomic. Obviously the next Spotted! will be big. But before then, let’s get February sorted…
Early on in the month, Sydney-based watch-collecting-couple Hal (@WatchULove) and Nilly (@Nilly_A) came south to the far superior city that we call Melbourne. Hal was sporting the seldom seen F. P. Journe Chronomètre Bleu, which was a pretty important and highly anticipated purchase, while his wife and fellow watch lover Nilly just happened to be wearing a green Submariner to match my own. Unfortunately, I was too caught up with the FPJ to get a photo, but let’s just say we were instant best friends (fellow LV owners know what I’m talking about).
The following weekend, I was sitting down at my local when an interesting Speedmaster crossed my path on the wrist of an acquaintance who was dashing through to grab a coffee. At first I made the mistake of thinking it was ‘just another Speedy’, only to discover this was a 20th anniversary Apollo. Limited to 2000 pieces, this was number six, and still bore the red wax seal, indicating that the case has never been opened for a service. Typical reliable Speedy. The owner (a collector who prefers to stay out of the spotlight) had spent the past 12 months or so unsuccessfully trying to hunt down this particular bracelet, as it’s the introduction of solid end links on the Speedmaster – and somewhat similar to the iconic ‘presidential bracelet’. Will he hold onto this piece? Not sure, as there’s already talk of some serious consolidation to buy a Rolex Daytona ref. 6263 ‘Big Red’.
Later in the month, I finally had a chance to catch up with Martin (@MartinQHGoh), a local gent and retailer. Martin was back in town after a few weeks of globetrotting around Switzerland and Singapore. I was pleased to see he was wearing his stunning Nomos Zurich Weltzeit Nachtblau. Like yours truly (and Felix, as our YouTube subscribers well know) Martin is a sucker for a blue dial, and with the amount of travel he does, the world timer function definitely gets a solid workout. He’s currently eyeing off the next piece, but keeping details to himself until he pulls the trigger.
As February drew to a close, Frank, a long-time friend of Time+Tide, stopped past HQ for a coffee and chat. In true @petiteseconde fashion, he pulled up his sleeve and blew all of our minds. Even as a bunch of people who spend more time with amazing watches than the average person, it quickly drew a crowd – everyone in the room crowded around to properly take in this outstanding piece of haute horology. This one is pure magic and a relatively new acquisition for Frank, who’s recently moved back home to Malaysia, after finishing his PhD here in Melbourne. No one knows what his next piece will be, but the Patek Philippe Grand Complications Celestial will be a hard act to follow.
On a personal note, the month ended well when I received my grandfather’s manual wind Aureole back from a service and clean, looking a million bucks. This is the first time the watch has been up and running in a VERY long time – at least 30 years. It was handed down to me by my mother, not long after my passion for watches became apparent and and she realised how much I’d appreciate it. It’s not an expensive piece by any means, but the sentimental value is through the roof. Having never had the chance to meet my grandpa, it’s a nice feeling to have his daily watch in my possession.
On that note, it’s time to head to cooler parts for some international spotting and to Basel, let the games begin!