Sandra Lane

Posts by Sandra:

23.11.2017

WATCHSPOTTING: The exceptional watches of Dubai Watch Week

While the sun kept shining (of course, it’s Dubai), it rained – rained watches – for the five days of Dubai Watch Week. Organised by Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, the leading retailer of high-end watches in the UAE, with a strongly educational purpose, it offered a whole range of panel discussions; hands-on workshops led by some of today’s most talented watchmakers, engravers and enamellers; riveting talks on collecting by Christie’s experts; exhibitions (including the 17 GPHG winners, a perspective on time from the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, and stands where you could meet-and-greet and play with amazing watches –…

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08.11.2017

LIST: Pretty Big Bang – 6 Hublot watches perfect for women

“Girls just want watches that look pretty.” So we are told. Of course, most of us want things that look good (and, ah, don’t men want good-looking stuff too?). But “just” pretty? Please. The watch industry has patronised us with that old cliché for too long. For many of us girls, a fashion watch is anathema – and a diamond bezel is not the be-all and end-all either. Bung a bit of glitter on a boring watch and it’s still a boring watch. Assuming that an interest in mechanical timepieces means that we’ll settle for tool watches with zero femininity…

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24.10.2017

INSIGHT: 3 questions about Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona, answered

When I had the opportunity, in Geneva this past summer, to get my hands on the 20th century’s most famous wristwatch and talk about it with the man who will be holding the hammer when the watch is auctioned by Phillips in New York in a few days, my immediate thought was I-love-my-job-I’m-so-lucky. Followed by a few key questions: Would the watch feel more special on the wrist than your typical Cosmo Daytona? Does Aurel Bacs, auctioneer supreme, regard this as anything more than another (likely) record-breaking piece? And, on that note, just why was the pre-sale estimate — “In…

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19.10.2017

LIST: Ultimate transparency — Hublot’s sapphire evolution, in 13 watches

First things first, what is sapphire crystal? Essentially, it’s the same stuff used to make a watch ‘glass’ and display casebacks, formed by crystallising aluminium oxide at very high temperatures to create an extremely hard material. Roughly speaking, it mimics what Earth has taken 400 million or so years to do, to form natural sapphire gemstones. For sapphire-cased watches, the middle, bezel and back are milled from solid blocks of the material. Because it’s almost as hard and scratch-resistant as diamond (9 on the Mohs scale, as opposed to 10 for diamond), the task of milling it into the complex…

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07.09.2017

INSIGHT: The 100 year history of the Cartier Tank, and the people who made it famous

For any designer, regardless of product type, the holy grail is to create an object that so perfectly balances form and function and so elegantly expresses an aesthetic that it will not only last for many generations but will forever look as modern as it did when it left the drawing board. Among those rare products are Le Corbusier’s Chaise LC4, Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona chair and Cartier’s Tank wristwatch. Louis Cartier’s practical, no-frills design has not only become one of the most successful and enduring watches of all time, it has accepted tweaks, updates and experiments without ever…

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23.08.2017

INSIGHT: Why the Hublot Haters have it wrong

So, in some parts of the watchosphere, it’s fashionable to be a Hublot Hater. While I’m not a HH (professional detachment, there are other, better uses for my energy), I will admit to being in the “not loving it” camp for quite some time. It was the bigness, the brashness, the it-watchness of it all. Given the choice, I’ll take off-trend. It was the flashy image – the rappers, footballers and boxers. Which is ironic, really, since Hublot began with Carlo Crocco as the anti-bling of the 1980s. At the time, the watch world was elbow-deep in gold, with wall-to-wall Cartier…

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26.07.2017

HOW TO: Build a potentially profitable vintage watch collection with a budget of $3000-$12000 per piece

A few years ago I attended a talk called, ‘How to Start a Collection’. The focus was on vintage rather than modern and the speaker was a prominent collector, so I looked forward to picking up some great tips. His advice was to anchor a collection with some key pieces, and he gave some examples. Impeccable reasoning, but there was a catch: the name of every piece began with Patek, Rolex or Panerai – and none could be had for less than $80,000. Most were some way north of $100k. So, what if you’re a watch addict of far more…

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Patek Philippe Aquanaut 20th anniversary reference 5168G, white gold blue dial 11.06.2017

OPINION: Buying a new watch? Don’t even think about investment value

Being in the watch writing line of work it’s no great surprise that friends and acquaintances often ask me for watch-buying advice. Call it an occupational hazard, call it a compliment that they should consider my advice worth seeking but (unlike a doctor friend, who gets irritated by being asked for free clinical advice at dinner parties) I never tire of talking about watches. But something has changed: as watch auction prices have gone relentlessly up over the past few years (not to mention the retail prices of many brands), the two questions I’m most often asked are: “I’m tossing…

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