Goldsmith & Complications celebrates boutique opening with horological sculpture collab with the Chicago Cubs Goldsmith & Complications celebrates boutique opening with horological sculpture collab with the Chicago Cubs

Goldsmith & Complications celebrates boutique opening with horological sculpture collab with the Chicago Cubs

Zach Blass

As we have seen with the success of our Don’t Feed the Hype series, there is a strong hunger for more unique and different horological creations. The usual suspects have had their moment, with constant impressions to the mass marketplace. Don’t get me wrong, these big name brands continue to deliver quality products. But it is nice to know there are spaces out there that dedicate their efforts to emboldening lesser known names that create high quality products. One such boutique to explore if you want to peruse less commonly known pieces is Goldsmith & Complications, formerly located in New York and today re-opened in warm and sunny Florida. To celebrate the opening of the Florida storefront, as well as the spirit and mission of showcasing lesser available brands in the United States, owner Danny Goldsmith has teamed up with Berd Vay’e and Ian Happ of the Chicago Cubs to create America’s PasTime – an horological sculpture in tribute to watchmaking and America’s favourite pastime: baseball.

Goldsmith & Complications x Berd Vay’e x Ian Happ “America’s PasTIME”

Goldsmith & Complications
Image: Zach Pina

Berd Vay’e, for those not familiar, are New York-based artists renowned for incorporating increasingly rare components of vintage watches, some 50 to 100 years old, in one-of-a-kind Lucite® (plexiglass) sculptures.

“When Danny mentioned Ian Happ [the Chicago Cubs’ record-breaking switch-hitter] was interested in a collaboration, we immediately thought of creating a mini baseball bat – the souvenir we all used to take home from a game”, says Berd Vay’e President Samir Shah. “As sports fans and watch aficionados infatuated with quality, we felt it was the perfect representation of the collision of the worlds of watchmaking, baseball, art and design.”

The 30-piece limited-edition artwork celebrating the opening of Goldsmith & Complications new location takes the form of a 17-inch baseball bat, cast with eight to 10 layers of Lucite ® over a 24-hour period before being baked to achieve a seamless, crystal-clear, and shatter-resistant artwork.

Goldsmith & Complications
Left to right, Danny Goldsmith and Ian Happ. Image: Deyson Rodriguez

Inside the bat, you’ll notice a mesmerizing mix of mechanical watch parts in exploded view and wooden slivers from bats originally owned by notable switch-hitter Ian Happ of the Chicago Cubs. The components are carefully selected, like a jeweller who curates diamonds in only select colours or grades, resulting in a 50-60% rejection rate of the vintage watch parts they find. This ensures the artwork conveys the utmost beauty, both of the artwork itself and the art of watchmaking.

“So many of my clients are into collecting watches, and into sports. They also love Berd Vay’e. We wanted to share our passion for watchmaking and bring something to the watch community that they’d never seen before,” says Goldsmith. “It had to be ‘something very cool’ that symbolizes what both companies are about and appeals to collectors.”

Akin to movement and case finishing, each bat is shaped and polished by hand – a sign of meticulous craftsmanship and high quality. The bat can be mounted to display on a desk, bookshelf or coffee table as a conversation piece for fans of sports, horology, or simply artwork for that matter. Danny Goldsmith could have very well conformed to the norm, partnering with a watch brand for a boutique limited edition. This collaboration, however, is a tangible reminder of not only baseball and horology, but also Goldsmith & Complications dedication to the promotion of the art of watchmaking and the artists who don’t always get the spotlight they deserve. The Goldsmith & Complications x Berd Vay’e x Ian Happ “America’s PasTIME” is available for purchase now for the price of $4,000 USD.

The watches of Goldsmith & Complications

Goldsmith & Complications
Image: Deyson Rodriguez

I would be remiss if I didn’t also quickly highlight the range of timepieces that Goldsmith & Complications carries. Primarily, the boutique and salon acts as an authorized dealer for brands such as, Angelus, Arnold & Son, Bell & Ross, Cyrus, J.N. Shapiro, L’Epee, Oris, Purnell, and Urwerk. While perhaps Oris and Bell & Ross are more accessible around the country, the remaining brands are not always so easy to find at points of retail across the United States – and Goldsmith & Complications plans on expanding their catalogue to include even more brands that are less accessible in the future (like Canadian independent watchmaker Bradley Taylor beginning in the fall).

Goldsmith & Complications

When personally digging into the Goldsmith & Complications website, I also noticed a pre-owned section as well. The pieces available, or recently sold, were primarily not your average offerings – with a Kurono Tokyo Mori, as an example, recently sold on the site. The good news is that, at least as of writing, it appears three highly desirable pre-owned pieces, among others, are still available for sale.

H. Moser & Cie Pioneer Center Seconds Rotating Bezel C.02 for Collective

H. Moser & Cie watches are by no means mass produced, making each watch a rather rare creation to own. While not the most limited production model of all time from the brand, the Pioneer Center Seconds Rotating Bezel C.02 was the definitely among the hardest to for the public to purchase because, well, you needed to be a member of The Collective to buy one. To learn more about The Collective, and the Pioneer Center Seconds Rotating Bezel C.02, click here. To inquire or purchase this watch you can head to Goldsmith. & Complications here.

Urban Jürgensen One

If you read my initial segment of the Don’t Feed the Hype series on alternatives to the Patek Philippe Nautilus, then you’ll definitely be familiar with the main contender: the Urban Jürgensen One. The response was so great towards its nomination for the list that internally that, when I discuss future segments with the Time+Tide team, we ask ourselves if we have found the Urban Jürgensen One of the list. Definitely check out the link above for more information on the watch, or head to Goldsmith & Complications here to inquire about purchasing one for yourself.

Louis Erard x Vianney Halter Excellence Regulator

I got to get closer to Louis Erard watches at Geneva Watch Days, and we were all very genuinely impressed with what we saw. The brand really lives up to its mission of creating value-driven timepieces, pieces that do not compromise on quality and approachable pricing. They have worked with various legends in the industry to create collaboration watches that deliver the essence of Louis Erard and the collaborator, but at a price point rarely found for the collaborators own work. One such example was the Louis Erard x Vianney Halter Excellence Regulator, a limited edition of 178 pcs. that sold out within hours of its launch. I actually got to see one in the metal at Geneva Watch Days, but sadly I couldn’t purchase the watch – it unfortunately had to remain with the brand for their archives, totally fair enough. So, if like me you missed out on this watch at launch, you’ll have to keep an eye out for the rare listing like this to secure one for your collection.