In-Depth: Why the New A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Chronograph Black Dial (in White Gold) Makes So Much Sense
Ever since A. Lange & Söhne released the first ever 1815 Chronograph in white gold and with a black dial in early June this year, my feeling towards the piece has been on what could be niftily described as a roller coaster ride. My first reaction to the piece when my friend showed its picture to me was something like, "oh, that's a first generation 1815 Chronograph. Beautiful, no doubt. What about it?". Completely ignorant of the true identity of the watch in my friend's picture, my somewhat nonchalant remark was shut down instantly. "Dude, this literally just came out 30 minutes ago. It's a new release!", said my friend in a fierce manner, as if I've committed some sort of blasphemy. Let's just say the pulsation meter totally fooled me.
It's exceedingly rare to meet a watch collector who does not have a thing or two other than watches that he/she too savours in life. After all, the appreciation of horology, or the art of watchmaking, is really just a manifestation of a sense for beauty. And beauty, my friend, is ubiquitous. It is that unexpected stroke of a capturing painting. It is the silhouette of a well thought-out piece of furniture. And for the interview subject of our third episode of My Watches and I (you can check out the first two episodes here and here), beauty certainly can be found in the aftertaste of a brilliant scotch.
Recently, I got to spend a morning talking watches with Kam Daswani, a personal friend and founder of whisky business Dram Good Stuff (you can find out more about it here), who happens to own some pretty remarkable - or should I say, pretty Dram Good - timepieces. Relaxed and friendly as he has always been, Kam walked me through his watch collection in detail, and explained his personal stories with them. And of course, I, being a complete whisky novice, seized the chance to pick Kam's brain and learned a thing or two about his trade (now I know what a bourbon is).
And this, is your third episode of My Watches and I. Let's get to it.
Recently I was given this question by a fellow watch aficionado: If you can own only a two-watch collection - with a combined value of less than HKD200,000 - for the rest of your life, which two would you choose? The question itself is fairly straightforward and I've pondered over similar queries in my head from time to time ever since I began developing a keen interest in watches. So I was able to offer my picks rather assertively (answers to be unveiled at the end of this article; read on).
But that's not the focus of this article. Instead, I'm writing to address two extended questions from my friend's which I feel deserve further examination as they almost universally concern watch lovers of all orders: What counts as a "collection"? And how could we - mere mortals with finite financial resources - build a collection on a budget (relatively speaking that is)?
These questions are quite crucial as I genuinely believe when one gets to a point whereby his/her love for a certain tangible thing in life (e.g. watches, sneakers, cars) becomes so deep, he/she inevitably develops an irreversible sense of specificity about the objective in question. A case in point is that you can't make a suit lover wear a flannel suit in high summer because to him, it is neither weather-appropriate nor does the choice serve as a fair reflection of his knowledge in suiting. He'd opt for a lightweight, breathable linen suit instead. Which means he probably owns at least two suits, each with a specific purpose/ function.
The same goes for watches. Watch collectors acquire multiple timepieces not only because watches are fascinating creations, but also that each of them means something different to its owner and carries its unique functional or aesthetic purpose, however minute the nuances might be. In short, serious watch guys won't stop at just one watch. And when we truly feel the need to have multiple watches in our lives, what are the strategies we can live by? Shall we build something diverse? Or dedicate our resources to a certain specific family of watches that's close to our hearts?
And today I'm trying to give it a crack and offer my two cents on how to build a respectable watch collection with - to push the envelope here - less than HKD100,000.
First of all, Happy New Year! Lengbeau would like to wish you all a very successful year ahead. And of course, happy watch hunting!
2016 has been a bittersweet year for the watchmaking scene, to say the least. Sales figures were subdued. Cost cutting a key theme for the better part of the industry. People sacked. And China spending much less on watches compared to before, thanks to the government's anti-graft campaign. Let's just say the industry has seen better days.
Yet, despite the numerous reasons that could theoratically cause the industy to go under, luxuy watches are still being made and companies are still up and running. Barely, perhaps, but they are here to stay. And it's during difficult time that the industry demonstrates its creativity and wit best. And 2016 has proven to be the perfect testament to that.
With 2016 squarely behind us, we reckon this is a good time to do some stocktaking and recount the key trends that largely defined the year - memorable no matter how you look at it - for the watch industry and more importantly, to look to the future and offer our estimate as to which of these currents are likely to carry over into the 2017.
Let's check them out.
Auction Preview: Our (Less Predictable) Picks from Important Watches by Christie's on 28 November 2016 in Hong Kong
The last couple of months in a calendar year are in general quite an enjoyable period of time for watch collectors of all sort, for this is the time when most of the major auction houses would be staging their season finale watch auctions, bringing to the market rare and collectible pieces. Christie's, being one of the handful of traditional auction powerhouses, is certainly not going to run short of amazing timepieces to go under the hammer at this time of the year.
With their "Important Watches Including NAUTILUS 40 Part III" auction - to be held on 28 November 2016 here in Hong Kong - around the corner, we did a little catalog flipping and pondered over the lots and picked 6 lots from 6 manufacturers which are, hopefully, less predictable. By doing so we wish to show you exactly how diverse a watch auction usually is, and how it's not always (just) about vintage Rolex Subs and (or) Patek perpetual calendars, for instance. Don't get me wrong, these are great. Nonetheless there are other gems that deserve some love, too. So let's get right down to it.
Introducing: A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Pour Le Mérite, In White Gold and Black Dial (and Let's Talk Fusée-and-Chain)
Here in Lengbeau we don't cover a whole lot of new product releases because, honestly, there really isn't anything about a new timepiece that you cannot already read up about on 10 other watch publications/ websites. But today we'd want to stray from our usual practice a little bit and introduce to you a new watch from the always amazing A. Lange & Söhne that, despite being functionally simple (it does nothing more than telling the time), incorporates a little mechanism called fusée-and-chain which makes all the differences. We'd also want to take the chance to ponder upon this novel, hard-to-produce device that's as visually compelling as it's useful in enhancing a watch's accuracy. Read on to read about the watch and its mechanism.
People dress for the occasion. If you're going to a job interview, you'd usually show up in a business suit. Whereas if you're travelling to Okinawa for a weekend getaway in summer with your family, you'd probably pack your favourite summer t-shirts or even a swimwear or two.
It really should be the same case when it comes to watches. There's a place and time for your fancy Royal Oak Offshore or that busy-looking Navitimer, yet occasions such as a black-tie event or an important business meeting isn't one. In formal situations like these, you're strongly encouraged to pick your timepiece very wisely, preferably one that doesn't take people's attention away from you. A formal, subtle-looking yet well made dress watch serves as exactly that purpose. And today, we break down for your several factors that define a quality dress watch by taking a close look at, in our opinions, two top of the line, standard-bearing dress watches: a Lange Saxonia and a Patek Calatrava.
Let's check them out!
Auction Coverage: Top Picks from Christie's "Rare Watches & Exceptional Complications" Auction in New York on 7th June
Having showcased the lovely lineup of watches in a Hong Kong preview session last week, auction powerhouse Christie's will be auctioning off these amazing timepieces in its "Rare Watches & Exceptional Complications" to be held on 7th June in New York City. Having enjoyed a consistent track record in attracting discerning collectors from around the world, this Christie's auction is expected to continue doing exactly that, enticing watch lovers with tastefully curated timepieces.
And here are the top lots that caught our attention (in lot order). Read on and find out more.
Auction Coverage: A Morning with the Mega Timepieces by Phillips Hong Kong Watch Auction Two. And a LOT of Pictures.
Some mornings are just better than others. They just are. This morning is one such morning.
After wrapping up a massively successful watch auction in Geneve and saw some of the most valuable vintage timepieces change hands not long ago, renowned auction house Phillips has no plan to slow down and comes back with their second Hong Kong-based watch auction aptly named "Hong Kong Watch Auction: Two", to be held in Mandarin Oriental, Central, Hong Kong on 31st May. When Phillips is involved, you can bet there will be no shortage of absolutely mega timepieces to go under the hammer and here in Lengbeau we are so glad that notion is as valid as ever. While Phillips is doing what it does best curating amazing timepieces, Lengbeau does what it does best too: getting up close and personal with these "one day, maybe" watches for our readers. Ready? Read on to find out our top topics of the auction and enjoy our high definition pictures.
Analysis: Twelve Legendary Watch Families that Defined Modern Horology (and What Makes Them Awesome)(Part 1)
When Lengbeau was first founded some eight months ago, there was a specific feature we were particularly excited to do: to introduce to our readers what we believe are the twelve most iconic, important mechanical watch models from twelve different watch manufacturers, and hopefully in the process of doing so, quickly familiarise you with the quintessential timepieces and watch brands that you cannot afford to not know.
Started off as an idea in which we'd wish to produce a full-length coverage of each of the twelve pieces (in fact, we did manage to do one, for the Rolex Submariner), we quickly realised this might not be the most efficient way to go about this. As a result, we are coming back with this very feature to introduce all these legendary watches to you in two parts, so you could have a quick, good sense of what they are and what make them great. And at the end of this feature, you should be able to at least name ONE signature watch from the likes of Rolex, Audemars Piguet or Heuer.
Ready? Let's meet the legends.
Lengbeau cultivates appreciation for the eternal beauty of mechanical watches, for our everyday dudes and ladies.