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The Gyrotourbillon is easily amongst the top 10 of any serious collector's list of the most desirable modern timepieces. In early August I was given the wonderful opportunity to have access to and photograph at my leisure this wonderful, important and rare timepiece. I certainly did take my time over it and planned carefully what I wanted to photograph from this watch. This watch belongs to a good friend and a highly respected collector - who asked to remain anonymous.
This multi-plane tourbillon is an engineering marvel worthy of close study and as such I spent a very long time photographing all aspects of the watch. This resulted in several hundred quality photos but I narrowed down to 50 for the photomontage of this watch. In the presentation you will notice I photographed the watch in almost all the conceiveable angles as well as tight close up to specific movement or dial elements.
CLICK HERE to view the montage. I hope you like the presentation as much as I had with photographing the watch.


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Following the wonderful La Tradition (Yellow Gold) that was launched last year, the new WG version arrived here in Singapore. I was once again honoured with the opportunity to photograph this variation of the beauty and I pleased to share the few photos I have of the watch here.

The serious traditionalists of course prefer the original YG as it is a close replica of a very early Breguet pocket watch. I personally like this version more than the YG due to it being less attention grabbing. The watch is nevertheless beautiful with all its wonderful details.

To view this presentation please CLICK HERE. NOTE: when you arrive at the montage page - please use the keyboard arrows to navigate through the montage. Alternatively, you may click on the navigation bar on the bottom right to activate the slideshow (bottom no.5 from the left).


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Its with great pleasure for me to present to you my next photomontage of the famed Debethune DB15.

This is a Perpetual Calendar with Revolving Moonphase. Cased in Pink Gold 43mm in diameter, 13mm in thickness. The movement is manual winding with over 4 days power reserve.

This is a watch that commands attention and leaves a distinct impression on the beholder. Truly special. Have a look at the montage to appreciate the watch. To view it, CLICK HERE.


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This Richard Mille tourbillon wristwatch, developed in conjunction with the Formula 1 racing driver Felipe Massa and named after him. This tourbillon is produced in a limited edition of only 25 numbered watches. This experimental series represents the first time in the history of horology that a movement baseplate has been manufactured in Aluminum-Lithium and represents years of research and development. The watchcase is the world's first application of ALUSIC (Aluminum AS7G-Silicium-Carbide) in watchmaking. According to RM, the objective of this experimental application of materials contained a dual challenge: the creation of the lightest mechanical watch ever made, and the realization of a tourbillon model able to endure vibrations, accelerations, decelerations and shocks in order to be a reliable companion for Felipe Massa during his tests, practice runs and Formula 1 races.
The RM 009 FM is a manual winding tourbillon with hours and minutes. Dimensions: Length 45 mm x 37.80 mm (widest point) x 12.65 mm (thickest area) (To read more about the watch you can download a PDF file from the RM Site by clicking here)
I had the great fortune of being given the opportunity to photograph this very rare piece and that exercise resulted in a huge library of photographs as the watch has so many elements to focus on. As a result, I created one montage in in colour and another in black and white. Hope you enjoy them!
RM009 Colour Photomontage
RM009 Black & White Photomontage


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JLC announced at Basel this year that they will be releasing their new Master Tourbillon. Here is the picture of the new timepiece which has taken the watch world by storm. The tourbillon was once available only to the filthy rich and famous is now almost within access to the average professional man - at 35,000 euros.

For more information about the watch, click onto EuropaStar's report here: The Master Tourbillon by Jaeger-LeCoultre


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While it’s obvious that every industry has its inherent issues, luxury watch industry today has been to many observers - including myself - a mystery. For me, it’s clearly ripe for economists to prove or disprove new economic theory of consumer behaviour as well as manufacturer or supplier behaviour.

But rather than bore you with my views about how oddly irrational consumer and supplier behave towards what appears to be common goods which are made by the hundreds of millions (I think a great degree of this success is due to very effective marketers – who really deserve awards for their success) – I would like to comment on a very controversial aspect of watch collecting.

This is the issue of the ever escalating cost of watches versus the capability of high horology watches retaining its purchase value. Serious collectors know that respected high horology with complications is critical for purchases to retain or even appreciate in value. The logic here is at least is simple – or so it seems. Well made watches with complications take a lot more effort and resources to be made. Thus as a general rule, fewer are available.

Once a respected expert said to me some years ago, that making watches is a laborious process that requires labour intensive skills to fabricate, polish and assemble a tiny machine. He also informed me that the supply of such high skills is in fact very low and that in time, the low supply of such skills will cause the inflation of prices of the more labour intensive watches – i.e. the highly finished pieces such as Dufour or Lange – or the super complications. As supply of such skills is low and will continue to remain low but cost and wages will continue to rise, prices of rare and complex pieces will always continue to rise. This view is supported by a report by EuropaStar – “Who is going to service these watches?”

Unlike economic goods where prices are dictated by the equilibrium of demand and supply, luxury goods appear to be the exception to the norm. Very expensive timepieces continue to be inflated – or “adjusted” - over a short period of months but yet many still are sold. The amazing upside to this effect is that with frequent price adjustments upwards of timepieces, recently acquired pieces of the same model enjoy price appreciation – well at least on paper. This is what I call “luxury goods price inflation effect” or LGPIE for short.

So it is not uncommon for a collector to buy a rare or special timepiece today and expecting to sell within 6 to 12 months either at the same price or slightly more.

The LGPIE effect however is seen only on some timepieces (emphasis on 'some'). However, collectors are secretly thinking that the new piece they ordered or just bought will behave just like that. To me, the probability is low to very low that the watch just bought will behave like that. My suspicion is only a few will benefit from the LGPIE effect.

The positive effects of the LGPIE, to me is negated by the increased production numbers despite the fewer skilled labour supply. See the report here by the Federation of Swiss Watch Industry. Although the increase in number of production is not great, the issue is that production numbers has not dropped despite the concern about skilled labour supply. The report here states the facts but the key is - perception. I think marketers have been extremely successful in conveying the image of exclusiveness and rarity of their timepieces.

Will this knowledge stop me from high horology? Unlikely, serious watch collectors consider the retention of value – especially over the short term – as a low secondary factor of choice.
This post is just my convoluted way of saying, be careful of what the marketers want you to see or believe AND be aware or observe how long the LGPIE can go on for watches as a whole.


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For those watch collectors who are planning to travel around in region or will be in the vicinity of Hong Kong during the week of 6-10 September, the Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair 2006 will be at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre where there will be over 800 exhibitors. The event organisers claim this to be the world's largest Watch & Clock fair and going by what has happened in the past, it seems to be a bustling hive of activity at this fair.
Check out details of this fair HERE.


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Hublot's latest effort into high horology is surprising - at least for me - as it's a bold and rare timepiece for collectors. This creative new tourbillon delivered in interesting new grades contrasting metals will have only 9 owners worldwide - making it a true limited edition.

It may look garishly loud due to its proportions in the photos but have a look at the watch in the photomontage to see if the designer has succeeded in making an iconic piece for Hublot. I think they managed to convey a strong looking watch in the case shape but not overly loud due to the austere dial. For me apart from the clever looking tourbillon, the movement plate is ground breaking - looking very much like a Printed Circuit Board!.

To see the photomontage CLICK HERE. Hope you enjoy the photos!


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IWC kindly hosted a dinner for a select group of collectors on 2nd August 2006 at St Pierre Restaurant at the Central Mall Singapore. At the dinner, IWC showed its 2006 Novelties to our great pleasure. To view the watches as well as the evening's proceedings, check out Su Jia Xian's report and my photographs.

CLICK HERE to read the report.


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Featured here modeling for me the new IWC Ceramic DoppleChronograph is Mr Andreas Boesch the S.E.Asia Regional Manager of IWC.

The watch is a big, handsome and manly timepiece but one that will compliment even 6.5 inch wrists. Amongst hard core IWC collectors, this model is a must have partially because its a split chronograph but also its handsome black ceramic case that is virtually scratchproof.

Unfortunately it is a limited edition of only 1000 pieces and all have already been spoken for. So watch for it on the preowned market if you want one!
In the menatime, keep an eye out here for more photos of this Ceramic DoppleChronograph!

(Click on the photo to see a bigger version)


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That question as well as what is the general profile of collectors is often asked of me. Impossible questions to answer as I have nothing to base an answer on save for anecdotal evidence of events in Singapore.
Recently, Glashuette Original and Hour Glass got together to organise a public talk by two moderators (Dr Bernard Cheong and Su Jia Xian) on the Glashuette Original brand as well as the experience of our local watch celebrity Dr Bernard Cheong who just returned from Moscow. Based on the unexpected response and from the photos of this report, new collectors are more willing to come forward to participate in organised events such as this. In the past, there were many who were apprehensive (for what ever reasons!) but these enriching sharing sessions look like they will become fixtures in the watch calendar locally.
Watch collecting still looks like a male dominant pastime but you will see from the report that there is a growing number of professional women as well. I think this is helped by the growing trend for women to wear large men's watches as well.
Have a look at the report filed by Su Jia Xian (photographs by both him and myself). Check it out here: GLASHUETTE ORIGINAL PURIST HOURGLASS Cocktails


Welcome to
Watching Horology


  • This is a personal blog of Harry SK Tan on all things pertaining to Horology - from watch collecting, horolography, news and developments from all over the world particularly Singapore.
  • ©HarrySKTan2005

Horolography - noun, the art of photographing timepieces

Horolographer - Harry SK Tan

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