While for most fans the beautiful moonphase dial of the Portofino is the most attractive aspect of the watch, I believe the movement has wider appeal. Here is the wallpaper of the exquisite calibre.
PLEASE NOTE: All RIGHTS RESERVED and downloading is your agreement for your own PERSONAL use on your computer. Please do not alter nor repost or send the image to any other location
This huge watch from IWC was produced in small volume from 1981 to probably 1999. Despite the long production life, this watch is quite rare and still being traded well above its retail price today. Probably one of the most daring moonphase watch of its time - having a pocket watch caliber (Cal9521) housed in a very thin case and featuring a delicate enamel dial. It was only ever made in yellow gold and the recent Vintage series from IWC sought to resurrect some of it's appeal to the lovers of this watch. Unlike the watches with moonphases of the era, the moonphase is located on the right of the dial instead of the more common top or bottom of the dial. Many believe the essence of its success is that with the sub-seconds on the left there is a stronger sense of symmetry.
This particular piece belongs to a renowned collector and friend who was very kind to allow me some time with his watch - to record it for posterity in digital format - while it is in pristine condition. The images do not do justice to the watch in person. It somehow possesses a strong personality despite its apparent delicate appearance - ultra thin hands, almost no bezel, white enamel dial and being a very thin watch overall. It has a presence of its own. It may be the sum of the whole that creates that aura. Something that many fans feel that the vintage series is not able to replicate. Even the simple movement with its alluring curved bridges has the capacity to mesmerize.
Only the fortunate few who have come across this watch will know this. I suspect this watch will continue to be in the wish list of true connoisseurs for a very long time.
Traveling with Peter Speake-Marin are the Gronefeld brothers of Gronefeld Watches - Bart and Tim. They are also in town to show enthusiasts their horological creations. The brothers hail from the Netherlands and comes from a rich family history in watchmaking. Both Bart and Tim were trained and worked extensively in Switzerland (spent 8 years at Renaud & Papi) before taking up the family business. They showed me their latest One Hertz (seen on their wrist in the image above) and their Tourbillon Minute Repeater which I photographed extensively (to be showcased here shortly). As a teaser, I can attest that the Gronefeld watches has extraordinary presence and finish. In part to its clever use of design that make their watch distinctive yet unfussy. Look out for the forthcoming report on their watches. As before, click on the image to view it in higher resolution.
Peter Speake-Marin arrived in Singapore late this week to host a soiree for fans and collectors of the brand. Whilst I was not able to attend the grand affair, Peter kindly agreed to meet me the next morning to show me his new 2012 models of which I photographed three most special pieces in his collection. Peter also kindly allowed me to take his portrait with his regular watch on wrist. A simple enameled white dial automatic. More images of his new and beautiful watches to follow over the coming week. Click on the image to view it in high resolution.
Recently a friend and fellow blogger, Ms Meehna Goldsmith interviewed me for an article for Christies and it was about how avid watch photographers create horological images of desire. The phrase "Watch Porn" is not new but in this report, Meehna attempts to pin down how good images impact on collectors. Three photographers were featured and all had differing views as to the process and outcome of the images effect on collectors. CLICK HERE
if you are interested to read the article.