It is nearly a year since I attended SalonQP and, once again, I find myself dusting off my passport in order to travel to London and attend this year’s fine watch exhibition, SalonQP 2013.
This article about SalonQP 2013 highlights some of the watches which will be on display including innovative watches from TAG Heuer, Breva and Hoptroff.
The allure of timepieces never wanes with the passage of time. My passion for watches continues unabated.
Unlike some trade shows where access is restricted to invited guests only, SalonQP allows members of the public an intimate interface with numerous watch brands. Visitors can see, at close quarters, watchmakers exhibiting their talents with deft hands manipulating tools to spellbinding effect, working at near microscopic scale.
TAG Heuer Carrera MikroPendulumS
Several well-known big-name brands will be in evidence, showing some of their halo-pieces, which example their technological prowess to jaw-dropping effect. For example, TAG Heuer have been dazzling the watch world with their haute horology offerings in recent years and the Carrera MikroPendulumS, the first ever double magnetic tourbillon, upholds the reputation for ground-breaking innovation.
Independent watch brands
An aspect of the exhibition which particularly appeals to me is that the show attracts many of the independent watch brands. By virtue of their size, some of the independent brands create watches which aren’t often seen on the high street of many provincial towns.
Several of the artisans at the helm of these brands have worked for larger organisations as employees or freelance consultants. They are craftsman with a profound understanding of traditional watchmaking, exampling, in many instances, matchless finissage that is the product of patience and skill. However, several of these independent brands also embrace modernity and innovation which at times leaves you lost for words.
Breva Genève Génie 01
Breva Genève launched their Génie 01 earlier this year at Baselworld 2013. The wristwatch features a barometer, altimeter and power reserve. Alternatively, look at Urwerk and try for a moment to imagine the thought processes of Felix Baumgartner and his colleagues when they conceived the UR-210. I am often left wondering whether these creative minds, breathe the same air as us mere mortals.
Some will argue that the finest watches available from independent brands are often financially elusive for the majority of would-be purchasers. However, there are some independent brands which offer refreshing alternatives to mainstream watches at relatively accessible prices. Armin Strom, Sarpaneva, Speake-Marin and Zeitwinkel have created handsome watches, with unique and well defined characters, that represent value considering their high quality construction.
In the 1990s, the phrase “Cool Britannia” captured a mood of national pride, which has since been rendered to the history books. Nevertheless, this phrase could be justly applied to the British watchmaking scene of today.
Bremont has become a brand with a strong following, both domestically and in the US. This year has seen the brand launch its Bletchley Park inspired Codebreaker model. However, there are several other British brands which also instill a well-placed sense of patriotic pride.
Meridian Watch Company make robust watches, suitable for daily wear. Created in a small atelier in Norwich, the company sources many components locally and produces finely finished timepieces with highly legible dials.
Meridian Watches Prime
Peter Roberts, an English watchmaker with a breadth of experience, amassed whilst working within the watchmaking industry for over 40 years, last year announced at SalonQP his plan to create the Grand Complication 5 Concentrique. I have subsequently seen the watch and can report it is truly exceptional. Moreover, visitors to SalonQP 2013 can also enjoy the spectacle of seeing this sublime timepiece on Peter’s exhibition stand.
My interest in watches is normally confined to mechanical watches, but having met Richard Hoptroff earlier this year at his London-based workshop, I must admit I was fascinated to hear of his No.10 Atomic Pocket Watch being produced. The Symmetricom atomic time source was originally created for cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles and now it appears, for the first time, in a timepiece. The pocket watch features numerous functions and proffers unrivalled accuracy. Indeed, the watch is said to have a loss / gain of no more than 1.5 seconds per thousand years.
Hoptroff No.10 Atomic Pocket Watch
Worth the trip
It is wonderful to have an event of this calibre in the UK and I would recommend a trip to London to attend SalonQP for an up close and personal encounter with some of the finest watches available today. More information and tickets are available by visiting www.salonqp.com