1. PATEK PHILIPPE REF. 5970: THE MOST BEAUTIFUL CLASSIC WATCH EVER MADE
The title may be bombastic but there’s certainly some truth to it. The Patek Philippe ref. 5970 is a lovely watch. It has damn near perfect proportions, a combination of practical complications, and an exquisitely finished, highly complicated, and historically important movement. However, it faces stiff competition for the title of “Most Beautiful Classic Watch Ever Made” from its predecessors the ref. 1518 and ref. 2499, which are among the most sought after watches in the world. Can the 5970, as wonderful as it is, really stand up to its illustrious forebears? This author certainly thinks so.
2. THIS PERPETUAL CALENDAR HIDDEN IN AN ITALIAN CHAPEL IS A MATHEMATICAL MARVEL
In the Chapel of Bankers and Merchants in Turin, Italy lies a remarkable machine that can show you the date of Easter in any year, ranging from 1 to 4,000. It can even tell you the day it will be on, say, 22 September 3637. Or maybe you want to know the phase of the moon on the first day of June in the year 399 or what day was it on your birthday. This machine can tell you all of this and more. But perhaps the most amazing thing is that it is made by hand out of a complicated series of gears, wheels, wood, and paper. It’s known as the Universal Mechanical Calculator, and it was built by an Italian mathematician named Giovanni Amedeo Plana in 1831.
Source: Atlas Obscura
3. THE “DON PANCHO” GOES UP FOR AUCTION
One of the reasons vintage watches are so exciting and captivating is that unicorns can still turn up now and then, Paul Newman’s Daytona being a prime example. What we have here is a Vacheron Constantin that has been unofficially nicknamed the “Don Pacho,” after its owner Francisco Martinez Llano, who asked Constantin to make him a watch he could wear in the mines he owned in Peru. This watch dates from the 1930s and has a tonneau case with radium numerals — radium so that it would glow in the mines. More importantly, it is believed to be the first wristwatch to feature a combination of a minute repeater, calendar, and retrograde date. This is the story of how the watch was found.
Source: The New York Times
4. INTRODUCING THE NEXT BIG THING IN CHINESE WATCHMAKING
Lest we all forget, China is already a watchmaking superpower. After all, in terms of sheer numbers, no country exports more watches than the Chinese. But, of course, these are mostly inexpensive and, dare I say it, disposable, digital watches. However, China is also home to a burgeoning community of independent watchmakers. And one of the more recent and impressive ones I’ve come across is Qin Gan and his Pastorale watch. It’s a very classic-looking watch with an elegant round case, a simple but well-executed dial, and an interesting hand-finished movement, and it really deserves a closer look.
Source: Watches by SJX
5. WHISKEY AND WINE TRUMP ROLEX AND PATEK PHILIPPE AS INVESTMENT ASSETS
As long as you are smart about it, anything you buy can be an investment. But watches are often very bad investment vehicles. Save for a handful of brands and models, most watches are instantly devalued the moment you strap them onto your wrist and walk out of the shop. If you need further proof, just take a look at this report. As an investment asset, watches pales in comparison to other luxury objects, such as rare whiskey, art, wine, and even coins.