November 19, 2014
by Ariel Adams
Overlooking Los Angeles at the historic Chateau Marmont Hotel, guests celebrated The World’s Most Expensive Watches book launch in an event that I was honored to host in collaboration with party sponsor Hublot watches. I’d like to reiterate my words from the event, and say thank you to the many wonderful people who not only attended the launch, but who helped make the event a success.
The World’s Most Expensive Watches book first became available for sale in late September, and people have been buying it on Amazon.com and local book stores in both English and French. Being my first book, I was really curious to see what would happen and how people would react. My goal was to create something that had appeal not only to existing watch lovers, but to “regular people,” who were not yet familiar with the world of fascinating horological items. It has been truly humbling to watch people who don’t know about watches flip through the pages of the book and peruse the 102 included timepieces.
I couldn’t be happier with how the book came out visually. As a large coffee table-style book, it makes a real presence in a room and I had a lot of people tell me that they were excited to put it on display in their homes or offices. One thing that I didn’t realize while writing the book is that it serves as an easy visual explanation to why people like watches when asked by those who aren’t yet like-minded.
Watch lovers often have to devise complicated explanations of why they like timepieces when asked by their friends, families, and colleagues; “why are you so into this stuff?” I realized that The World’s Most Expensive Watches book can actually serve as a simple answer. Personally, the next time someone asks me that question I am just going to hand them the book and say “I like watches because people can make stuff like that.”
We had a full house at the launch party which took place in one of the hotel suites that also has a very large private terrace. A lot of people asked me “why are you doing the event in Los Angeles?” The weather, of course (well… in addition to the fact that I live here). Where else but LA can you have a comfortable event outside in the middle of November? Thank you once again to Los Angeles for making sure the climate was apt for celebration.
Also, let me say thank you to the people who flew into town for the event or drove from far away. Though, given the reasons above, I don’t think that any of the east-coasters were upset with the venue. It is nevertheless a great honor to have had such an esteemed group of people at The World’s Most Expensive Watches book party. It was also great to see everyone’s watches.
When announcing the book launch party a couple of weeks ago, many people were curious as to why Hublot was involved, and what my relationship with them was. Hublot sponsored the event because they were excited about the book and wanted to support it. Hublot also values the work myself and others do who talk about modern timepieces. While watch companies like Hublot are very skilled at the design and production of products, they aren’t always known for being 100% effective at explaining to the public through their marketing activities why their watches are cool or should be taken seriously. Because a lot of us do this better than companies can in-house, they see value in supporting certain watch writers. It would be a mistake to suggest that intelligent watch brands only want writers like myself to tell people their products are good. We’ve built long-term relationships with a lot of great brands and see ourselves as having the same goals – to get people loving timepieces, no matter what their tastes ultimately may be.
What I have found over the years is that really understanding a brand requires a lot of time with their products, as well as discussion. Merely viewing an item’s marketing photography online isn’t always enough. Not everyone can experience every watch hands-on, so through my work and that of the aBlogtoWatch team, we continue to bring people our own hands-on experience through pictures and articles. While we don’t actively seek to promote the work of any particular brand in our editorial, we are motivated to share the things that interest and outstand, or otherwise appeal to us for discussion. Like I said above, our editorial activity is something that the watch industry wants to support, and brands like Hublot have been very active in doing so.
Being surrounded by friends and colleagues at a beautiful location with a view of Los Angeles (with good scotch) is probably the most perfect way I could imagine to spend an evening. Adding the fact that everyone is there to celebrate my book is a really nice bonus. It was a pleasure to personally sign people’s The World’s Most Expensive Watches books, and I hope that I’ll meet a lot more of you in the future so that I can do the same if you aren’t in the Los Angeles area. Thanks again to Hublot for sponsoring the event, my publisher Antique Collector’s Club for making the book happen, and all the aBlogtoWatch friends and readers who joined me. I am sure there will be a next time. Oh, and for everyone looking to pick a copy up, you may purchase the book via Amazon.com, with shipping available to most parts of the world.Photography by Den Bradshaw