Baselworld Watch and Jewelry Show opens this week in Switzerland, and sadly I am not there. I love watches. The combination of artistry and mechanical precision that results in a world-class time-piece is something to admire – and pay for through the nose. And in some cases, not just a single nose, but the probosci of one’s heirs.
We’re talking five figures to start, and going from there beyond a hundred K in some instances. Are they worth it? Naysayers will note that the $50,000 Patek-Philippe produces inferior time-keeping precision than an Asian-semiconductor-assisted, plastic-strapped, mall-kiosk 2-for-1 special priced at $15. Fair enough. And if the only goal is to ascertain the precise time at any moment, then even possessing a watch would be unnecessary. Many youngsters today have eschewed the wristwatch altogether for the all-knowing-all-seeing cell phone. Too bad.
What the naysayers fail to understand is that the Patek-Philippes (or any number of boutique time-pieces) are elegantly fabricated from precious metals and jewels by a lonely craftsman who has spent months at a cramped table making the god-damned thing. The resulting time-piece is a functional work-of-art. Isn’t that worth something? The elite say “hell, yes,” and commit with their hard-earned(?) paychecks.
Some of my favorites on display this week:
Girard-Perrgaux Tri-Axial Tourbiilon Teaser