I have started to collect Plums!

I have always been a collector.

Mainly literature through my life and during the last 10 years Vacheron&Constantin.
Vacheron&Constantin it became because there were no other real alternative.
It's the oldest and has through all times been the leader and main part of the time also avant garde.
Followers and more commercial brands like Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet not to talk about Rolex,
have been making money as the first and nearly only reason.
I think the exception is Girard-Perregaux, which is a brand that goes by the heart.
Vacheron&Constantin has always intended to do one thing, the best and most exceptional of watches,
without looking at the economical aspects from the start, rather the artistic.

Now I have got so big collection that I'm selling out.
My whish is to have some extraordinary V&C's left, some of them I not even shown here.
The rest I have had and now I let someone else have the joy to own.
Only this month I sold 5 watches and more is to come.
But the passion will be kept.

I have through the years got a rather nice collection of Winston S. Churchill in first edition,
and also 20.000 pages of biography about him by other authors.

I always liked Art Deco period, in watches, posters, sculpture and literature.

So why Plums.
That's because it's the nick name of P.G. Wodehouse.
I have about 70 % of his novels and most of the biographies.
The novels are mainly pocket or cheap hardbacks.
He lived 1881-1975 and was still writing on his last novel only some days before he died at 93 years of age!
All his books are painted in Edwardian style, 1901- 1910 and the following Art Deco period, between the wars.
This is part of my "collection" today, nothing to show really, but I still does it, 
because it force me to came back in some years, with adifferent picture I have started to collect Plums!

I have started to collect Plums!

The main problem is that the prices of first editions for some of them, are in the same neighbourhood as a "cheap" V&C...
I read a biography from 1979 today, which tells that some of the first editions, already than, were prized as high as $500 I have started to collect Plums!
And there are 130 books by him, and only God knows, how many short stories, magazine articles and musicals etc.

I have 5 first editions that are their way to me right now,
this is one of them.

I have started to collect Plums!

I have started to collect Plums!

I have started to collect Plums!

So, now I'm starting up a new project and of course I wonder about what are your morbid cravings? I have started to collect Plums!

Please tell!!


04/26/2010 - 15:26
04/25/2010 - 17:48
04/26/2010 - 11:22
04/27/2010 - 01:20
04/26/2010 - 20:30
04/27/2010 - 03:39
Jeeves call my publisher: My dear Doc you are a man of taste! my only
04/25/2010 - 04:32
other hobby other than watches is fine food and wine with its dark side....the tread mill
Unfortunately, I skip the tread mill much more than I should (nt)
04/26/2010 - 11:30
what's a tread mill???? (nt)
04/27/2010 - 03:24
Besides watches, I guess I only like to eat...just like you Sir.
04/27/2010 - 05:49

Not a good hobby, eh?

my other trivial pursuit is designer sneakers...
04/25/2010 - 14:29
puma-jil sander, Y3, puma-mcqueen, adidas vintage roma, neil barrett etc. and similarly i used them. recently i am obsessed with visvim- a jap cult brand , their re-iteration of the boat shoes with sneaker soles is very comfy and cool ... they even collaborated with a hip french retailer colette for the hockney folk boat shoes . this is my most recent acquisition :
Ahh...boat shoes
04/26/2010 - 15:26

I remember everyone having a pair back when I was in high school (...and we will already be having our 25th high school homecoming next year) BR Kazumi

Electric Trains!
04/25/2010 - 17:48

Lionel Electric Trains were the greatest of gifts for a boy the 50's.  I still have my original set and have added to it sporadically over the past several years.  The trains get set up during Christmas and could stay there for months!  Occasionally, I load up the cars with valuable Vacheron & Constantin freight and observe waiting passengers eyeing the impressive cargo. Here is a situation where a steel square watch (1942) is being loaded onto a Bethlehem Steel billet car with its sister - - an 18k square - - for the trip back to its owner.  Maybe these were the progenitor(s) for the most recent VC offering shown on THL.  Robert

Great Crane and Cargo!
04/26/2010 - 11:29
Hi Robert, I'd love to visit that train stop!   BR, Dan
Nice collection of trains and vintage VCs
04/26/2010 - 15:33
I can understand your love for both.  A good friend used to sell electric trains (modern HO and N-gauge) and I used to hang out in his shop a lot. I think we never outgrow our interest for toy trains (lack of funds, space, time, etc. just get in the way). All the best, Kazumi
Jadeite and Honeystone
04/26/2010 - 11:22
Hi Doc, fun thread you started Besides VCs,  I also like to collect 2 of the "precious materials" in buddhist societies:  Jadeite and Honeystone. Jadeite, or "Fei Cui" in Chinese, comes from Myanmar/Burma and is considered the most valuable form of Jade.  The most valuable pieces have a combination of a rich green color AND transparency that approaches glass.  Even a small piece of jadeite with those 2 characteristics is worth enough to trade for a high complication VC  My 2 favorite pieces are: This traditional Chinese "Ban Zhi", or thumb ring, which has good, green, color, but not transparency (the black sections are undesirable impurities, but I like the look): and this dragon pendant, that has good transparency, but no color: I also like to collect a form of amber called "Si La" in Chinese.  This is a form of amber that takes on different colors, textures, appearances depending on the minerals that have been mixed with amber over more than 10,000 years.  Si La mostly comes from Africa and the Middle East.  In Chinese there is a saying "1,000 years to make amber; 10,000 years to make Si La".  My favorite piece is this one, red with streaks of yellow and gold speckles. The yellow streaks and gold speckles of this braceley actually recede if it is not worn, in contact with a person's skin and oils.  But if you wear it more often, the streaks and speckles come back!  Just like watches, there are many fakes - so there are Certificates of Authenticity that are available for Jadeite and Si La.  Before such certificates and scientific verification processes, a traditional method of determining authentic Si La was to burn it.  You can notice 3 small, dark, circles burned into two of the spheres located in the picture above.  Si La will not give off smoke or an odor when burned - so that was an ancient way of testing.  I don't know the history of the bracelet above, so I don't know who or when testing was performed on this piece. And just in case anybody was wondering - the 7 precious materials in traditional buddhist society are: Jade, Amber, Gold, Silver, Coral, Crystal (the natural type), and Agate BR, Dan
Sorry, that should have been Jadeite and Amber...
04/26/2010 - 11:24
Honeystone is a form of amber, from what I've been told.  BR, Dan
Doesn't matter amber or what,
04/26/2010 - 19:21
they are just beautiful, and good taste is what matters! I have an old Märklin train set down in some boxes in my basement, whith station house and other funny things, but your train looks bigger in size. What scale is it compared to the old Märklin from the 50s? This is The World War II by WSC, all in first edition. The first volume is from 1948. The following books were written and printed up to 1954. Doc
Trains and books
04/26/2010 - 21:55
Doc, Your Marklin set was the innovator in 3-rail alternating current electric trains with a scale of 1:43.  The Lionel collection I have is "O" guage or 1:48 - - but there was no holding to that scale in the 50's.  Some box cars are almost as big at the mighty smoke-belching steam engine that pull them.  Thanks for the comment.  Your Churchill collection is magnificent. Robert
Interesting post Dan - nice collection you have there!
04/27/2010 - 03:23
Your Ban Zhi does look pretty amazing! Thanks for sharing Francois
1. Look at the Gutenberg Project. 2. Violin family instruments
04/26/2010 - 20:14
That looks like quite a collection, Doc! 1. I also collect Wodehouse and believe I own every novel he has written. It's hard to be certain, though, as some of them were published under different names in different markets. In that connection, allow me to offer you two things: a. If you would like my lists of Wodehouse books cross-referenced by duplicate titles, just let me know. b. I would suggest that you check the Gutenberg Project (www.gutenberg.org) for books you don't own. They can be downloaded and printed. That is how I got many of the obscure books I could not fnid any other way. Be forewarned: the most obscure (and therefore in many cases the most expensive) books are rare because they did not receive many printings. They did not receive many printings because they are Wodehouse's weakest works. 2. In response to your question, my primary collecting interest (even ahead of watches) is violin family instruments. Everyone in my family plays them. I also enjoy lending them to deserving players who cannot afford good equipment of their own.
I sent you a private mail!
04/27/2010 - 01:20
Nice collection Doc...
04/26/2010 - 20:30

Hi Doc, I have been collecting model high performance cars for some time now. Mostly Ferraris, Porsche, and Lamborghinis. Basically, I collect the models because I cannot collect the real cars :(   Sorry that I do not have any photos to share, very interesting and fun post though.  I have a question for you because I am a fan of GP as well. When you said that GP is a brand that goes by the heart and not just for the money unlike other watch brands, what did you mean? How does GP go for the heart while others do not?

Best regards,


First Mike, like always, you can't answer
04/27/2010 - 01:57
logical about things like these, that we are talking about on this thread. You just must go by heart. GP has been a company that been fore - runner in many areas. Very early in the automatic movements, like in this, one of the first around 1950. it's not a beauty but is working pergect and I never service it.... They have been creating very fine movements that's been hiding inside Vacheron Constantin,  par example, in the first versions of Overseas were there GP movements and also in several other VC's, and other brands as well. They also is THE company behind the Tourbillon. I mean that I'm not a fan of tourbillons, but the 'three bridges tourbillon', is just something out of this world. Especially the first few pocket watches that were made in the end of 1800 ! This watch is 1 of 125 in white gold. 250 were made in yellow gold. Girard-Perregaux 375 mm. Together 375 pieces, that all were sold at one night on a luxury Hotel in New York 2003. Why 375? Because the boss himself, Mr Macaluso, an architect by education (!), got the idea to design himself a monopusher! All experts in the company said it was mad. It would only be money thrown away! Good that Mr Macaluso owns the company today He persisted and let Journe built a monopusher movement and made this watch as a tribute to a special car. Ferarri 375 mm, of which only one (!) was made of, to my country - woman, Ingrid Bergman, in 1954. The car was painted in a special metallic colour, "Ingrid Grey", which you still can order for your next Ferrari. It had that time's F1 engine and was the first car with hidden headlights! The same colour is of course on the dial of this watch. That's just one watch that makes GP very special, that I happen to have And it doesn't hurt that VC and GP has been working close for a long time Cheers Doc
Great GP post Doc...
04/27/2010 - 18:30
Doc, I too am a big fan of GP for their great history, innovation, and high level manufacturing capabilities. The 3 gold bridges tourbillon is a work of mechanical art itself. I also like the fact that they have had a good relationship with VC through the years and supplied them with movements.  You have a great collection of GP's on top of your great VC collection. Also, thanks for including a photo of the the Ferrari 375 MM! What an incredible car!  Just curious Doc. I think I know what your favorite VC is, but what is your favorite GP? Best regards, Mike
Favourite VC and GP. Warning many pics.
04/28/2010 - 00:44
Probably a lot of you don't realise how small the surprise watch is: 38x31x7 mm ! Quite a big watch: 48x31x12,5 mm, Cal. 10 1/2’’’ 101-2 GP EO3CO, rhodium-plated, "fausses côtes" decoration, 21 jewels, straight-line lever escapement, monometallic balance adjusted to 5 positions, shock absorber, self-compensating flat balance spring. Made by Journe. These two are my Vacheron&Constantin and Girard-Perregaux favourites. The Verger Frères Vacheron&Constantin, sold by the jeweller Marchak 1928, is unique, and so much Art Deco as I can dream of. The Girard-Perregaux 375 mm, is one of 125 pieces, in white gold, deployant in white gold and a monopusher,  and a movement by Journe, before he became a big boy, is also rather unique. In both case I like the design, the first because it's Art Deco as finest and in the second case, because it's so amazing to create a monopusher in Art Deco design 2003. That's why they are my favourites Cheers Doc
Fantastic Doc, these are two horological treasures!
04/28/2010 - 02:03
Enjoy them for many years in great health! P.S. I would love to see GP use this beautiful Journe column wheel chrono again someday. Best regards, Mike
Journe or THA? I believe the movement was developped by THA which was
04/28/2010 - 11:27

the movement conceptor created by wonderboys: Journe, Halter and Flageolet. Similar movement used in the Cartier Tank and Tortue monopushers

Thanks for the information Alex! (nt)
04/28/2010 - 19:05
Alex, how is your memoty?
04/28/2010 - 19:54
Remember this in an article by you, Alex, at ThePuristS  ? I cut from it: "TP: Is that when you decided to create your own brand? FP Journe: As I said before, I don't like working twice on the same project, but I had all this research material gathered through the years and I said to myself why not work for the industry, so in 1989 with other partners we set up a movement conception company (THA). I proposed the Sympathique to Breguet but this time with a wrist watch, it was in fact the Tourbillon Souverain, but they preferred a piece from their collection (which is understandable). However, in 1991 I made the Tourbillon anyway and presented it at the AHCI booth in Basel. I must admit that it was not a success. I guess it was too soon, the market was not ready. The only person who had understood my work was Mr. Blumlein, he had told me about his interest at the Basel show and he had proposed to buy the Tourbillon Souverain for IWCs 125th anniversary, he wanted to make 125 pieces but finally due to the cost of such piece he abandoned the idea. I had made 3 pieces, one that I was wearing and 2 others for collectors. At the time everything was made of gold both the movement and the case.TP: Apart from the Sympathique what else did you make during your stay at THA? FP Journe: We did many things for many different clients ( note: a wink and a smile, but I could not get any more information on this). I finally left in 1994 and was wondering what I could do. I still wore my tourbillon and I saw that people were more and more interested in it. I told myself that it was time to design a complete line. One day while having lunch with some friends, I announced that I wanted to start my own brand, and on the table cloth of the pizzeria I drew 4 models: the Octa annual calendar, the Octa Chronograph, the Octa power reserve but I don't remember the 4th one. One of my friends there told me to date and sign the paper, he now has it framed and on his wall!"  The whole article is by you and it is, as usual, already 7 years ago, man, how times rush, exceptionelly good and interesting.  I remeber how proud you were and it was from you I first heard about this mystique Journe,  as well as it was from me you heard about a Herr Vyskocil!http://www.thepurists.com/watch/features/interviews/journejan03/index.htm I know that Journe created this movement. Who else could do it today? Not totally senile yet Doc
7 years for the net is like the Stone Age :-) good memory my
04/29/2010 - 11:17
dear Doc
Good memory for good articles :-) nt
04/30/2010 - 02:25
gorgeous both of them, very contemporary designs, funny that the VC
04/28/2010 - 11:22
is all in angles and the GP in curves
Great post Doc!
04/27/2010 - 03:39
I'm sure you'll enjoy creating this new collection... It is really interesting to see what other items my fellow Loungers like to collect. I adore watches, but I do not consider myself to be a collector yet - I am more an enthusiast. Once I get a few more VCs, then I’ll be able to say that I’ve got a collection. I like collecting things that are dear to my heart, that bring back found memories/emotions. And so there are 2 types of items that I like to collect:  1) Star Wars memorabilia – those movies had a profound impact on my childhood (in a good way, I believe. At the age of 5 I fell in love with Princess Leia…) And so I’ve been happily buying as much “Star Wars crap” (to use my wife’s words) as I could in these last few years…  2) Sport memorabilia: I’m a big fan of the NFL and NHL, and so I’ve been collecting some sports memorabilia these last few years as well. I like “game worn” jerseys, and I have been able to get my hands on most of my childhood dreams. Luckily for me, my favorite players will not go down in history as the most popular/ greatest player of all time (Dave Krieg for the NFL, Oleg Petrov for the NHL), so the prices are affordable… The only thing missing from my collection is a Super Bowl ring (Miki, you know you what I’m talking about). My wife prefers this collection to the Star Wars one as the shirts go in a box on the top shelf of the wardrobe and are not on display.  Cheers,  Francois
Francois my friend,
04/27/2010 - 14:43

thanks for your too kind words! You must not forget that you are a great collector of fractures too I have only a small collection, a small fracture at the head, which you all guessed,  an underarm fracture and a knee fracture. That's nothing compared to yours Funny about Star Wars, I don't know more than it was a TV serie (?) when you were young, I never watched it. Our summer neighbours have a Dalmatian bitch, which my black boys  appreciate very much , and she is named Leya! I wondered why her name was Leya and was told...about Star Wars for the first time, about 5 years ago They owners are in the beginning of their 30s and it seems that's your generations great TV impression! Take care and keep your fracture collecting limited! Doc

Yup, trying to keep the fractures collection small!
04/27/2010 - 15:03
Thanks Doc for your post