short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

From Dec 7-9 was held in Paris the biggest watch show in Europe, throw in a dash of SIHH for the luxurious atmosphere and the fact that all exhibitors had the same booths as not to rival in artcitectural extravaganza (a la Basel fair), add in some Basel buzz and variety of exhibitors (including many independent watch makers) as well as some educational material (horological library, watch appraisal by Christie's, a chronograph exhibition...) place the whole in one of the most prestegious and histolical locations in the world: the Louvre and you have a winner!

One very good idea was to enable visitors to sit down and discuss the watches with each brand but most of all have the watches taken from their display and touch and feel them.

On the way:

(click on scans for a bigger view)

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

My first stop was of course to go see Vacheron Constantin and to make sure they were talking alot about The Hour Lounge to the visitors short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

the gentleman in glasses is Jean-Yves DiMartino head of VC for France and Belgium

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

Happy to be here!!

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

Josephine Dauriac, responsible for marketing (French and belgian markets) taking the new Patrimony Traditionnelle perpetual calendar skeleton to show it to an interested visitor.

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

yup the Hour Lounge was also there!

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

Our next visit was to the retrospective of the evolution of the chronograph. Two amazing vintage pieces were lent by Vacheron Constantin.

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

monopusher from circa 1925

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

cushion shapped monopusher from early 30s

Other watch related artisans were also exhibiting, one of them being watch box and winder manufacturer Eli Bleu (specialised originally in humidors) who make some very attractive objects

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

One of the strong attractions of the fair were the independents and for those who have been on the Lounge long enough know that I have a soft spot for them

Philippe Dufour

Does he still need an introduction? Of course not. Philippe even though has no watches to sell was still exhibiting as to participate in the broadening of the public's knowledge on these little known artisans.

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

Jérôme "Mercator" in deep conversation with Dufour

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

a seldom seen version of the Simplicity: brushed platinum with slate grey dial: very stealth!

Urwerk

Felix baumgartner the master watchmaker behind the brand started his career with Vacheron Consatntin. I loved their display case!

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

Ur 201 in black coated platinum

McGonigle

their first model is a gorgeous tourbillon with a very modern and strong look

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

Romain Gaultier

Dufour's protegé, a very classical timepiece filled with subtle details and awsom finish The rose gold model is for a Lounger and will be sent to him shortly short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

Hautelance

HLs, jumping hours with retrograde minutes in a funky case shape

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

Vianney Halter

His watches would not seem out of place in Captain Nemo's Nautilus The man who first mixed design and horology Gorgeous!!

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

Janvier Equation of Time

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

Trio

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

It was a fantastic show and definately worth the trip for those who are not far from Paris because it definately is the occasion to see watches/brands which you do not often see And before leaving the now classical wrist shot:

short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition

from left to right: Patek 3940, Dufour Simplicity, Lange 1815 chrono, Patel Aquanaut, Vacheron Patrimony

12/09/2007 - 12:53
12/15/2007 - 20:26
12/09/2007 - 14:37
12/09/2007 - 16:13
12/09/2007 - 15:28
LN
12/09/2007 - 17:55
12/09/2007 - 19:15
12/09/2007 - 19:22
12/09/2007 - 20:41
12/09/2007 - 21:14
12/09/2007 - 21:45
12/10/2007 - 23:06
LN
12/11/2007 - 00:03
Wish I could've been there...
12/09/2007 - 12:40

...very nice pictures, Alex - thank you! So VC didnt have any Overseas with leatherstrap at the exihibition....hmm...I assue they are still trying it on the non-European market then.

It would have been great to see Mr Dufor himself as well with his amazing watches...I think the Duality is one of the most beautiful watches I have ever seen...even more simple than Simplicity - in design at least...need to find out more about his protegé Romain Gaultier...

Again, Great pix!

Thanks

-X

check out this
12/09/2007 - 12:53

excellent web site www.tempered-online.com to learn about Gaultier and other independents.

Yes, please do...
12/15/2007 - 20:26

Hi Alex,

Thank you for the kind plug!  I would like to shamelessly invite you all to vist "tempered" www.tempered-online.com.

Super report!

Cheers,

Curtis

Excellent pictures of the show. My favorites ar
12/09/2007 - 13:36

the two early mono pusher Vacheron chronograph, especially the round one.

Thanks Alex

A very good report, Alex!
12/09/2007 - 14:37

I enjoyed a lot being there, meeting other Loungers, and also having a nice approach to the Independents.

They are really doing a great job, and I must say you convinced me for Urwerk, and also after discussing with Felix.

As you said Alex, I think this show was a success partly because all the booths got the same size, which allowed everybody to be attracted by.

Concerning VC, I discussed with Jean Yves and I took the opportunity to look at the QP chronograph, and even tried it on!

I understand why you are in a hurry to have it, Veillotron. Very good choice.

Cheers, Patrice

cheers Patrice!
12/09/2007 - 16:13

you are correct, I am dying to have it on my wrist... Thankfully I will only have to wait until Feb before it is ready

Urwerk deserves a very big attention
12/09/2007 - 17:52

Salut Patrice!

This was a great event
12/09/2007 - 15:28

Always nice to meet the VC team and the independants.

Re: short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition
12/09/2007 - 15:46

Thanks Alex for sharing your visit.

It looks like it was a great show.

So much to see!!

Regards,

Joseph

Thanks Alex, I knew you wouldnt let me down!
12/09/2007 - 16:12

Another event I wish I would have been able to attend…

I am not too sad about missing out on the opportunity to try every single VC – I will have the chance to do so in Geneva next February.

However, I wish I could have finally met with some of the Loungers. What also makes me really sad that I missed the event is the lost chance to see all the pieces of the “independents” and being able to talk to the Creators themselves… I would have like to see “in the flesh” a Dufour and a McGonigle (I am in love with the engraving they have in the back of their watches). Was Roger Smith and Jean Daniel Nicolas also present? The round Two-Minute Tourbillon of the latter is to die for, and I envy the Lounger who’s got one on order… By the way, thanks especially for the two shots of the QP Excellence Platine! Thank you also for introducing me to Elie Bleu, their boxes look impressive. Is the “Pirate Treasure” box also from them? I have gone on their website, but I can’t seem to find it

Roger Smith and Daniel Roth (the man) were not exhibiting but they
12/09/2007 - 16:42

don't exhibit in Basel either. Maybe next year, because I can tell you that the brands not exhibiting this year will definately regret it!

Yes Eli Bleu also makes the "Pirate" watch storage watch which was very very cool

Thanks! (nt)
12/09/2007 - 17:27

.

Thanks for the invitation Alex
12/09/2007 - 17:55

.

Re: Hi Guys,
12/09/2007 - 19:15

Unfortunaly i couldn't make it, but i thought it would be great, maybe next time, was this a one time event, or it will be every year Alex? You where discusing the watch of JDN ( DR the man) I had a change last year in Basel to see the round one, and have to say, it's something very special, and very beautiful, he sure know how to do that, even when we don't hear a lot about him, there outstanding.

Cheers,

Michel

normally it should be a yearly event if the organisers and brands are
12/09/2007 - 22:26

happy with the results

Thanks for the report!
12/09/2007 - 19:22

Alex,

I wish I could nave been there and seen the watches and met the independants and a few Loungers!  Thanks for the the photos and the information.  Does the QP Chrono Platinum still impress you as before?  Did you get a chance to try it on and if so how did it feel on your wrist?

Did you get a chance to handle the Gauthier?  What were your impressions?  How does the protege stack up to his teacher?

Thanks again for the wonderful report.  One of the great aspects of the Lounge is that we get to live vicariously through those of you that get to attend such spectacular events!

yes I tried the platinum chrono QP and I'm still as much in love as
12/09/2007 - 22:24

when I first saw it 7-8 months ago.

Gaultier's watches are fascinating because he has an extremely modern movement construction and the finish is top notch

Re: Thanks for the report!
12/10/2007 - 02:02

Hi Jim,

I met Romain Gauthier in the spring on the TimeZone tour. He has an atelier which I believe is in Le Sentier. He is a very modest but very knowledgeable person. His designs are fascinating and the workmanship is as Alex says top notch.

He had some of his watches on display and some in pieces so you could see the individual parts.

I'm sorry now I didn't order one. They really are a work of art.

I heard somewhere that he is designing a tourbillon but I don't know if that's true.

Joseph

Re: Re: Thanks for the report!
12/11/2007 - 06:32

Joseph, Thanks for the post regarding Gauthier.  I too think he is a fantastic maker.  I look forward to seeing how he is accepted as an indendent and where his work leds him!

Jim

what I really liked about him was not only
12/11/2007 - 09:41

his watches but his conception of what he wants to do. I asked him if his movement would be used as a base for his future pieces and he said no as not to devaluate it by adding extra complications and/or functions. This movement will remain unique! 

Thanks Alex, great report and very nice to be>>>
12/09/2007 - 20:20
transported back to Paris. Looks like it was very fun too. Tim
Eli Bleu
12/09/2007 - 20:41

Alex,

Do you know where to get more information on the Eli Bleu case and winders?  Do you know any distributors?  Their website is not very informative, especially if you do not speak Fench!

Kind Regards,

Jim

Re: Eli Bleu
12/09/2007 - 21:56

The best thing to do is to contact them I think:

Elie Bleu

Mail : elie.bleuwanadoo.fr    (replace the by @ )

Phone: 0033147421221

Hope that help.

Re: Re: Eli Bleu
12/10/2007 - 01:07

I will try that. Thanks Fred.

Jim

let me know if I can be of help, their store is
12/10/2007 - 18:13

about 10 min walking distance from my office

can you get a discount? ;-)
12/10/2007 - 20:22

I called them, and their boxes are not cheap.

They are so beautiful, though, I might have to have one (the Pirates one, of course! )

I've never bought from them but hey why not ask them for one? :-)
12/10/2007 - 20:36

.

Re: let me know if I can be of help, their store is
12/11/2007 - 06:36

Alex, 

I requested a catalog and US dealer information.  If they do not respond, may I ask you for assistance?

Kind Regards,

Jim

of course Jim (n()
12/11/2007 - 09:09

e

Superb report !
12/09/2007 - 21:14

Thanks a lot Alex, it was a great event !

Thanks Alex...
12/09/2007 - 21:45

It was a really great fair!! Many meetings, discussions with watchmakers...I was really astonished by their opening!!

And finally, I could meet again really funny and nice Lougners: Alex, Ling and Patrice!!

Thanks again for the invitation Alex!

Re: Thanks Alex...
12/10/2007 - 23:06

Merci Fred.

I was also happy to meet and discuss with you, and also Lin and Berny, and some others.

Very nice place to meet!

See you soon

Patrice

I'm deeply disappointed on you Alex !
12/09/2007 - 23:32

I thought you were my closest friend.....

and you let the monopushers stay there.

I would have expected a X-mas gift from you,

and one of those would have been very nice.

Compared to the others,

you see that,how beautiful they are,

they are playing in amateur series

It were the only pics I tried to magnify.

Oh, my God.

Just bought a watch from the beginning of the 1700's,

and I will show you EVERY master/workers name,

down to the springs, when I get it 

That's something !

Oh, I just love those monopushers,

and Alex, you know how near I was fooled...

Thanks for sharing the pics,

now I'll can start working again tomorrow

Once again, Alex, thanks for the pics,

and article!

BTW why doesn't such events happens when Doc is in Paris ??

Next time ,

grab one for me

 Doc

Great stuff, Alex! I have a suggestion to make...
12/10/2007 - 11:45

Can you put up a calendar of signifcant watch shows and events taking place all over the world (Europe) on our forum?

I believe that if we are aware of some exhibits and fairs beforehand we could plan our schedules accordingly and some of us could actually meet up at those events (i.e. vintage Watches fairs and so on...). We could also update this calendar with our own local events and meetings... What do you say? Worth a shot?

Hi Radek, it is a good idea but I can try to put up dates for
12/10/2007 - 13:26

shows where VC is exhibiting but not general watch shows

The big problem for me is actually getting all the dates.

BTW the Paris watch show was announced some time ago and invitations given to Loungers who had made the request.

let's try and do it...
12/10/2007 - 16:44

you will share all the VC events dates and everyone else can pitch in and throw in their local event's schedules. This way we could build a platform of information on different watch happenings...  just an idea...

for me, this forum is the only one I actually manage time for, so I do not gather any other information from anywhere else... what a poor guy am I...

Re: short write up on Belles Montres: the Paris watch exhibition
12/10/2007 - 21:31

dear Alex,

thank you so much for your wonderful article and pictures as well as the entrances to this very nice show !

I nearly came back with 2x womens watches from the charity lottery as I bought a nr 106 but only 107 & 108 got a winner ! Its was for a great charity anyway.

It was great seeing you, Anka, Alberto, the VC team (especially Jean-Yves) and the independant watchmakers (I enjoyed meeting the McGonigle bros !)

kind regards,

Berny

When did you arrived?
12/11/2007 - 00:03

.