What it's Worth
Jeffrey Hess knew he was onto something last month when a "picker" - a sort of scout for antiques dealers - called to report he had found a fountain pen with snakes on it. "He (the picker) had found it in Orlando," Hess said. "I told him, `You offer him $12,500, and I'll give you a $2,000 finder's fee.' "
Sotheby's is building a network of dealers for its Internet auctions that will include Hess Fine Art on Fourth Street. Hess Fine Art on Fourth Street is a charter member of a dealer network that Sotheby's, the world-renowned auction house, is building for its Internet auctions.
In the current world of horology - or rather what passes for horology in this modern day world of what is more often closer to branding than science - Mr. Kiu Tai Yu stands out in a most unusual fashion....
Michael Harer has a vision. His brand, J. Chevalier, has been around for over 20 years and started, as many watch companies before his, by producing watches for "everyman."
All men have a bit of "Explorer" in them. I guess that is why, in a modern world, a man feels so comfortable wearing a Rolex! But why does the "Explorer" retain its popularity even now as we enter the 6th decade of its existence?
As a watch collector, I am always on the lookout for small watch brands that have an unusual look, a feel that is substantial and a bit of flair for the dramatic. As a small retailer - always looking to improve my watch lines - I look for up-and-coming brands that produce watches that are very saleable and that in telling their story actually help me to sell that brand.
It seems as if just about every watch company in the world wants to stake a bit of claim for the invention of the automatic wristwatch. The reason they all want to do so is quite simple. Our grandfathers (and for many of us baby boomers, our fathers) had little or no access to automatic wristwatches.
When Webb C. Ball was summoned to testify about the timekeeping discrepancies that led to the great Kipton, Ohio train wreck, in 1891, he could not have fathomed in his wildest dreams that he would go down in history as the driving force behind standardizing the watch industry worldwide, nor that his dream would live 115 years later.
Blancpain is one of those companies that, as many of the finer Swiss watch Companies oft-times do, presents its watches in the most conservative of fashion. The company has been around in some form or another since its founding in 1735 by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain, and is steeped in a tradition that somehow gives it the ability to make "conservatism" hip.
Rarely do I get a chance to provide such a quick follow-up to a story about a watch company. But the reaction from many of you (the phone calls, emails and letters) about our story on the resurgence of the BALL WATCH COMPANY two issues ago (Volume 7, Issue 6, Nov./Dec. 2004) has been so great that a follow-up became necessary.