Hublot Classic Fusion Racing Grey 45 511.NX.7071.LR
Watchmaking, hobby or passion? Many watch fans extend their love of fine mechanics by choosing accessories to go with their timepieces. Here is a selection to make the pleasure last a little longer... Wearing a watch is great but pairing it with a watch accessory is even better. Classy!
And the most obvious accessory is the strap. The Speedometer Official brand has made a speciality of it, using the graphics of Rolex-type glasses. So we find the famous red & blue Pepsi style but, since then, the brand has developed many other variations, from the most sober (full black) to the sparkling green. Technical and playful!
But in the accessories category, it's not only what you can wear. For example, the winder! This is the little device that is essential for self-winding mechanical watches. From a small cube to a complete wall, it's all about giving your watch a self-winding system that keeps it always running. The main supplier, and also the most accessible, is Swiss Kubik. You can put one, two or even three watches in it. It's small, runs on batteries or mains, and comes in a variety of colours: the ideal accessory for taking care of your first automatic watches, at low cost and great if you want to display your collection of timepieces in your living room (to each his own!).
When it comes to watchmaking care, it would be difficult not to mention Bergeon. And for good reason: the company has been supplying all professional watchmakers since...1791! The brand is still at the forefront of precision tools and has successfully negotiated an (almost) mass-market shift in watch care. It is possible to create a customer account or to purchase certain accessories from authorised retailers. For a simple change of strap or to try to open and understand your first movements (at your own risk), Bergeon is a must.
In a much more playful register, there is a brand that has truly specialised in the production of watch accessories. Its name: TF Est. 1968. TF stands for Tschumi Freddy, the creator of this den for watch geeks. Among his creations is a pen that incorporates part of a real mechanical calibre escapement. And he didn't stop there! He has also developed some very stylish cufflinks that include an authentic miniature oscillating weight, engraved with the brand name, and functional: it rotates with every movement of the wrist. The ultimate accessory for gala outings in a dinner jacket.
Finally, the brand's favourite accessory is the belt buckle with a mechanical rotor that rotates with the movement of the body. Chic and shocking, and perhaps reserved for a clientele with somewhat particular tastes.
Some watch manufacturers have also succumbed and asked Freddy Tschumi to make customised products, such as cufflinks for Louis Moinet. TF is not the only brand to offer these accessories, and very successful cufflinks can be found at Encelade, Uriel Geneqt or Kronokeeper, not to mention the watchmaking houses themselves, such as Montblanc or the latest, Kerbedanz.
Over the years, the strap has gone from being an immovable part of the watch to an accessory that can be changed at will - either by an interchangeable system without tools or by a professional who makes them individually, to measure.
In this respect, Molequin is a rising star in the replacement strap market. Prices are still very affordable, mostly between 100 and 300 euros. Leather dominates, in different variations and finishes, mainly on a pin buckle and with the possibility of stitching of one's choice. Molequin also offers tools to make the changes yourself, as well as a range of flexible travel cases, which can contain from one to eight pieces. So, you can change your look even on holiday!
Still about bracelets, there is the Atelier du Bracelet Genève. Founded in 2016, it focuses on leather and offers a wide variety of tones and textures, to provide a personalised padded bracelet. The two passionate founders, with over 30 years of experience, will always be happy to explain the making of the bracelet, an art that requires over 50 operations! A place for exchange and a great experience to enter the world of leather craftsmanship.
In a completely different category: Roland Iten. This gentleman is not content with reproducing the mechanical details of a watch on a small scale. Each of his creations is a true marvel, for a very discerning public. Roland Iten has truly recreated the belt buckle or the credit card dispenser with an ingenuity and complexity rarely achieved. The aim: to transpose the creativity and good taste of watchmaking into these objects. It is very expensive, very beautiful, very rare: in short, the pinnacle of watchmaking accessories.
Above all, there is Scatola del Tempo. The brand has two advantages. The first is its history. It is located as close as possible to the collectors, who know it - and vice versa. The mechanical creation of the winders is perfectly mastered by Scatola del Tempo, whereas its competitors start from scratch.
The second is its proximity to the brands. Sandro Colarieti, founder of the brand, was himself close to the Stern family, owners of Patek Philippe. In fact, it was the Geneva manufacturer that ordered his first 500 winders, enabling him to get started. Even today, Scatola del Tempo enjoys a unique proximity to most Swiss watchmakers. A very nice accessory, which allows to go up-market for first class watches.
Finally, at the very top, there is Buben & Zorweg. We are talking about watchwinders that are also safes, jewellery boxes and even audio systems. There are a few standard models, but most very large collectors have them custom-made in wood and precious metals. Price limit? There is no price limit. Some Buben & Zorweg are close to a ton, are protected by alarms, GPS trackers, are embedded and invisible in walls. So, it's a (big) accessory for (very) high-level collectors.
Watchmaking is like any good story: there is a beginning, a middle, chapters and characters to know. If you are reading these lines, you are already familiar with the big names in watchmaking. But today, we're taking you to another world: that of the independents. Ready for the big trip?Read more