In the first of a planned series of posts I am looking at answering the question that every WIS wants to know - if I am planning a trip, what watches can I see and where.
Other contributions will be welcome too, and we plan to do one for each region of the UK too to reflect the member numbers. We want to keep the same format for the title to make it easy to sort alphabetically.
So, here is my first day in Reykjavik. If anyone else has more info for this country then you can add it to this thread, therefore we hope to build a useful database for years to come.
Reykjavik is rubbish for vintage watches! No shops, nothing but ladies fashion quartz watches in the charity shops, and the flea market is only open on weekends - I return on Friday so can't review this.
New watches. I want to avoid these threads becoming lists of AD's. But if anything is exceptional then it makes the cut. I first saw this
That's about £12k. One of nine ever made, and I'll be surprised if they sold any. But they are not my favourite brand, as I always associate them with Robson and Jerome
But across the same road, in Laugavegur shopping district, I spotted this sign
and I recalled an article on Hodinkee about them
The window display looked good
And inside was Gilbert O. Gudjonsson, owner of one of the smallest brands in the world with an A list client list. Photos inside show various people (royalty, actors, the Dali Lama FFS!) wearing his watches. And he was a really nice guy. He told me he had been repairing watches for 50 years and 6 days, to be precise (with a knowing look at his watch as if to qualify the stat). Despite all this experience he had never seen the AS movement in my automatic alarm watch, and the WIS side of him had to take the back off and see how it worked. But back to his watches
His main line is the 101, and in total he has made 4,500 watches over 12 years. The cost was ISK 256,000, or £2,099 in GBP. For that you got a decorated automatic COSC movement (Soprad after ETA made life difficult by being dicks), sapphire crystal front and rear and hand made ostrich or similar strap (including chicken feet leather! I thought he was winding me up). When you compare to the big Swiss companies at this price level these win hands down - quality finish and exclusivity is rare at this price point. My favourite was
It took a lot of willpower to walk out without this
If you are in Reykjavik then do pop in. Lovely guy, lovely watches
PS when I mentioned an A list clientele, I mean it. I saw a photo of Yoko and Sean Lennon on his wall, and mentioned that John Lennon was photographed wearing a Patek Philippe 2499 perpetual calendar chronograph. That combination makes that watch, if it is ever found, potentially the worlds most valuable wristwatch. I told Gilbert that I suspected that Eric Clapton knows the whereabouts of this watch, as he is a big Patek fan. "No, I think Eric Clapton has a contract to wear Rolex" replied Gilbert. "He always wears a Rolex when he visits here!"