Watch Hunting: A Perpetual Quest

Earlier this week I polled on Instagram about what should be the next blog post and, by a very short margin, “Thoughts on watch hunting (why it never stops)” emerged as the winner. So here we go.

The intense sensations in watch hunting go beyond any particular watch. That’s why you see Patek and Rolex owners hunting for a great Seiko deal online, or people like me who severely dislike owning too many watches at a time remain on the constant lookout, even if a new acquisition means letting go of a previous one. Like many things in life, it’s about the journey.

My Journey Writing a Novel About Watch Collecting

Earlier this year, I published an ebook about watch collecting (paper version coming in a few months). While watch-related books are not uncommon, the particularity here is that it’s fiction. The novel is about a watch collector, Herbert, who finds his grail watch and needs to sacrifice his entire collection if he wants a chance to acquire it.

Alfio Pennisi, Luxury Watch Retail Made in Bienne

When walking in front of Jacques Tissot, on Bienne’s pedestrian Rue de Nidau, you could think for a moment you are strolling down the Champs-Elysées or 5th Avenue. The store front is always immaculate, with a fresh composition every few weeks showcasing the boutique’s latest watches and jewellery offerings.

This year will mark the 10th anniversary since Alfio Pennisi became the owner, taking over from the boutique’s eponymous founder. Pennisi is a well-known figure in Bienne, involved in and supporting many local organizations, and, when he is not behind the counter or in his office upstairs where we are sitting for this interview, often seen at the Tissot Arena supporting EHC Bienne, the city’s high performing hockey team.

As a Response to the MoonSwatch, Rolex and Tudor Plan the “Bay-King”

Almost exactly one year ago, Swatch and Omega, both owned by Bienne-based Swatch Group, took the industry by storm with the launch of the MoonSwatch: a variant of the Omega Speedmaster made by Swatch with a quartz movement in a bioceramic case. We all know what happened next, from the insane waiting lines to Groundhog Day-esque store visits over the weeks and months by hopefuls trying to get their hands on their favorite pick among the 11 models. 

3 Reasons Why Bienne is the Capital of Swiss Watchmaking

Being the capital of Swiss watchmaking is a title that a few cities can legitimately claim. Geneva, of course, including its suburb Plan-les-Ouates, is home to Rolex and Patek Philippe, the hard-to-dispute champions in their respective categories. It is also where the main industry get-togethers are held, Watches & Wonders and Geneva Watch Days, especially now that Baselworld is out of the picture. More generally, it is the front window, between the boutiques and brand signage above the lake, for Swiss watch companies to the world via one of its most cosmopolitan cities.

Charles-Louis Muri, 40 Years Selling Watches, from Bienne to the World

25 years ago today, Charles-Louis Muri opened his magnificent vintage watch and clock boutique, in the Bienne Old Town. 15 years before that, he had started his trade on the same street, Rue Basse, just a few meters away. Even if Mr Muri often regrets not having as much to offer than two decades ago, there are always great finds, very reasonably priced, behind his door. Over the past few years, an Omega split seconds pocket chronograph, a 1960s Tudor Ranger, several Vulcain Cricket alarm watches and even a rare book are among the purchases that friends or myself have made here

Celebrating 40 Years of Swatch with the Author of “Stay Tuned To Swatch”

As Swatch’s 40th birthday was approaching, I started to think of what to do on this blog. I knew I had to do something. I almost felt pressured to, with people asking me what I was planning. Of course, I didn’t mind, on the contrary, I was looking forward to it. But also, I was a bit nervous: what could I offer that brings any value, any extra insight, considering not only all the literature that exists but the large coverage we can expect from watch and even mainstream media on the special day?

A Week in the Pocket with the New Hamilton Railroad Watch

I usually don’t write watch reviews on this blog for a number of reasons. The main one is that Made in Bienne is first and foremost about what’s “behind the watch”: the people, the places, the history. Today though, I’m making an exception. As somewhat of a tribute to Hodinkee’s acclaimed A Week on the Wrist series, I’ll tell you what it’s been like spending a week with the Hamilton Railroad Pocket Watch in the pocket.

JFK’s Inauguration Watch at the Omega Museum

When writing a new blog post, I always try to look for a catchy title. Not clickbait, of course, but something that briefly summarizes why, in my humble opinion, it’s worth taking a few minutes to read it. That usually implies correlating the object or person being discussed with a broader inspirational or aspirational theme.