A few weeks ago we published the first part of my personal story with A. Lange & Söhne. To me, this brand has played an important role in the past one-and-a-half decade of watch collecting, learning about mechanical watches and making Monochrome into what it is today. After that memorable weekend back in 2007, there was another memorable weekend. Another weekend that was important for me, and for Monochrome, and again the Lange 1 Timezone had a prominent role.
That second memorable weekend was only a few years ago, in 2013, when I was invited to spent a few days with A. Lange & Söhne at Lake Como, in Northern Italy. I had just quit my job as policy advisor of the Minister of Transport, to start doing Monochrome full-time – until than I (somehow) managed to run Monochrome in my spare time, during evenings, weekends, and holidays. That was a big step for me, and for the website! It was in May and the weather was so-so, a bit of rain, some cold winds, and when the sun broke through the clouds it warmed up nicely. Nothing unusual for that time of the year, around the North Italian lakes. But there was something highly unusual going on at the shores of Lake Como. The gardens around hotel Villa d’Este -a magnificent hotel located at the shores of the lake, originally build, in 1568, as the summer residence of Cardinal Gallio, and transformed into a luxury hotel in 1873- gave stage to one of the most spectacular car shows in the world: Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. Today’s story sprouts from that very weekend at the shores of lake Como. Although the setting is different, it’s again replete with extraordinary cars. The setting for this story is the Louman Museum in my hometown, The Hague, Netherlands.
The Louman Museum is home to the world’s oldest private collection, and one of the finest car museums in the world. You will find the entire history of historic cars, coaches and motorcycles, and it will show you the story of the first motorised carriages to what we would call the first automobiles, and there are many important historical cars. Here you can find the largest collection of Spyker cars (a Dutch car brand, that was later revived as Spyker Cars) and one of them was the world’s first automobile to be equipped with a six-cylinder engine, the first petrol-driven car with four-wheel drive and the first car with a braking system connected to all four wheels. This Spyker 60-HP is clearly one of the most significant cars in motoring history.
Again a setting of magnificent old and historic cars, and of course the A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Timezone. When you wonder why this particular watch had such prominent role during the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, it is because the owners of the ‘Best of Show’ automobile wins a Lange 1 Timezone, with the year and Concours engraved in the case back. I borrowed a Lange 1 Timezone for this photo shoot, and the watch, and these splendid vehicles, sure brought back memories of a great weekend!
It was one of those “work-related weekends” that doesn’t feel like work at all. It’s these kind of weekends that are good for thinking (rethinking) and talking about pretty much everything, not only watches and cars. Having just decided to go full time with Monochrome, it was good to be among old and new friends, to enjoy the view of beautiful timepieces and cars, and to discuss the industry from every possible angle. Including the online journalistic angle! For instance, what do people look for online, when searching for information about watches, and what actually defines Monochrome? Rather crucial question for me and for Mono. The results of these discussions, and time to overthink it all, have had great results. In these past few years Monochrome has grown to be among the world’s best read blogs about (high-end) watches!
In my “Monochrome life” there have been some crucial moments, and on these crucial moment there was always ‘an important watch’. Hey, I’m a watch guy, so that happens. Some of the watches that have been, or still are, very important to me featured in The Collector’s Series. These are for instance my Sarpaneva Korona K1, my Speake-Marin Piccadilly and my Hautlence HL Ti. I think most “watch folks” have important watches that are somehow connected to important life-events.
Let’s enjoy some more photos of one of the best, and most beautiful, traveler’s watches on the market!