The Watch Collectors’ Roundtable Reconvenes at Aaron Faber Gallery for An Evening of Horlogerie Discourse and Fine Whiskey Tasting: Five Esteemed Members of the Watch Industry Examine Marketplace Trends in Watch Collecting, Followed By a Fine Whiskey Tasting from Universal Whisky Experience

    As an increasing number of people continue to rely on their cell phones to tell time, owning a high end wristwatch has become less about timekeeping and more about collecting a sophisticated timepiece that can be passed through generations. On Tuesday, September 9, 2014, Aaron Faber Gallery, 666 Fifth Avenue at West 53rd Street, New York, NY, reconvened their annual Watch Collectors’ Roundtable to explore what makes a good timepiece worthy of future generations, both from an investment perspective as well as long term valuation.

    Moderated by Financial Times jewelry contributor and Forbes.com jewelry and watch correspondent, Anthony DeMarco, watch industry insiders Edward Faber, co-owner of Aaron Faber Gallery and author of  American Wristwatches: Five Decades of Style and Design, Michael Friedman, Historian for Audemars Piguet, Gary Girdvainis, editor of WristWatch magazine and AboutTime magazine, and Jonathan Snellenburg, Ph. D., Director of Watches and Clocks for Bonhams New York weighed in on the marketplace preference for vintage vs. contemporary watches, while debating the mystique of vintage watches against technological innovations in modern fine timepieces.

    The Roundtable was immediately followed by a fine whiskey presentation hosted by Mahesh Patel, founder of the Universal Whisky Experience. Patel shared with guests samples of his finest whiskey as he discussed the practice of whiskey collecting as an investment.

    CORRECTION:

    During the Roundtable, Michael Friedman incorrectly states there were 286 examples of the 1526 made. The correct number is 210.

    ANTHONY DEMARCO
    Roundtable Moderator
    (learn more)

    EDWARD S. FABER
    Aaron Faber Gallery

    (learn more)

    MICHAEL FRIEDMAN
    Audemars Piguet

    (learn more)

    GARY GIRDVAINIS
    Isochron Media

    (learn more)

    For gallery information, please contact Todd Atkinson, Executive Coordinator, Aaron Faber Gallery:  212-586-8411 or EMAIL
    Directions
    www.aaronfaber.com

    666 Fifth Avenue @ West 53rd Street
    New York, NY 10103
    Entrance on West 53rd Street
    Across the street and slightly east of the Museum of Modern Art
    Directly adjacent to the E and M subway station on West 53rd

    For press requests, please contact
    The Lilian Raji Agency: (646) 789-4427 ext 701 or 
    EMAIL

    Roundtable Members

    Edward Faber is the author of American Wristwatches: Five Decades of Style and Design, now in its third printing and the definitive text on collecting American vintage watches. He founded Aaron Faber Gallery in 1974, now at 666 Fifth Avenue in New York City, as a showcase for artist-made jewelry for which the gallery is world-famous.

    He began adding 20th century estate jewelry to complement the contemporary work and then, in 1980, Faber began collecting and presenting vintage watches and timepieces. Now this personal passion has grown into a formidable part of the gallery’s design collection. In the “Best of New York”, New York Magazine noted, “He’s a picky curator with a critical eye, and his shop’s 1000-or-so offerings range from incredible one-of-a-kind pieces to a huge stash of sought-after brands.”

    Edward is a founding member of the International Watch and Jewelry Guild, a member of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors and a member of the American Society of Jewelry Historians and Jewelers of America. He is a frequent lecturer on the history and value of timepieces and jewelry, with appearances on the Today show, as well as numerous cable programs; he has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, numerous watch magazines, the Cigar Aficionado and Departures and recently in blogs relating to the field of watch collecting.

    MICHAEL L. FRIEDMAN
    Historian
    Audemars Piguet

    Michael L. Friedman is an established horological expert, appraiser, curator, lecturer, auctioneer and producer. He is the Historian and Global Brand Ambassador at Audemars Piguet. Friedman’s extensive career in watches and clocks began in 1996 at Willard House & Clock Museum where he served as Assistant Curator and apprenticed to conservator, David Gow. In 1997, he joined The National Watch & Clock Museum as Curator where he co-developed 15,000 square feet of exhibition space devoted to the history of time measurement – from sundials to the atomic clock.

    In 1999, Friedman was named VP & Department Head of Watches for Christie’s in New York. After successfully growing sales and bringing many new collectors to Christie’s, he founded MLF Horology in 2003 which provided consultant and curator services for international collectors and institutions including Sotheby’s in 2011. Friedman joined Antiquorum in January, 2012 as Horological Director of the New York office and led the department with several noteworthy and record breaking sales before leaving April of 2013.

    Friedman lectures on a wide variety of horological subjects, including watch brand histories; explorations of the history of time measurement; market trends & fluctuations; as well as detailed lectures that focus on particular complications, developments and time periods. He was a featured speaker at Watch Week 2012, Watch Week 2013 and TimeCrafters 2014.

    Friedman has also worked on a variety of charity auctions including those benefiting Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Centre (2004) and the Stan Lee Foundation (2010).

    In addition to horology, Michael is the production partner to documentary filmmaker and television director, Bradley Beesley, and together they founded Roadside Media. Friedman’s credits include Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo (HBO), Mr. Hypnotism (SXSW), UnCONventional (Stan Lee’s World of Heroes) and Low Movie: How to Quit Smoking. Michael is also the principal songwriter and performer for the band, Chronoserfs.

    GARY GIRDVAINIS
    Editor & Publisher
    WristWatch Magazine and AboutTime Magazine
    Isochron Media

    Gary Girdvainis entered the watch industry in 1990 through a chance conversation with the owners of PMG Inc (publishers of several exotic automotive themed magazines and hardcover books) about their interests in importing and distributing into the US a new watch magazine. Girdvainis ran with the idea, and soon an independent North American edition known as International Wristwatch USA was born. Under Girdvainis’ leadership, the magazine blossomed from an 80-page bi-monthly to the only monthly watch magazine with page counts upwards of 256 pages per issue. Having cemented its place into the hearts and minds of passionate watch aficionados, the magazine is now known simply as iW.

    Girdvainis’ two decades as Editor-In-Chief of the watch industry’s most revered publication gave him an insider perch to deeply explore the heartbeat of many legendary watch brands. He has firsthand accounts of the meticulous steps brands took to regain respect for mechanical watches in the early 90s after decades of the “Japanese invasion” of quartz watches and has seen (and sometimes predicted) the rise and occasional fall of some of the world’s finest watch companies. Girdvainis has jumped out of planes with Breitling’s Jet Team; held on for dear life on the aft of Corum’s Team Energy catamaran, and raced remote controlled sailboats in Central Park with Baume et Mercier. Through it all, he has gained the respect and admiration of movers and shakers within the watch world, and the loyal following of millions of watch fans.

    In June 2011, Girdvainis left iW to form Isochron Media LLC, a company founded to embrace, enhance, promote and develop watch culture in North America and around the world. Through Isochron Media, Girdvainis publishes and editorially directs both WristWatch Magazine and AboutTime. His early success with these two publications has led to international licenses for both magazines, each scheduled for local market launches in Arabic and Chinese in January 2014. Isochron Media also serves as editorial consultant and advertising placement service provider for Wristwatch Annual. 

    JONATHAN SNELLENBURG, PH. D.
    Director, Watches and Clocks
    Bonhams New York

    Jonathan Snellenburg studied history and geology at Dartmouth College and received a Ph. D. in Geochemistry from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. This led to a post-doctoral fellowship at the American Museum of Natural History, New York and later, a position as staff gemologist for the Gemological Institute of America.

    He then joined Christie’s, New York as head of the Jewelry and Silver Departments at their gallery, Christie’s East. By the time he left Christie’s, as a Senior Vice President and Head of the Watch and Clock Department, he had organized sales in a variety of fields and cataloged numerous items including watches, clocks, jewelry, silver, and scientific instruments.

    For many years, he conducted his own business as dealer, consultant and appraiser, as well as serving as a Vice-President of the National Antique & Art Dealers Association of America. He returned to the salerooms, joining Bonhams New York as Director of Watches and Clocks, in 2009.

    A Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers in London, he is also a member of the Antiquarian Horological Society and the NAWCC.

    Since 1996 Dr. Snellenburg has appeared as an appraiser in the PBS television series “The Antiques Roadshow” and has been a member of the Vetting Committees for both the Winter Antiques Show and the International Fine Art and Antique Dealers Show, held each year at the Park Avenue Armory, New York City.

    Dr. Snellenburg is best known for his expertise in the field of antiquarian horology and has frequently lectured about the influence of science and technology on the European decorative arts from the 16th century to the present. His scholarly contributions include the chapter on 17th and 18th century enamel watches for the Catalogue of European Decorative Arts at the Taft Museum, Cincinnati, and the catalog of Proctor Collection of watches at the Munson Williams Proctor Art Institute, Utica, New York.

    Roundtable Moderator

    ANTHONY DEMARCO
    Jewelry and Watch Correspondent, Forbes.com
    Jewelry Contributor, Financial Times, The Jewellery Editor and JewelryNetAsia

    Jewelry News Network

    Anthony DeMarco is a freelance writer and editor who covers the luxury jewelry and watch industry for several publications, including Forbes.com, the Financial Times Watches & Jewellery special reports, Hong Kong-based JewellreyNetAsia, UK-based The Jewellery Editor website and the Italian jewelry magazine VO+.

    DeMarco’s blog, Jewelry News Network, is a window into the international jewelry and watch industry. Its primary purpose is to show beautiful objects of adornment, whether from internationally renowned luxury jewelry brands or independent jewelry designers and artists. The blog also explains the business behind the beauty by showing the importance of luxury jewelry and watches as an economic engine throughout the world. Readers gain a backstage pass to the glamour, fun and difficulties that are part of the industry.

    Prior to working with jewelry and watches, DeMarco was a senior editor for an interior design and architecture trade magazine, where he received a first-hand education and appreciation of how quality, innovative design can make the world a better place. He began his career as an award-winning newspaper reporter.

    Mahesh Patel was born in Uganda and moved to England with his family at the age of six. He later studied to become a Civil/ Structural Engineer,  and worked for Mott Macdonald, a top consulting engineering company in London. Playing with Lego toys as a child inspired Patel’s lifelong ambition of building big commercial buildings.  His dream was realized twenty years ago when he was hired by an Atlanta-based US commercial real estate company. Since then, he has been involved in the creation of several successful commercial construction, development and management companies, including franchised hotels in the Southeastern United States

    One of Patel’s life passions is whiskey, particularly Scotch and Single malts.  He regularly travels the US and Scotland with a core group of whiskey aficionados who, like him, also enjoy visiting distilleries and searching for new and rare products to taste and purchase. Patel has savored whiskey for well over twenty years and has developed extensive knowledge on the subject, while amassing a large collection of very fine and rare whiskeys. His collection has an extensive range of distilleries, with a focus on rare and unique expressions.  He has a large range of Macallans, Dalmores, Glenfiddich, Springbanks, Ardbegs, Bowmore, Port Ellen, Rare Bourbons, some Irish, Brora, and Highland Park and may others.  His most interesting bottles are old Macallan vintages, the 1926 Macallan Fine and Rare, some very old Port Ellen’s, and Glenfiddich 1937.

    Patel’s passion for whiskey and travel led him on a journey to discover  the finest quality and rarest whiskeys the world has to offers — the ‘SIRIUS’ whiskey company — which he will share with guests of the Aaron Faber Gallery Watch Collectors’ Roundtable.

    Established in 2011, ‘Sirius’ is the pinnacle of one man’s unwavering passion and quest to discover and produce one of the finest and rarest scotch whiskeys the world has ever tasted.

    Friendships / Personality / Charisma – As many a whiskey connoisseur will tell you, it’s not only the craftsmanship that makes a whiskey special – it’s the people you share it with.