Out now: Retrograde 2018 luxury watch magazine

Summing up the year of watches gone by.

Retrograde luxury watch magazine, by The Edge Malaysia. 

Note by project editor Petrina Fernandez:

Impenetrable, intimidating, irrelevant — from the outside, the world of watches might not seem particularly friendly. I certainly thought so six years ago when I was thrown into the vortex of unfathomable jargon and dizzying marketing spiels. Every other brand appeared to have some claim to superiority, and who is really special if everyone is the best?

The world of watches reminds me of art appreciation. At first, you feel obliged to nod and murmur how everything you see is lovely, lest you offend someone or appear ignorant. But as you continue to explore, your taste develops and you gain the confidence to express it, even if you initially struggle with articulation.

You might even believe this is the exclusive realm of those with deep pockets. Just like art, a higher price tag does not equate to superiority. Of course, precious materials and handmade elements command higher prices, but an elegant aesthetic and a reliable mechanism are not necessarily expensive. The Casio G-Shock, for one, is a notable addition to the horology books.

I paid a modest three figures for my everyday watch — a London-made piece I bought myself as a graduation gift — but it gets complimented regularly. And I have it on the good authority of a couple of luxury watch brand CEOs that even the affluent pick up very affordable pieces if they are unique or interesting.

A watch can be many things — a functional accessory, a statement, a means of self-expression. We ask industry players why they wear one (That Piece on Your Wrist, Page 12) and, as promoters of timekeeping instruments, what time means to them (Of Meaning & Consequence, Page 26).

After analysing the current state of affairs (A Long Time Coming, Page 16), we round up our favourite models of the year (The Haute List, Page 40) and contest the sovereignty of the Swiss in horology (Beyond Switzerland, Page 114).

We then celebrate a homegrown brand (Taking on the Swiss, Page 90) and discuss investing in this field (Getting into Watches, Page 52). Clocks are often described as works of art and, inversely, there are artworks inspired by them (Face Value, Page 131). Also look out for a fun read about horology in Hollywood (Screen Time, Page 38) — spot your favourite characters sporting iconic pieces.

The retrograde function is a display that jumps back to the beginning after completing its sequence. For instance, a retrograde hour hand would sweep the dial clockwise and upon reaching 11.59, it will instantly reverse, taking the longer route to strike 12. Similarly, as we approach the final quarter of 2018, we hope Retrograde sums up the year of watches gone by before 2019’s preliminaries are announced.

Maybe our take on all things timekeeping will pique your interest or bolster it, or maybe you will flip through these pages and wonder anew at how anyone could dedicate a whole magazine to this madness. We even have a self-deprecating opinion piece about that (The Crazy, Crazy World of Watches, Page 20) written by one of The Edge’s top journalists, Jose Barrock.

But first, do give us a chance to share with you our fascination with this subject. As a team that celebrates the arts, heritage and nifty mechanical magic, we naturally appreciate the union of these in watchmaking. It is a centuries-old, multibillion-dollar industry, one to which artisans and engineers have devoted their lives preserving and advancing. There must be a reason why.



'Retrograde' is complimentary with every copy of The Edge Malaysia (Sept 24).


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