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Stephen Watson

Stephen serves as an authority within the U.S. watch industry. He is currently the editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury’s Watches International following his posts as the editor-in-chief of Revolution USA, Watch Journal, and executive editor of Surface magazine. Stephen is a GPHG Academy member.

Stephen Watson's Articles

Courtesy Assouline

Why Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak Remains One of the Most Enduring Watches Ever

Designed in 1972, at a time when a luxury watch made of steel was still a radical concept, Audemars Piguet’s nautical-inspired Royal Oak captured the “stealth wealth” style of the moment, mirroring the cutting-edge ethos of the French fashion scene (think: Hubert de Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent, Emanuel Ungaro, Pierre Cardin), as well as the era’s groundbreaking architecture, such as Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano’s inside-out postmodernist Pompidou Centre in Paris, completed in 1977. “To me, the Royal Oak is a work of art that happens to be a watch,” says British GQ editor Bill Prince, author of the new book Royal Oak: From Iconoclast to Icon (Assouline), coming out October 12. “It’s one of those works of culture that has managed to cut through time, in the sense that it was born of an era, but it already had the criteria to be bigger than the era.”

Courtesy Grand Seiko

The Bamboo Garden of a Tokyo Museum Becomes a Watch Dial

Taking on the finest Swiss watchmakers, Japan’s Grand Seiko has risen to the top of the industry with its mix of beautiful design, impeccable craft, intelligent (and refreshingly subtle) marketing, and groundbreaking technology. Over the past few decades, the company has built watches time and again with innovative mechanical prowess, implementing meticulous self-winding automatics and its legendary combination Spring Drive movements, a hyper-accurate in-house technology introduced in 1999.