For a watchmaker who has worked with many of the greatest and most distinguished watch companies in the world, and whose work as an independent craftsman is held in the highest regard by the most discerning connoisseurs and collectors around the world, John McGonigle is considered to be truly one of the finest classical watchmakers of our time.
His list of achievements tell the tale of a remarkable career, his ability to invent, innovate, restore or create, the mark of a true master of his art, and in his many years living and working in Switzerland he has worked on the development and production of ‘grande complications’, such as Tourbillons, Perpetual Calendars and Minute Repeaters, and has left an indelible impression on this centuries old profession.
But John is an Irishman, and a proud one at that, and like many before him, who have left her shores, there’s no place in the world which can compare to his home country’s rugged beauty, heritage and mythical past, and his wonderful Oileán wristwatch is his expression of love which encompasses and embodies his passions for watchmaking and the land he calls home.
Oileán is Gaelic for “island”, and in a single word, symbolises a land, a culture, a philosophy and an ancestral code of working in harmony with the elements to exist and to create the arts, crafts, words and music which define an island people.
Oileán is a very special timepiece, which in its nuances and detail captures that elusive essence of spirit and identity that makes Ireland unique, while within beats a legendary mechanical heart which is a twentieth century Swiss classic, which has been dismantled to its individual component form, and then hand finished by the master watchmaker to refine and make even more beautiful and personal.