Way back in June we noticed that the Urban Gentry’s Tristano Veneto (a.k.a. TGV) had pinched a photograph from the website of Scottish watchmaker, anOrdain, without permission. The photo shows anOrdain’s unique enameling technique for their watch dials made right here in Glasgow.
TGV had used the pilfered image in a video about the Patek Philippe World Timer. We wrote a post about it and suddenly our readers turned into sleuths uncovering widespread plagiarism by TGV of not only the nicked anOrdain image but also hefty chunks of an article found in Deployant magazine in the same video, and the wholescale lifting of passages from a Petite Geneve article in a video about a Rolex Day Date 18038. We wrote a post about that too and dealt with the unseemly ordeal in podcast #49 “Scotland Yard Watches”.
This story loomed large for a while in the watch world and when Archie Luxury appeared on our 50th podcast episode on June 24, 2019 we again addressed the ensuing scandal. TGV, meanwhile, had gone back into his description of the World Timer video and drafted a post-facto “thank you [to] Deployant.com for their excellent article that was referenced in this video …” not mentioning, of course, whether he had permission to use it at all. Later still his “special thank you” was extended “to Anordain [sic] for use of representative enamel photography.” Still, no permission was mentioned.
So it is interesting that something weird happened over the past weekend. Both Watchbox and The Urban Gentry posted the anOrdain image on Instagram, and this time they both gave thanks for permission to use the image in the Patek Philippe World Timer video.
The Urban Gentry’s post went up on Saturday, 24 August, 2019 and originally read:
A special thank you and tribute to Scottish watchmaker @anOrdain and their unique enameling method for watch dials pictured here. Watchbox and TGV would like thank anOrdain for permission to use this image in an earlier video review showing the Patek Philippe World Timer. #anordain, #enameldial, #scotland , #watchfam #horology #watches #art #classic #huatehorology #tgv #theurbangentry #handwound
Later, the wording on the post was edited to remove the link to @anOrdain now reading as follows:
Scottish watchmaker anOrdain’s unique enameling method for watch dials is pictured here. Watchbox and Tristano Veneto thank anOrdain for permission to use this image in an earlier video showing the Patek Philippe World Timer.
The same hashtags were used but the theurbangentrychannel did not allow users to post comments on the image.
Watchbox’s Instagram post went up the next day, Sunday, 25 August 2019 and, unlike TGV’s post, it allows users to comment. Presumably they are big boys at Watchbox and, unlike their recent hire, TGV, don’t need to stifle freedom of expression. It reads exactly the same as TGV’s revised post except it does contain the link to @anOrdain:
Scottish watchmaker anOrdain’s unique enameling method for watch dials is pictured here. Watchbox and Tristano Veneto thank anOrdain for permission to use this image in an earlier video showing the Patek Philippe World Timer. @anOrdain #anordain #enameldial #handwound #watchfam
So what exactly has happened here? It’s been 9 weeks since this scandal broke and all-of-a-sudden both Watchbox and The Urban Gentry Channel have given an identically worded “thanks for permission” to use the anOrdain image on a public forum. Here at Scottish Watches we smell the sweet aroma of a legal settlement in the air … for it is an aroma pleasing unto the Lord (as the good book says). Typically settlements come with all sorts of confidential terms.
Someone pays money, someone issues an apology, someone promises to never ever ever to be a bad boy again, and someone else agrees not to sue the pants off someone else – those sorts of things. We cannot think of any other reason that these posts would be made basically at the same time, with the same wording and so long after the event.
anOrdain are being a bit coy about things so far, but our sources suggest a legal settlement of some international intrigue involving at least three legal jurisdictions. We wonder if the American, Watchbox, and the Anglo-Italian American, TGV, ever bothered to research Scottish law before taking the path chosen? Hopefully, once they get their invoice for legal fees, they’ll have a rethink about future practices. From our point of view, this is a small community and people who are enthusiasts or marketers or self-promoters, ought to respect one another. That means not taking other people’s images and text and passing it off as your own.
While normally we would hope that a good lesson has been learned, while researching this piece, we came across an Instagram posting of TGV’s where he “wrote” about the Cartier Tank. Someone in the comments section praised him for his “excellent writing” and yet, by our reckoning, the sentences:
It was created by Louis Cartier in 1917, and was inspired by the proportions, shapes and lines of the new Renault tanks which he saw in use on the Western Front. The prototype watch was presented by Cartier to General John Pershing of the American Expeditionary Force. The Tank has become one of the most highly coveted and copied wristwatches of all time, and has been worn by Jackie Kennedy, Rudolph Valentino, Andy Warhol, Muhammad Ali, Yves Saint Laurent, Duke Ellington, Clark Gable, Catherine Deneuve, Gary Cooper, Alain Delon, Jean-Pierre Melville, Truman Capote, and many others.
… look suspiciously similar to what Wikipedia has to say about the watch:
It was created by Louis Cartier in 1917, and inspired by the new Renault tanks which Cartier saw in use on the Western Front. The prototype watch was presented by Cartier to General John Pershing of the American Expeditionary Force. The Tank has become one of the most highly coveted and copied wristwatches of all time, and has been worn by Jackie Kennedy, Princess Diana, and Yves Saint Laurent, amongst many others.
Oh dearie me.