Vacheron Constantin opens its flagship boutique in Ginza on December 5th 2021

Vacheron Constantin has announced the opening of a new flagship in the heart of Tokyo, in Ginza at 4-chome.

This new Ginza boutique pays tribute to the Maison’s longstanding history with Japan which dates back to 1917 and to the commitment to outstanding customer service.

In the 19th century, Geneva was already an international crossroads and a must-visit for the Japanese public keen on acquiring high-precision timepieces, members of the diplomatic corps, people passing through for leisure purposes, aristocrats, and many others. Acknowledged for expertise and the quality of its products, Vacheron Constantin naturally acquired a considerable portion of this clientele.

Vacheron Constantin Ginza flagship

At the beginning of the 20th century, there were already records of Japanese customers purchasing watches at Vacheron Constantin in Geneva. The Maison was introduced into Japan after signing an exclusive contract with an import agency in 1917.

In 1921, Vacheron Constantin earned recognition from some famous figures including Inazo NITOBE, author of the book entitled Bushido; Baron Tetsutaro Megada, appointed Deputy Secretary-General of the League of Nations and also a member of the Japanese imperial family.

In 1937, HRH Prince Chichibu Yasuhito (1902-1953, brother of Mikado Hirohito) and Princess Setsuko, known as “Princess Chichibu” visited the Vacheron Constantin boutique in Geneva and signed the guest book at this occasion. In 1953, His Majesty the Emperor Emeritus Akihito (the 125th Emperor of Japan) visited the Vacheron Constantin boutique and Manufacture workshops. He was welcomed by Léon Constantin and discovered the various stages involved in the production of watches.

As a demonstration of the Maison’s commitment to customer-centered service, the second floor opens onto a watchmaking bench intended to encourage interaction with an in-house watchmaker and which will be flanked by a custom strap/bracelet station featuring an innovative watch display instrument.

Vacheron Constantin Ginza flagship

Opening on 5th December 2021, Ginza Flagship will be one of the very few boutiques in the world to permanently showcase a selection of “Les Collectionneurs” vintage timepieces. According to a defined yearly schedule, rotating exhibitions of historical timepieces from the Maison private heritage collection in Geneva will also be on display.

The new Ginza flagship houses the complete Vacheron Constantin collections from simple to high complications, as well as boutique-exclusive models, the first permanent Les Collectionneurs vintage watch offering, and a rotating Les Cabinotiers assortment.

The Ginza boutique showcases exclusive artworks created in collaboration with Japanese illustrator and multi-award winning picture book author, Sugio YAMAZAKI. His style of work features a classical Japanese aesthetic that has been appreciated and used in numerous books and products. On this occasion, he created new artworks inspired by the Maison’s brand image and its vision of ‘Classic with a Twist’.

Boutique address

Vacheron Constantin Ginza flagship
Boutique address: 4-3-9 Ginza, Chuo-ward, Tokyo
Monday-Sunday: 12:00-20:00

Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo Geneva Watch Auction XIV – Highlights

Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo has announced the key attractions of their upcoming Geneva Watch Auction: XIV, which is to be held on 5 and 7 November, 2021 at Hôtel La Réserve in Geneva. This spectacular Fall Sale will offer an incredible selection of watches spanning the 20th and 21st centuries.

These horological masterpieces come from world renowned luxury brands like A. Lange & Söhne, Audemars Piguet, Cartier, Christian Klings, De Bethune, F.P. Journe, Gerald Genta, Harry Winston, Kari Voutilainen, Laurent Ferrier, Longines, MB&F, Omega, Patek Philippe, Philippe Dufour, Richard Mille, Roger Smith, Rolex, Urban Jürgensen, Urwerk, Vacheron Constantin and Zenith.

The most significant among them are: four extraordinary Philippe Dufour timepieces from a private collector, the Rolex “Deep Sea Special”, five F.P. Journe’s “Souscription” wristwatches numbered #1 each and a previously unknown yellow gold Patek Philippe wristwatch reference 2499 first series, retailed by Serpico y Laino.


Patek Philippe

During the Geneva Watch Auction XIV, Phillips is offering two fresh to the market and previously unknown reference 2499 perpetual calendar chronographs. The well preserved first series example in yellow gold retailed by Serpico y Laino replete with its original, heavy and beautiful bracelet also stamped by the retailer (estimate CHF 2,000,000-4,000,000).

Recently discovered, this first series reference 2499 is one of two known reference 2499s retailed by Serpico y Laino, both with consecutive movement numbers. This also includes a second series coming from the family of the original owner, featuring a superb dial and strong case. Estimate: CHF 800,000-1,600,000.

Another impressive timepiece from Patek Philippe is the reference 2497 perpetual calendar in white gold, with a captivating and original white gold bracelet with “Florentine” finish, one of three known ref 2497s cased in this precious metal. Estimate: CHF 1,500,000-3,000,000.


The sale will include a historically important Rolex “Deep Sea Special” in stainless steel and gold deep diving wristwatch with centre seconds. The model was made in 1965 and has never before been publicly available for purchase. Estimate: CHF 1,200,000-2,400,000.

Created for experimental purposes, the Deep Sea Special watches were never available for public purchase. The present watch, the “Deep Sea Special”, represents a key moment in Rolex’s history. In the 1950s, Rolex contacted Professor Piccard, renowned Swiss oceanographer and engineer, to test watches during his diving experiments. For this purpose, Rolex engineers developed a deep diving watch fitted with a special case and a domed crystal to hold up against extreme pressure.

In 1953, Rolex tested the first prototype by strapping it on to the outside of the Bathyscaphe Trieste Submersible. The watch was first tested at 1,080 meters. It was again tested for 3,150 meters in the same year. Having completed initial tests, Rolex created a second prototype in 1960. This new “Deep Sea Special” was created to withstand the most extreme conditions, having submerged to over 10,000 meters below sea level, having completed its test in the Marina Trench, the deepest known point on Earth, with Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh.

Following the successful deep dive in 1960, Rolex produced in the subsequent years a commemorative series such as the present watch, numbered 35, in celebration of this incredible achievement and offered to only the most distinguished science, technology and watch museums, along with the most trusted, longstanding retailers and high profile partners and executives who contributed to the development of the model. Most notably, the “Deep Sea Special” numbered 3, which was strapped to the Bathyscaphe, is currently on display at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. Other museums include the Beyer Museum, London Science Museum and Piccard Museum Nyon (Switzerland), to name a few.

The next significant Rolex model in the Geneva auction is a most probably, unique and incredibly well preserved, reference 6062 in steel.

The ref 6062 was introduced in the early 1950s and features day, date, month and moonphase indications. Beneath the day and month apertures, the dial of this extremely rare timepiece features the K.W. Co signature, representing the “Knickerbocker Watch Company”, an American importer of Swiss watches and wristwatches. Estimate: CHF 600,000-1,200,000.

The Geneva auction is also offering a spectacular and important yellow gold and multi gem-set Day-Date model from 1987, known as the “Rainbow”. The only one known of its kind, it is one of the very first “Rainbow” models the manufacturer ever made, probably even before Rolex had officially coined the model. Estimate: CHF 150,000-300,000.

Vacheron Constantin

Phillips is offering a Vacheron Constantin reference 4737 “Cioccolatone” that was previously unknown. Made in platinum, it is the only example known in this metal and whose unique status is confirmed by the Vacheron Constantin Extract from the Archives. Estimate CHF 200,000-400,000.

Another Vacheron Constantin highlight is the brand’s iconic reference 4178. In spectacular condition and stainless steel, the watch features alluring facetted lugs and an incredible two tone salmon dial with rare pulsometer scale. Estimate CHF 100,000-200,000.

Audemars Piguet

The auction will also offer several Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak watches including one of the original Ref 5402 Series A from 1972 (estimate CHF 60,000-120,000) as well as an ultra-rare reference 5402 Royal Oak in yellow gold, with Tiffany & Co. signature, one of only two known examples (estimate CHF 100,000-200,000).

Other examples include a series of perpetual calendar skeleton models in the Royal Oak collection, in yellow gold, stainless steel and platinum, and a full platinum reference 25829, complete with its box and paperwork (estimate CHF 150,000-300,000).

Richard Mille

Richard Mille’s selection includes an incredible RM 27-04 limited to 50 pieces and made to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the partnership between Mille and tennis legend Rafael Nadal. The watch’s bridges are made to resemble tennis chords, the case is made of TitaCarb and the whole watch, including the strap, weighs a mere 34 grams. Estimate CHF 800,000-1,600,000.

Another incredible piece is the elusive RM11-03 flyback chronograph made of titanium and ATZ. This watch was never publicly offered or communicated by Richard Mille but reserved for the brand’s most valuable customers. Estimate CHF 250,000-450,000.

F.P. Journe and Harry Winston

Phillips is presenting the Harry Winston Opus One Chronomètre a Resonance in platinum (estimate CHF 300,000-500,000), made in collaboration with F.P. Journe. It is the first of a long lineage of Opus projects but one of the most sought-after examples. The present Opus 1 was made in 6 unique examples with different dial colors and/or diamond set bezels. This example features a purple dial and copper numerals.

Roger Smith Series 2

The Series 2 was Roger Smith’s first round watch of perfect proportions featuring his first fully in-house developed and made caliber using the Daniels co-axial escapement. The present Series 2, is one of five made in pink gold featuring a hand crafted floral motif and one of only two with hand engraved barrel bridge and balance cock. Estimate CHF 120,000-240,000.

Derek Pratt for Urban Jürgensen Pocket watch Tourbillon

A contemporary of George Daniels, Derek Pratt is one of the greatest watchmakers of the past 50 years. He had served as the technical director of Urban Jürgensen & Sönner brand from 1982 to 2005. During his tenure there he made around a dozen pocket watch tourbillon with or without remontoire. The present example, with lever escapement, is fully handmade by Pratt himself not only the movement which is incredibly finished but also the case and dial. Estimate: CHF 100,000-200,000.

MB&F Legacy Machine 1 “Longhorn”

Presented in 2011 and discontinued in 2017, the MB&F Legacy Machine One features a domed crystal, extra-large 14mm balance suspended over the dial and held by an arch shaped bridge and superlative movement finish done in conjunction with master watchmaker Kari Voutilainen.

In celebration of the Legacy Machine 1’s 10th anniversary, Phillips has been entrusted by MB&F to auction its stainless steel prototype. It features elongated lugs which coined the nickname “Longhorn” that never made it into production stage and unique black dials not found in other LM1s. The proceeds of the sale of this watch will go to charity. Estimate CHF 80,000-150,000, to be offered without reserve.

Kari Voutilainen 28SC-SB Great Shining Sun

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of his going independent, Kari Voutilainen presented in 2021 his latest creation the 28SC made in a limited edition series of 12 pieces. At the time of the launch, the watch was the very first Vingt-8 movement to have a center seconds function. Upon announcement of the 28SC, all models were immediately sold out, making the present watch the only known example to be available for public purchase.

The case of this timepiece is made of solar-forged steel that is 100% recycled and recyclable, reducing its carbon footprint. The present unique piece Great Shining Sun differs from the limited edition models as the dial features a yellow gold center and a blue hand guilloché periphery (as opposed to green), but the main difference is the case featuring straight lugs as opposed to the facetted lugs found on the limited edition model. Estimate: CHF 50,000-100,000.

Christie’s Geneva to auction the first example of Patek Philippe Ref. 2523 Two Crown World Time

Patek Philippe At the Rare Watches Autumn auction on 8 November this year, Christie’s Geneva will be offering the first example of “L’Heure d’Or”, Patek Philippe’s Ref. 2523 two crown world time.

This extremely fine and highly important Patek Philippe is the first example of a 18k gold two crown world-time wristwatch with 24 hours indication and first time seen waved guilloché gold centre (outer silvered revolving ring with names of 41 world cities adjusted by the crown at 9).

Patek Philippe Ref. 2523 Two Crown World Time
Image Credit: Christie’s

This is the very earliest specimen of the Patek Philippe’s Ref. 2523 two crown world time wristwatch ever made. Furthermore, the beautiful gold guilloche dial is not known on any other yellow gold example of the reference.

Patek Philippe Ref. 2523 Two Crown World Time
Image Credit: Christie’s

Never before seen at auction, the present watch can be considered an exemplar of Patek Philippe’s 1950s ‘golden age, when design, craftsmanship and technological advancement coincided to create perfection. Being the earliest reference 2523 to be manufactured, this historic watch has an immense status even amongst the ultra-rare two crown world time model and can be considered as the cornerstone watch of the entire reference.

Patek Philippe Ref. 2523 Two Crown World Time 3
Image Credit: Christie’s

Patek Philippe’s two-crown reference 2523 is one of the ultimate world-class rarities, sitting alongside the other Patek Philippe wristwatch legends such as the steel reference 1518 and the first series 2499. Reinforcing its importance is the fact that it was made in extremely small numbers, a total of only 26 examples were made in either yellow or pink gold and one example in white gold.

Patek Philippe Ref. 2523 Two Crown World Time 3
Image Credit: Christie’s

Until the discovery of the present watch, the earliest known case number was 306’193. The present watch with case number 305’699 is also fitted with the earliest movement number 720’300. Whilst undoubtedly the first ever production watch of reference 2523, it was perhaps also the last ‘prototype’ piece for the final design.

  • Signed Patek Philippe, Genève, Ref. 2523, movement no. 720’300, case no. 305’699, manufactured in 1953.
  • Estimate: CHF 1,000,000 to 3,000,000.

Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo Announces Additional Highlights from the Hong Kong Watch Auction: XIII

Following the recent announcement of a unique Patek Philippe reference 3448 cased in platinum with sapphire-set indexes, Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo presents additional highlights from The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XIII, taking place on 27 and 28 November, 2021.

The two-day auction series will feature over 300 lots including important timepieces that are exceptional in terms of provenance, aesthetics, condition, and rarity, hailing from power houses including Patek Philippe, Rolex, Audemars Piguet, as well as from master independent watchmakers such as F.P. Journe, Harry Winston, and Gérald Genta.

Patek Philippe

In addition to the unique Patek Philippe reference 3448 ‘The Blue Royale’, this season Phillips will offer another stunning piece from Patek Philippe – the reference 1518 perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch cased in yellow gold from 1949.

Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 yellow gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon phases
Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 yellow gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon phases, circa 1949. Estimate: HK$2,700,000 – 3,900,000.

The reference 1518 was the first perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch ever produced in series when it was introduced in 1941. According to research, only 281 examples were manufactured in yellow and pink gold until the reference ceased production in 1954.


Highlighting the sale is a Rolex Daytona reference 6241 yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with “Paul Newman John Player Special” dial (nicknamed JPS ref. 6241) that has never previously been offered at auction. Reference 6241 was introduced in 1965 with a production spanning just for four years until 1969, and it is among the rarest Daytona models ever produced.

Rolex Daytona reference 6241 yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with “Paul Newman John Player Special” dial
Rolex Ref. 6241 yellow gold chronograph wristwatch, “The French JPS”. Circa 1968. Estimate: HK$ 4,650,000-9,400,000/ US$ 596,000-1,210,100.

Research indicates that less than 300 examples were cased in 18K yellow gold. One of the most desired and visually striking iterations of the Daytona is indeed the present “John Player Special Paul Newman” and it is an exceedingly rare variant of the “Paul Newman” model. In addition, what makes this specimen the ultimate trophy is not only its exceptional preservation, but also the two French gold import hallmarks indicated with the owl symbol and the Geneva Helvetia hallmark stamped crisply on the caseback and lugs.

Besides the JPS reference 6241, an interesting vintage Rolex model in this auction is a Paul Newman Cosmograph Daytona reference 6263 with a panda MK 2 dial displaying “tropical” outer minute track and accompanied by the original warranty.

Rolex Paul Newman Cosmograph Daytona reference 6263 with panda MK 2 dial
Rolex Ref. 6263 stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with “Paul Newman” dial and “tropical” outer minute track. Estimate: HK$4,000,000 – 6,000,000.

The next highlight is the Rolex reference 16589 SACI fitted with a stunning full paved diamond dial and adorned with 24 baguette-cut sapphires set uniformly on the sectioned bezel. 8 individual sapphire-set hour markers contrast with a modern touch of Arabic numerals.

Rolex reference 16589 SACI
Rolex Ref. 16589 SACI diamond and sapphire-set white gold chronograph wristwatch with baguette-cut sapphire bezel, circa 1998. Estimate: HK$630,000-1,300,000.

Another timepiece of note is a Rolex “Oyster-Split” reference 6265 from 1975 that is preserved in stunning condition.

Rolex Ref. 6265 yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with “Oyster Split” dial and bracelet, circa 1975. Estimate: HK$780,000 – 1,560,000.
Rolex Ref. 6265 yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with “Oyster Split” dial and bracelet, circa 1975. Estimate: HK$780,000 – 1,560,000.

Audemars Piguet

The auction will include three remarkable Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watches including a reference 15202 cased in white gold and features pavé diamond-set, a perpetual calendar in a black ceramic 41mm diameter case with an open worked dial, as well as a limited-edition Royal Oak perpetual calendar features a highly desirable green Grande Tapisserie dial and a sharp yellow accent week indicator. The present watch is one of 50 examples made for the Hong Kong retailer, Unique Timepieces.

Audemars Piguet Ref. 15202BC.ZZ.1241BC.01 white gold and pavé diamond-set wristwatch
Audemars Piguet Ref. 15202BC.ZZ.1241BC.01 white gold and pavé diamond-set wristwatch, circa 2019. Estimate: HK$1,200,000 – 1,945,000.
Audemars Piguet Ref. 26585CE.OO.1225CE.01 black ceramic skeletonized perpetual calendar wristwatch with moon phases
Audemars Piguet Ref. 26585CE.OO.1225CE.01 black ceramic skeletonized perpetual calendar wristwatch with moon phases, leap year, week indication, bracelet, circa 2021. Estimate: HK$2,300,000 – 4,000,000.
Audemars Piguet Ref. 26606ST.OO.1220ST.01 limited edition stainless steel perpetual calendar wristwatch with leap year indication, moon phases, circa 2018. Estimate: HK$800,000 - 1,600,000.
Audemars Piguet Ref. 26606ST.OO.1220ST.01 limited edition stainless steel perpetual calendar wristwatch with leap year indication, moon phases, circa 2018. Estimate: HK$800,000 – 1,600,000.

F.P. Journe

Launched in 1999, the F.P. Journe Chronomètre à Resonance features a spectacular mechanical movement composed of two independent balances alternatively serving as an “exciter” and “resonator”. When in motion, the balances create the resonance effect and beat in opposition, naturally evening out each other’s discrepancies and thus permitting greater accuracy.

F.P. Journe Chronomètre à Resonance, platinum dual time wristwatch with double escapement, power reserve indication
F.P. Journe Chronomètre à Resonance, platinum dual time wristwatch with double escapement, power reserve indication, brass movement, circa 2001. Estimate: HK$935,000 – 1,870,000.

The present example in platinum is of the rare and desirable first generation example from 2001, which is highly sought after by watch collectors due to its technical prowess combined with the historical relevance to the heritage of F.P. Journe.

F.P. Journe Vagabondage III, limited edition semi-skeletonized pink gold tortue-shaped wristwatch with digital jump hours and seconds, power reserve indication
F.P. Journe Vagabondage III, limited edition semi-skeletonized pink gold tortue-shaped wristwatch with digital jump hours and seconds, power reserve indication, circa 2018. Estimate: HK$ 390,000 – 700,000.

Introduced in 2017, the F.P. Journe Vagabondage III was the final version of the Vagabondage series, released as a limited edition of 68 pieces in pink gold.

Discontinued in 2019, the present example in pink gold is numbered 17 and is offered in excellent overall condition and furthermore accompanied by the full set of accessories.

Harry Winston

The Harry Winston Opus series was inaugurated with the Opus One by François-Paul Journe in 2001. Antoine Preziuso’s beautiful Opus Two followed the year after. The Harry Winston Opus Two was created in 23 limited pieces in total with 11 of The Tourbillon with Perpetual Calendar such as the present example here.

Harry Winston Ref. 200MTQPAP38, limited edition platinum semi-skeletonized perpetual calendar tourbillon with leap year indication, retrograde day and date indication
Harry Winston Opus Two Ref. 200MTQPAP38, limited edition platinum semi-skeletonized perpetual calendar tourbillon with leap year indication, retrograde day and date indication, hinged caseback, numbered 10 of limited edition of 11, pieces made in collaboration with Antoine Preziuso, circa 2004. Estimate: HK$778,000 – 1,556,000.

Launched in 2003 in collaboration with Vianney Halter, the Harry Winston Opus 3 is one of the most complicated time and date only watches ever produced. The present example in 18K pink gold is numbered 17 of a limited edition of 25 examples in pink gold.

Harry Winston Opus 3 Ref. 520
Harry Winston Opus 3 Ref. 520/MMVHRL, limited edition pink gold wristwatch with digital display of time, date, countdown features, numbered 17 of a limited edition of 25 pieces, circa 2013, Estimate: HK$390,000 – 600,000.

Gérald Genta

Having designed some of the world’s most iconic models for the most established Swiss watch firms, Gérald Genta set out to create his own brand name in 1969.

Encased in an elegant 34mm round-shaped platinum case a with baguette diamond-set bezel, the present Gérald Genta reference G40114 displays the firm’s cal. 210 through its sapphire crystal caseback and skeletonized dial.

Gérald Genta Ref. G40114, platinum and diamond-set skeletonized minute repeating perpetual calendar wristwatch with leap year indication, moon phases
Gérald Genta Ref. G40114, platinum and diamond-set skeletonized minute repeating perpetual calendar wristwatch with leap year indication, moon phases, circa 1990, Estimate: HK$780,000 – 1,500,000.

This Gérald Genta watch features a perpetual calendar function with a minute repeater. Its self-winding movement is fully hand assembled and engraved allowing the wearer to admire the timepiece in all angles. The present example is numbered 1 on the caseband and it is mostly likely a unique piece that was specifically tailored-made for an esteemed collector of the brand.

The Hong Kong Watch Auction XIII

  • Evening Session: 27 November 6pm HKT | Day Session: 28 November 12pm HKT

  • Location: JW Marriott, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong

Phillips to Offer ‘The Blue Royale’, a Unique Patek Philippe Reference 3448/100 Cased in Platinum with Sapphire-Set Indexes at the Hong Kong Watch Auction: XIII

Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo has announced the sale of a unique Patek Philippe reference 3448/100, a perpetual calendar wristwatch cased in platinum, to be auctioned during The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XIII on 27 and 28 November.

This example from 1973 is the only example known with unique sapphire-set indexes, making it one of the most celebrated reference 3448 to be offered to the public.

Patek Philippe Ref. 3448-100 ‘The Blue Royale’ platinum perpetual calendar wristwatch
Patek Philippe Ref. 3448/100 ‘The Blue Royale’ platinum perpetual calendar wristwatch with sapphire-set indexes and moonphases, circa 1973. Image Credit: Phillips

First introduced in 1962, Patek Philippe’s groundbreaking reference 3448 was the world’s first self-winding perpetual calendar wristwatch, and it was the only self-winding perpetual calendar wristwatch available in the market for the next 16 years.

Nicknamed the “Padellone” by Italian collectors, the reference is adored by collectors for its oversized, 37.5 mm diameter case with clean, angular lines and dial with perfect harmony and symmetry.

Patek Philippe Ref. 3448-100 ‘The Blue Royale’ platinum perpetual calendar wristwatch
Patek Philippe Ref. 3448/100 ‘The Blue Royale’ platinum perpetual calendar wristwatch with sapphire-set indexes and moonphases, circa 1973. Image Credit: Phillips

Discontinued in 1986, together along with its short-lived counterpart reference 3450 equipped with a leap year indication, it is believed that an estimated 568 examples were produced over the course of its production across all metals, with the majority in yellow gold, a small number in white gold and in pink gold, and only two in platinum that were originally born with gold cases.

The two known examples cased in platinum were both re-cased in 1997 including an example from 1966, which sold for over CHF one million at Phillips’ The Geneva Watch Auction: SEVEN in May 2018.

Patek Philippe Ref. 3448-100 ‘The Blue Royale’ platinum perpetual calendar wristwatch
Patek Philippe Ref. 3448/100 ‘The Blue Royale’ platinum perpetual calendar wristwatch with sapphire-set indexes and moonphases, circa 1973. Image Credit: Phillips

The present example from 1973 is the only example known with unique sapphire-set indexes. Only a prominent collector with high standing with the Stern family, the owners of Patek Philippe, could obtain the utmost privilege of having a special platinum cased reference 3448.

These platinum examples were both special orders by the original owners and the commission for these unique pieces taking place 11 years after the discontinuation of the reference had to be re-produced.

The present example is perhaps the only complicated Patek Philippe reference from the respective era to feature sapphire-set indexes, making this already rare timepiece in its case, unique. To further exemplify its importance, the present example is one of three known reference 3448 to feature a sapphire display caseback, possibly a result from the specific request from the original owner to admire the finest self-winding caliber at the time, cal. 27-460 Q.

Christie’s Hong Kong Important Watches Autumn Auction 27 November – Highlights

Two historical rarities will be offered in Christie’s Hong Kong Important Watches auction on 27 November: an extremely historically important Patek Philippe split-second chronograph Ref. 1436 in 18K yellow gold from 1946, ordered by and sold to Henry Graves Jr. alongside a 18k gold and enamel, pearl-set musical, perfume flask and automaton amphora-form watch attributed to Piguet & Capt, a magnificent piece presented for the first time at auction.

Patek Philippe Split-Second Chronograph Ref. 1436 in 18K Yellow Gold

Henry Graves Jr., the legendary patron of Patek Philippe, ordered this 18k gold split second chronograph wristwatch with Breguet numerals in 1946 and acquired it in 1947.

Ref.1436 is Patek Philippe’s first split seconds chronograph wristwatch produced in series. The first generation, of which this watch is a part, was made until the late 1940s. Since its introduction to the market in 1938 and discontinued in 1971, only 140 examples are made during the 33 years production period.

Patek Philippe Split-Second Chronograph Ref. 1436 in 18K Yellow Gold

As one of the finest examples to ever appear on the market, the present example features applied gold Breguet numerals, often considered the most attractive dial variation. It is also thought to be the least-commonly made dial for this reference, with most examples featuring baton or a combination of baton and Arabic numerals.

To date, just over a dozen of Ref. 1436 models have surfaced featuring such a dial. This extremely rare and historical timepiece is a true rarity as it last appeared at auction about ten years ago.

Estimate: HK$11,500,000-23,500,000/ US$ 1,500,000-3,000,000

Piguet & Capt. Amphora Form Watch

Attributed to Piguet & Capt., this 18k gold and enamel, pearl-set musical, perfume flask and automaton amphora-form watch is believed to be made for the Chinese imperial family, in circa 1805. It is known that its twin is stored and exhibited in the Patek Philippe museum.

Piguet & Capt. Amphora Form Watch

The last amphora-form watch seen at auction was May 2021 at Christie’s Hong Kong ; attributed to Jean-François-Adam Hess, it was sold for HK$ 12,250,000/ US$ 1,584,735.

Estimate: HK$ 2,400,000-7,200,000/ US$ 300,000-900,000

Christie’s Watches Online: The Dubai Edit, 13 – 27 October 2021 – Highlights

The upcoming Christie’s Watches Online: The Dubai Edit auction will offer 211 exceptional lots including the Patek Philippe Ref. 5102G ‘Celestial, the Richard Mille RM 011 Felipe Massa Titanium UAE Edition Flyback Chronograph, and the Pink Gold Rolex Ref. 6232 Chronograph.

Auction Highlights

Lot 5: Patek Philippe Ref. 5102G Celestial, Circa 2008

Launched in 2002, the Ref. 5102G Celestial white gold astronomical wristwatch borrows the principle of the celestial canopy from the most complicated wristwatch ever produced by Patek Philippe – the Ref. 5002 Sky Moon Tourbillon.


The nocturnal sky of the northern hemisphere rotates to show the apparent angular motion of the stars and moon as well as the progression of the phases of the moon. A delicate elliptical contour on the inside of the glass frames the portion of the sky that can be seen from all cities on the same latitude as the city of Geneva. Estimate: US$ 200,000-300,000.

Lot 106: Patek Philippe Ref. 1518

The Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 gold perpetual calendar chronograph was the first perpetual chronograph to be made in series by any watch company. Ref. 1518 was not only a design first with its simple and pure layout but would set the mould for all future perpetual calendar chronographs.


Only 281 examples of this reference were ever made and this particular example comes in 18K yellow gold and was produced in 1945. Interestingly, it features the old Patek Philippe & Cie. full signature, which is highly sought after by collectors, and exists only on timepieces produced before 1947. Estimate: US$ 350,000-450,000.

Lot 110: Patek Philippe Reference 3979, circa 1991

The reference 3979 was introduced as part of a celebratory timepiece series marking the 150th anniversary of the manufacture. The ref. 3979 was produced between 1989 and 2002 and it is believed that about 100 pieces were made with the majority in yellow gold.


The initial batch of watches featured a case made by the legendary casemaker Jean-Pierre Hagmann and his initials JPH are stamped on the inside case back. Estimate: US$ 220,000-300,000.

Lot 111: Patek Philippe Ref. 5013P, circa 2010

The Patek Philippe Ref. 5013P is a platinum minute repeater perpetual calendar watch with a retrograde indication. It is among the most complex wristwatches ever made by the Geneva ‘Maison’ and the first automatic minute repeater perpetual calendar with retrograde date function.


The watch’s design was a nod to the historically important tonneau-shaped yellow gold minute repeating wristwatch no. 97589 made for Henry Graves, Jr. The reference 5013 was launched in 1992 and remained in production until 2011. The platinum examples were initially produced only with silver dials and over the years only a few examples with a black dial have appeared on the market. Estimate: US$ 300,000-400,000.

Lot 11: Rolex Daytona Ref. 6240 ‘Solo’, circa 1966

The Rolex Daytona Ref. 6240 ‘Solo’ is one of the rarest vintage Daytona references. ‘Solo’ refers to the fact that the dial only carries the mark ‘Rolex’ and not the usual description ‘Oyster Chronograph’ seen on the other Ref. 6240 models.


The watch world speculates that only a small number of early Ref. 6240 models (between the serial number ranging from 1.2 million to 1.4 million) were fitted with this dial. The reference 6240 was the first waterproof Daytona and featured an acrylic bezel and screw-down chronograph pushers. Estimate: US$ 120,000-180,000.

Lot 82: Rolex Ref. 4062

The Rolex Ref. 4062, a yellow gold, anti-magnetic, manual-winding chronograph, is an elegant and sophisticated timepiece distinguished by its coin-edge case band.


The Ref. 4062 was a huge success for Rolex when it was produced and is a good example of the dressy chronographs made by the brand in the early 1940s. Estimate: US$ 20,000-30,000.

Lot 83: Rolex Chronograph Ref. 6232, circa 1958

The Rolex Chronograph Ref. 6232 in pink gold is so rare that only a handful of examples have appeared on the market over the last 50 years. Produced in 1958, it is one of Rolex’s rarest chronograph models.

Lot 83: ROLEX REF. 6232, A PINK GOLD ANTIMAGNETIC CHRONOGRAPH – Image Credit: Christie’s

Made for the French market, it is believed to exist only in an exceedingly small number of 12 examples. This watch has silvered sunburst dial with blue telemetry scale and has over time developed a charming champagne-tone patina. Estimate: US$ 100,000-150,000.

Lot 6: Richard Mille RM 011 Felipe Massa UAE Edition

The extremely rare Richard Mille RM 011 Felipe Massa UAE Edition flyback chronograph in titanium is based on the original RM 011 featuring a distinctive All Gray PVD treatment and case of microblasted titanium. The exclusive edition, limited to just 7 pieces, was created in partnership with Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, one of the largest watch retailers in the UAE.


The case is typical of Richard Mille’s tonneau with a curved bezel, sides and case back. The watch is being offered for the very first time at auction, with an estimate of US$ 200,000-300,000.

Lot 26: Richard Mille RM 055 Bubba Watson, circa 2014

The Richard Mille RM 055 Bubba Watson watch features a titanium case and ceramic skeleton dial. In 2011, Richard Mille undertook the challenge of creating a watch for golfers, working with PGA Tour player and two-time Masters winner Bubba Watson.


Based on the RM 038 Richard Mille took its original design a step further in 2012 and created the present model, RM 055. The case consists of different materials. The bezel is made of ATZ, known for colour stability and for being one of the hardest materials in the world. Grade 5 titanium is used for the case band and back as the key focus of the Richard Mille manufacture was to optimise weight: the movement weighs a mere 4.3 grams. Estimate: US$ 300,000-500,000.

Lot 22: Cartier Tank Monopusher Chronograph, circa 2008

This limited-edition Cartier Tank Monopusher Chronograph in gold is part of Cartier’s CPCP collection of watches that are based on historic Cartier designs but equipped with modern mechanical movements. The watches in this collection were available between 1998 and 2008 in very limited numbers.


This particular model is powered by Calibre 045 MC, produced by THA Ebauche, a collaborative founded by three modern watchmakers: FP.Journe, Denis Flageollet (co-founder of De Bethune) and Vianney Halter. Estimate: US$ 15,000-30,000.

Lot 71: Panerai Luminor GMT Prototype

The prototype (No. 000/200) of the steel Panerai Luminor GMT limited edition was created to mark the 50th anniversary of the United Arab Emirates.


Proceeds from the sale of this watch will benefit the Noor Foundation, a UAE-based non-profit organization that aims to eliminate all types of avoidable blindness and visual impairment worldwide. Estimate: US$ 10,000-20,000.

Watches Online: The Dubai Edit will be on view between 13 – 27 October at Christie’s, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), Gate Village 5, Podium Level.

The Next Big Event: Watches and Wonders 2022

Scheduled to take place in Geneva from 30 March to 5 April 2022, the next edition of Watches and Wonders will be attended by about 40 watchmaking Maisons.

Watches and Wonders [formerly known as SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie)] is a major luxury watch exhibition organized by the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie. Due to the pandemic, this event had been conducted by means of digital technology in 2020 and 2021.

In 2022, a physical format of this prestigious event will be organized in the halls of Palexpo from 30 March to 5 April . This 7 day event will also include a digital format via the platform.

This watchmaking summit will bring together the main industry players, with the arrival of new brands such as Hublot, TAG Heuer and Zenith from the LVMH Group, Grand Seiko, Oris and the jeweller Van Cleef & Arpels who is making its return to the Salon.

Reputed brands such as Chanel, Chopard, Patek Philippe, Rolex and Tudor will also be exhibiting for the first time in Geneva. The other major Maisons, such as Cartier, Hermès, IWC Schaffhausen, Jaeger LeCoultre, Piaget, Ulysse Nardin and Vacheron Constantin have been regularly exhibiting in Geneva Salon for many years.

Horological masterpieces from all these watchmakers will be showcased in one single setting at Palexpo. The Carré des Horlogers will welcome fifteen independent designer-craftsmen and women at the centre of the exhibition.

The event will include product presentations, new product launches, keynotes, panel discussions and conferences. For those who are unable to travel, can access these programmes remotely, via the platform. All the content will be available online, live or in replay.

Exhibiting Brands


Carré Des Horlogers


WatchTime New York Announces its Sixth Edition

WatchTime New York is set to make a triumphant return to live in-person events this fall, uniting collectors, enthusiasts, and 27 registered watch brands under Gotham Hall’s famed rotunda in Midtown Manhattan at last after a year’s hiatus. The sixth edition of the show, produced by WatchTime and presented in partnership with the cocktail party sponsor Tourneau | Bucherer and BMW, expands from two days to three, and will be open to the public by paid admission from Friday, October 22 – Sunday, October24, 2021.

The longer event format was designed to encourage ample space for social distancing, while also expanding on the show’s popular panel discussion series, featuring notable collectors, designers, brand executives, and other leading figures from the watch world. This year for the first time, admission for each day of WatchTime New York will be ticketed individually to allow participants to build their WatchTime New York itinerary of choice.

The show has long fostered dialogue, face-to-face connections, and hands-on experiences for the watch community, something that WatchTime New York show organizers and editors realized their audience needs now more than ever.

“Interest in WatchTime New York is at an all-time high,” said Sara Orlando, WatchTime Magazine Publisher. “We are so excited to ride this uptick in interest and finally reunite.” Orlando will also feature in the event’s first dedicated panel about women’s watches, led by and featuring an all-female panel,scheduled for Saturday, October 23 at 3:00 p.m.

WatchTime Editor-in-Chief Roger Ruegger: “Our followers, collectors, and watch brands are desperately asking to get back to normal and meet in-person. Thankfully, this is not 2020, and we know how to carry on safely with the right guidelines in place to ensure the health and comfort of all WatchTime New York show attendees and participants so we can all get back to doing what we love: get together and talk about watches.”

Brands, too, are excited to return to WatchTime New York. Participating brands this year include A. Lange & Söhne, Armin Strom, Arnold & Son, Bell & Ross, Blancpain, Bovet, Breguet, Carl F. Bucherer, Chopard, Czapek, De Bethune, G-Shock, Glashütte Original, Grand Seiko, Greubel Forsey, Jaquet Droz, Laurent Ferrier, L. Leroy, MB&F, MeisterSinger, Massena LAB, Montblanc, Norqain, Oris, Seiko, Vulcain, and Zenith.

In addition, from its inception, the show has served as a key staging ground for launching new horological products to the world. Many brands plan will follow this tradition and will unveil exclusive limited-edition watches to the world for the very first time live from the WatchTime New York show floor.

WatchTime New York will observe current New York City and CDC guidelines to ensure the health and comfort of all event participants by asking that all guests provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination upon entry. For those who cannot attend WatchTime New York this year in-person, but who still want to take part in the energy and excitement of the event, for the first time this year, WatchTime will live stream the panel discussions.

Event Highlights

The WatchTime New York VIP Cocktail Party

The organizers will be conducting an upscale cocktail party kick-off on Friday, October 22, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday night entry offers ticketed guests the first chance to survey the timepieces and interact with participating brands and notable attendees. Party guests may indulge in top-shelf cocktails from the open bar and catered fare while interacting with influencers, brand ambassadors, and WatchTime editors.

A Look Under the Case: Live Watchmaking Demonstrations and Authentications from eBay and WatchBox:

Throughout the 3-day show, WatchTime New York attendees get the chance to take a closer look at how these intricate mechanical timepieces are made, with live watchmaking demonstrations offered by premier watchmakers like Breguet and Grand Seiko. In addition, for the first time ever, WatchTime New York will have space for on-site timepiece authentications and evaluations from pre-owned luxury leaders eBay and WatchBox.

Expert Talks and Insightful Panels:

WatchTime New York continues with a two full days of browsing and panel presentations on Saturday, October 23, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, October 24, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., fostering fascinating dialogue exploring the art, culture, and continuing relevance of mechanical wristwatches.

Saturday, Oct. 23 panel presentations:

• 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM – PANEL: “Is this 2019 all over again, or have things changed?”
• 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM – PANEL: “What is a women’s watch in 2021?”

Sunday, Oct. 24 panel presentations:

• 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: PANEL: “Why collectors love the independents, and why the industry needs them.
• 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM: PANEL: “Why is steel so hot, and is this going to continue?”

Cuervo y Sobrinos Announces Partnership with Cuban Free Diver Francisco ‘Pipin’ Ferreras

Swiss luxury watch brand Cuervo y Sobrinos has announced a new partnership with legendary free-diver Francisco ‘Pipin’ Ferreras, the free-diving and spear-fishing specialist.

This news follows the successful launch of the Buceador Caribe, a range of masculine divers’ watches featuring an impressive water resistance of 200m. Each of these models celebrates Cuba’s aquatic world where cyan coloured seas, pastel sands and black corals coexist.

Cuban Free Diver Francisco ‘Pipin’ Ferreras

Pipin was born in Matanzas in Cuba and is clearly very aware of the region’s notable aquatic charms. He began diving at just 8 years of age, descending 4 or 5 metres without the aid of bottled air. Furthermore, at the tender age of 12, he would go spear-fishing, submerging over 15 metres and spending prolonged periods underwater. Clearly, he had an innate capacity to dive.

Ultimately, Pipin embarked on a career in free diving and established his first world record, aged just 27. This impressive achievement was merely a foretaste of what was to come. Indeed, throughout his career, Pipin has repeatedly enjoyed the sweet taste of success, having set more than 40 world records, albeit based on his track record, this tally may well increase.

Cuban Free Diver Francisco ‘Pipin’ Ferreras

He has toured the globe in his role as an underwater producer and photographer, swimming in virtually all of the world’s seas. However, despite travelling extensively, he remains a firm fan of Cuba’s warm waters and diverse marine life.

Massimo Rossi, CEO of Cuervo y Sobrinos, explains, “Our company was established in Havana, Cuba and since its foundation in 1882, it has always celebrated Latin culture and the nation’s love of life. Today, our watches are made in Switzerland, but our love for Cuba has never faltered. Each of our models tells a different story, celebrating the company’s captivating history while remaining relevant to the present and beyond.

“We were attracted to Pipin for a number of reasons. He epitomises the Cuban spirit, demonstrates a thirst for adventure and is incredibly courageous. Indeed, both parties to this agreement share the same mindset and a love for Cuba.”

However, the partnership between Cuervo y Sobrinos and Pipin Ferreras extends beyond mere marketing. Pipin will contribute to the technical specification of future divers’ models, highlighting potential technical improvements and testing them under the most adverse, ‘real world’ conditions. In addition, Pipin will be working closely with Cuervo y Sobrinos helping to create a new watch that will deliver excellent underwater performance, but with a high quotient of style.

This new partnership perfectly illustrates the watch company’s desire to engage with new audiences. It comes on the back of the firm’s partnerships with CWSC and Scott Jacobs. Furthermore, it represents a taste of what’s to come as the brand intends to announce additional partnerships in the near future.

TAG Heuer’s Movements Director Carole Kasapi Wins the Prix Gaïa Award

TAG Heuer’s Movements Director Carole Kasapi has been awarded the prestigious Prix Gaïa in the Craftsmanship – Creation category. With this distinction, the Musée international d’Horlogerie (MIH) of La Chaux-de Fonds recognizes and honors Carole’s remarkable contribution to the field of watchmaking.

Born in Paris, France into a family of watchmakers and educated in Switzerland at the esteemed horological institute of La Chaux-de-Fonds, Carole Kasapi, known by her peers as the Queen of Tourbillon, is a world-renowned movements designer specialized in complications and haute horlogerie.

TAG Heuer’s Movements Director Carole Kasapi Wins the Prix Gaïa Award

Throughout her impressive career she has patented a number of revolutionary mechanisms and was previously awarded the Prix Abraham-Louis Breguet as well as the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève for her creations.

“We warmly congratulate Carole upon receiving the Prix Gaïa for her remarkable career and achievements thus far” says Frédéric Arnault, CEO of TAG Heuer, “This prestigious award from the MIH is a symbolic and well-deserved recognition of Carole’s exceptional skills and creativity as well as her passionate and generous transmission of know-how. We join her peers and colleagues in celebrating her outstanding contribution to horological innovation and we are excited for her next breakthroughs at TAG Heuer.”

“I am honored and humbled to be a laureate of the Prix Gaïa alongside so many outstanding watch creators, artisans, engineers or researchers.” adds Carole Kasapi, “This award is especially meaningful to me as it is bestowed by the Musée international d’Horlogerie in La Chaux-de-Fonds, the cradle of watchmaking where I was fortunate to learn and perfect my art. Today I am more than ever inspired to keep pushing the boundaries of our industry and explore the limitless possibilities of movement design at TAG Heuer.”

Since joining TAG Heuer in March 2020, Carole’s role has been to devise and implement the brand’s movements strategy for the long term. Among other projects, Carole most recently contributed to the very first Calibre Heuer 02 integrating the carbon hairspring Isograph technology, within the spectacular TAG Heuer Only Watch Carbon Monaco timepiece.

Christie’s to Auction the Rolex Experimental Deep Sea Special N°1 Watch

Christie’s has announced that the ‘Rare Watches Auction Geneva’ will be held on 8 November 2021 at the Hotel Four Seasons Les Bergues.

This landmark auction will offer several extraordinary and rare timepieces, including the legendary Rolex Experimental Deep Sea Special N°1.

Rolex Experimental Deep Sea Special N°1 Watch

This Holy Grail watch is the first and only Rolex Deep Sea Special that made the first dive attached to Auguste Piccard’s bathyscaphe Trieste in 1953. The case, the original movement and the bracelet of this historic timepiece are in perfect working condition.

Rolex Experimental Deep Sea Special N°1 Watch

Developed as a prototype for perfecting the Rolex diving watch concept, this Rolex Deep Sea Special N°1 was attached to the hull of Auguste Piccard’s bathyscaphe Trieste for the inaugural deep-sea trial to a depth of 3,150 meters in the Mediterranean on 30 September 1953.

Rolex Experimental Deep Sea Special N°1 Watch

This watch then served as the proving ground for the Rolex Deep Sea Special N°3 that would reach 10,908 meters in the Mariana Trench with the Trieste on 23 January 1960 and is today on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC.

Rolex Experimental Deep Sea Special N°1 Watch

It is believed that seven prototypes were built between 1953 and 1960. Among them, only three have so far been identified:

  • The Deep Sea Special N°1: This prototype has a ‘low glass’ made from Plexiglas. It accompanied Trieste on its first deep-sea trial down to 3,150 meters (10,245 feet) off the island of Ponza in 1953.
  • The Deep Sea Special N°3: This prototype features a ‘high glass’ (a taller and thicker crystal, also of Plexiglas, one of the invaluable learnings from N°1). It made the trip down to the bottom of the Mariana Trench (10,916 meters, 35,814 feet) in 1960 and is today out of reach but on display, together with the Trieste, at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC.
  • The Deep Sea Special N°5: Also a ‘high glass’ version, which presumably served as a proving ground for further extreme testing in the period leading up to 1960, and was offered at auction by Christie’s in 2000.

Rolex Experimental Deep Sea Special N°1 Watch

In the early to mid-1960s, to celebrate the dive down to the world’s deepest place and after the unexpected worldwide success and enthusiasm that this event generated, Rolex produced about three dozen display models to share their exploit and know-how with the public. In 2009, Number 31 of this commercial/promotional series was sold by Christie’s.

Rolex Experimental Deep Sea Special N°1 Watch

In the early 1950s, Swiss physicist-inventor-explorer Auguste Piccard began developing a deep-sea vehicle for exploring ocean depths. Using the physical principles of his stratospheric balloon, particularly with regard to pressurization, Auguste and his son Jacques developed a submarine to reach the deepest trough at the bottom of the ocean. Their strange-looking deep-sea submarine known as bathyscaphe Trieste was launched on the 16th of August in 1953.

Tavannes Watch Co. becomes a partner of the 17th Festival du Film Francophone d’Helvétie, Bienne

The 17th Helvetia Francophone Film Festival Switzerland with be organised from 15th to 19th September this year. Tavannes Watch Co. is a partner of this event. The actors Nathalie Baye and Bernard Campan (Les Inconnus), two of the official Guests in Biel will go back home with a Tavannes watch on their wrist.

Since its beginnings in Biel 17 years ago, the Festival du Film Francophone d’Helvétie (FFFH), has offered its radiance to the movie French-speaking world. Built on a visionary celebration of the diffusion of the French language culture in German-speaking areas, this event has received more than 500 guests from the film industry since it was launched.

Tavannes Watch Co. becomes a partner of the 17th Festival du Film Francophone d'Helvétie, Bienne

At the helm is Christian Kellenberger, cofounder and director of the Festival. He is the guardian of values that favor local production, proximity to the participants and the promotion of Swiss cinema.

And a festival director’s love affair with Tavannes Watch Co couldn’t have come at a better time. Because in the team of Florin Niculescu, a great watchmaking professional and owner of what was certainly the most mythical brand in Swiss watchmaking, people often think about scripts: there is not only this famous antique cinema, not far from the premises of the former Manufacture, which is still standing upright and full of liveliness in the middle of Tavannes, part of the Swiss Jura.

But above all, there are these incredible images of a horological past that, if brought to the silver screen, could captivate new generations: such as the poem that the writer Colette wrote about “La Captive”, her mysterious Tavannes watch, such as this golf watch manufactured for the Prince of Wales, later Edward VIII, or such as these two English submariners who, thanks to their specific requirements, enabled Tavannes Watch Co to be at the origin of the very first waterproof watch in the history of watchmaking.

While the Festival has multiplied its convivial events, such as the opening day dedicated to children, as well as the screening venues spread throughout the city, especially on the waterfront with the evening broadcast of the 5 short films in competition in the découverte section, the Tavannes Watch Co brand is pursuing its authenticity quest by focusing on the sharing of knowledge.

With its five production sites able to manufacture up to 4,000 watches per day, the company that filed patents whose historical benefits were sometimes credited to its clients, is working to supply its worldwide markets while introducing new collections in tune with the current times. Like the Buggy model, a joint development with design students. As well as the iconic Submarine’s return to the top tier.

Master Watchmaker Vincent Calabrese Presents His Calasys System at Vicenzaoro September 2021 Exhibition

During the Vicenzaoro September 2021, the international jewellery show organized by IEG – Italian Exhibition Group and ongoing until Tuesday 14th September in Vicenza, Vincent Calabrese unveiled his Calasys system destined to rewrite the history of watchmaking.

This mechanism is capable to replace the spiral hairspring – the oscillator created in 1675 by Dutchman Christiaan Huygens (1629-1695) – and simply and effectively eliminate its defects.

System Calasys - A point d'équilibre

The self-taught master watchmaker, born in Naples in 1944 and apprentice watchmaker at the age of 13 to then emigrated to Switzerland in 1961, with an extraordinary career that led him to found his famous homonymous, high-range brand of magnificent Carousel and Tourbillon with 18-carat gold cage and become co-founder of the prestigious Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants, demonstrated the workings of his invention on an pre-existing movement – the well-known Eta 2892 – in which the spiral hairspring was simply replaced by the Calasys connected to the escapement, keeping the rest of the mechanism totally intact.

With an industrial prospect of global importance, the aim of Calabrese’s Calasys System is to “eliminate the defects of the hairspring simply and effectively” and “to be suitable for use in every type of escapement” obtaining “greater performance” and “much easier maintenance”.

As he himself explained on demonstrating the details of the presentation, the architecture of the oscillator has completely changed. With Calasys, there is a double recall with two identical independent arms that guarantee less gravitational affect and greater rate of precision. Until now, nothing of the kind had ever been seen before.

The other extraordinary aspect of Calasys is that Vincent Calabrese will not sell the new system to the highest bidder. He will, instead, share the discovery with the entire watchmaking world: “I’m more interested in the philosophical development of our sector than making money.”

eBay debuts at Las Vegas Watch and Jewelry Market Week

For the first time, eBay has participated in the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry and Watch Show, held alongside COUTURE at Wynn Las Vegas, August 24 through 26, 2021.

As one of the largest luxury watch marketplaces in the world, eBay made an inaugural appearance at the high-profile watch and jewelry market week, welcoming the retailers and brands to ‘eBay Boulevard’, at the Wynn, driving conversation with leading brands and retailers around platform offerings implemented over the last year, like eBay’s Authenticity Guarantee service, and the addition of escrow payment offering.

eBay debuts at Las Vegas Watch and Jewelry Market Week

“We are excited to join the world’s most premier brands and retailers in luxury at this year’s Las Vegas Antique Jewelry & Watch Show, alongside premier jewelry and watch market week events like JCK and COUTURE,” said Tirath Kamdar, eBay GM of Luxury, “After an exciting year of growth for our luxury watches business with milestones like launching our Authenticity Guarantee service and adding escrow as a payment offering, eBay is thrilled to further develop existing industry relationships and create new partnerships amidst a highly-regarded industry event such as this.”

eBay hosted a sunset cocktail party on Wednesday, August 25 at the Wynn Sunset Terrace, where guests enjoyed signature cocktails as eBay’s GM of Luxury Tirath Kamdar welcomed everyone with warm remarks and a toast to partnerships nurtured over the course of the week. He shared sentiment on eBay’s significant achievements in the luxury business over the past year, as the marketplace has continued to sustain double digit growth in luxury watches in Q2.

In 2020, eBay launched its Authenticity Guarantee service in the U.S. for luxury watches sold for $2,000 or more, offering meticulous inspection and verification by independent experts, providing an extra layer of trust and confidence for shoppers. In April of 2021, eBay announced the addition of escrow to marketplace payment offerings for luxury watches over $10,000, allowing buyers and sellers an added convenience via trusted third party, holding funds securely until the transaction is complete providing an additional level of protection.

eBay GM of Luxury Tirath Kamdar spoke to eBay’s luxury categories continued momentum over the last year, even amidst a new retail landscape resulting from COVID-19, while participating as a panelist at the JCK keynote panel alongside other notable luxury jewelry industry experts held on Saturday, August 28, entitled “A look back at the last 18 months and the bright future that lies ahead.”

eBay’s inaugural association with this year’s luxury market week is a paramount milestone amidst a series of achievements for our luxury business over the past year, and a continued effort in the platform’s ongoing commitment to developing existing relationships and creating new industry partnerships.

Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo to offer a full set of four Philippe Dufour watches in The Geneva Watch Auction: XIV in November 2021

Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo has announced that four major Philippe Dufour timepieces will be offered in The Geneva Watch Auction: XIV.

These masterpieces are coming from a private collector. The group includes the Grande & Petite Sonnerie pocket watch Number 1 in yellow gold, the Grande & Petite Sonnerie wristwatch number 1 in yellow gold, the Duality in pink gold and the Simplicity (37mm) in platinum. It is also first time in auction history that these four Dufour watches will be offered by one auction house during a single season.

Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo full set of four Philippe Dufour watches
Image Credit: Phillips

An independent Swiss watchmaker since the late 1970s, Philippe Dufour restored antique and vintage timepieces, which led him ten years later to develop a very small series of pocket and wrist grande sonnerie watches.

Inspired by the pocket watches in the 1930s, the Duality is the world’s first wristwatch incorporating a double escapement. The Simplicity features a special movement architecture designed to demonstrate hand finish and decoration that modern horology had not yet witnessed. In the span of over 30 years since he created his eponymous brand, Dufour created only these four models under his name.

Philippe Dufour Grande & Petite Sonnerie Pocket Watch Number 1, Unique Piece

A Grande Sonnerie is a timepiece that automatically chimes the hours on every hour and hours and quarters on every quarter, and when on petite sonnerie mode the watch will only chime the passing of the quarters. Phillipe Dufour began his work on the grande sonnerie with a series of five pocket watches made for a large brand in the early 1980s.

Philippe Dufour Grande & Petite Sonnerie Pocket Watch Number 1, Unique Piece
Image Credit: Phillips

The fact that the brand never acknowledged his work led him to create his own Grand & Petite Sonnerie pocket watch in the late 1980s. The present example is number 1 and the only Dufour Grande & Petite pocket watch made that bears his name on the dial.

Philippe Dufour Grande & Petite Sonnerie Pocket Watch Number 1, Unique Piece
Image Credit: Phillips

Estimate: CHF 400,000-800,000/ US$436,000-872,152 / HK$3,384.000- 6,768,000

Philippe Dufour Grande & Petite Sonnerie Wristwatch Number 1 in Yellow Gold

From 1989 to 1992, Dufour set out on the difficult task of miniaturizing his sonnerie movement to wristwatch size and the result was the present Grande & Petite Sonnerie wristwatch number 1, a world premiere that makes the present example offered at auction the world’s very first Grande & Petite Sonnerie wristwatch.

Philippe Dufour Grande & Petite Sonnerie Wristwatch Number 1 in Yellow Gold
Image Credit: Phillips

This version was produced in only five examples with white enamel dials, respectively 2 cased in white gold, one in yellow and one in pink gold, as well as one in platinum.

Philippe Dufour Grande & Petite Sonnerie Wristwatch Number 1 in Yellow Gold
Image Credit: Phillips

Estimate: CHF 1million-2 million / US$1,090,000 -2,180,000 / HK$ 8,461,000-16,922,664

Philippe Dufour Duality Pink Gold, Number 8

Dufour’s inspiration for the Duality came from a few school watches from the Vallée de Joux Watchmaking School of the 1930s – the same school that Dufour graduated from. These pocket watches had a single gear train delivering power to two balance wheels through a differential. Once again, like with his sonnerie wristwatch, Dufour set out on the task of shrinking this mechanism to wristwatch size.

Philippe Dufour Duality Pink Gold
Image Credit: Phillips

In 1996, Dufour introduced his iconic Duality, the world’s first wristwatch incorporating a double escapement. Featuring two independent balance wheels compensated with a central differential gear, the mechanism improves accuracy while also countering the effects of gravity.

Philippe Dufour Duality Pink Gold
Image Credit: Phillips

He initially planned to produce 25 examples, however, only nine were made including an example with movement number ‘00’ (sold at Phillips New York in 2017 for close to $1 million), making the present example bearing number 8 the last one made. It is one of three pink gold examples ever produced.

Estimate: CHF 800,000-1.6 million/ US$872,152-1,744,520 / HK$6,768,000 – 13,540,596

Philippe Dufour Simplicity 37mm Platinum, Number: 57

After having proven his undeniable talent and expertise in creating ultra-complicated mechanisms, Dufour set out in 2000 on the challenging task to create a simple three hand watch with a movement architecture designed to demonstrate hand finish and decoration that modern horology had not yet witnessed.

Philippe Dufour Simplicity 37mm Platinum
Image Credit: Phillips

The gentle flow of the bridges’ curves, the bold and alluring inward and outward angles, the hand-applied Geneva waves and red rubies all provide a seductive visual harmony.

Philippe Dufour Simplicity 37mm Platinum
Image Credit: Phillips

The decoration and assembly are done by hand and only less than a dozen Simplicities left Dufour’s workshops in the Vallée de Joux per year. The present watch bearing movement number 57 is one of the earlier models that the master produced.

Estimate: CHF 250,000-500,000 / US$272,581 – 545,176 / HK$2,115,743 – 4,231,326

Introducing VOS – Vicenzaoro September 2021 International Jewellery Show

VOS – Vicenzaoro, Italian Exhibition Group’s international jewellery show is now back in physical form from 10th to 14th September, filling the entire Expo Centre with over 800 exhibiting brands.

The opening ceremony is scheduled for 11.30 on 10th September. It will be attended by IEG President, Lorenzo Cagnoni, Mayor of Vicenza, Francesco Rucco, ITA President, Carlo Maria Ferro, Vice President of the Province of Vicenza, Cristina Franco, President of Federorafi, Claudia Piaserico, Veneto Regional Councillor for Economic Development, Roberto Marcato.

Vicenza will showcase creations from top-quality manufacturers and exclusive previews from the world’s most famous jewellers, from DAMIANI Group to ROBERTO COIN, from FOPE to CRIVELLI and FABERGÉ. But also with innovations at T.Gold, the international show for jewellery machinery and the most advanced technologies applied to gold and jewellery processing.

VOS - Vicenzaoro

And, for vintage watch and jewellery lovers, VOVintage, the event specifically for collectors and open to the public, will also be back (11th – 13th September).

Vicenzaoro September is also an arena for debate and in-depth insights to the benefit of the industry’s national and international top manufacturers. The programme will open with “The State of the Art” Talk in collaboration with Club degli Orafi: a snapshot of the sector from first-rate representatives of the supply chain: Jerome Favier CEO at Damiani, Stephen Lussier Executive Vice-President Consumer and Brands for De Beers Group, Nicolò Rapone Operations Senior Director at Bulgari and Massimo Fasoli, CEO at Fasoli Spa.

Emerging phenomena and consumer evolution over the next 18 months will be the focus at the presentation of the 20th “The Jewellery Trendbook 2023+”,  compiled by Trendvision Jewellery + Forecasting, IEG’s independent think tank.

Sustainability and gender equality will be the main topic at “Sustainable Development Goals: Meeting Their Challenge” organized by CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, attended by President Cavalieri, and further meetings dedicated to “Gemmology Women Icons” and “Women in jewellery” will feature numerous key opinion leaders from the sector.

Digital Talks, in collaboration with Confcommercio Federpreziosi, will also be back as well as GEM TALKS, in collaboration with I.G.I. (Italian Gemmological Institute) which will deal with the topic of synthetic diamonds. Laura Inghirami, founder of Donna Jewel, will be speaking about the consumer behaviour of Millennials and Generation Z.

Community and culture will be the key words of the programme of events dedicated to watchmaking: an unprecedented course organized by the Geneva institution FHH – Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, is to be held with an exceptional educator: Ugo Pancani, Professor of Mechanical and Electronic Watchmaking.

Meanwhile, master watchmaker Vincent Calabrese, one of the most renowned in the world and co-founder of the Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants (AHCI) with 40 patents to his name, will be giving a preview of his latest revolutionary idea for mechanical watches.

Startup & Carats, organized with the support of ITA (Italian Trade Agency), will provide a new launching pad for synergies and collaborations by promoting communication and relations between all the stakeholders in attendance and the most dynamic start-ups and SMEs.

Safety first and foremost at VOS with the deployment of the #SAFEBUSINESS by IEG plan, the project that ensures a safe yet agile trade show experience, and the GBAC STAR™ accreditation (the global certification program regarding the correct practices, procedures and systems to meet the international standards of cleanliness, disinfection and infectious disease prevention for facilities and staff promoted by the Global Biorisk Advisory Council, that IEG has obtained for all its premises, the first trade show and congress organizer in Italy to do so.

An international hub of reference for the entire industry, the September edition of VO boasts the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Italian Trade Agency (ITA), and also enjoys the solid presence of associations such as Confindustria Federorafi, Confartigianato Orafi, Confcommercio Federpreziosi, CNA Orafi, Confimi Industria Jewellery and Silver Category, Assocoral, AFEMO – Italian Association of Jewellery Machinery Manufacturers and Exporters and, on an international scale, CIBJO – World Jewellery Confederation.

The show will also resound among Vicenza’s splendid streets with VIOFF, Vicenzaoro’s Off Show event: the sixth edition, entitled “A GOLDEN JOURNEY”, will provide an enthralling artistic and entertainment offer in a virtuous blend of business and culture.

IEG – Italian Exhibition Group is also presenting VO’ Clock, the B2B event entirely devoted to contemporary watchmaking, as part of VOS – Vicenzaoro September 2021.

VO’ Clock will be hosting 23 mechanical and quartz watch brands exhibiting new entries and previews of collections and models for national and international buyers.

The exhibitors will include: Meccaniche Veloci, founded in Milan in 2006, which combines creative Italian spirit with the best watchmaking tradition of Geneva; Cyrus, a Swiss company that embodies a perfect balance between tradition and innovation; Corum, which, since 1955, has been driving the watch towards new horizons by creating iconic pieces such as the Coin Watch, worn by Bill Clinton and Andy Warhol; Victorinox, the company that created the historic Swiss army knife and also makes watches, uniting mechanical excellence, impeccable aesthetics and uncompromising precision; Meistersinger, world famous for its elegant one-hand watches with their functional design; Junghans, a German firm that combines artisan workmanship, innovative thinking, passion and a love for detail.

VO’ Clock originates from IEG’s desire to promote the technical expertise, design and innovation in today’s watches by providing a specific and exclusive stage. The aim is to favour and create long-lasting commercial relations between international distribution and the jewellery brands attending Europe’s most anticipated event.

VOS deploys its own contemporary watch community with a selection of ultra-modern, artisan and design brands as well as the latest technological models, an expression of the new concept of time.

IEG’s timepiece enhancement perspective is therefore further enriched. In fact, VO’ Clock joins VO Vintage, the event devoted to vintage watches and jewellery, scheduled to take place from Saturday 11th to Monday 13th September in the foyer on the first floor of Vicenza Expo Centre, will feature four of the most important dealers and the sector’s top experts.

A programme of conferences, workshops and meetings completes IEG’s offer with exclusive events, including the much-awaited talk with Vincent Calabrese who has announced a revolutionary innovation for timepiece mechanics.

Source: Italian Exhibition Group (IEG)

Bentley and Breitling Announce the Termination of Their Partnership

After just under two decades, Breitling and Bentley have announced the cessation of their long-standing partnership. As the production of the last Bentley Breitling Tourbillon is complete, the two iconic brands recall their best-in-class union and significant shared achievements.

Swiss watch brand Breitling and British luxury car maker Bentley have been working together for 19 years, the longest-ever partnership between a watch brand and a luxury car manufacturer.

BREITLING for Bentley Mulliner Tourbillon Chronograph
BREITLING for Bentley Mulliner Tourbillon Chronograph

The partnership began in 2002, when Bentley and Breitling came together to design the onboard clock for the first-ever Bentley Continental GT, which was debuted in 2003.

Following this, the partnership has created some of the most notable watches in Breitling’s history. The last Bentley Breitling Tourbillon now leaves the factory. It is set to be an iconic collector’s timepiece, representing the final collaboration between the two brands.

For the past two decades, Bentley and Breitling have collaboratively achieved extraordinary levels of luxury for their customers. Now, they announce that they will be parting ways at the end of 2021.

Some of the most memorable collaborations between the two brands include: the Breitling Bentley Supersports Light Body watch, the Breitling Bentley GT3 Limited Edition, the Bentayga dashboard Tourbillon clock, the Continental GT Speed Breitling Jet Team Series, the Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Bentley British Racing Green, and the Premier Bentley Centenary Limited Edition.

In April 2021, the new Breitling Premier B21 Chronograph Tourbillon 42 Bentley Limited Edition launched, joining a range of other collaborations between the two brands. The last piece of this most recent timepiece has now been finished and will soon be enjoyed by its new owner.

Bentley Premier B21 Chronograph Tourbillon 42 Bentley Limited Edition
Bentley Premier B21 Chronograph Tourbillon 42 Bentley Limited Edition

Georges Kern, the CEO of Breitling, said: “We’re proud of what we have accomplished together, and after 19 years, Breitling and Bentley are embarking on their own new journeys. I know that Bentley will continue to define excellence in the automotive industry. The final Bentley Tourbillon leaving our factory represents a moment of positive reflection for us all.”

Adrian Hallmark, Bentley Motors’ Chairman and CEO commented: “The long-standing collaboration between Bentley and Breitling demonstrated that when two like-minded brands work together authentically, the performance of both is enhanced. We look back on the past two decades with great affection and send our warmest best wishes to the Breitling team for the future.”

It’s time to look back at some of the highlights of the past two decades. The partnership can be traced back to 2002, when Bentley was designing the car that would go on to become the Continental GT. Bentley commissioned Breitling to create an onboard clock that would reflect the unparalleled luxury, quality, and performance of the new grand tourer, which was debuted in 2003.

Breitling’s official sponsorship of Team Bentley at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race was a highlight for both brands. Bentley returned to Le Mans in 2003, where the famous “Bentley Boys” had achieved their greatest victories in the late 1920s. Breitling was Team Bentley’s proud main sponsor and celebrated it with the Bentley Le Mans Limited Edition Chronograph.

Bentley’s high-speed performance wasn’t limited to the racetrack. In 2011, a special version of the Bentley Continental GTC Supersports set a new world record on ice when driver Juha Kankkunen, wearing a limited-edition Breitling Bentley Supersports Light Body watch, achieved a speed of 205 mph (331 km/h), shattering the previous record, which had been set by Bentley four years earlier. The drive took place on the frozen waters of the Baltic Sea.

In 2014, Bentley successfully returned to motorsport competition in the GT3 category with its high-performance speed machine, the Continental GT3, which enjoyed numerous podium finishes. Breitling’s limited-edition Bentley GT3 watch, launched a year later, featured a sporty black titanium case and racing car–inspired carbon fiber dial.

In the same year, Breitling also created a dashboard clock featuring a Tourbillon complication for the ultimate luxury SUV, the Bentley Bentayga. This is in fact the most valuable item that Bentley has ever installed in a car, aside from the cars themselves! It is products like these that illustrate the power of the two brands’ joint performance.

In 2015, Breitling and Bentley unveiled the Bentley Continental GT Speed Breitling Jet Team Series at the Seattle Boeing Seafair Air Show. In tribute to the teams of engineers, flight controllers, and pilots, a limited edition of just seven totally unique Bentley Continental GT Speeds was commissioned by Breitling. The magnificent seven cars featured two-tone exteriors of Onyx and Hallmark to reflect the striking livery of the Breitling jets.

In 2018, Breitling launched the Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Bentley British Racing Green. Powered by Breitling’s flagship Manufacture Caliber 01 in-house mechanical movement, which is visible through a unique transparent caseback with a metalized Bentley logo. These timepieces also have an engraved plate with a “Bentley” inscription inspired by the dashboard of the historic supercharged 1929 “Blower” Bentley.

A year later, on the occasion of Bentley’s centenary and to celebrate its partner’s 100 years of luxury motoring excellence, Breitling launched the Premier Bentley Centenary Limited Edition. Produced in 18 k red gold and stainless-steel versions, they featured unique brown elm burl dials, a nod to the wood inserts in their Continental GT Number 9 Edition taken from the seat of Sir Tim Birkin’s legendary Bentley Blower from 1930.

As the journey shared by Breitling and Bentley draws to a close after nearly two decades, it is appropriate that the final chapter is defined by the ultimate in luxury watchmaking, the Premier B21 Chronograph Tourbillon 42 Bentley Limited Edition, produced in an exclusive series of 25 pieces.

The final piece from the series is now on its way to its owner. It marks a fitting end to a partnership which has always been characterized by two great brands’ joint commitment to pioneering spirit, expert craftsmanship, exquisite design and technological excellence.

[Discover more watches created in partnership between Bentley and Breitling]

The Geneva Watch Days 2021 exhibition is to be held from 30 August to 3 September

After the successful Geneva Watch Days 2020, organizers of the event have announced the second edition. From August 30th to September 3rd 2021, 25 watchmaking Maisons will be joining an exhibition and a Pavilion open to the public on the Rotonde du Mont-Blanc.

The organizers of this event are offering the possibility of discovering a wide and varied spectrum of creations across all segments of the industry. A 600sqm pavilion on the Rotonde du Mont-Blanc will be open during daytime hours for them to discover the new products from the participating Maisons in the 46 displays, as well as to attend various daily presentations given by the experts of Phillips in association with Bacs & Russo.

These will cover the major themes affecting the watch industry and the challenges it is facing today: digitalisation, distribution, collection, etc. These same specialists will also be available to provide estimates of owned timepieces to visitors.

The Geneva Watch Days 2021 exhibition

While the spirit of the event is to anchor watchmaking firmly in the heart of the City of Geneva by involving the public, clients and media will discover the brands’ new products on the various sites that each will occupy in the city centre. Media and clients visiting the different brand areas will also be able to travel easily and in an environmentally friendly manner by using “taxi bikes”.

As was the case last year, strict health and safety measures have been implemented. In addition to the usual requirements such as social distancing, disinfectant gel and masks, the Geneva Watch Days organisation has set up a permanent station for participants to take the Covid antigen and PCR tests at their own expense upon their arrival, should they be unable to present a Covid vaccination certificate or a negative test result. It will be located in a tent adjacent to the Pavilion on the Rotonde du Mont-Blanc.

And for those unable to make the trip, the brands will offer clients and customers a chance to discover their new products digitally in real time, thereby giving Geneva Watch Days a truly international dimension.

Geneva Watch Days 2021 is officially supported by the State and City of Geneva.

This initiative was launched by a group of founding brands comprised of Bvlgari, Breitling, De Bethune, Gerald Genta, Girard-Perregaux, H. Moser & Cie., MB&F, Ulysse Nardin and Urwerk, which have formed a non-profit Association, alongside Associate brands: Arnold & Son, Bianchet, Charles Girardier, Czapek, Doxa, Ferdinand Berthoud, Frederique Constant Group, Greubel Forsey, Konstantin Chaykin, Louis Erard, Maurice Lacroix, Oris, Parmigiani Fleurier, Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo, Raketa and Reuge.

Christie’s Presents Watches Online: The Marvel(ous) Sale, 24 August – 7 September 2021

Christie’s Hong Kong has kick-started an online auction named The Marvel(ous) Sale since 24 August. This online bidding will be active until 7 September. The star lot of the sale is the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept “Black Panther” Flying Tourbillon, the first example to be offered for sale at auction globally.

It is worth to note that a one-off version of the same model, created to raise funds for two charities, First Book and Ashoka, sold for US$ 5.2 million, making it the most expensive Audemars Piguet model ever sold.


(1) LOT 46 – The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept “Black Panther” Flying Tourbillon

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept “Black Panther” Flying Tourbillon was unveiled at a star-studded event in April 2021. Its release followed the announcement that the esteemed Manufacture from Le Brassus and Marvel would be collaborating moving forward.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept “Black Panther” Flying Tourbillon

Audemars Piguet unveiled the first Royal Oak Concept watch in 2002, marking the 30th anniversary of the groundbreaking Royal Oak. Conceived by the illustrious designer Gérald Genta and in its day considered avant-garde, when the Manufacture unveiled the inaugural Royal Oak Concept Ref 25980/D003, it looked positively space age by comparison.

This latter model, limited to 150 pieces, was endowed with an unusual power-reserve indicator displaying units around the circumference of the barrel. Other indications included a function selector and dynamograph. Lastly, the model featured a tourbillon, positioned at 9 o’clock. This watch embraced bold, avant-garde styling, characteristics that would be repeated on several occasions with the advent of further Royal Oak Concept models.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept “Black Panther” Flying Tourbillon

When Audemars Piguet released the Royal Oak Concept “Black Panther” Flying Tourbillon it perpetuated the revolutionary design of former Royal Oak Concept models. Its hand-painted white gold 3D Black Panther character, unconventional and elaborate titanium bridges as well as extensive use of vivid purple tones polarised opinion both in the media and among the watch collecting community. Estimate: HKD 3,000,000– 5,000,000 / US$ 380,000– 650,000.

(2) LOT 45 – Audemars Piguet Tropical Dial Royal Oak Ref. 5402ST

Audemars Piguet Tropical Dial Royal Oak Ref. 5402ST ‘A Series’ is much sought after by watch collectors and is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain. This particular example is particularly rare as it features a highly desirable ‘tropical’ dial.

Audemars Piguet Tropical Dial Royal Oak Ref. 5402ST

Consistent with other steel ‘A Series’ models, the AP logo is positioned in the lower portion of the dial, located between the 9th and 11th line. The correct ‘SWISS’ text is stamped and sits below the index at 6 o’clock.

With the passage of time, the black dial has acquired unique areas of bronze-gold hues. When released, Audemars Piguet produced 2000 examples of the ‘A Series’ before it progressed to making the ‘B Series’. This particular example is 843/2000. Estimate: HKD 400,000–800,000 / US$ 50,000– 100,000.

The other interesting Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watches featured in this auction are two white gold, diamond-set ladies’ quartz watches (circa 1990 and 1997), a stainless steel 38mm triple calendar with yellow dial (circa 1990), an 18k yellow gold 30mm quartz watch with date (circa 1985) and a 36.5mm stainless steel automatic model with blue dial featuring dual time, power reserve and date (circa 2004).

(3) LOT 96 – Gérald Genta Minute Repeater with Jumping Hour and Retrograde Minutes

This rare Gérald Genta watch has an eye-catching green guilloché dial and platinum case with a distinctive ribbed profile. The model pairs one of the most technically challenging complications, a minute repeater, with two indications often associated with Mr Genta, jumping hours and retrograde minutes.

Gérald Genta Minute Repeater with Jumping Hour and Retrograde Minutes

The minutes are presented on an arcing track. A lone hand sweeps clockwise from ‘0’ to ‘60’, before returning to its point of origin as the jumping hour, shown at 6 o’clock, advances forward. This particular composition expresses meaning with a notable flurry of style. Estimate: HKD 400,000–800,000 / US$ 50,000– 100,000.

Christie’s Hong Kong is also offering two more Gérald Genta masterpieces dating back to 1990.

The first one is an automatic perpetual calendar with moonphase wristwatch featuring a 33mm diameter round case made of 18K yellow gold and Onyx. It has a skeleton dial with centre hour and minute hands, three sub-dials in 18K gold for displaying perpetual calendar functions and a lapis lazuli sub-dial for moonphase display.

The second model is also a Gérald Genta automatic perpetual calendar moonphase watch with the similar dial style mentioned above, but with a 31mm diameter octagonal-shaped 18K yellow gold case.

(4) LOT 2 – Patek Philippe Steel Nautilus with Date Ref. 5711/1A-001

First released in 1976, this iconic luxury-sports watch has attracted numerous column inches and discussions relating to rocketing resale values pervade the collecting community. Moreover, with several references now discontinued, the pre-owned route is the only means of acquiring a coveted reference from yesteryear.

Patek Philippe Steel Nautilus with Date Ref. 5711/1A-001

Housed in a 40mm stainless steel case with a black/blue dial the watch is equipped with an automatic movement and integrated stainless steel bracelet. Estimate: HKD 650,000 – 950,000 / US$ 85,000– 125,000.

(5) LOT 20 – Patek Philipe Chronograph Ref. 1579R with original certificate

This exquisite timepiece is housed in a pink gold case. With only 82 known examples of the Ref. 1579R produced in pink gold, this particular watch is very rare, and both gold marks remain visible. The watch is endowed with so-called ‘spider lugs’ and the dial exhibits a charming mellow aged appearance.

Patek Philipe Chronograph Ref. 1579R

The two registers are encircled by applied pink gold Arabic numerals and square indexes. Unusually, the watch is supplied with the original ‘Certificate of Origin’. Estimate: HKD 1,300,000–2,000,000 / US$ 165,000– 250,000.

(6) LOT 1: Patek Philipe Platinum Minute Repeater Tourbillon Ref. 3939

This lot is possibly a unique Platinum Minute Repeater Tourbillon (ref. 3939) watch from Patek Philipe.  Surprisingly, despite such complexity, the platinum case measures a modest 34mm in diameter. The enamel dial is dressed in black while the hours are denoted with white gold Breguet numerals. This latter combination differentiates this specific example from the ‘standard’ versions of the Ref. 3939 which came with a white enamel dial.

Patek Philipe Platinum Minute Repeater Tourbillon Ref. 3939

Indeed, this model, crafted in 1999, is believed to be one of only a few specimens equipped with a black dial. The ‘Certificate of Origin’ makes reference to the ‘émail noir’. Estimate: HKD 1,000,000–2,000,000 / US$ 130,000– 230,000.

(7) LOT 21 – Patek Philipe Platinum with Date Ref. 3445

Typically this reference was presented in a white or yellow gold case. However, this particular example is housed in platinum, making it one of the rarest and most coveted versions of the Ref. 3445. Its slender hour and minute hands perfectly harmonize with baton style indexes. The watch has a date display at 3 o’clock,  and a small seconds above 6 o’clock.

Patek Philipe Platinum with Date Ref. 3445

The watch is equipped with the Caliber 27-460, an automatic movement produced by Patek Philippe and finished to the exacting standards of the Geneva Seal. Estimate: HKD 400,000–650,000 / US$ 50,000– 85,000.

In addition to the above lots, the other notable Patek Philipe wristwatches featured in this auction are:

  • A Steel Calatrava Pilot Travel Time (reference 7234) made to celebrate the Singapore Grand Exhibition 2019.
  • A stainless steel Annual Calendar Chronograph (ref. 5960) circa 2016.
  • An 18K Yellow Gold Calatrava (ref. 2508) dating back to 1959.
  • An Aquanaut 34mm Automatic stainless steel model with black dial (reference 5060 A, circa 1998).
  • An 18K Yellow Gold Annual Calendar with power reserve and moonphase (reference 5146/1J-001, circa 2008).
  • An 18K white gold and diamond-set, hand-wound time-only watch, circa 1990 (reference 3965/1).
  • A Manual-winding Calatrava Platinum time-only watch with an ivory-colored dial and diamond hour-markers, circa 1992 (reference 3796).
  • An 18K Yellow Gold Automatic Annual Calendar with 24H display (reference 5035) and white ceramic dial, circa 2004.

(8) LOT 177 – Rolex Ref. 8171 ‘Padellone’

This impressive pink gold example of the legendary Ref. 8171 ‘Padellone’ is one of only six examples to feature the ‘HL Mark II Officially Certified Chronometer’ type dial.

Rolex Ref. 8171 ‘Padellone’

Indeed, only about 350 pieces were produced in pink gold over a 3 year period, and it is estimated that a mere 32 examples have appeared on the open market in the last 70 years. The case measures 38mm in diameter, which was considered large when it was produced.

The watch is equipped with dauphine-style hour and minute hands, lapped bullet-style indexes, a small seconds display above 6 o’clock and pointer-style date indication. Two calendar windows sit beneath the ‘tall’ Rolex crown. Estimate: HKD 1,200,000 – 2,000,000 / US$ 150,000– 250,000.

In addition to this watch, more than 30 Rolex watches are being offered in this auction. Some noteworthy lots among them are:

  • An 18K yellow gold Submariner with automatic movement and tropical brown dial (reference 1680), circa 1979.
  • A white gold Daytona automatic chronograph with diamond and ruby set dial (reference 116509), circa 2009.
  • A stainless steel Submariner Date with 39mm diameter case, automatic movement, and tropical MK-II dial, circa 1969.
  • A two-tone (stainless and steel) Oyster chronograph with 34.5mm case, manual-wound movement and silvered dial, circa 1938.
  • A GMT Master with 39mm stainless steel case, automatic movement and gilt dial (reference 1675), circa 1965 (the same reference but made in 1966 is also available).
  • An Explorer watch with 36mm stainless steel case, automatic movement and tropical dial with chapter ring, circa 1960.
  • An 18K pink gold Day-date with 36mm diameter case, automatic movement, silvered dial with diamond markers (reference 1803), circa 1974.
  • An Explorer II with 40mm diameter stainless steel case, automatic movement and cream rail dial (reference 16550), circa 1986.
  • An 18K yellow gold Day-date with 36mm diameter case, automatic movement and diamond-paved dial (reference 18038), circa 1981.
  • An 18K Yellow Gold Submariner with 40mm diameter case, automatic movement and black dial (reference 16618), circa 1991.
  • A Stainless Steel Daytona Automatic Chronograph with 39mm diameter case and white dial (reference 116500), circa 2018.
  • An 18K Pink Gold Daytona Chronograph with 40mm case, automatic movement and golden dial (reference 116505), circa 2009.
  • An 18K Yellow Gold Day Date with 36mm case, Lapis Lazuli dial, automatic movement and 18K president bracelet, circa 1997.
  • A Stainless steel Submariner with 39mm diameter case, automatic movement, tropical gilt dial and pointed crown guard (reference 5512), circa 1960.

(9) LOT 152 – Roger Dubuis White Gold Double Tourbillon

This version of the Excalibur Double Tourbillon has been produced and finished to the exalted standards of the Geneva Seal. The open-worked hour and minute hands are positioned above a mother-of-pearl dial.

Roger Dubuis White Gold Double Tourbillon

An arc-shaped minute track, positioned between 9 and 3 o’clock, provides the basis for the unusual retrograde minutes display. Two flying tourbillons reside at the base of the dial and are framed with silver-coloured circlets. Unlike a ‘conventional’ tourbillon, a flying tourbillon eschews an upper bridge/bar, affording superior views of the escapement, regulating organ and cage in motion.

The two flying tourbillons are linked by a differential, augmenting precision. Housed in a white gold case, this model was produced in a limited series of 28 pieces (this example is No. 9/28). Roger Dubuis, a fully integrated Manufacture. The estimate for this example is HKD 240,000-400,000 / US$ 30,000–50,000.

More highlights:

  • Lot 138: Panerai limited edition titanium watch with tourbillon, dual time and AM/PM indication, circa 2017.
  • Lot 51: Blancpain Platinum hand-wound watch with skeletonised dial and a set of 9 bezels, circa 1994.
  • Lot 54: Breguet Yellow Gold Automatic Tourbillon Regulator watch, Ref. 5307, circa 2005.
  • Lot 85: CORUM 18K White Gold Quarter Repeater with automaton, automatic movement by CHRISTOPHE CLARET, circa 1995.
  • Lot 107: HYT Iceberg limited edition with titanium case and white dial with retrograde blue fluid hours and power reserve, circa 2014.
  • Lot 53: Breguet 18K White Gold manual-wound watch With Dual Time and Day/Night Indication, Ref. 7067, circa 2014.
  • Lot 55: Breguet Reine De Naples automatic watch with 18k white gold and diamond-set case and mother-of-pearl-dial, circa 2000.
  • Lot 141: Piaget hand-wound watch with Yellow gold, Onyx and diamond case and bracelet, gold dial, circa 1991.
  • Lot 121: Longines 18K Yellow Gold, manual-winding chronograph with 37mm case and silver dial, circa 1937.
  • Lot 128: Moritz Grossmann Stainless Steel with Hand Painted Dial displaying a tiger, circa 2019.


During this auction, Christie’s is offering a number of Haute Joaillerie pieces. The first timepiece (lot 82) is a white gold Chopard bracelet watch set with diamonds and emeralds (Est. HKD 320,000 – 650,000 / US$ 40,000 – 85,000).

Chopard bracelet watch

The second watch (lot 140) is a dazzling creation from Piaget set with 94 brilliant and marquise-cut white diamonds with a total weight of 16 carats along with 43 rubies totalling 16.68 carats. This Piaget masterpiece, part of the Maison’s haute joaillerie collection, is in exceptional condition and is supplied with the original Piaget Certificate of Origin. Estimate: HKD 650,000–1,200,000 / US$ 85,000–150,000.

Piaget high jewellery watch

Three Vacheron Constantin high-jewellery watches are also available. Dressed in a white gold case, these timepieces can be distinguished by their gem-setting combination: ‘diamond with emerald’, ‘diamond with ruby’ and ‘diamond with sapphire’.

Another high-jewellery lot featured in this auction is a set of Patek Philippe Lady’s yellow gold and lapis lazuli and diamond-set bracelet watch with matching ring and earrings.

Click here to view the lots curated for the The Marvel(ous) Sale ONLINE auction.

Info and Image credit: Christie’s Hong Kong

Swiss luxury watch brand Breguet announces the appointment of its new CEO

Breguet has announced the appointment of Lionel a Marca as its CEO.

Lionel a Marca joined the Swatch Group almost 30 years ago and has been working at the Maison since 2019. His commitment and impressive skills across all areas of watchmaking saw him appointed to the Executive Boards of Blancpain in 2004 and Harry Winston in 2014. In 2019, he also joined the Extended Executive Board of the Swatch Group.

Recently, Lionel a Marca has taken over the role of CEO of Breguet from Mark A. Hayek, who will continue as the president of Montres Breguet SA. Now, Mr a Marca is placing all of his fine horology passion and experience at the service of Breguet.

Lionel a Marca, CEO of Montres Breguet SA
Lionel a Marca, CEO of Montres Breguet SA

Lionel a Marca is a watchmaker through and through. Born in Porrentruy (Switzerland) in 1967, it was only natural that he should turn to watchmaking.

Following a watchmaking and repair apprenticeship and several years gaining experience, he joined the Swatch Group in 1992, at Frédéric Piguet located in the Vallée de Joux. It was here that he familiarized himself with the constraints of production. His career path subsequently took him to the ETA Manufacture Horlogère, where he helped develop and improve several watchmaking complications.

He went on to assume new roles within the Swatch Group. He worked as a consultant for different companies within the Group, namely in the areas of quality control and implementing new production lines.

It was during one such task that he crossed paths with Marc A. Hayek, the current President of Breguet and Blancpain, where he has remained to this day.

For nearly 20 years, Mr a Marca has contributed to the success of the brand located in Le Brassus, alongside its President and CEO, Marc A. Hayek. Indeed, he has implemented Hayek’s visionary ideas of creating new products. With this experience under his belt, in 2019, he joined the Extended Executive Board of the Swatch Group, which is in charge of the House of Breguet and companies that produce dials.

If today Lionel a Marca is one of the rare watchmakers at the helm of a renowned watch brand, then he will undoubtedly be able to steer Breguet towards the brightest of futures on the eve of its 250th anniversary. He will do so while respecting the watchmaking heritage and visionary spirit of both the Maison’s founder and the Hayek family, especially that of Nicolas G. Hayek and Marc A. Hayek who preceded him in this role.

ROLLS-ROYCE, in collaboration with BOVET 1822, presents a custom-made “Boat Tail”

Costing a whopping US$28 million, the ROLLS-ROYCE “Boat Tail” is a mid-sized luxury coach built grand tourer car.

Recently, Rolls-Royce has unveiled an absolutely unique coach-built “Boat Tail” commission that integrates 100% bespoke BOVET timepieces into the dashboard. The mounting system for the timepieces in the dashboard has never been done before and required years of research, as well as extensive testing (vibration, temperature, humidity, and even automotive crash tests).


Equipped with an incredible five days of power reserve, the mechanical tourbillon timepieces from BOVET are the perfect choice for the dashboard installation as they are designed to remain precise even when kept in the vertical position.

These two tourbillon timepieces from BOVET 1822 have been engineered, designed, and developed in parallel with the production of a coach-built Rolls-Royce. Using the revolutionary and patented Amadeo system, these timepieces can transform from a wristwatch to a pocket/pendant watch to a desk clock and a dashboard clock.


The first car was designed for a Rolls-Royce and BOVET 1822 collector. The concept was to design and produce a bespoke Rolls-Royce and two unique BOVET 1822 timepieces, one for himself and one for his wife. Three years in development, BOVET 1822 and Rolls-Royce accomplished something never realized before in either industry.

ROLLS-ROYCE X BOVET 1822 watch for lady

As the mechanical tourbillon timepieces are meant to be mounted in the car as dashboard clocks, this changed the development completely as now they had to be considered part of the car. As a result, the holder and timepiece — all 51 components engineered and manufactured by Bovet — had to be tested like any other part of the car for vibration, security, safety, and more.

BOVET 1822 was assigned to develop timepieces that could be worn on the wrist and instantly converted into dashboard clocks, mounted into a special holder that slots into the car itself.


In a move that further demonstrates the clients’ visionary approach to contemporary patronage, two great luxury Houses with a common pursuit of perfection have been brought together at the clients’ behest. World-class craftspeople from the House of Bovet 1822 were called upon to work hand-in-hand with Rolls-Royce’s own masters in their field.

The mechanically-minded clients sought to break new ground in horology. As esteemed collectors of both the Switzerland-based House of Bovet and Rolls-Royce, their vision was to create exquisite, ground-breaking timepieces for their Boat Tail. In an act of tireless endeavor and genuine collaboration, the Houses have come together to re-imagine Rolls-Royce’s iconic centerpiece, the dashboard clock.

The result is an achievement never before realized in either industry. Two fine reversible timepieces, one for the lady and one for the gentleman, have been designed to be worn on the wrist, used as a table clock, pendant or pocket timepiece, or placed front and center within the Boat Tail’s fascia as the motor car’s clock.

The holder mechanism, designed completely by BOVET, started from a blank sheet of paper, as nothing like this had ever been produced before. The designers and engineers in BOVET focused on adapting the patented Amadeo convertible system, which was introduced in 2010 and is tried and proven, as the base of the system.

ROLLS-ROYCE X BOVET 1822 watch for men

The timepieces, the holder, and the Boat Tail car were being designed at the same time, so there were many moving parts to this story. Adding to this was the requirement by Rolls-Royce that the system be developed and mounted into the dashboard at the exact time the interior of the car was finished, as no one wanted to have to open up the dashboard later.

Many things had to be taken into consideration – any vibration from the car had to be isolated from the timepieces or compensated for, no noise could emit from timepieces, and the system had to be simple, easy to use, and, above all, safe and secure.

From the start, BOVET was determined to accomplish this project in a purely mechanical way, in keeping with its commitment to its in-house, Swiss Handcrafted production. As a result, the engineers and designers had to devise new solutions as they were encountering challenges that they never saw in watchmaking.

The solution they chose was to keep all the mechanical parts of the system on the outside of the dashboard. Usually in anything similar, the fixation system never moves, and the movable piece just slots in, like sliding a CD into a CD player. Here it is exactly the opposite – in the dashboard is simply the place for the holder, which is equipped with all the mechanical pieces.

ROLLS-ROYCE X BOVET 1822 watch dashboard

In addition, a special drawer was designed and produced as well, using the same leather as the seats in the Boat Tail. This holds the timepieces, the straps, the chain, the pendant, when not in use. This drawer slides into the dash as well, neatly and cleanly keeping everything in place and secure. Should the timepiece not be mounted in the holder and put into the dashboard, there is a special laser-engraved and lacquered display plaque in its place, to complete the aesthetic of the dashboard.

BOVET has a long history of creating pair timepieces for worldwide collectors. Conceived to be completely original, the two tourbillon timepieces, one for the husband and one for the wife, use newly-designed 18K white gold 44mm cases, precision tourbillon movements, and special dials on both faces.

Using the Amadeo system, these timepieces are reversible and can be converted without any tools. The gentleman’s timepiece is high polished while the lady’s timepiece is ornately engraved then filled with blue lacquer, entirely done in BOVET 1822’s in-house artisanal workshop.

ROLLS-ROYCE X BOVET 1822 watch for men

Both timepieces feature a Caleidolegno hand-applied wood marquetry front dial, using the same exact wood from the Boat Tail, with the name of each owner on the dial, along with a hand-sculpted and hand-engraved statue of the Rolls-Royce “Spirit of Ecstasy” on the tourbillon bridge.

ROLLS-ROYCE X BOVET 1822 watch for lady

This statue represents several weeks of work from the artisans in BOVET, fashioning the 18K gold by hand all day every day. The wood marquetry is accomplished by one expert artisan who has worked with wood his entire life.

On the reverse side, the dials are even more personalized. The masculine timepiece features an aventurine dial with the owner’s sky chart overlaid on top.


The feminine timepiece features a miniature painting of a flower bouquet on a mother-of-pearl dial, done by one single artisan who specializes in this métier d’art.

The flower bouquet theme is a historical hallmark from BOVET 1822’s long history making ornate and highly-decorated pair watches, and this concept was chosen by the owner and personalized by BOVET 1822.

ROLLS-ROYCE X BOVET 1822 watch for lady

In addition, both reverse dials have hand-engraved bespoke sculptures of the coach-built Boat Tail, lacquered to match the color of the car, with miniature painting for the details (wheels, door handle, mirrors, and more).

Getting the color exactly right was difficult, but BOVET was aided by the relationship between Rolls-Royce and BOVET. The sculpture of the car is amazing in its detail and is a true and accurate representation of the coach-built car – a true work of art accomplished by Bovet’s artisans. As a finishing touch for this side of the dial, the name of each owner’s “better half” is engraved on the tourbillon bridge.

Weight was a real concern for this project, as there were restrictions from Rolls-Royce from the start – BOVET was given a maximum weight for the timepieces and the holder which could not be exceeded. In watchmaking, weight is rarely an issue for a complicated timepiece, so the decision was made to reduce the case size as much as possible, to 44mm, which necessitated creating an entirely new case.

To reduce potential impact from the vibration from the car, BOVET switched from ball bearings to pivots for the tourbillon, increased the weight of the balance wheel in the timepieces, which reduced the power reserve but increased the precision. At the same time, BOVET increased the oscillation rate to 21,600 to aid precision.

Technical details of Bovet unique timepieces


Size: Bespoke; diameter – 44mm; thickness – 14mm
Type: 18K white gold Fleurier case; BOVET 1822 bow at 12 o’clock; 49 components
Case Function: Amadeo Convertible System; reversible; pocket watch on chain; pendant watch on necklace; table clock; dashboard clock
Case Finishing: Men’s timepiece is high polish finish; Women’s timepiece is hand-engraved then filled with blue lacquer


Bespoke 60-second tourbillon; manual-wind; 284 components (without dial and hands); 21,600 v/h
Functions: Hours and minutes on both sides (reverse hand-fitting); power reserve indicator on front
Power Reserve: 5 days


Men’s Front Dial: Hand-made Caleidolegno wood marquetry dial; hand-engraved Spirit of Ecstasy sculpture fixed to the tourbillon bridge; “A Special Timepiece Commission” on the dial

Women’s Front Dial: Hand-made Caleidolegno wood marquetry dial; hand-engraved 18K white gold Spirit of Ecstasy sculpture; “A Special Timepiece Commission” on the dial

Men’s Reverse Dial: Blue aventurine glass with sky chart of owner’s birth day and birth place; hand-engraved bespoke Boat Tail sculpture, lacquered to match the color of the car then miniature painted by hand to add the details; wife’s name engraved on the mirror-polished (by hand by the watchmaker) tourbillon bridge

Women’s Reverse Dial: Miniature hand-painting of flower bouquet on mother-of-pearl dial (based on historical BOVET 1822 timepiece, customized); hand-engraved bespoke Boat Tail sculpture, lacquered to match the color of the car then miniature painted by hand to add the details; husband’s name (engraved on the mirror-polished (by hand by the watchmaker) tourbillon bridge

Other features

Dashboard Holder
Aluminum and Titanium; 51 components; Engraving of two Boat Tail Rolls-Royce automobiles in a white gold case, to match that of the timepieces, to place inside when the timepiece is not present (100% engineered, designed, and produced in-house by BOVET)

In-car Drawer
To hold timepieces, straps, chain, necklace

Independent laboratory certification
Shock, temperature, humidity, vibration

Mujinga Kambundji, “The Queen of Swiss Sprint”, joins the Hublot family of brand ambassadors

Swiss luxury watch maker Hublot has welcomed Swiss sprinter Mujinga Kambundji as its brand ambassador.

Mujinga Kambundji is the fastest Swiss woman in history and the first to break the legendary 11-second barrier for the 100m. She also holds the national records for the 60m, 200m and 4 x 100m. Her bronze medal for the 200m in Doha in 2019 made her the first sprinter in the history of Swiss athletics (male or female) to step onto the podium of a World Championship. She was also selected as the Swiss Sportswoman of the Year in 2019.

Mujinga Kambundji

With national titles, triple European bronze medals, international podiums and a ticket to the Olympics in the bag, Mujinga is on the starting blocks. Back on the track after a nine-month break due to an injury, she is returning stronger and more determined than ever, and is still improving her own records and times. On the eve of the Tokyo Olympic Games, she is joining the Hublot family. With her Hublot watch on her wrist, she firmly intends to set the track alight.

Berne is very dear to Mujinga’s heart, as the city where she was born and grew up. Moreover, it is where she does most of her training, at the Wankdorf as she continues to call it. Mujinga reached her first podium running bare foot with her older sister, Kaluanda, in Berne of course, aged seven years old. After this race, she received her first running shoes. Sprinting is a family affair for the Kambundji. She and her three sisters have rhythm and timing in their blood.

Determined and humble, at ease in her track spikes, she knows exactly what she wants and where she’s going. Her progression bears witness to this, as the 29-year old native of Berne has continually improved her own records every season. There is no doubt that this Olympic year will be no exception.

She has a contagious smile and a golden heart. Since 2015, Mujinga has also been an Ambassador for the Swiss Red Cross. Today, the athlete who runs the fastest for the Swiss flag is joining Hublot; it has to be said that the watchmaker likes to bring together those who challenge time and set records.

The athlete nicknamed the “Queen of Swiss Sprint” is preparing to fly off to Tokyo, following a fast start to the season, having just won the 100m gold at the Swiss Athletics Championships in Langenthal and taken 3rd place in the 200m at the Diamond League meeting in Florence. These successes will serve as benchmarks and preparation for her third Olympic Games after London in 2012 and Rio in 2016.

On her wrist, Mujinga Kambundji has chosen the minimalist Classic Fusion Titanium 33mm, a model with three hands—hours, minutes, seconds—and a date with optimal readability so as to keep only the very essence of time. She chose it in titanium, a light and resistant metal, an ideal ally for her performances. A black dial and black rubber strap for a watch that like her, is simultaneously simple and elegant, and naturally strong.

Breitling and Triumph announce a long-term partnership

Swiss watchmaker Breitling and British motorcycle manufacturer Triumph announce a long-term partnership and are gearing up for a limited-edition watch and a customized motorcycle to be revealed in early 2022.

Both companies are innovators in their fields. Breitling has played a truly pioneering role in the development of the modern chronograph. And partner Triumph has passionately helped shape the evolution of the motorcycle. The two makers share a bold and original design philosophy and a flair for precision craftsmanship.

Triumph Thruxton RS motorcycle
Triumph Thruxton RS motorcycle

For this exciting partnership, the two brands will collaborate on two special editions: a watch and a motorcycle, to be revealed in early 2022.

“This is where substance meets original styling. You can expect purposeful engineering paired with modern retro designs,” says Breitling CEO Georges Kern. “But, however you want to describe it, there’ll be a huge sense of adventure and discovery.”

Triumph Motorcycles CEO Nick Bloor welcomes this unique chance to collaborate with another established heritage brand. “Like Breitling, we’re committed to providing the flawless handling and incredible finishes that give our community an incomparable experience.”

Triumph Thruxton RS motorcycles – the original modern café racer – are now on display in top Breitling boutiques around the world.

Breitling and Triumph announce a long-term partnership

First established in 1902, Triumph Motorcycles celebrated 119 years of motorcycle manufacture in 2021. For more than three decades, Triumph has been based in Hinckley, Leicestershire, producing iconic bikes that perfectly blend authentic design, character, charisma, and performance.

With more than 75,000 motorcycles delivered in the last financial year, and close to 700 dealers across the world, Triumph is the largest British motorcycle manufacturer.

Triumph also has a glorious racing history, competing in and winning races in almost every class of motorcycle sporting achievement, from winning the second ever Isle of Man TT in 1908, through to 1960s domination, and right up to contemporary Supersports racing achievements winning at the Daytona 200 and taking multiple British Supersports Championships and Isle of Man TT titles, including 2019 courtesy of Peter Hickman.

Triumph’s racing legend continues as the exclusive engine supplier to the FIM Moto2™ World Championship and the return to the British Superbike Championship in 2021 with a factory-supported race team, Dynavolt Triumph.

Vacheron Constantin announces the opening of a boutique at La Samaritaine, Paris

Vacheron Constantin, the world’s oldest watch manufacturer in continuous operation for 265 years, is proud to announce the opening of a boutique at the Samaritaine Paris Pont-Neuf, which is once again welcoming visitors after being closed for 16 years and an extraordinary renovation project.

From now on, Vacheron Constantin will host collectors and clients on the second floor of this Art Nouveau and Art Deco architectural gem, offering both the former an opportunity to browse its entire range of collections – from the simplest watches to the most complicated – as well as models developed exclusively for the boutiques.

Vacheron Constantin boutique at La Samaritaine, Paris

The design of this elegant 42 m2 setting highlights the Maison’s profound attachment to heritage and artistic crafts, expressed through walls adorned with blue straw marquetry artwork masterfully carried out by the artisans of the Ateliers Lison de Caunes; a mosaic floor representing a nod to the Vacheron Constantin boutique on Rue de la Paix; a central counter with rounded Art Deco-inspired lines specially created for the occasion.

The décor features a wealth of aesthetic details conducive to instilling a warm and welcoming atmosphere within the prestigious department store. This is an exclusive space ideally designed for private meetings, within which collectors and watch enthusiasts are sure to enjoy discovering the latest creations from the Maison.

Boutique address

Vacheron Constantin Boutique – La Samaritaine Paris Pont Neuf
9 Rue de la Monnaie, 75001 Paris
Telephone: 01 88 88 60 00
Open Monday to Sunday from 10am to 8pm

Vacheron Constantin announces new flagship in Ginza, Tokyo

Vacheron Constantin, the world’s oldest High Watchmaking Maison with 266-year uninterrupted history, announces the opening of its new flagship in Tokyo in December 2021.

The boutique will be located in the very heart of Ginza, on Harumi Avenue. Elegantly integrated within the all-new Tenshodo building, this flagship will have a unique façade inspired by the Maison’s emblem, the Maltese cross.

Vacheron Constantin announces new flagship in Ginza, Tokyo

The space will span across two floors, combining the Maison’s refinement with its commitment to exceptional retail experience and best-in-class service from an in-house master watchmaker.

The new flagship will showcase a collection of men and women’s timepieces ranging from simple models to high complications, in addition to exclusive boutique limited editions.

Says Vincent Gouget, Vacheron Constantin Japan Managing Director: “Highly visible and situated at a very prime location in Ginza, this flagship will embody Vacheron Constantin’s ‘One of not many’ spirit in Japan. It will also epitomize the Maison’s long-standing relationship and deep commitment to its Japanese clients. Our ambition: to make it the favorite destination in Tokyo for discerning Vacheron Constantin connoisseurs as well as aspiring watch collectors.”

Vacheron Constantin has 5 boutiques in Tokyo and Osaka. The existing boutique located in Ginza’s Chuo avenue will continue to serve clients after the opening of the new flagship.

Edox Appoints Marianna Gillespie as its Water Champion Ambassador

Swiss watch brand Edox has announced an exciting new partnership with world champion freediver Marianna Gillespie.

The partnership is a natural fit for Edox; the independent watchmaker is known as the Water Champion of the Swiss watch industry and Marianna is a champion in her own right in the exciting, challenging, sport of freediving. The 31-year-old Russian-born Frenchwoman, ranked world No.1 freediver four times and world champion twice, will become an ambassador for the iconic Edox Delfin diver’s watch collection.

Edox Appoints Marianna Gillespie as its Water Champion Ambassador

Marianna will also become a product advisor to the independent Swiss watchmaker, helping with practical, product- specific guidance to further refine the Edox family of superb diving watches. Edox also plans to present a women’s collection, including a limited edition with diamonds, especially created for Marianna.

Edox Appoints Marianna Gillespie as its Water Champion Ambassador

The Edox Delfin collection was first introduced in 1961. It was the first watch to use the Double O-ring system which, with a reinforced case back, gave it 200m water resistance – an astonishing achievement 60 years ago. Six decades later, the Delfin collection is still one of the stars of the Edox watch family.

An accomplished swimmer from an early age, Marianna grew up in Moscow. She fell in love with the sport of freediving during her final year of studies at the Russian State Sports University when a friend challenged her to swim 25 metres underwater – without fins. She swam 75m and hasn’t looked back in the sport since.

Edox Appoints Marianna Gillespie as its Water Champion Ambassador

While most free-divers strive to master a single discipline, Marianna dominates several – in depth and the pool. The current French national record holder in multiple disciplines, Marianna has been world champion twice, ranked No. 1 in the world four times and has also won the prestigious Vertical Blue competition.

Dubbed ‘the mermaid from the East’ by the Le Parisien newspaper, Marianna is one of the world’s strongest freedivers, ranked not only in the world top 10 in multiple individual disciplines but overall as well.

W.O.I. (Watches Of Italy) Exhibition, Second Edition – 25 and 26 September 2021, Museo Orsi, Tortona (AL) Italy

The second edition of “W.O.I. – Watches Of Italy”, the national exhibition dedicated to Italian Watchmaking, will be held on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th of September 2021 at the “Orsi” Agricultural Machinery Museum in Tortona (AL), Italy. The fair/expo is FREE ENTRANCE and will observe the hours continued from 10:00 to 19:00.

It’s organized by the “Watches Of Italy Group”, with the patronage of the Municipality of Tortona. The exhibition will be attended by well-established brands, microbrands, startups, artisans, designers and watchmakers.

W.O.I. (Watches Of Italy) Exhibition, Second Edition - 25 and 26 September 2021, Museo Orsi, Tortona (AL) Italy

The main target of the W.O.I. Group is to enhance and promote Italian brands but the watch fair will host even non-Italian companies that are currently run by Italian entrepreneurs in order to celebrate Italian creativity all over the world of watchmaking.

It’s going to be possible to look and touch products and get to know the manufacturer directly. It will be also possible to buy watches and spare parts directly at the exhibit as there will be manufacturers of both watches and accessories.

The entrance remains deliberately free in order to reach the widest possible audience and also to promote small artisanal productions which, normally, do not find any space in large-scale distribution.

The official partner of the event is the “La Clessidra 1945”, the oldest Italian watch magazine.

Italian Exhibition Group Announces the Second Edition of VICENZAORO VO VINTAGE

As part of the jewellery boutique show Vicenzaoro September (10-14 September 2021, Vicenza, Italy), VO Vintage will be back for the second edition of the event devised by IEG – Italian Exhibition Group, specifically for all collectors, enthusiasts and onlookers of vintage watches and jewellery.

From Saturday 11th to Monday 13th September 2021, a precious moment and vis-à-vis encounters for every player in the high-range vintage world, a sector that is expected to grow constantly from now to 2025, with watch sales in the second-wrist market estimated at between 29 and 32 billion dollars. In addition, VO Vintage also offers a trip into the wonderful world of jewellery that has become iconic with time.

Community and culture are the key words behind this free for all exhibition, devised and created thanks to the expertise of IEG which, with its Jewellery Agenda, oversees top gold-jewellery events in the world. VO Vintage is a moment of exchange, reunion and the sharing of a passion that inspires all those who gravitate around the vintage watch and jewellery world.

Immersed in a distinctive location, they will have the exclusive opportunity to find unique pieces that created the luxury dimension in the past, as well as top experts from the sector. A much and long-awaited chance to build relations after almost a year of forced standstill for this physically-attended event which, as guarantee of exhibitor and visitor privacy and safety, will take place in the foyer on the first floor of the Vicenza Expo Centre in an exclusive and restricted context.

Rolex Daytona ref. 6263, Copyright Elvio Piva
Rolex Daytona ref. 6263, Copyright Elvio Piva

The sector’s four most important dealers are expected to attend, great enthusiasts even prior to becoming market operators, each with a selection of rare and highly-sought watches: Stefano Mazzariol, Maurizio De Angelis, Elvio Piva and Corrado Mattarelli.

Exceptional individuals who make VO Vintage a chance for visitors and collectors to admire the very best of luxury vintage watches and share their story and manufacturing peculiarities with the greatest experts and satisfy their curiosity about the various models.

The programme, organized under the directorship of Michele Mengoli, advisor for VO Vintage, foresees three full days of talks with sector experts and high-profile figures, including Dody Giussani and Mario Peserico, in moments of exchange and in-depth investigation amid focuses on the fascination of watches and the ambitious future of the vintage world.

To round off, two high-quality educational moments, each in partnership with a prestigious institution. On Sunday, technical training held by educators from CAPAC in Milan, the Trade and Tourism Polytechnic, which represents Lombardy’s excellence in the field of training services in the watch sector.

Monday will be the turn of the “Watch Essentials Class”, an unprecedented course held by the FHH Federation Haute Horlorogerie, a Geneva-based institution that, for over 10 years, has been promoting and disseminating watch-making excellence and its culture around the world. The class will have an outstanding educator: Ugo Pancani, Watch-making, Mechanics and Electronics Professor and FHH Ambassador.

VO Vintage is the chance to admire and learn the gold-jewellery tradition of the past and be seduced by the charm of those precious items that have gone down in history as symbols of their own era, yet are still contemporary due to their uniqueness. In fact, selected traders in the specialized valuable antique and vintage high-jewellery will be in attendance, including Montegrandi Gioielli, Luise Gioielli and Barbara Bassi.

VO Vintage has three partners: AHCI – Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants, the historical Swiss association whose aim is to keep the art of independent watch-making going; the new Watchouse Forum dedicated to watch enthusiasts and founded by Bruno Bergamaschi, a key opinion leader in the sector; WP – Watch Passion, a category association for new, second-hand, contemporary and vintage watch dealers.

But VO Vintage is not only timepieces and vintage jewellery: the new entry at Vicenzaoro September 2021 will be VO’ Clock, the B2B area dedicated to contemporary watches, a new and lively community that already counts 25 independent brands on display.

Christie’s Spring 2021 Watch Season – Facts and Figures

Achieving numerous new records during an exceptional Spring 2021 Watch Season, in just 4 months (March- June 2021), Christie’s watch sales in Geneva, Dubai, Hong Kong and New York totalled US$ 93.7 million, giving Christie’s the leadership position in the watches auction market.

This record performance during the first half of 2021 exceeds Christie’s watch figures for the whole of 2020 and 2019, further strengthening the premier auction house’s position as a global leader in horological sales on live and digital platforms.

The enduring fascination with iconic, rare and beautiful timepieces, together with the vast diversity of offerings, is attracting new bidders from around the globe. More than a trend, it signifies a shift towards a faster-paced, more segmented market.

Christie’s Results - Overview Watches Live and Online Sales 1H2021
Christie’s Results – Overview Watches Live and Online Sales 1H2021

Some important facts and figures

  • In the 1st half of 2021, 1681 lots were offered at 10 Christie’s watch auctions, with a combined 92% of lots sold.
  • 40% of the lots sold above estimate, indicating desirable curation and strong appetite from the market.
  • Christie’s watch sales recorded participation from 79 countries, (+15 vs 1H20)
  • More than 35% of auction registrants were new to Christie’s.
  • The market is also opening up to a younger and more diverse profile: 39% of buyers at the watch sales were new to Christie’s, of which 40% are under 40, and 41% are based in APAC, 28% in Americas and 31% in EMEA.
  • A fresh balance between ‘live’ and ‘online’ showed that more than one in two bidders in traditional sales (53%) also bid online.
  • Hong Kong is the second-largest country by number of new buyers, after the US (followed by the UK, Switzerland and Singapore).
  • Spectacular rise of the Middle East, where the number of registrants has tripled. Christie’s, attentive to the local clientele of great collectors, is the only house with an active Watches department based in Dubai. The region has unquestionably become also an essential hub in the watch market.

The live and online auctions held between March and June this year across four markets – Geneva, Dubai, Hong Kong and New York – combined the advantages of global expertise with the regional knowledge Christie’s watch specialists are known for.

Highlights across Christie’s markets

Christie’s auctions in Geneva, Dubai, Hong Kong and New York presented true standout timekeepers this Spring season, notably several historically important pieces:

In Hong Kong, a unique 18k gold Patek Philippe automatic perpetual calendar wristwatch with English calendar, leap year indication and “no moon” Ref. 3448 “Alan Banbery” (manufactured in 1970, modified in 1975) which reached US$ 3,759,755 and set a new auction record for the reference.

lan Banbery’s yellow gold Patek Philippe ref. 3448J - Lot 2513
lan Banbery’s yellow gold Patek Philippe ref. 3448J – Lot 2513

A Patek Philippe Ref. 2523/1 two crown world time wristwatch achieved US$ 2,051,364 (almost double its low estimate of US$ 1,035,389).

Patek Philippe Ref. 2523. Lot 2508
Patek Philippe Ref. 2523. Lot 2508

A Patek Philippe wristwatch Ref. 1415 with enamel dial achieved auction record for the reference with US$ 2,284,326 (more than double its low estimate).

PATEK PHILIPPE REF. 1415 - Lot 2508
PATEK PHILIPPE REF. 1415 – Lot 2508

A Patek Philippe Ref. 2481, also with enamel dial, achieved US$ 1,010,798 setting a new auction record as well as for the reference (4 times above the low estimate $258,847).

Patek Philippe. REF. 2481. Lot 2511
Patek Philippe. REF. 2481. Lot 2511

An important F.P. Journe platinum Chronomètre Souverain, made for and presented to George Daniels, that went for US$ 420,657 (against a low estimate of US$ 184,564; an auction record for the model).


In Dubai, a Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon Ref. 5002P-001 (manufactured in 2004) sold for an online record US$ 1,590,000, setting two new records simultaneously, for the most expensive watch sold at auction in the Middle East and for any watch sold online at Christie’s.

PATEK PHILIPPE Ref. 5002P-001 - Lot 1
PATEK PHILIPPE Ref. 5002P-001 – Lot 1

Also, La Grande Sonnerie No.1, in platinum Ref. G0025.7 by Gérald Genta, estimated at US$ 30,000-40,000, sold for US$ 500,000, whilst a yellow gold Grande Sonnerie No. 3 by Genta achieved 10 times its low estimate, selling for US$ 300,000.


A rare 1952 steel Rolex, triple calendar chronograph Snow Compax, Ref. 6036, tripled its pre- sale estimate and found a new owner at US$ 350,000.


In Geneva, a Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Ref. 1518 in rose gold (manufactured in 1951) retailed by Serpico Y Laino, achieved US$1,502,971 against the low estimate of US$488,740.

Also a Patek Philippe World Time pocket watch Ref. 605 with a cloisonné enamel dial which sold more than double the low estimate, achieving US$1,271,861.

A rare and early platinum F.P.Journe Tourbillon Souverain wristwatch achieved US$ 434,000 against a low estimate of US$ 184,000.

In New York, a Cartier Art Deco Pendule Mystérieuse clock Modèle A (manufactured in circa 1925) which sold for US$ 562,500, a Patek Philippe perpetual calendar chronograph Ref. 2499/100 sold US$ 475,000, more recently the Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 570 owned by pop art icon Andy Warhol, which sold three times its low estimate achieving, US$ 150,000, a perpetual calendar chronograph Patek Philippe Ref. 3990EP in platinum set with diamonds that realized US$ 200,000, and a Rolex Ref. 6036 “Jean-Claude Killy” triple calendar chronograph that sold for US$ 187,500.