The very solid and spacious tent on the grounds of the La Reserve hotel in Geneva on May 10, 2015 turned out to be a very special time and place as the world’s most prestigious watches went under the hammer for the inaugural Phillips Watches auction in association with Bacs & Russo. Let’s have a look at how a few of the most interesteing pieces did at this premier event, which was presided over by auction guru Aurel Bacs.
Phillips’ inaugural watch auctions were held on May 9 and May 10, 2015. A relative newcomer to the world of highly collectible timepieces, its partnership with the highly experienced Bacs & Russo team has led to an amazing array of watches on offer. However, I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I was asked to preview a selection of the stunning timepieces featuring in The Geneva Watch Auction: One. What I found took my breath away.
You may be familiar with the old Christmas diddy “The Twelve Days Of Christmas.” Let me sing you the final verse of this song, including what my true love gave to me on the twelfth and final day, in horological terms…
In this final round table discussion, my Quill & Pad colleagues Ian, Joshua, Gary and I discuss the amazing night that was. I am glad to talk about this incredible event and provide a few behind-the-scenes insights. Being on the jury for the third time in a row this year, I knew what to expect and could relax enough to enjoy the discussions and preparations.
The Sports watch category has always been one of the most hotly contested prizes because these are the watches that many people actually wear. Our pre-selected contenders in the Sports category this year are: the Bell & Ross BR126 Vintage Sport Heritage GMT Flyback, Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Chronographe Flyback, the Aerofusion Chronograph Pelé by Hublot, Tissot’s T-Touch Expert Solar, the Tudor Heritage Ranger, and the El Primero Lightweight by Zenith.
Joshua Munchow had the good fortune to accompany Blancpain to the final race of the 2014 Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo USA racing series at Road Atlanta. Follow him on his heart-pounding ride through the Super Trofeo Village, the Lamborghini race paddock and – naturally – on a hot lap around the track in a 2014 Aventador with one of the drivers as he test-drove L-Evolution-R Chronograph Flyback Rattrapante Grande Date in carbon fiber and red gold.
Honoring the oceans and Blancpain’s commitment to them, the brand now releases the limited-edition Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Ocean Commitment Bathyscaphe Chronograph Flyback. This is more than a dive watch; it is an attractive timepiece for everyday wear thanks to the fact that its 43.6 mm case is crafted in gray ceramic, though you would never guess it if you didn’t handle the watch. Its steely visuals are no match for the lighter weight of the timepiece.
Just look at the contenders in this heavyweight Tourbillon division: Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Automatique, Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon, Grönefeld Parallax Tourbillon, Montblanc Villeret ExoTourbillon Rattrapante, TAG Heuer Carrera MikroPendulum Tourbillon, and the Blancpain Villeret 12-Day One-Minute Flying Tourbillon. Our panel just managed to reach a majority decision, but it was a close race.
The pre-selected Calendar watches in the 2014 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève are as varied as they are superb: the A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Perpetual Calendar Terraluna, Montblanc Meisterstück Heritage Perpetual Calendar, Van Cleef & Arpels Midnight Planetarium, Breguet Classique Tourbillon Quantième Perpétuel, Zenith Captain Winsor Annual Calendar and the Jaquet Droz Perpetual Calendar Eclipse Ivory Enamel. Which would you choose?
The watches in the Ladies category of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève can only feature two of the following functions at most: date, power reserve, classic moon phase, and a second time zone. The watches may be adorned with a maximum of 5 carats of gemstones.