In honor of what would have been Elvis Presley’s 81st birthday on January 8, Graceland is putting on an auction of some significant artifacts with 126 lots going under the hammer. Included in this auction are two interesting watches once purchased by Elvis Presley: a 1973 Omega Time Computer and a 14-karat gold Baume & Mercier. Both watches are individually engraved with personal inscriptions from the King to people in his life.
Scott Rothstein was the ringleader of the third largest Ponzi scheme ever to take place in the USA, reportedly defrauding investors of $1.2 billion. The courts liquidated most of his ill-gotten gains such as supercars, yachts, and vacation houses rather quickly. However, his now-divorced wife, Kim, had hidden a few million dollars’ worth of baubles, which were later uncovered. And which are now up for sale.
Now, it seems fairly evident that we are on the down slope of either a cyclical correction in prices or, if one takes a less optimistic view, a permanent loss of watch value as the mechanical timepiece industry faces a variety of challenges and potential disruptions. So what’s a collector to do? And what lessons can we draw, both from recent watch auction results and the history of other luxury categories, to guide us?
As has become apparent over the past few years, getting your watch serviced, especially with any group-owned brands, can be a major thing. It can take many months, and even up to a year. The reason, of course, is that there are only so many qualified watchmakers to service these watches, and brands are overrun with a gargantuan backlog of service requests.
But that’s only one of the reasons to consider becoming a backyard watchmaker.
Only Watch, the biennial charity auction on behalf of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research, has firmly established itself as a landmark event on the watch scene. This year’s sixth renewal of the event, serving as the kickoff for the autumn Geneva watch auction week, saw Patek Philippe donating the landmark piece for the event, a blue-dialed, steel-cased Reference 5016A-010, which hammered for more than $7 million.
I am a passionate watch enthusiast and have been for years, as well as a watch collector (as far as my budget allows).
I have experienced the joy of getting a watch precisely to my liking in a simple, reductionist philosophy with a comparatively pedestrian movement – but including a very interesting complication and aesthetic.
It makes me happy every time I strap it on or look at it. Here is my experience in designing my own watch with Ochs und Junior.
By now, pretty much everyone who follows horological news has heard about and likely seen images of the Harry Winston Opus 14. Much of the hard data – the 1066 component parts, four separate stacked dials including three interchangeable ones, the formidable 54.7 mm diameter – is already well known. But how does this immensely complicated watch “stack up” after a bit of reflection?
It’s an extraordinary feat when some of the most established names in watchmaking and up-and-coming independents come together for a worthy cause.
The 2015 edition of Only Watch is to be held on November 7, and this sixth edition of the biennial charity auction sees the highest number of donated pieces ever: 44 in total.
Read on for a complete listing and photos, including estimates, of the all unique piece watches in the 2015 Only Watch auction.
I deliberately wrote the headline as “Why We Are In A Golden Age For Appreciating Superlative Hand-Finishing . . . ” because, the fact is that if many people do not appreciate superlative hand-finishing, then fewer will pay for superlative hand-finishing, so there is likely to be less superlative hand-finishing on offer. So what does any of this mean for the future of superlatively hand-finished timepieces?
For this special article, I have the pleasure of covering the wonderful Grönefeld One Hertz! For a watch fanatic, and especially for lovers of independent watch brands, it’s a dream come true to meet the makers of the watches that we admire. With the Grönefeld brothers, it’s that pleasure multiplied by two.