This is the second year in a row that I’ve had the opportunity to attend the November watch auctions in Geneva. On last year’s trip, a good friend and I had the pleasure of participating in several events organized by Patek Philippe as well as the biennial OnlyWatch auction. This year, we returned for the previews and salesroom action at major houses including Phillips, Christie’s, and Sotheby’s.
On October 3, 2016, Patek Philippe launched two hotly anticipated limited-edition watches in commemoration of the fortieth anniversary of its Nautilus line. Reaction from the watch community was immediate – and scathing. Yet barely a few weeks later, opinions were much more positive. What happened and what changed?
Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the pleasure to write here about two truly splendid minute repeaters, both property of a good friend: Patek Philippe Reference 5074P and Reference 5078P. They both look great, but I’m guessing that if you’ve been following this series you’re most interested in how they sound. Well, here’s your chance. Welcome to the great Patek Philippe chime-off!
What sells watches? This is the 20 billion Swiss franc question in today’s challenging economic climate.For at least part of the answer to what sells watches (and how to buy them in down markets), we can learn a lot from two of the steadiest performers in the watch industry.
Recently, a good friend and avid collector gave me the mouth-watering opportunity to photograph two splendid Patek Philippe minute repeaters: the 5074P and 5078P. If you’re one of those people who believe in wearing a watch with your tuxedo, I don’t think you’d ever go wrong in pulling the 5078P out of the safe to wear. What else is interesting about it?
Here begins a very special three-part series looking at, and listening to, two of Patek Philippe’s splendid minute repeaters: References 5074P and 5078P. If there’s any curiosity about which of the two I prefer, I’ll get that question out of the way right now: I consider the 5074P to be one of the finest contemporary wristwatches; it is a piece that awes me every time I handle one.
Patek Philippe gathered the largest grouping of its rare minute repeaters in one place in mid-2016. This unique event was broadcast live via the Internet as the focus of Robb Report’s first Master Class, in which the magazine’s editors partnered with the esteemed watch brand to present eleven rare and exceptional minute repeaters. Here we recap the exceptional timepieces.
Waxing poetically about moon phases has gotten me excited enough to take a trip through certain “phases” of engineering excellence . Here we bring you the eight most accurate moon phases currently fitted into a wristwatch. Join us on this odyssey through space and time.
Patek Philippe watches in stainless steel are the hot thing among vintage collectibles. Phillips’s auction house, whose watch division is spearheaded by Bacs & Russo, has set four world records for stainless steel Patek Philippe watches over the last two years. A new find coming up in the Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR could possibly break the current record of almost $4 million. Check out that Patek Philippe Reference 1518 right here.
Given my recent musings on these pages about the relative roles of rarity and complication in driving the value of a watch, it seems appropriate to dedicate this “Behind the Lens” entry to a piece that is both complicated and limited in production: Patek Philippe’s Reference 5950A. What’s so special about this watch? Well, first of all it’s a split-seconds chronograph. What else?