Weekly Roundup April 11: Jaeger-LeCoultre, Graff, Patek Philippe, Panerai, Sotheby’s, Chopard, Marc Alfieri, Seiko And More
We hope you didn’t miss our Weekly Roundup too much last week in lieu of the goings-on at Baselworld. This week, we bring you the latest news again, though with a Baselworld goodie or two thrown in….
* Such as the world’s most expensive wristwatch: during the fair, Graff Diamonds announced the creation of a one-of-a-kind jeweled timepiece that retails for $55 million. Dubbed Hallucination, it may be the priciest timepiece ever created thanks to more than 110 carats of very rare, colored diamonds.
* Designer Marc Alfieri was present in Basel to talk about his new Polio Watch One for the Time to Act project. Finance and development was supported by a crowdfunding campaign and proceeds from the profits of the watch will go to fight polio. As of today, just about € 6,000 of the targeted € 20,000 has been raised. For more details, or to donate or buy one of the watches, please visit: www.born.com/view/39/fight-against-polio-with-time-to-act-watch.
* Jaeger-LeCoultre releases a new version of the AMVOX2 Transponder, the watch that doubles as a “key” to open the owner’s Aston Martin car from a distance. This timepiece was originally launched in 2006 as the second in the then-new collection celebrating the official partnership between the iconic Swiss brand and the legendary English auto maker.
This updated version of the AMVOX2 Transponder now contains the ability to control the lock and unlock functions of all Aston Martin cars in current production from a distance. Previously, the Transponder models only corresponded to certain Aston Martin models, such as the DBS, DB9 or the Rapide.
This novel interaction between mechanical watch and car is engineered using a micro-transmitter built right into the double case back of the new AMVOX2 model, with the antenna positioned directly beneath the sapphire crystal.
* Officine Panerai launches the Table Clock PAM 581, the brand’s first freestanding timepiece, which is powered by an in-house, manually wound, eight-day mechanical movement. Set upon an engraved stand, the front view is unmistakably Panerai, while the rear view spotlights the latest in-house movement: Caliber P.5000. The polished stainless steel case measures 65 mm in diameter.
* Seiko ambassador, tennis player and current world number two Novak Djokovic, recently won the Sony Open in Miami, beating Richard Mille ambassador Rafael Nadal in the finals. At the victory ceremony, Djokovic proudly wore his Seiko Astron.
* Madison Avenue Watch Week once again takes place in New York City from May 5 through 10. Top watch retailers and brand boutiques located on Madison Avenue between 57th and 86th Streets will put the spotlight on new and exceptional timepieces, some of which just premiered at the SIHH and Baselworld.
Those participating include Asprey, Buccellati, Chanel, Chopard, David Yurman, de Grisogono, F.P. Journe, Georg Jensen, Girard-Perregaux, Hublot, John Varvatos, Montblanc, Officine Panerai, Porsche Design, and Vacheron Constantin.
In celebration of Mother’s Day, which takes place the same weekend, several exceptional timepieces for the female watch enthusiast and collector will debut during the week, including Chopard’s Imperiale in rose gold and mother-of-pearl with diamonds, sapphires, and amethysts.
On Tuesday, May 6, Hodinkee’s Ben Clymer will host a Watch President’s Panel Breakfast for collectors, so mark your calendars. More information is available at: www.madisonavenuewatchweek.com.
* Sotheby’s Hong Kong Important Watches sale achieved HK$129.9 million ($16.7 million). The top lot was Patek Philippe Reference 5207P-001, the brand’s third most complicated wristwatch, which contains a minute repeater, perpetual calendar and tourbillon. It sold for HK$6.75 million ($867,000), a world auction record for the model. Richard Mille’s platinum tourbillon RM12 came in fifth place, fetching $497,436.
* SalonQP announces its next dates at London’s Saatchi Gallery as November 6-8, 2014.
* Continuing dialogue on the smart watch, Jack Forster provides another interesting viewpoint on Forbes: www.forbes.com/sites/jackforster/2014/04/05/why-the-smart-watch-wont-cause-a-crisis-in-watchmaking/
* On Revo-Online, Jack additionally provides an in-depth look at the Jacob & Co. Astronomia, which launched at Baselworld. revo-online.com/baselworld-2014-jacob-co-wows-watch-world-with-the-astronomia-tourbillon/
* Over at Hodinkee, Ben Clymer provides us with a whopper of a reference article on the Rolex Paul Newman Daytona. A must-read for any Rolex fan! www.hodinkee.com/features/reference-points-the-paul-newman-daytona
* And last but not least, Quill & Pad co-founder Ian Skellern was interviewed at Baselworld by CNN Money for his thoughts on complications and complicated watches.