Monthly News Roundup: Audemars Piguet, Girard-Perregaux, Cartier, Breguet, Jaquet Droz, Romain Jerome, Pierre de Roche, Grieb & Benzinger, RGM, Sotheby’s
* Audemars Piguet has begun a large project aimed at extending its historic buildings and to house its new Maison des Fondateurs museum. The new 2,400 m2 (25,800 sq ft) building will be integrated into the Vallée de Joux’s breathtakingly natural landscape.
The museum as it stands today is housed in the building that was the original Audemars family home. www.audemarspiguet.com
* At Baselworld, Romain Jerome presented a set comprising a unique timepiece and a one-of-a-kind Jerome X HardNine motorbike called H9C-DNA, which has already been sold. The brand now offers a limited edition of nine of the timepieces featuring a mirror-polished H9C skull on the dial and retaining the design of the original watch in a black PVD-coated 44 mm stainless steel case. Price $21,950.
* Girard-Perregaux releases the Traveller ww.tc in a 44 mm black DLC-coated titanium case. The GP automatic Caliber 3300 is visible through the sapphire crystal of the case back. It comes on an interesting rubberized alligator skin strap with a ceramic folding clasp.
* Pierre de Roche celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2014 with Reynold, a grand complication pocket watch exuding a decidedly historical note. Founder Pierre Dubois’ grandfather, Reynold Dubois, was a leading figure at Jaeger-LeCoultre under Jacques-David LeCoultre himself. Pierre came across this LeCoultre grand complication movement from 1920 while browsing an antique dealer’s offerings, and has turned it into the enameled tribute Reynold.
A true grand complication, this unique piece comprises a minute repeater, a chronograph, and a perpetual calendar.
* The 30th edition of the Cartier Queen’s Cup took place in June at the Guards Polo Club in Windsor, England, where Team Zacara beat Team Talandracas in the presence of Queen Elizabeth. For more polo experience, please read Polo: The Sport of Kings, and Thanks to Richard Mille, Yours Truly.
* Jaquet Droz is the presenting partner of the contemporary Béjart ballet company, which is based in Lausanne. Last week in the gardens of Versailles, the company dramatically performed the most famous scenes choreographed by Maurice Béjart, including Ravel’s Bolero. www.thewatches.tv/en/editorial/jaquet-droz-at-versailles-with-the-bejart-ballet-lausanne
* Breguet, as a major patron contributing to the restoration of the Louvre’s Louis XIV to Louis XVI rooms to the tune of several million euros, celebrated the re-opening of the space dedicated to 18th century art collections – which includes timepieces – in June.
Breguet’s connection with this world-famous museum began in 1802 when Abraham-Louis Breguet had the honor of presenting his masterpieces at the Louvre in the context of its second Exhibition of Industrial Products. www.breguet.com
* Grieb & Benzinger presents two new platinum timepieces inspired by a collector’s requests: the Centurion and the Centurion Imperial are blackened 43 mm platinum timepieces with black skeletonized movements. The Imperial version additionally offers 66 red Princess-cut diamonds around the bezel.
* America’s “original watchmaker,” Roland Murphy of RGM, is opening the doors to his factory on September 27 by offering a special tour of both his brand’s premises and a personally guided tour of the nearby National Watch and Clock Museum in Columbia, Pennsylvania.
* On July 9 2014, Sotheby’s London will auction an incredible swan clock as part of its Treasures sale. This George III musical automaton tower clock set with extremely fine guilloche and Geneva-style enamel panels was made in London around 1790 for a Chinese emperor and was originally one of a pair.
Now coming from a private Swiss collector, this masterpiece appears for the first time at auction and is estimated at £1-1.5 million ($1,690,000 – $2,540,000). www.sothebys.com
* Several A.H.C.I. members including Marc Jenni, Kari Voutilainen and Mike Eleta will be present at the opening ceremony of the Sino-Swiss Zhenjiang Eco-Industrial Park, which will take place on July 2 in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu, China.
The A.H.C.I.‘s objective for being present there is to promote independent watchmaking by exchanging ideas, discussing watchmaking philosophies and building relationships. Please visit the Swisscham.org’s website for more information.