Results Of The March 2022 Ineichen Auction ‘La Vie en Rose’ Of 40 Pink Gold Watches
Ineichen Auctioneers’ first auction of 2022, aptly entitled “La Vie en Rose,” took place in Zurich and online on March 12, 2022. As the clever name of this auction professed, all 40 of the watches offered were encased in pink – “rose” – gold. The auction featured timepieces by watchmakers as prestigious and diverse as Vacheron Constantin, Roger Dubuis, F.P. Journe, Daniel Roth, Cartier, IWC, De Bethune, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Breguet, Panerai, Girard-Perregaux, A. Lange & Söhne, Konstantin Chaykin, and Audemars Piguet.
The white glove sale – meaning all 40 lots successfully found new homes – was a great success for Ineichen with turnover reaching the CHF 2.5 million mark and 90 percent of bidding conducted online. The top lot was the F.P. Journe Chronomètre à Résonance Sincere Limited Edition, which was estimated at CHF 200,000-300,000 and sold for CHF 360,000 excluding premium.
Ineichen’s current mission is to focus on independent watchmakers, thereby differentiating itself from other auctioneers in the watch market. And there were many interesting timepieces inciting extreme interest at this auction, including the F.P. Journe Chronomètre à Résonance Sincere Limited-Edition No. 202-RN (hammer price CHF 360,000) and F.P. Journe Octa Calendrier Sincere Limited-Edition No. 239-Q (hammer price CHF 280,000, excluding premium).
Here are some other results, including five of the less “mainstream” independent offerings and one rarity from an established brand.
Konstantin Chaykin Levitas Luna Nascosta
Certainly a highlight of the auction for lovers of independent watchmaking, Ineichen offered a unique, never-before-seen piece from Konstantin Chaykin: the Levitas Luna Nascosta. This watch had been owned by Konstantin Chaykin since its manufacture in 2013 and was never sold.
Chaykin’s Levitas Luna Nascosta unique piece combines a 40 mm pink gold case with a peripheral “dial” featuring Roman numerals characteristic of the Russian watchmaker’s first-generation Levitas watches of 2012.
Konstantin Chaykin’s Levitas watch collection is in essence an updated form of the so-called mystery watch, which features hands moving against an entirely transparent background as if by magic. Making them even more spectacular, Chaykin’s mystery watches constitute the watchmaking industry’s largest ratio of transparent dial to movement diameter. Hence the collection’s name, Levitas, which reminds us of the word “levitation.”
The estimate on the Konstantin Chaykin Levitas Luna Nascosta was CHF 20,000 to 30,000 and it sold for CHF 44,000 (excluding premium).
Harry Winston Opus 5
The 2005 edition of the Opus led Harry Winston back into the quasi-science fiction realm that began with Vianney Halter’s Opus 3. Two years after Halter, Harry Winston and Urwerk’s Felix Baumgartner presented a satellite hour watch reminiscent of the novel timepieces that Urwerk produces. Ineichen offered one of the pink gold examples here at an estimate of CHF 50,000-100,000. I predicted it would go for more than that, but was wrong even if it was the fifth-highest grossing watch at the auction, hammering for CHF 85,000 (excluding premium).
The secret of this watch display lies in three small cubes arranged like satellites that turn and rotate to show the current hour. The numeral currently indicating the time at the long end of an arrow points to the minutes on a scale arcing along the left side of the case.
Two major elements can also be found on the back of the case: an integrated service indicator to let the wearer know when it is time send the watch in for maintenance and a fine adjustment screw that allows the wearer to adjust the rate by plus or minus thirty seconds.
The Harry Winston Opus series is extremely significant to lovers of independent watchmaking as it marked the first time post mechanical renaissance that a major brand identified the (external) watchmaker, even promoting him (there were no female watchmakers involved in the Opus project). The watchmakers Harry Winston Rare Timepieces partnered with all had reputations for unusual and high-quality timepieces. Upon the introduction of each Opus, however, the independent watchmakers involved (many of which were practically unknown outside collectors’ circles) became known to a broader range of people suddenly interested in their products and cognizant of their names and creations.
This was the last Opus creation under then CEO Maximilian Büsser, who left Harry Winston to found MB&F.
Harry Winston Excenter Tourbillon Limited Edition (Ref. 200-MMT40RL.T)
The other Harry Winston lot in this auction was perhaps even more special because so few collectors knew about it: the Excenter Tourbillon Limited Edition (Reference 200-MMT40RL.T) created in cooperation with independent watchmaker Peter Speake (formerly Peter Speake-Marin) during Büsser’s time at Harry Winston.
Launched in 2005, this very attractive 40 x 12.85 mm tourbillon, which really looks like a product of its its time to me, was released in a limited edition of only 75 pieces. It probably should have been part of the Opus series, but unfortunately for the watchmaker it wasn’t. Speake was never one of the Opus watchmakers.
It was offered in this auction with an estimate of CHF 20,000-30,000 and hammered for 34,000 (excluding premium), a real steal for its new owner.
De Bethune DB25 Midnight Blue (Ref. DB25XPARV2)
One of two De Bethune pieces in this auction, this DB25 is super classical and therefore rather unusual for the brand. The DB25 case has the openworked lugs typical of De Bethune – though these aren’t the newer “floating lugs” typical of the later DB28 series – which makes the heavy 18-karat pink gold case look light and airy.
This warm case is paired with an exquisite dial consisting of the brand’s characteristic blued, mirror-polished titanium in the center and a white enamel chapter ring with painted Arabic numerals around it. An absolutely stunning combination.
Turn the watch over to find a typically modern movement of the automatic variety with an openworked rotor. Nonetheless, this is an atypical (for the brand) time-only watch in a largish 44 mm case. De Bethune reports only 27 pieces of this model made since it was introduced in 2014.
The De Bethune DB25 Midnight Blue was offered in this auction with an estimate of CHF 20,000-30,000 and hammered for 44,000 excluding premium.
Andersen Genève Worldtime 1884
In 2003, A.H.C.I. co-founder Svend Andersen introduced a timepiece in homage to the standardized world time created by Sir Sandford Fleming in 1884. Appropriately, Andersen named his masterpiece 1884, dedicating the gold rotor to Fleming and including his name, years of birth and death, bust, and the words “inventor of world time.” The 40 mm watch was offered in a series of 50 pieces in pink/red gold, 50 in white gold, and 20 in platinum.
Lot 33 was one of those pieces. In fact, it’s number 41 of the total of 120.
This watch is a piece of history. And according to Ineichen, it’s in practically mint condition.
It’s an absolute steal at the auction house’s estimate of CHF 5,000-10,000. My guess was it would exceed the high limit, which it did at CHF 11,000, but remained a great deal for its new owner.
A. Lange & Söhne Grand Lange 1
A total of four models by A. Lange & Söhne were present in this auction. Aside from this Grand Lange 1, there was a pink gold Lange 1 with slate-grey dial from 2005, a 2021 Saxonia Annual Calendar, and an original Lange 1 Time Zone.
A. Lange & Söhne revamped the Grand Lange 1 in 2008, and this is the boutique edition “Black & Grey,” Reference 115.031F. Production of this piece was rather limited as A. Lange & Söhne did not have many boutiques back in 2008.
Part of the Saxon manufacture’s collection since 2003, the Grand Lange 1 was created for aficionados of the classic Lange timepiece introduced in 1994 who prefer slightly larger cases. It comes in at 41.9 mm in diameter, while the original Lange 1 continues to be offered in the classic 38.5 mm size.
In 2008, this larger Lange 1 was updated with a lightly freshened dial design. The company credited the change to a desire to create a stronger visual tie to the original Lange 1 by implementing delicate snailed grooves around the two main display subdials.
This watch was a steal at the auction house’s estimate of CHF 10,000-15,000 and hammered at CHF 22,000. A real win for the new owner.
For results on all the lots, please visit ineichen.com.