April 2018 Car of the Month – Ferrari 488 Pista

The Ferrari 488 Pista debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2018 and swiftly took the super-car limelight.

Ferrari 488 Pista

20 Image Source: Autocar

When a car shares the Italian derived name for ‘track’, it is a fair assumption that is going to have taken inspiration from the racing world.

In fact, Ferrari stated that the 488 Pista encompasses ‘all of the experience built up on the world’s circuits by the 488 Challenge and the 488 GTE’ (the Maranello organised Ferrari Challenge). The 488 GTE has taken 35 out of the 50 races it has run to date. So, it’s certainly fair to say that the Pista is more than racing track worthy.

The Pista’s performance specs are impressive. The newly released model’s 3.9 liter engine boasts Ferrari’s most powerful V8 ever, alongside a colossal 711 bhp, a sizable increase over the 661bhp of the previous GTB model. This all contributes to an unmistakable Ferrari sound, roaring louder than ever before.

It manages 0-62mph in 2.85 seconds and features a ‘Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer’ which works by adjusting the brake pressure at the calipers. This gives the car heightened predictability when accelerating through and out of corners.

The 488 Pista’s aerodynamic efficiency has been dramatically improved by 20% from the 488 GTB. This is due, firstly, to the F1 derived S-duct, making its first ever appearance on a road car.

Secondly, the new thermal efficiency technology derived from the 488 Challenge, provides the car with an unrivaled radiator cooling system.

Ferrari 488 Pista

Image Source: Ferrari

The Ferrari 488 Pista is incredibly lightweight; 90kg lighter than the previous model to be precise, with weight reductions concentrated in the most weight-sensitive areas of the car. This, combined with a carbon focus on materials such as the rims contribute to the outstanding agility and responsiveness that this super car offers.

Now, how much does would a brand-new, state of the art Ferrari 488 Pista set me back you ask? Well, no official price has been announced. However, The Week has reported that it is expected to cost around £215,000 ($305,000), making it £32,000 ($45,000) more expensive than the previous model.

You be the judge on whether it’s worth splashing the extra cash.


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How Estate Auctions Are Helping People Ease Financial Burdens

In today’s economic climate, you sometimes have to be creative with the way you secure needed funds. When a loved one dies, or if you are going through a divorce, you may be faced with some pretty difficult financial realities. If you find yourself in these situations, or in others, don’t panic– an estate auction or sale might be an option to help shoulder some of the financial burden.

The Celebrity Factor

Estate Auction - Russell Crowe

Source: Sotheby’s

The good news is, even celebrities are doing it. On April 7th 2018, actor Russell Crowe had several interesting items go up for sale to help pay for his divorce. The auction which took place at Sotheby’s, was even called “The Art of Divorce.”

Some items that were on the auction block included the breastplate Crow wore in the box office hit “Gladiator” which went for $125,000, as well as the matching leather wrist cuffs that fetched $32,000. Other pieces of movie memorabilia and an instrument collection were also up for sale. Crowe made a cool $3.7 million with the auction which will go towards assisting him with his divorce proceedings.

Estate Auction - Gold Piano

Zsa Zsa Gabor’s long-term partner Hans Robert Lichtenberg aka Prince Frederic von Anhalt, held an exclusive estate auction at their Bel Air mansion on April 14th, 2018 in an effort to downsize. Items from the sale raised over $900,000 according to Fortune.

Some items that were on the auction included a wardrobe of Chanel, Valentino, and other famous designers; as well as Gabor’s gold-painted Steinway piano which went for $24,000.

The item that fetched the highest price was a portrait of the actress which was done by the artist Margaret Keane which sold for $45,000. The auction was managed by Heritage Auctions.

The Advantages of Estate Auctions and Sales

Despite these flashier examples of recent celebrity auctions, the broader point is people across income brackets have estate sales and auctions. It is a way to create a source of income that can help you out of a difficult time in your life. While it can be lucrative, it can also be a bit challenging for the average person to organize.

Although, it can be overwhelming when you start to consider the logistics of organizing an estate sale or auction, it is something that will literally pay off in the end. On the bright side, there are companies that can be hired that are skilled in handling the sometimes-tricky issues that may come up when preparing for such an event.

Estate sales and auctions are an especially helpful solution if there are multiple people disputing an estate. By involving a third party, this can not only help reduce the stress of the situation but can also free you up to handle other details.

It can be daunting to go through a loved one’s lifetime’s worth of items; and dividing up their belongings just becomes another task to deal with. These four tips will give you a better sense of how to approach the situation and what to expect.

Make sure you are the survivor(s) of the estate

When you begin to make plans to have an estate auction or sale, make sure that you and or members of your family are the appointed survivors of the estate. Legally, only the person or people the estate has been left to can sell the items.

Know the difference between an estate sale and auction

Estate sales function almost as if they are a tag sale, where each item is priced accordingly prior to the sale. At an estate auction there is an auctioneer who sells the item to the highest bidder. Sometimes when there are multiple people involved in dividing up an estate, things can get complicated.

Things can be become harrier if people aren’t on the same page about how items should be divided or if family members have been estranged.

What to do if you need funds sooner

Sometimes when you are dealing with these kinds of difficult life circumstances, you may need to generate funds faster than you may be able to hold an estate auction. One solution to that problem could be to consign specific items from the estate to an auction.

Rather than waiting for the item to sell at auction, you can work with a company like Borro, to get funds in advance of it being sold. This is what’s referred to as a Sale Advance Loan.

Do your homework

If you decide to go the route of hiring a company to assist you with your auction or sale, do your homework.  Make sure you are working with a reputable company who is insured, licensed, and bonded. This is important to protect you against any potential damages that could occur. Getting referrals from people who have used a company previously can also be a way to go.

Estate Auction - Silver Bowl

Daniel Christian Fueter (1720–1785), Silver Sugar Bowl. Gift of The Estate of Esther and Samuel Schwartz, Paterson, N.J., 2007 Source: The Met

Don’t throw items away before are looked at or appraised

If you are unsure of an item’s value, leave it to the professionals to figure it out. You never know what might interest a potential buyer, so when going through your loved one’s belongings, its best to save everything for the sale or auction.

Something that you may think is junk, could be a collector’s item and there is no way to know unless it is properly looked at.

Have realistic goals

While an estate auction or sale can generate a lot of money, be realistic about it. You never know how much money you will make over the course of your sale or auction, so by having no expectations about a final sales total, it will leave you happier in the end.

Arming yourself with this information can help the process of organizing your estate auction or sale easier. Although it seems like a lot to take on for a short one to three-day event, it will likely turn a profit and help ease some of the financial strain you may experience.


About the author: 

Anni Irish has been a contributing writer to several online publications including Boston based publication, The Dig, New York Arts Magazine, and ArteFuse among others. She holds a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts University, an MA in Gender and Cultural Studies from Simmons College, and an MA in Performance Studies from New York University.

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The Investment Value of Ulysse Nardin vs. Audemars Piguet

In the second installment of our freshly minted Versus Series we jump from the modest luxury of Rolex and Omega, and tackle two brands known for their challenging designs. These are brands that, through their creative use of angles and materials, are far more likely to divide opinion as we look at the investment value of Ulysse Nardin vs. Audemars Piguet.

Gerald Genta Gamble

We know from Audemars Piguet’s well-documented history that their Gerald Genta gamble almost fifty years ago paid off, and sired the Royal Oak staple that has gone on to become one of the most iconic sports watches in the industry.

The majority of their current output emulates this design, despite the somewhat anomalous fact that their best selling pieces couldn’t be stylistically further from the avant-garde forms we associate with the brand today.

Investment value of Ulysse Nardin

Image Courtesy of the Federation of the Audemars Piguet

The Investment Value of Ulysse Nardin – The Freak

While AP has the Royal Oak, the Freak plays a significant role in the investment value of Ulysse Nardin. This is a piece that has come to define the brand’s modern era. It often seems as if Ulysse Nardin’s history is forgotten, due, perhaps, to their radical embracing of modern materials.

Longstanding Reputations

Despite the brand’s willingness to dabble with silicium, they aren’t some Johnny-come-lately flash Harry, and this is likely to increase the investment value of Ulysse Nardin.

UN has been in continuous production since 1846, and was very well known for producing ultra-complicated mechanical watches during the difficult decade of the 1980s. They even entered the Guinness Book of Records in 1989 for creating the world’s most functional watch (the Astrolabium Galileo Galilei had 21 distinct functions to its name).

With brands able to boast modern and classic stalwarts, over a century of continuous production, and the ability to manufacture their own movements (Audemars Piguet owns 78% of Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi), there’s little to split the two.

One cute fact is that AP has been family owned since its foundation, while Ulysse Nardin was bought by the Kering Group in 2014. However, this isn’t often the kind of thing that buyers consider to be anything but a nice story (although ownership stability and in-house manufacturing both point to a solid foundation that should reassure any potential purchaser of an item that will need to be serviced one day).

What it comes down to is perhaps the question of which of these two undeniable trailblazers struck gold with their brand-defining piece, while the other hit a vein of tin.

Investment Value of Ulysse Nardin

Image Courtesy of Ulysse Nardin


The Subjectivity of Silicium

That may be a harsh assessment of the Freak and its continuing legacy, but the truth is the Freak is a watch that lives or dies on your opinion of silicium (or silicon as we say in the States). New materials are awesome – I’m actually a huge fan of revolutionary technologies – but they kind of miss the mark when it comes to striking a chord with the masses.

Luxury watchmaking is an unnecessary art form. It is a testament to man’s mastery of material. Technology is interesting; silicon boasts excellent tribological properties; increased accuracy is a neat selling point, but none of those things makes your soul soar.

The first image used in this article is a frosted gold Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. It is a design classic, an in-house masterpiece, and hand finished so painstakingly it makes me want to crush every other watch I’ve ever owned just to impress it enough to spend a week on my wrist. But given that it’s priced around $50,000, it’s used to turning heads…

It’s madness. It’s an obsession. But that’s what makes it so much fun.


About the Author:

Fell Jensen is a Swiss-trained watchmaker working as an industry analyst.13

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Recapping Baselworld 2018

The History of Sotheby’s Auction House

The history of Sotheby’s Auction House begins with Samuel Baker selling books from a catalog in 1734.  It was only in 1778, after Baker’s death, that his Nephew John Sotheby joined the firm and founded the auctioneers ‘Messrs Leigh and Sotheby’. Initially the company specialized in rare books: the main passion of both Baker and co- founder George Leigh.

Flourishing Conditions for 18th Century Auction Houses

The eighteenth century provided the perfect social and economic environment for auction houses to flourish.  The increase in trade, coupled with the onset of the industrial revolution led to a massive increase in the wealth and population of London.

Conditions for auctioneers became so perfect that after Christie’s was founded in 1766, the other leading British auction houses Phillip’s and Bonhams were both founded in the 1790’s.

History of Sotheby's Auction House - Sotheby's Bond Street

Sotheby’s, Bond Street

Samuel Leigh Sotheby

The third and final Sotheby to lead the firm: Samuel Leigh Sotheby, (who was named after his father Samuel Sotheby and George Leigh) extended the firm’s interests beyond Rare Books.  In 1819, he held the company’s first sale of autographed work and in 1829, he held four sales of pictures by the romantic painter Richard Parkes Bonington.

Upon his death in 1861, the Sotheby’s dynasty ended (coincidentally as Christie’s had: after three generations).  Since then, there have been many key figures who have made Sotheby’s the world class institution it is today.

Montague Barlow

The history of Sotheby’s Auction House changed dramatically In 1907, when Montague Barlow, a conservative member of parliament, put together a consortium who bought Sotheby’s for the now risible sum of £30,000.

One of the key changes Barlow made to the company was moving the sale room from Wellington Street (near Waterloo) to New Bond Street, where it remains today. He is also credited with hiring the firm’s first female expert Millicent Sowerby: a book specialist in 1916.

He also managed the sale of the property of the poet Robert Browning and Miss Elizabeth Barrett. The sale made a spectacular £28,000 (over $3 million in today’s money) and made a splash in the media.  The sale was a prototype for the ‘Jackie Kennedy Onassis’ sale which would take place almost exactly 80 years later for $34.5 million, with buyers paying top dollar for mundane items, just because she had owned them.

Peter Cecil Wilson

History of Sotheby's Auction House - Peter Cecil Wilson

The chairman of Sotheby’s who has had perhaps the greatest impact on the firm, is Peter Cecil Wilson.

After joining the firm as a porter in 1936, he became Chairman in 1958 and over the next 22 years, he built the business from a turnover of around $2 million in the late 1930’s to a turnover of $575 million a year.  Wilson exploited the new age of jet travel and mass marketing to make the business international.

He also purchased the New York based auction house Parke-Bernet in 1964, positioning Sotheby’s perfectly for the explosion of the American art market in the coming decade and initiated sales in Monte Carlo, Hong Kong, Amsterdam, Munich, Madrid, Melbourne and Geneva.

Wilson sold many key collections, including in 1954, King Farouk’s $2.5 million collection which sold for the Egyptian Government in Cairo. He also initiated the impressionist art collection of Jakob Goldschmidt, the New York investment banker, which achieved huge prices, such as £220,000 for Cezanne’s ”Garcon au Gilet Rouge” (”Boy in a Red Waistcoat,”) : seven times what any painting had achieved at a public auction in England.

History of Sotheby's Auction House - Boy in a Red Waistcoat

Boy in a Red Waistcoat by Paul Cezanne

Sotheby’s as a Publicly Traded Company

Sotheby’s Parke Bernet Group Limited became a publicly traded company in the UK in 1977.  It was against this backdrop in 1982/3 that Alfred A. Taubmann and his associates bought Sotheby’s, as his consortium was preferred to another group who were trying to stage a hostile takeover. Taubmann, was an American, who had made a fortune by developing a chain of shopping malls.

When Taubmann bought Sotheby’s, he wanted to use his understanding of consumer behavior and his business acumen to modernize the traditional firm.  He remodeled the rabbit warren of buildings that had been knocked together on New Bond Street and made the space work.

He also got rid of many of the old specialists who were from aristocratic backgrounds and there based on connections rather than ability.

Taubmann’s General was Dede Brooks. Brooks was from a good family, and had worked in finance.  Her no-nonsense approach to business coupled with her boundless energy immediately made her irresistible to Taubmann, who quickly made her CEO.

An example of Brooks’ business style, was how she managed to sell over 115,000 catalogs from the Onassis sale for over $4 million by getting an intern to report sales back to her hourly while shouting at him.

History of Sotheby's Auction House - The Scream

The Scream by Edward Munch is Sotheby’s highest selling artwork, fetching $127 million in New York, 2012.

Price Fixing Scandal

The pair’s boundless ambition would leave a stamp on the history of Sotheby’s Auction House and ultimately lead to their downfall. In 2002, they were convicted of fixing the commission rate charged with their arch rivals Christie’s. Before the collusion, owners of important collections would often play both houses off each other to drive down their charges, dramatically reducing their profits.

Taubmann decided to meet his opposite number Sir Anthony Tennant to discuss a number of issues.  He then suggested Brooks meet the Christie’s CEO Christopher Davidge, to continue discussions.

Though what was agreed is in dispute, some have alleged that Davidge and Brooks went as far as divvying up important collections, to avoid competition.  Christie’s came out of the price fixing scandal best off as they claimed immunity from prosecution by shopping Sotheby’s first.

Davidge became the prosecution’s star witness in the case against Sotheby’s and Tennant avoided testifying by refusing to travel to America.  Taubmann would be sentenced to a year and a day, while Brooks was sentenced to six months house arrest, 1000 hours community service and a $350,000 fine.

Back to Prosperity

Since the price fixing scandal, both auction houses have flourished.  After all, there are only two main auctioneers in the world, and as they were both implicated, neither suffered significantly more than the other.

Sotheby’s now have several new ventures: their own gallery 13S|2, Sotheby’s Diamonds, Sotheby’s wine, Sotheby’s Reality. In 2016 they acquired Orion Analytical a company specializing in the use of forensic science to authenticate art, tackling perhaps the biggest concern the art market faces in the new millennium: authenticity.

Sotheby’s are still innovating and leading the field, after over a century and a half at the top of their game.

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Top 5 Most Expensive Jaguars Sold at Auction

If it wasn’t for a certain racing green Aston Martin DBR1, Jaguar would hold the prestigious record of producing the most expensive British car in history. Despite this, Jaguar classics are one of the most exclusive and prestigious British car manufacturing brand when it comes to auction value. The 1950’s period proves this emphatically, with all 5 of the most expensive Jaguars being manufactured in this era.

5) 1955 Jaguar D-Type – $3,905,000

Most Expensive Jaguars

It’s clear to see the stellar relationship that Jaguar and RM Sotheby’s possess; all 5 of this list of most expensive Jaguars come from RM Sotheby’s sales. The D-Type is a highly desirable model, and any owner possessing a classic such as this one, in pristine condition, is going to demand a considerable price.

This D-Type has a steep racing history, including the Mille Migila and Goodwood Revival, and an arguably more successful exhibition history, after being exhibited at world renowned Pebble Beach, Villa d’Este and Amelia Island. The D-Type went under the hammer at Monterey in 2013.

4) 1955 Jaguar D-Type – Paris 2014 – €3,696,000 ($4,519,000)

Most Expensive Jaguars

Here is another D-Type to include on this list. The particular model was the seventh customer D-Type ever produced and has huge racing provenance after formally being owned by 1970 Le Mans winner Richard Attwood and boasting frequent period race history. RM Sotheby’s described this as Jaguar’s most ‘iconic sports racing model’. It went on to sell in Paris in 2014.

3) 1952 Jaguar C-Type New York Icons 2017 – $5,285,000

Most Expensive Jaguars

The most recent car to sell in this blockbuster list came from RM Sotheby’s New York Icons sale in late 2017. The 1952 C-Type claims extreme rarity, being one of only 53 examples built. It is fitting that the car was sold in US territory as it is the first automobile to be imported to, and win a race in the United States. It has extensive racing history on California SCCA circuits and was raced by legendary American Formula One driver Phil Hill. The C-Type comes authentically restored by marque experts.

2) 1953 Jaguar C-Type Works Lightweight – $13,200,000

Most Expensive Jaguars

Monterey is clearly a popular destination for Jaguar collectors and enthusiasts, with the top two both coming from Monterey auctions, and this model selling in 2015.

A car to command such a ludicrous price and go on to be described by RM Sotheby’s as ‘one of the most important Jaguars ever’ must have a lot going for it. Just a few accolades include a 4th place finish in the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1953, combined with multiple victories under racing legend Ecurie Ecosse in 1954. This C-Type Works is undoubtedly one of the rarest Jaguars ever produced. It is the second of only three Works Lightweights and one of the final C-Types ever built, which are notoriously known to be the rarest of racing Jaguars.

1) 1955 Jaguar D-Type – Monterey 2016 – $21,780,000

Most Expensive Jaguars

This D-Type went one up on the aforementioned model. It managed to secure a victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a feat that very few full condition classics can boast. In fact, this model is the only Le Mans winning C or D-Type that has remained original to its winning form.

The most expensive D-Type in the world is also the rarest one, being the first team series D-Type to be produced, and boasting only three private owners, the first being Ecurie Ecosse. It finally went under the hammer, surrounding much anticipation at Monterey in 2016.


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Recapping Baselworld 2018

Recapping Baselworld 2018, basically, it came and went in a flash. I approached the fair with trepidation and strode out much renewed. One of the pleasing upshots of this uncertain era in luxury watchmaking is the level of creativity and attention to detail that prospers during economically troubling downswings.

Recapping Baselworld 2018

Image Courtesy of Zenith

Customers First

Simply put, brands know they’ve got to work a lot harder for their customers, and their efforts seem to be paying off. Being on the inside of this juggernaut industry as it lurches from catastrophe to misstep can be wholly terrifying, but stepping outside of the madness for a moment and actually appreciating where this rocky road is leading can be quite reassuring.

Trembling with Intent

I’d seen pictures and read reams about the new Zenith Defy Lab before I got to the fair, but seeing it in person, having the chance to appreciate its bizarre operation was a real treat. There may only be 10 of these pieces in existence (all of which are spoken for), but it figures Zenith will roll this technology out over a more commercially styled (and, most importantly, affordable) range in the near future.

Recapping Baselworld 2018

10 Image Author’s Own

I haven’t been this excited about the advancements in silicon technology since I encountered the Parmigiani Senfine last year – a project about which I’ve heard little since. Keep your eyes peeled for Zenith’s follow-up to this piece: At $20,000 a pop, the initial run was enticingly affordable; if they’re able to knock five grand off that price when Mark II rolls around, get in line.

The Best of the Rest

In recapping Baselworld 2018, there are all sorts of cool things on show, if only you have the patience to look for them.

It’s a topsy-turvy mishmash of reasonably priced brands full of invention (check out Fugue for a nice USP), and out-of-this-world horological art (MB&F HM7 Aquapod, I’m looking at you).

But my favorite watches come from two of my all-time favorite watchmakers: Stepan Sarpaneva and Konstantin Chaykin.

Recapping Baselworld 2018

Image Courtesy of MB&F

Sarpaneva’s wares normally sell for around $10-20,000 and are well known for their moon motif that is reputedly based on his own face (not the most flattering depiction, but unarguably cool as hell). But, recapping Baselworld 2018 in the context of Stepan Sarpaneva, his collaboration with MB&F at this year’s fair nearly stole the show, and most definitely my heart.

The pictured piece retails for CHF 88,000 for both titanium editions, and CHF 95,000 for the rose gold variant. There will be 12 pieces of each available.

Recapping Baselworld 2018

09 Image Author’s Own

But what about those of us who want something that will turn heads without costing the same as a house? Enter the Russian maestro: Konstantin Chaykin has, in recent times, started to show a serious sense of humor. His Joker piece from last year was my favourite of the fair, and the ‘It’ inspired follow-up snags the crown for this inspiring independent once more. The Konstantin Chaykin It watch retails a shade under $10,000 and is the perfect way to brighten your day.

About the Author:

Fell Jensen is a Swiss-trained watchmaker working as an industry analyst.

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The Perception of Perfection: Auto-Inspired Watches  

Omega Versus Rolex

Welcome to our latest watchmaking column: The Versus Series! Each article will pit two industry powerhouses together and compare their latest releases’ appreciation potential, while taking a brief look at the brands’ resale power in general. The first edition sees this author’s favourite Rolex novelty from Baselworld lock horns with Omega’s newest iteration of the Seamaster 300M. Buckle up, it’s about to get rough in the Omega versus Rolex debate.

This battle of the titans for Omega versus Rolex is an obvious starting point for this series despite the fact the average price (and expected buy-in) of a Rolex is quite a bit higher than Omega.

They were selected to go toe-to-toe because of their commercial popularity and similar target demographic. Although the two watches chosen for comparison occupy very different price points, we’ll be looking at their relative chances of success rather than actual accrual.

Rolex - 1

Image Courtesy of the Federation of the Rolex

The Rolex GMT Master-II (or the ‘Root Beer’ as aficionados are already calling it) is going to split opinion on first, second, and five thousandth glance. However, the chance of those opinions remaining consistent over prolonged exposure to this oddly coloured piece is unlikely.

The more run-of-the-mill choice in this segment would have been the new Rolex GMT Master-II (the ‘Pepsi’), but I find this piece far more interesting from an aesthetic perspective and also as an investment.

Dividing opinion on release can be a good thing for long term appreciation – just take the Paul Newman Rolex Daytona as a perfect example – a mixed reaction scared producers into keeping its shelf life short. The quickly discontinued model now ranks among the most sought after pieces in the history of the craft.

I personally think this ‘Root Beer’ Rolex is an absolute gem from the get-go, but I’ve heard plenty of vitriol directed towards this model, and so wouldn’t be surprised if it spent less time than it deserves in the catalogue.

Omega - 2

Image Courtesy of Omega

In contrast, the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M can probably guess its fate from day one: It is the latest interpretation of a brand stalwart that keeps the business ticking over almost mindlessly.

It will have its day in the sun, but will go the way of its forebears soon enough. However, during this window of availability it will be produced in much higher volume, and treated with a little less reverence from reviewers and purchasers alike.

So why have I clubbed these two quite different pieces together? As far as their respective brands go, they occupy a similar stratum, while representing some insignificant upgrades in manufacturing or mechanics that make them more attractive propositions

The Root Beer’s exterior is a thing of beauty. The Everose gold is as warm as ever and adds tangible value to the piece. The brown and black Cerachrom bezel shouldn’t work but it does so triumphantly. It’s the kind of aesthetic move only Rolex can pull off without relying on an existing trend to justify their chromatic choices.

Omega - 2

Image Courtesy of Omega

Meanwhile, the Omega Seamaster 300M has had its guts ripped out and dragged into modernity with the utilisation of the in-house Omega 8800 calibre and a sapphire crystal display back. For my money both are huge upgrades on the previous version.

While the reborn wave design decorating the dial is sure to draw detractors basing their opinions on the press shots, it holds up much better in real life. The wider wavelength provides a futuristic counterpoint to the somewhat chintzy forerunners and is sure to titillate existing fans of this series as well as converting a few naysayers.

So which of these Baselworld novelties goes home with the prize in the Omega versus Rolex debate? Despite coming in at almost three times the cost of the Omega ($13,400 versus a shade under $5,000) the Rolex gets the nod from me, and not simply because it’s a Rolex.

The Omega could well go down in history as a high point in this series for realising old characteristics in a new way, but it fails to be as novel as the Rolex. This is despite the fact I’m basing that analysis on colourway alone.

When Rolex push the boat out with aesthetics, they either hit or miss with their conservative market. Creativity is to be encouraged, but a lot of the time it feels a bit forced. This Rolex has plopped into existence and leaves its observer feeling as if its always been there.

In layman’s terms, the Root Beer variant could come to be regarded in the same way as its famous, fizzy counterpart. For that reason, it lands the knock out blow.

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Modernist, Contemporary and Feminist Conceptual Pieces Lead Spring 2018 Exhibitions

Spring has sprung which means the art world is gearing up for another busy season. From an exciting retrospective of conceptual artist Adrian Piper opening this month at MoMA,  to Tarsila do Amaral: Inventing Modern Art in Brazil, and an exciting solo show of contemporary artist Jacob Satterwhite at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise,  there is an array of art to view as a part of spring 2018 exhibitions.

Whether you’re looking to see modernist art, cutting edge contemporary work, or feminist conceptual pieces, there is something for everyone’s taste this season. Here’s a short guide to some of the hottest shows that are on currently up.

Birds of a Feather: Joseph Cornell’s Homage to Juan Gris, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Joseph Cornell is most well-known for his assemblage sculptures. Cornell’s work is now back at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the latest exhibition Birds of a Feather: Joseph Cornell’s Homage to Juan Gri. The show features roughly 12 shadow boxes Cornell completed over a 15 year period largely in tribute to the Modernist artist Juan Gris. This whimsical and unexpected exhibit from the Met is one that is worth seeing before it closes.

Birds of a Feather: Joseph Cornell’s Homage to Juan Gris will be on view until April 15, 2018 at the Met.

Adrian Piper: A Synthesis of Intuitions, 1965-2016, Museum of Modern Art 

Spring 2018 Exhibitions - 1975

Source: MoMa, Adrian Piper. The Mythic Being: I Embody Everything You Most Hate and Fear. 1975.

Adrian Piper has continued to remain one of the most enigmatic and interesting artists working within the contemporary art world today. A Synthesis of Intuitions, brings together over 290 works which Piper created over the last five decades. Piper has worked in many mediums including performance, drawings, installations, videos, and more.

Straddling the line between conceptual art making practices and intellectual pursuits, Piper also holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Harvard University; she would also go on to be the first women of color to hold a tenure-track position in this field.

This exhibition will also feature iconic works such as Mythic Being, My Calling (Card) #1 and My Calling (Card) #2 (1986) in which Piper created calling cards to confront people’s assumptions surrounding racism and sexism. A Synthesis of Intuitions is not only helping to put Piper on the map but is also introducing her to the next generation of artists in the most comprehensive exhibition of her work to date.

The retrospective will be on view from March 31-July 22, 2018 at MoMA.

Jacolby Satterwhite, Blessed Avenue, Gavin Brown Enterprises

Jacolby Satterwhite returns this fall with his first solo exhibit in the Lower East Side gallery Gavin Brown’s Enterprise. This latest body of work is some of Satterwhite’s most ambitious to date. “Blessed Avenue” consists of an installation with prints, as well as a 30-minute video, and concept album featuring a wide range of collaborations. “Blessed Avenue” features an intense virtual world that explores elements of human sexuality, dance, memory while also commenting on his larger personal history.

Spring 2018 Exhibitions

Source: MoMa, Tarsila do Amaral. A Cuca, 1924

This show is on view until May 6, 2018 at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise.

Tarsila do Amaral: Inventing Modern Art in Brazil at the Museum of Modern Art.


Tarsila do Amaral is a painter who played a vital role in the development of the Modernist movement in South America. Born in São Paulo in 1886, she would go onto travel to Paris in 1920, where she would study art. In the 15 years that followed, she would create some of her most prolific work.

The show explores do Amaral’s prolific painting career focusing specifically on pieces she produced during the 1920s and 30s. The exhibition features close to 120 paintings, drawings, sketchbooks, photographs, and other items. This is one of the first exhibits of Brazilian modernism in the US, and specifically of do Amaral’s work and should not be missed.

Tarsila do Amaral: Inventing Modern Art in Brazil is on view until June 3, 2016, at MoMA.

Zoe Leonard Survey at the Whitney Museum

Spring 2018 Exhibitions - Zoe Leonard Mirror no. 2

Source: Whitney Museum, Zoe Leonard¬, Mirror no. 2 (Metropolitan Museum), 1990.

Zoe Leonard is one of the premiere artists of her generation. Working primarily with photography and sculpture, much of Leonard’s work has been inspired by her interest in activism and urban and natural spaces. In this hallmark survey of Leonard, which is also the first of its kind, there are over three decades of photographs and several installations on view.

Zeo Leonard Survey is on view at the Whitney Museum until June 10, 2018.

The five hand-picked exhibitions are only a few highlights of some of the exciting spring 2018 exhibitions. These shows represent some of the most innovative, trailblazing artists who have created work in the last two centuries. Make it a point to see these exhibits so you can be in the know about the NYC contemporary art scene this spring.


About the Author

Anni Irish has been a contributing writer to several online publications including Boston based publication, The Dig, New York Arts Magazine, and ArteFuse among others. She holds a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts University, an MA in Gender and Cultural Studies from Simmons College, and an MA in Performance Studies from New York University.


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