Jewelry and Watches Posts

The Investment Value of Breguet Watches vs. Blancpain

I love a good intra-group dust-up. There’s nothing like brands that were presumably acquired by a major luxury group to exploit different price-points or demographics to get the analytical juices flowing. And today Borro Blog proudly brings you a Swatch Group showdown – the beauty of Blancpain versus the investment value of Breguet watches.

Swatch Group’s Top Two Brands

These are two of the Swatch Group’s top brands (perhaps the top two if you omit Harry Winston, who could only lay claim to that title via their Opus series), and, surprisingly, their rather similar aesthetics makes the comparison an intricate one, full of very personal preferences and subtle crossovers.

The Investment Value of Breguet Watches

Image Courtesy of Breguet

Comparing brands from the same group rarely exposes so many similarities between the scrutinized. Before attempting this task, I’d always thought I had a clear idea in mind of what each brand was and what they stood for.

Additionally, I was confident I had a hazy composite of each brand’s key aesthetics floating around in my mind’s eye. It turns out that when I focus in on these generic examples, they feature almost all of the same stylistic traits.

The Investment Value of Breguet Watches

Image Courtesy of Blancpain

Similarities Between Blancpain and Breguet

Let’s start with the basics: Both brands operate in similar price points. The investment value of Breguet watches, perhaps because of their founder’s reputation, does better in the western world, while Blancpain, because, perhaps, of their willingness to create specific pieces for the Chinese New Year and calendar does very well.

Geo-targeting aside, the age range and gender (middle-aged, wealthy men) is identical for both brands. Both position themselves as heirloom pieces – buy once and buy well. But which brand really will survive the cruel sands of time and line the pockets it once scoured?

The Investment Value of Breguet Watches

Image Courtesy of Breguet

The typical Blancpain and the typical Breguet that exist in my head both have rose gold cases, in-house movements, leather straps, and, for some bizarre reason moon phase complications.

The Breguet features a rose engine turned dial, often with a bare-metal finish; the Blancpain boasts a white grand feu dial. To represent these archetypes,

The Best Each Brand has to Offer

I’ve chosen to compare the Breguet Classique 5327 (available online for around $60,000) with the Blancpain Villeret Quantième Perpétuel 8 Jours (available around $40,000).

The Investment Value of Breguet Watches

Image Courtesy of Blancpain

The inherent value of the case material is a plus for both, and the artisanal nature of both dials pushes a lot the right buttons. The complicated in-house movements are, of course, a plus, but it is the movements from Breguet that tend to offer a little more market separation.

Overall Winner

I really do respect and enjoy both brands, and even though I might myself choose the Blancpain because I simply prefer its appearance, I have more faith in the investment value of Breguet watches and its ability to hold value over time. This is due to the undeniably stronger design provenance of the movement.

A narrow win for the past master, but there’s nothing but a hairspring twixt the two in my book.

 

About the Author

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

 

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The Investment Value of Cartier Watches vs. Bulgari

This is a clash I’ve been itching to write about. Please welcome two oft-misunderstood brands to the arena. The investment value of Cartier watches takes on Bulgari in a perfectly balanced dust up of marques renowned for straddling the boundary between horology and jewelery.

Investment Value of Cartier Watches

Image Courtesy of Bvlgari

Cartier’s Watchmaking Stalwart

Cartier’s reputation as a watchmaking stalwart may seem a little odd to one coming at the brand through their jewelry department. But it is well justified.

The investment value of Cartier watches has benefited from the brand gifting the industry with a couple of innovations that are still incredibly popular today.

For example, steel hands blued through a process of oxidization to inhibit the onset of rust, and the deployant clasp.

Investment Value of Cartier Watches

Image Courtesy of Cartier

Bulgari’s Unfounded Disparagement

Bulgari, however, are used to catching a lot of flak for their horological efforts. It’s completely unfounded. Say what you will about the ‘iconic’ Bulgari, Bulgari bezel and the days of external supply, but none of it is relevant to the modern output.

Bulgari has been quietly reshaping itself as the modern-day Piaget, taking on and simply obliterating records for thinness on a disturbingly regular basis.

But here’s the question: While both brands have contributed far more to horology than they’re often credited with, which of their recent releases is likely to garner the best return on your investment, from an emotional and fiscal perspective?

Investment Value of Cartier Watches

Image Courtesy of Bvlgari

The Cartier Santos vs. the Bulgari Octo Finissimo

Two recent pieces that match-up nicely price-wise are the Cartier Santos (released this year at Baselworld), and the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatique.

The Cartier (the larger version in steel and gold) retails at $10,400 and the Bugari a touch more at $13,900 on the bracelet (which is an upgrade worth paying for – you’ll know what I mean when you get it on the wrist).

The Santos boasts a neat bracelet that can be adjusted at home using a new smart link system that is satisfying and simple to use. The Bulgari bracelet is a thing of brutalist beauty (as is the whole housing of this mind-bendingly slim watch).

Investment Value of Cartier Watches

Image Courtesy of Cartier

Who Comes Out a Winner?

Both watches feature in-house movements, which is big upgrade for this iteration of the Santos, which follows a series powered by external Richemont calibers, but it can not hold a candle to the Bulgari offering here.

This is where the true separation occurs it becomes apparent the investment value of Cartier watches doesn’t match that of Bulgari’s.

Classic and stylish as the Cartier Santos is, the sheer revolution of the ultra slim line Bulgari marks it as a truly exceptional piece. It is one I’m confident will have more appeal to collectors by the fact it is a record setting model.

Sure, people don’t buy watches for the records they briefly hold or held, but those records do consolidate a young history and help, over time, to morph the brand behind these innovations into something bigger than it was before.

About the Author

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

 

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A. Lange & Söhne Versus Jaeger LeCoultre

When I sat down to write a comparison on the investment Value of A. Lange & Söhne vs Jaeger LeCoultre I didn’t really realize what I was dealing with.

Although both of these Richemont brands occupy a particularly rarefied level of watchmaking, I hadn’t realized just how similar they are.

Investment Value of A. Lange & Söhne

Image Courtesy of A. Lange & Söhne

Both Brands have a Faultless Reputation

And I don’t mean to look at. They are very different in that regard. The investment value of A. Lange & Söhne is simply the best of any German brand, and their watches are the mold no compatriot has ever been able to break.

Jaeger LeCoultre, meanwhile, offer pure Swiss class – excellent in-house movements, and timeless, undeniable design that all but guarantees you a generational piece the second you decide to pull the trigger.

But there’s an almost identical essence to these two brands that I’m struggling to put my finger on. The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced it’s because I’ve never heard anyone say anything bad about either brand.

And in luxury watchmaking, that’s rarer than hens’ teeth.

Investment Value of A. Lange & Söhne - Jaeger LeCoultre

Image Courtesy of Jaeger Le Coultre

Both brands can command some pretty eye-watering prices, and this is usually a bone of contention for the ignorant web-warrior who likes to sling mud at any wristwatch over a hundred bucks.

However, for the most part, critics seem happy to shrug off and smile at the bank-busting ticket price of these pieces.

Investment Value of A. Lange & Söhne

Image Courtesy of A. Lange & Söhne

Jaeger’s Use of Stainless Steel

One of the major differentiators between the two is Jaeger’s use of stainless steel, a material no longer used by Lange. This potentially decreases the investment value of A. Lange & Söhne in this comparison

The fact that a German brand has eschewed the most utilitarian of materials in favor of exclusively precious metal cases is pretty annoying (especially for those of us who have seriously considered selling a family member to finance the purchase of a Lange Zeitwerk).

The buy-in to the really interesting stuff is almost unnecessarily high.

Jaeger, however, offers some excellent examples in steel, which, while lacking the inherent value of gold, is actually far more collectible, because it’s, well, wearable

Investment Value of A. Lange & Söhne - Jaeger LeCoultre

Image Courtesy of Jaeger LeCoultre

As a result I’ve reached what is to me a startling conclusion. Despite the fact that my favorite watch right now (and I mean that absolutely with zero price limitations applied), is the A. Lange & Söhne Moonphase with a day/night indicator in rose gold (retailing for around $50,000).

Jaeger LeCoultre Gets the Nod

I’m going to side with Jaeger LeCoultre when it comes to making an investment purchase (although do take the time to see the cute day/night indicator in action here).

Go for something simple, elegant, and made of steel. The new Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris memovox in steel (retailing for under $13,000) is a particularly good choice that shows off the brand’s in-house movements, while offering a slightly different take on their products of recent years.

And don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for vintage bargains! For a few thousand dollars your can pick up a Jaeger that, thanks to modern tastes, has come right back into style.

Proof, I think, that there’ll always be a place for this storied Swiss brand in your collection.

 

About the Author

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

 

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Sotheby’s Dominates the May 2018 Auction Calendar

As the title suggests, Sotheby’s are featured in all three of Borro Blog’s May 2018 auction calendar highlights.

All the major asset classes are covered, with RM Sotheby’s heading to Monaco for their annual sale of blockbuster cars. This is followed by an Important Watches sale and an Impressionist & Modern Art Day sale.

RM Sotheby’s – Monaco 2018

May 12th

May 2018 Auction Calendar - 1957 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione ‘Tour de France’

Monaco, the home of formula one racing, style and high-living will once again see large scale auction houses and classic car punters flood the city for ludicrously priced automobiles, coinciding with the iconic Monaco Grand Prix.

The top lot from RM Sotheby’s last Monaco auction in 2016 was the 1951 Ferrari 340, which sold for a hot €7,280,000 (£6,366,000). RM Sotheby’s will want to emulate 2016’s success with the 1957 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione ‘Tour de France’ as the featured lot, hoping to fetch up to €9 million ($10,987,000).

Sotheby’s – Important Watches

May 13th

May 2018 Auction Calendar - Rolex Chronograph

Sotheby’s are tipping this auction to be a focus on ‘the very best of what vintage and modern horology has to offer’. The Important Watches auctions always live up to expectations, and this auction certainly won’t fall short.

Number 276 is the standout lot to watch; the exceptionally rare, stainless steel Rolex Chronograph. It comes complete with registers, bracelets and tropical subsidiary dials and is set to go for up to £400,000 ($558,000) when it goes under the hammer.

Sotheby’s – Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

 May 15th

May 2018 Auction Calendar - Téte De Femme

Sotheby’s are returning to New York for their highly popular Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale. A host of highly renowned and influential artists such as Max Ernst, Marc Chagall and Francis Picabia are on offer.

However, it is Pablo Picasso who is stealing the limelight once again. Painted on December 5th 1964, the oil based ‘Téte De Femme’ was inspired by Picasso’s sixth and final significant muse, Jacqueline Roque. The work is set to sell for up to $3 million on May 15th.

 

See the full list of dates for the May 2018 auction calendar below:

 

AuctionAuction HouseCategoryJanuary 2, 1900LocationURL
TimepiecesHeritageJewellery & WatchesMay 1, 2018New York
Prints and MultiplesBonhamsFine Art and AntiquesMay 1, 2018Sydney
From Earth to FireSotheby'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 1, 2018Londonhttps://goo.gl/bT6Lut
The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller: Online SaleChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 1, 2018Onlinehttps://goo.gl/jm6gxx
The Greek SaleBonhamsFine Art and AntiquesMay 2, 2018Los Angeles
Made in CaliforniaBonhamsFine Art and AntiquesMay 2, 2018New York
19th Century European PaintingsBonhamsFine Art and AntiquesMay 2, 2018Sydney
Fine Glass and British CeramicsBonhamsFine Art and AntiquesMay 2, 2018New York
The Greek SaleBonhamsFine Art and AntiquesMay 2, 2018Monte Carlo
Made in CaliforniaBonhamsFine Art and AntiquesMay 2, 2018Los Angeles
19th Century European PaintingsBonhamsFine Art and AntiquesMay 2, 2018New York
Old Master PaintingsSotheby'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 2, 2018Londonhttps://goo.gl/646Vg1
Audrey Hepburn:The Personal Collection Part IIIChristie'sMemorabilliaMay 2, 2018Onlinehttps://goo.gl/xtJtGR
Einstein and Family: Letters and PortraitsChristie'sMemorabilliaMay 2, 2018Onlinehttps://goo.gl/qaVXHZ
CollectionsSotheby'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 3, 2018Londonhttps://goo.gl/K6FXGq
DesignSotheby'sDesignMay 3, 2018Parishttps://goo.gl/ZfpwaJ
Bande Dessinée & IllustrationChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 3, 2018Paris Parishttps://goo.gl/1NxrSw
American ArtHeritageFine Art and AntiquesMay 4, 2018Dallas
Nature & ScienceHeritageScienceMay 5, 2018Dallas
The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller: 19th and 20th Century Art, Evening SaleChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 8, 2018New Yorkhttps://goo.gl/EJEUP3
Asian ArtBonhamsFine Art and AntiquesMay 9, 2018New York
The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller: English & European Furniture, Ceramics and Decorations, Part IChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 9, 2018New Yorkhttps://goo.gl/SoveVS
The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller: Art of the Americas, Evening SaleChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 9, 2018New Yorkhttps://goo.gl/htXBwB
ComicsHeritageMemorabilliaMay 10, 2018Chicago
SportsHeritageMemorabilliaMay 10, 2018Dallas
RM Sotheby's: Auburn SpringRM Sotheby'sLuxury carsMay 10, 2018Auburnhttps://goo.gl/j5m5NJ
The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller: Fine Art, Day SaleChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 10, 2018New Yorkhttps://goo.gl/gVEZds
The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller: English & European Furniture, Ceramics and Decorations, Part IIChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 10, 2018New Yorkhttps://goo.gl/EEsNfu
The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller: Travel and AmericanaChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 10, 2018New Yorkhttps://goo.gl/gmQkZH
Picasso Ceramics OnlineChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 10, 2018Online
Modern Edition OnlineChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 10, 2018Online
Space ExplorationHeritageMemorabilliaMay 11, 2018Dallas
The Monaco Sale 'Les Grandes Marques à Monaco'BonhamsLuxury CarsMay 11, 2018Monte Carlo
Texas ArtHeritageFine Art and AntiquesMay 12, 2018Dallas
Musical InstrumentsHeritageFine Art and AntiquesMay 12, 2018Dallas
RM Sotheby's: MonacoRM Sotheby'sLuxury carsMay 12, 2018Monte Carlohttps://goo.gl/THDHov
The Geneva Watch Auction: SevenPhillipsJewellery & WatchesMay 12, 2018Genevahttps://goo.gl/Q6upZs
Important WatchesSotheby'sJewellery & WatchesMay 13, 2018Genevahttps://goo.gl/UB9q1w
Asian ArtBonhamsFine Art and AntiquesMay 14, 2018New York
The Shape of Beauty: Sculpture from the Collection of Howard and Saretta BarnetSotheby'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 14, 2018New Yorkhttps://goo.gl/DDrHtC
Art of Africa, Oceania, and the AmericasSotheby'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 14, 2018New York
Impressionist & Modern Art Evening SaleSotheby'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 14, 2018New Yorkhttps://goo.gl/ZYbDCL
Rare WatchesChristie'sJewellery & WatchesMay 14, 2018Geneva Genevahttps://goo.gl/buxEsu
The World of Gold, Opals and Other "Phenomenal" GemsBonhamsJewellery & WatchesMay 15, 2018Los Angeles
Magnificent Jewels and Noble JewelsSotheby'sJewellery & WatchesMay 15, 2018Genevahttps://goo.gl/n3ev63
Travel, Atlases, Maps and Natural History Including the Library of Colin and Joan DeaconSotheby'sMemorabilliaMay 15, 2018Londonhttps://goo.gl/D8QHs1
Impressionist & Modern Art Day SaleSotheby'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 15, 2018New Yorkhttps://goo.gl/Ct3vTw
Impressionist and Modern Art Evening SaleChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 15, 2018New Yorkhttps://goo.gl/SfCez9
Rarity and Refinement: Treasures from a Distinguished East Asian CollectionChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 15, 2018Londonhttps://goo.gl/Y9LXuJ
Chinese Ceramics & Works of ArtChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 15, 2018Londonhttps://goo.gl/vbdyDE
LaliqueChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 15, 2018Londonhttps://goo.gl/ZAgh8C
Fine and Rare WinesChristie'sFine WineMay 15, 2018Geneva Genevahttps://goo.gl/MU5Sdr
American Art OnlineChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 15, 2018Online
Lalique & Art GlassHeritageFine Art and AntiquesMay 16, 2018Dallas
Raising The Bar: Masterworks from the Collection of Morton and Barbara MandelSotheby'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 16, 2018New Yorkhttps://goo.gl/DSkZgr
Contemporary Art Evening AuctionSotheby'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 16, 2018New Yorkhttps://goo.gl/ya66vC
20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale Morning SessionPhillipsFine Art and AntiquesMay 16, 2018New Yorkhttps://goo.gl/8BvVmM
Impressionist and Modern Art Works on PaperChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 16, 2018New Yorkhttps://goo.gl/SfCez9
Impressionist and Modern Art Day SaleChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 16, 2018New Yorkhttps://goo.gl/SfCez9
Magnificent JewelsChristie'sJewellery & WatchesMay 16, 2018Geneva Genevahttps://goo.gl/gzSrH8
Contemporary Art Day SaleSotheby'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 17, 2018New York
PhotographsSotheby'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 17, 2018Londonhttps://goo.gl/JQPoZA
Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening SaleChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 17, 2018New Yorkhttps://goo.gl/SfCez9
African & Oceanic ArtChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 17, 2018New Yorkhttps://goo.gl/5jNfMS
St George Street Sale: Chinese ArtSotheby'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 18, 2018Londonhttps://goo.gl/ojWcCp
Photographs OnlineSotheby'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 18, 2018Onlinehttps://goo.gl/fY5ycC
Post-War and Contemporary Art Morning SessionChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 18, 2018Londonhttps://goo.gl/s3x1wG
Post-War and Contemporary Art Afternoon SessionChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 18, 2018New Yorkhttps://goo.gl/SfCez9
Americana & PoliticalHeritageMemorabilliaMay 19, 2018Dallas
Finest & Rarest WinesSotheby'sFine WineMay 19, 2018New York
Historic Coins and Medals | Featuring Magnificent Morgan Silver Dollars from the Collection of Ralph and Lois StoneSotheby'sCoinsMay 21, 2018New Yorkhttps://goo.gl/Y8RMR3
Exquisite Eye: Chinese Paintings OnlineChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 21, 2018New Yorkhttps://goo.gl/SfCez9
Fine Autograph Music: the Property of Helmut Nanz and FamilySotheby'sMemorabilliaMay 22, 2018Londonhttps://goo.gl/JKZ4bp
Musical ManuscriptsSotheby'sMemorabilliaMay 22, 2018Londonhttps://goo.gl/qXaS1M
Master PaintingsSotheby'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 22, 2018New York
European ArtSotheby'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 22, 2018New York
American ArtChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 22, 2018Online
DesignChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 22, 2018New Yorkhttps://goo.gl/k2zVey
Contemporary Art Asia: New York EditionChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 22, 2018Paris Parishttps://goo.gl/H9jDfN
Contemporary Art Asia: Hong Kong EditionChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 22, 2018Online
Stephen Shore: Vintage PhotographsChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 22, 2018Online
American ArtBonhamsFine Art and AntiquesMay 23, 2018New York
American ArtSotheby'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 23, 2018New York
Thomas Molesworth: Designing the American West | The Ruth and Jake Bloom CollectionSotheby'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 23, 2018New Yorkhttps://goo.gl/o3UeRo
Latin American ArtChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 23, 2018Online
The Collector: European Furniture, Works of Art & CeramicsChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 23, 2018New Yorkhttps://goo.gl/ZnRwNy
The Collector: English Furniture, Clocks & Works of ArtChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 23, 2018Londonhttps://goo.gl/DZd1kk
Modern & ContemporaryHeritageFine Art and AntiquesMay 24, 2018Beverly Hills
Fine and Rare WinesBonhamsFine WineMay 24, 2018Hong Kong, Admiralty
19th Century European PaintingsSotheby'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 24, 2018Londonhttps://goo.gl/bZzWyW
Livres et ManuscritsSotheby'sMemorabilliaMay 24, 2018Parishttps://goo.gl/4k7iin
Important DesignSotheby'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 24, 2018New York
Important WatchesSotheby'sJewellery & WatchesMay 24, 2018New Yorkhttps://goo.gl/TiWN3X
The Collector: Silver &19th Century Furniture, Sculpture & Works of ArtChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 24, 2018Londonhttps://goo.gl/fkwy9b
Christie's Watches OnlineChristie'sJewellery & WatchesMay 24, 2018Londonhttps://goo.gl/6nRQJg
Fine & Rare Wines: Direct from the Cellars of the Historic Comte Georges de VogüéChristie'sFine WineMay 25, 2018Online
Asian 20th Century & Contemporary Art (Evening Sale)Christie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 26, 2018Hong Konghttps://goo.gl/xFQDEe
Fine & Rare Wines Featuring Wines Direct from Masseto and a Guinaudeau Family Collection of Château Lafleur and Estate WinesChristie'sFine WineMay 26, 2018Hong Konghttps://goo.gl/Y2xodJ
Asian 20th Century Art (Day Sale)Christie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 27, 2018Hong Konghttps://goo.gl/f38736
Asian Contemporary Art (Day Sale)Christie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 27, 2018Hong Konghttps://goo.gl/GqSJX7
Chinese Contemporary InkChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 28, 2018Hong Konghttps://goo.gl/uTHUj1
Chinese Contemporary InkChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 28, 2018Hong Konghttps://goo.gl/FafxtK
Fine Chinese Classical Paintings and CalligraphyChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 28, 2018Hong Konghttps://goo.gl/cVJK59
Important Watches and Private CollectionsChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 28, 2018Hong Konghttps://goo.gl/q1xtCz
Fine Chinese Modern PaintingsChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 29, 2018Hong Konghttps://goo.gl/W3mZRb
Hong Kong Magnificent JewelsChristie'sJewellery & WatchesMay 29, 2018Hong Konghttps://goo.gl/iZpJwt
Livres rares et ManuscritsChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 29, 2018Hong Konghttps://goo.gl/rY4Cve
Handbags OnlineChristie'sHandbagsMay 29, 2018Paris Parishttps://goo.gl/XrN2PU
Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of ArtChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 30, 2018Online
Handbags & AccessoriesChristie'sHandbagsMay 30, 2018Hong Konghttps://goo.gl/ZhWaod
Contemplating The DivineChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 30, 2018Hong Konghttps://goo.gl/frSwer
Leisurely Delights of a Transient LifeChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 30, 2018Hong Konghttps://goo.gl/XpkmUA
Celestial Immortals - The Taber Family Tianqiuping from Philbrook Museum of ArtChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 30, 2018Hong Konghttps://goo.gl/oxFdFo
The Three Rarities - Imperial Qianlong Ceramics From An Important Private CollectionChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 30, 2018Hong Konghttps://goo.gl/3fhwnD
The Nitta MaitreyaChristie'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 30, 2018Hong Konghttps://goo.gl/M4tsz4
Scholarly Art from the Collection of Mr and Mrs Gerard HawthornSotheby'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 31, 2018Hong Kong
Chinese ArtSotheby'sFine Art and AntiquesMay 31, 2018Hong Kong
January 1, 1970
January 1, 1970

 

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The Investment Value of Vacheron Constantin Versus Patek Philippe

Bring out the big guns. In this edition of our Versus Series we pit two Swiss super brands against one another, as we look at the investment value of Vacheron Constantin versus Patek Philippe. They are two of the most desirable brands and with good reason.

Big Guns of the Watch World

Their names, heritage, and craftsmanship are known the world over. While Patek Philippe may well be the Rolex of the well heeled (a comparison grounded in their relatively similar practice of supply limitation and seemingly bankable appreciation), it does not necessarily walk away with this title without a fight.

The investment value of Vacheron Constantin has a few things in its favor. Firstly, the aesthetic is quite different. There is often a little more flair surrounding a modern day Vacheron Constantin, especially in their enameled and bejeweled pieces.

That’s not to say Patek Philippe are boring exactly, but they are the masters of subtlety. And if I’m being honest, the only reason I’d wear a Calatrava is for its undeniable build quality.

Investment Value of Vacheron Constantin - Patek Philippe

27 Image Courtesy of Patek Philippe

Group Ownership Advantage

In a strange way, the investment value of Vacheron Constantin benefits from being the Swiss Jewel in the Richemont Group’s crown. Sometimes brands suffer from positioning issues when consumed by a group, if, like A. Lange & Söhne, they are required to play a certain role at odds with their independent identity (in Lange’s case, the dedication to precious metal housings over the more traditionally steel).

Investment Value of Vacheron Constantin

Image Courtesy of Vacheron Constantin

Vacheron Constantin does not suffer from the same problem. The advantage of being owned by a group (especially when you’re the top marque) is that the larger scale and more wide-ranging manufacturing capacities means you can get some really interesting stuff for a much more reasonable price.

To illustrate this point, let’s take a look at a couple of each brand’s latest offerings.

Aquanaut Debut at Baselworld

Investment Value of Vacheron Constantin - Patek Philippe Aquanaut

Image Courtesy of Patek Philippe

The Patek Philippe Aquanaut Chronograph 5968A made a strong impression at this year’s Baselworld. The flashy orange accents on the dial are a congruously sporty touch, which is nice to see. Sometimes I think Patek holds back too much for fear of alienating their faithful, but I’ve never believed they need to be so cautious.

This model is a good example of what they can achieve when they throw tradition to the wind.

Investment Value of Vacheron Constantin - FIFTYSIX day-date

Image Courtesy of Vacheron Constantin

FIFTYSIX day-date Debut at SIHH

SIHH saw the debut of the Vacheron Constantin FIFTYSIX day-date in stainless steel (reference 4400E/000A-B437). This piece offers a great example of the brand and comes in at around $20,000.

That’s a lot of watch for the money, and eminently more wearable than some of their less robust cases of old.

Investment vs. Aesthetics

So does the value of the Vacheron, or the vividness of the new Aquanaut (especially on its included orange strap) steal victory in today’s clash?

As much of a VC fan boy as I admittedly am, I struggle to overlook the uncommonly interesting Aquanaut. It seems to have come at the perfect time, with this particular family managing to up Patek’s appeal with the younger crowd.

At $40,000, it’s certainly a big investment, but its unusual styling means it could well become very collectible further down the line.

That said, it’s twice the price, and far less versatile. If I was buying a watch to wear, I’d take the Vacheron Constantin FIFTYSIX; if I was buying a watch to sell, the Patek Philippe Aquanaut Chronograph 5968A would get the nod.

And therefore, ladies and gentlemen, we have a tie.

About the Author:

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

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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

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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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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