Salon QP Exhibition 2017

Unbeknown to most, the abbreviation QP comes from Quantiéme Perpétuel, translated from French as ‘perpetual calendar’. The magazine is an extremely well-respected publication in the horological world, published quarterly covering watch design, history, collecting, auctions and more. With such a prestigious reputation, it seems only right that QP host a watch event fit for purpose.
Salon QP

Image Source: Author’s Own

Salon QP exhibition entered its ninth-year between the 2nd and 4th of November, returning to the Saatchi Gallery armed with some of the world’s finest and most desired timepieces on display. The exhibition had added ‘bonuses’ too, with featured fine art prints, a rare 1955 Porsche Pre A Speedster on display, and regular wine-tasting throughout the days.

Salon QP

1955 Porsche Pre A Speedster. Image Source: Author’s Own

As for the watches, they intricately combine mainstream with independent, prompting Salon QP to describe their featured collection as ‘unique watch brands from independent artisans to global mega-brands showcasing their most desired timepieces’.

The exhibition started with a swanky Thursday night black tie reception. Watch viewing and wine tasting exhibitions took place on the following two days. The event was highly interactive, with chances to meet and talk with the prestigious watchmakers such as A.Lange & Sohne and Abarth. Salon QP utilised every inch of the grand building, filling six different rooms with watchmakers presenting their most prized and unique timepieces.


Salon QP

Astronomia Tourbillon. Image Source: Jacob & Co.

This was Friday’s headline exhibition that had patrons queuing out of the door to get a glimpse at some of the astrologically based watches. Salon QP tipped the exhibition as a ‘chance to delve into our desire to charter the heavens’. The display room was immersive, with a starry sky creating a cosmos feel, enhancing the viewing experience of an already stunningly intricate timepiece display.

Although the Van Cleef Midnight Planétarium was an impressive spectacle, the highlight had to be the highly coveted Jacob & Co Astronomia Tourbillon. The watch is simply breath-taking to behold up close, featuring 19K white gold and sapphire apertures on the sides, the watch was described by Jacob & Co as ‘a poetic visual rendering of the celestial world with every element in constant, visible motion’.

Salon QP

Blue Crafts Instillation. Image Source: Salon QP

This was no ordinary watch exhibition, as according to Salon QP, spectral coordinates of blue light can be found within the installation. This consequently allows the blue to be in transition, constantly revealing different blue sensations, with each person to enter the exhibition affecting the tone of the blue light. An interesting phenomenon to behold.

As for the blue dial watches themselves, they were everything you can expect from A. Lange & Sohne. Smart and stylish with the added effect of a rich blue that contrasted elegantly with the 18K white gold case; this was certainly a favourite amongst the watch enthusiasts in attendance.

Salon QP

Chopard Through the Years. Image Source: Author’s Own

An epic journey through sporting history, the exhibition featured a collection of luxury Chopard sports watches ranging from 1988 right through to 2017. From the Chopard co-president Karl-Friedich Scheufele participating in the world renowned classic rally to creating a Mille Miglia Collection this year featuring three new chronograph models; Chopard and Mille Miglia have a well-documented association that has been ever present as years have gone by.

The luxury watch brand dedicated their display of 29 years of elegance and technical accomplishments to Mille Migalle, a partnership that further emphasises the strong relationship formed between car racing and watches throughout history.

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Trend Watch: Moon Phase Complications Rise Again

Recent history hasn’t been so kind to the lunar phase complication. Between the mid-nineties and the late naughties, watchmaking was rapt by a braggadocious bro culture that favoured the rambunctious over the refined. Classical style and size were shelved for in-your-face outlandishness. Vivid colours and gargantuan cases dominated. The time for a patient, relatively static complication like a moon phase was passed. Its days in the sun seemed over. It seemed likely that this interesting mechanical exercise would exist as a throwback addition, more to recall the past than take us into the future.

Moon Phase

Image supplied, courtesy of De Bethune

And then everything changed. The financial uncertainty of the last decade brought watchmaking back into line. Gone were the days of customers throwing money at retailers in a deliberate effort to wear the most expensive thing; welcomed was the era of frugality, of quality, of value. Customers still want the very best, but they want it wrapped up in a more permanent package. They want heirlooms not bragging rights. And what does that mean for the aesthetics of watchmaking? A return to class…

The Outside Affects the In

Moon phase complications have been used on hypermodern watches, but in this writer’s opinion, it never looks quite right. Something about the richness of the colours often used in the decoration of a lunar disc (often blue and gold) makes this complication automatically ostentatious. It needs an elegant housing. Sure, it looks okay in an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak case (basically because that case could make any complication look good), but it looks at home in something more retro like a Patek Philippe 5396.

Moon Phase

Image supplied, courtesy of Andreas Strehler

So, this aesthetic reversion favoured the moon phase, but so have the advances in technology and the market climate that demands evermore unnecessary levels of accuracy to justify a purchase that would have seemed more throwaway ten or 20 years ago. Some watchmakers have taken this to heart, like Roger W. Smith of the United Kingdom, and produced top-of-the-range in-house calibres that push the boundaries of accuracy.

The standard moon phase disc would only feature 59 teeth, so the lunar disc would rotate once for every 29.5-day lunar cycle. The problem is that the lunar cycle isn’t exactly 29.5 days – in fraction terms it’s quite a bit more; so much more in fact, that a lunar disc with 59 teeth will actually need resetting by one day every two and half years or so.

That may not sound too bad, but from a timekeeping perspective it’s the same as your watch gaining one and a half minutes a day. That’s hardly the kind of chronometric accuracy most luxury watch buyers demand in 2017.

In the past the moon phase has been a curiosity, an aesthetic embellishment that enlivens a dial; now it is the plaything of geniuses, hell bent on bringing this complication into the 21st century, and ensuring, in some mind-boggling cases, that it will be able to run unadjusted for so long that the actual relationship of the moon and the Earth will have changed sufficiently as to make all modern day calculations moot.

In an era of caution, placing your money in one of these complicated watches designed for the long term, made in extremely limited series, and created by some of the most desirable and watertight companies in the world seems like a good investment that’s more likely to was than it is to wane.


About the Author: Fell Jensen is a Swiss-trained watchmaker working as an industry analyst.

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Victory for Veteran Motor Cars

Shunning the winter blues, Bonhams’ show success in the sale of veteran cars prior to the famous London to Brighton run. Here, Bryan McMorran tries to make sense of it all.

Rumours and thoughts that the Veteran motor car market was a dying breed were truly unjustified by Bonhams’ recent London to Brighton sale with an astonishing 91% sale rate achieved. The annual London to Brighton run has always had a significant turn out, but unlike the classic car market, veteran motor cars aren’t to everyone’s tastes and the values of them haven’t seen the significant rises that have applied to their younger contemporaries. And whilst that may be still true, the sale did show that there really is still an appetite for some of these magnificent machines.

Veteran Motor Cars - 1903 Panhard

Source: Bonhams

The highlight of the sale was the 1903 Panhard et Levassor Model B 10hp Four-Cylinder Rear-Entrance Tonneau, which achieved £326,667, but elsewhere in the catalogue estimates were being smashed by enthusiastic bidders, both present in the salesroom and on the telephones. A sublime example of a 1903 Darracq Model H 12hp Twin-Cylinder Rear-Entrance Tonneau achieving £203,100 against a pre-sale estimate of £120,000-160,000.

Veteran Motor Cars - 1898 Germain

Source: Bonhams

An important single-owner European collection performed very well, with the 1898 Germain 6hp Twin-Cylinder Open Drive Limousine (£150,000-220,000) achieving £225,500, the 1901 Hurtu Type H 4½hp Rear-Entrance Tonneau selling for £63,100, and the 1899 Vivinus 3½hp Two-Seater Voiturette reaching £58,620, more than double its pre-sale estimate of £20,000-25,000.

The results must have buoyed both Bonhams’ and the overall market’s confidence that the ever-impending crash to the market that the doomsayers keep telling us is here, is some way off yet. And, refreshingly, the buyers were out in their droves, as the successful sale proved.

James Knight, Group Motoring Chairman, commented: ‘The results achieved at Bonhams today show that the appetite for these extraordinary veteran machines remains very strong indeed. This was one of our largest ever London to Brighton Sales, and the range of vehicles on offer was remarkable. We look forward to seeing many of them at the Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run on Sunday.’

With two more sales before the year end featuring younger classics, the company must be hoping that some of the magic from the London to Brighton sale rubs off on them and makes them a success too. However, one of the benefits of the veteran motor cars have is a smaller number of auctions dedicated to them, and the lower number of cars available to the overall market. So perhaps in that way, the prices will remain fairly static, rising a little as buyers have less to choose from.

The higher number of classic cars make it more of a buyers’ market and therefore dictate prices. Rarity and uniqueness is always going to be a desirable commodity and with so few veteran motor cars coming to the market, this can only keep prices moving in the right way. It is still a concern, however, that as the buyers of them get older, and with less specialists around to care for them, they could have a finite shelf life, but then that’s up to the clubs and owners to get a younger audience more enthused about these machines. One thing is very much for sure, if the sale is any indication, their end is some way off yet.


About the Author

Bryan McMorran is a car industry specialist and is Abbeyfield Sports & Classic’s Founder & Director.

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Lessons on Authenticating Fine Art from the $100M Salvator Mundi Sale

Authenticating Fine Art - salvator mundi

Source: Newsweek

The artist Jonathan Yeo tweeted recently that the rediscovered Leonardo da Vinci painting ‘Salvator Mundi’ or the saviour of the world, which is being offered for sale by Christie’s on November the 15th, with an estimate of $100 Million was a bargain! And there is a solid argument that it is. There are only around 20 paintings that are definitively by Leonardo and this is the only one that is available for purchase at any price. The others are all in museums and cannot be sold. By investigating the history of this piece and similar fine artworks from this period, the importance of authenticating fine art becomes clear.

Authenticating Fine Art - Vermeer

Source: Essential Vermeer

In 2004, a painting by Johannes Vermeer titled ‘a young woman seated at the virginals’ (a sort of piano) sold at Sotheby’s London for a record £16.2 million including fees (around $30 million at the time). The work, which had been regarded as a fake for many years, had been initially offered with a cautious estimate of £3 million. Even up until the gavel went down, many questioned its attribution, as the work was deemed too poor to be by Vermeer.

Sotheby’s promoted the work, with a 22-page catalogue, which included contributions from art historians, costume historians, conservators and scientific analysts. They all sought to reinforce the conclusion reached by a panel of Dutch museum experts that the work was by Vermeer. In the art world, authenticating fine art is decided by a committee of experts who have the right to validate works by a certain artist. If this committee do not authenticate a work, as far as the art market is concerned, it is not authentic.

With the ever-increasing prices paid by collectors for authentic works by Contemporary, Modern and Old Masters, buyers want to be sure their work is correct and will pay significantly less for unauthenticated works, if they are willing to purchase them at all. There are many paintings that are most likely correct, but that cannot be sold as such as their chain of provenance is incomplete, or there is something about the composition or style of the work the specialists do not like. And hence have not been authenticated.

There have also been instances where committees authenticating fine art have been accused of deliberately and systematically refusing to authenticate works to limit the supply of works to the market and thus drive up the value of their holdings. It is these factors, that make the authenticity of both the Vermeer and the da Vinci so important. As, with this solid attribution, these works represent a once in a generation opportunity to buy works by these titans of art history.

The last Vermeer that one could buy before ‘a young woman seated at the virginals, was 49 years ago, and the last work offered at auction 81 years ago. The only other one technically in private hands belongs to the Queen of England: and, short of a revolution that will never be sold!

Authenticating Fine Art - Rembrandt

Source: Rijksmuseum

A drawing by da Vinci sold in 2001 for the staggering sum of £8,143,750. This was one of the finest da VincI drawings still in private hands: Though crucially not the ONLY one in private hands. A more accurate barometer of the current prices paid for work by the finest Old Master painters is the pair of portraits by Rembrandt van Rijn of Marten Soolmans and his wife Oopjen Coppit, executed a year after their wedding in 1634, which were purchased by the Rijksmuseum and the Louvre in collaboration for a staggering €160 million (around $182 million).

The fact that this price could only be achieved by 2 international instructions and indeed nations joining forces, illustrates how expensive Old Masters works can be. As a pair of works of exceptional quality, they were unique, but not the only opportunity to buy a Rembrandt at the time. Also, the fact that the works were offered for private sale, rather than being put on an auction block is also key: as offering works privately allows the buyers a longer period to raise funds prior to the sale. These deals can be worked out over a period of years, while the buyer of the da Vinci will have just over a month to get their funds together.

Authenticating Fine Art - Rubens

Source: BBC Arts

An example of an Old Master painting, which has been sold at auction, of similar quality to the da Vinci and the Rembrandt is Rubens ‘massacre of the Innocents’ which sold in 2002 at Sotheby’s in London for £49.5 million including fees (around $76.7 million). This work, painted between 1609 and 1611, not only represents a large-scale work by the artist, but is a major masterpiece by Rubens. Rubens is not an artist whose work only comes up only once in a generation, but a work of this importance and scale, may never come up again.

Does the price of $76.7 million paid for the Rubens mean buyers are unwilling to bid a lot more for old master paintings and hence value Old Master paintings less highly than Modern and Contemporary Art? Buyers of Modern and Contemporary masterpieces often pay more than the $100 million Christie’s have put on the da Vinci. It is perhaps for this reason Christie’s have taken the odd step of offering the da Vinci their major Post War and Contemporary art sale. Seeking to promote the painting as a once in a lifetime event which transcends time and genres. High praise indeed, but if there is an artist who deserves such hype it is da Vinci. Whether or not this risky positioning of the painting will pay off, only time will tell. As with any auction if 2 or more bidders want a work badly enough and are prepared to keep bidding, then the sky is the limit.


About the Author

Huw is an experienced art storage and shipping professional with an art history background.


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Winter Art and Antiques Fair Olympia: Reviewed

Background & Overview


Winter Art & Antiques Fair Olympia

Image Source: Author’s Own

Its hard to believe the Winter Art & Antiques Fair Olympia just last week celebrated its 27th year of annual exhibitions.  As expected, the fair has taken centre stage for the art and antiques calendar this winter, with a prestigious reputation amongst collectors and exhibitors alike.

Synonymous with the dazzling art and antiques on display is the iconic National Hall venue in West London, which allowed for an impressive footfall of 20,000 visitors over the course of the week. You can see why the visitors arrived in abundance, with a relatively cheap entry fee, and over 30,000 pieces on display.

The pieces consisted of art, antiques, furniture, jewellery and collector’s pieces with prices ranging from £100 to £100 million; the eclectic variety of pieces on offer proves to be the leading reason why visitors continue to flock back year after year.

Country & Town House are quoted describing the Winter Art & Antiques Fair Olympia (WAAF) as a way for ‘enthusiasts to get their fix in between peak buying season for art and antiques’. This perfectly surmises what the winter fair is all about. Self knowingly to WAAF, this fair is minor in comparison to the summer exhibition and to others that feature around that time of year. However, what it does offer is a date for collectors and exhibitors to put in their their winter calendar, offering the latest in the fine art and antiques world to tide them over until the following summer. 

 Highlights & Features

  • The Marriage of Psyche – Brussels XVIIIth century – Tapestry
Winter Art & Antiques Fair Olympia

Image Source: Winter Arts & Antiques Fair

It would have been hard to miss this colossal tapestry. Featured next to the entrance, it was obvious this was to be a standout feature of the fair, not only for the vast size of it but for the realisation of the intricate detail that went into this magnificent 20th century piece. The artist illustrates a banquet taking place, in which Cupid and Psyche are kissing in the background, placing emphasis upon the feast and the arts taking place in the foreground. This exhibit came from Boccara Paris who are renowned for their tapestry and textile offerings.

  • Josef Hospodka Coloured Glass Vase
Winter Art & Antiques Fair Olympia

Image Source: Winter Arts & Antiques Fair

Tipped by Vanessa Curry, Independent Art advisor from Fine Art Sources as a standout feature in this year’s Winter Art & Antiques Fair Olympia, this uniquely coloured glass vase is not currently as valuable as one may expect. However, it is set to significantly rise in rarity and value over time, due to the spike in increase in post-modernism and the fact Chriska glassworks recently went out of production after being in business since 1414. Presented by exhibitor Richard Hoppé, this vase has potential for high investment value.

  • 1960s Sapphire and Diamond Ring
Winter Art & Antiques Fair Olympia

Image Source: Winter Arts & Antiques Fair

Finally, this 4.7 carat diamond and sapphire Burma ring from the 1960s stood out amongst the jewellery on display. The blue sapphire contrasts vividly with the shiny exterior diamonds to create a striking appearance. Again, this item was unlikely to be the most expensive feature in the jewellery section, but for aesthetic value and sheer elegance, this Burmese ring was a real winner.


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What is the Investment Value of Jaeger LeCoultre Watches?

When you think of Jaeger-LeCoultre you probably think of slim, classically styled dress watches that harken the Art Deco era. The 1931 release of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso distinguished the brand as a marque of high society, having tailored their most beloved creation’s design around the rigours of a polo match. The Reverso is still popular, but this Richemont-owned brand has a lot more than just one model to offer. Making us wonder about the investment value of Jaeger LeCoultre watches.

Investment Value of Jaeger LeCoultre Watches

Image supplied, courtesy of Jaeger LeCoultre

Some of the most impressive watches from Jaeger-LeCoultre are super-complicated mechanisms, boasting functions such as perpetual calendars, extremely accurate moon-phase displays, and deadbeat seconds indicators that ‘tick’ instead of sweep you’d expect from a mechanical watch.

Mechanics In the Blood

None of this should come as a surprise when we delve into the brand’s history to discover that Jaeger-LeCoultre – or, more specifically, LeCoultre – has its roots in movement manufacture. This level of expertise is what underpins the brand’s reputation. Having supplied movements to Cartier in the early 20th century, the legend of the two names, Jaeger and LeCoultre, has grown and grown since they first appeared on a dial together in 1937.

Investment Value of Jaeger LeCoultre Watches

Image supplied, courtesy of Jaeger LeCoultre

So what effect has this storied history had on the investment value of Jaeger-LeCoultre watches? As mentioned, Jaeger-LeCoultre is a Richemont brand (one of the major conglomerate luxury groups that tend to define the global landscape of watchmaking as they navigate the consumer minefield like tectonic giants, ponderously warring for new ground).

Group brands like Jaeger-LeCoultre, Cartier, Baume & Mercier, IWC, A. Lange & Söhne, Montblanc, Piaget, and Panerai (all Richemont), Omega, Longines, Rado, Breguet, and Blancpain (Swatch Group), and TAG Heuer, Hublot, and Zenith (LVMH) to name but a few (seriously), are in a pretty strong position when it comes to attracting the long term investor. Why? Because they can more confidently guarantee their future existence. It’s tough for many smaller brands – especially those reliant on group-owned manufacturing companies like Nivarox for supply – to say with absolute certainty that they will be around in thirty years time to service the investment piece they’re trying to sell you today.

Additionally, their long histories, excellent record keeping, and the retention of a cachet of highly trained artisans makes faithful refurbishment a bankable option therefore increasing the investment value of Jaeger-LeCoultre watches.

Investment Value of Jaeger LeCoultre Watches

Image supplied, courtesy of Jaeger LeCoultre

The truth is that most watches, regardless of brand, will depreciate in value over time as they age. As this report shows, the average depreciation is 41% for a Jaeger-LeCoultre Master, BUT, that performance places it third, behind only Patek Philippe and Rolex’s examples submitted to this test.

What we’re really asking here is that do some of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s pieces blow the record books to bits when they go under the hammer? The answer is unequivocally yes. The above report deliberately excludes ultra-iconic pieces, because it unfairly favours the brands that have ultra-iconic pieces. Fortunately for Jaeger-LeCoultre, they do.

As one of the most respected brands, with one of the most sought-after and enduring designs in the Reverso, Jaeger-LeCoultre is one of the better places to put your money. Especially if you want to look good in the process…


About the Author: Fell Jensen is a Swiss-trained watchmaker working as an industry analyst.


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5 Reasons Why Investing in Fine Art is for the Long Term

Investing in fine art - soutine

Chaim Soutine, Portrait of Madeleine Castaing (1929). Source: The Met

The idea of art as an investment rather than just a collection is nothing new. According to the Deloitte Art & Finance Report, over three quarters of collectors now purchase works with their investment potential in mind. However, for every article saying art is the next great investment, there is another predicating a fine art market crash similar to the 80 to 90 per cent drops seen in Japan in 1990’s. But the art market is more than just a bubble and below are five reasons why investing in fine art is a good long-term decision.

  1. The fine art market has grown 113% in 10 years

One of the reasons art and other luxury assets have caught the eye of investors is their exceptional growth over the last ten years. The Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index (KFLII) tracks the performance of a range of assets including fine art, classic cars, and fine wine. It has shown all three asset classes outperforming shares in the last 10 years and recovering from shocks like the 2008 financial crisis much faster. Works by blue chip artists like Gaugin, Van Gogh, and Warhol whose works are both desirable and limited in supply perform especially well.

  1. Over the long term, the fine art market is cyclical like any other

The constant debate between fine art bulls and bears often mirrors that of stock market pundits. As mentioned above, the art market has seen contractions and not all genres or style perform as well as others. The Old Master market for instance, has seen large losses in some years, but as the Borro Blog has previously discussed, this doesn’t prevent certain Old Master paintings from generating huge returns. This risk/reward trade-off allows potential investors to tailor their purchases to suit their needs. If you are looking for large returns quickly, speculating on emerging Contemporary artists might be your best bet. If, on the other hand, you are aiming for steady growth, then a piece Impressionism might be more suitable.

Investing in fine art - cezanne

Paul Cézanne, Still Life with Apples and a Pot of Primroses (1890) Source: The Met

  1. Investing in fine art can also be investing in artists and art itself

Not all art needs to be bought at auction. Unknown and very early emerging artists are naturally a vital part of the art world and can often only be bought from galleries. Purchasing works by new artists, while a risky financial investment, encourages artists to innovate and find new modes of expression. It can also help support emerging gallerists who are struggling with the increasing costs of art fairs, or, you can look for alternative platforms for reaching new artists. Online fine art buying is taking off slowly, and is being touted by some as the next big step for the fine art market. If however, your preference is for blue chip pieces, they can be loaned to museums allowing everyone to appreciate your collection.

  1. Collecting fine art opens doors

Another potential upside of investing in fine art is its social value. According to Deloitte’s report, 61% of art collectors cited the social aspects of art buying as ‘a key motivation’ for purchasing. These perks include invitations to special events like MoMA’s annual party in New York, exclusive previews from major auction houses, and special events after fairs like Art Basel. If you have donated or lent art to a museum you may be invited to join its board, a very prestigious position.

  1. You own something you love for life

One of the most common pieces of advice new collectors receive is ‘make sure you are buying things you like.’ Even if you haven’t bought a piece by the next Basquiat, you can still appreciate your purchase – which is more than can be said for owning an Enron share certificate! Additionally, just because a piece of art doesn’t appreciate in value immediately doesn’t mean it will never happen. Artists including El Greco, Toulouse-Lautrec, and of course Van Gogh weren’t appreciated until after their deaths!


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Collectors’ Guide to Upcoming Geneva Watch Auctions

As we canter towards the holiday season, spending on all fronts is ramping up to its annual apex. With the super-rich even more inclined to treat themselves to an early Christmas present, Geneva has answered the call. This month I’d like to talk about my top picks from not one, not two, but three major Geneva watch auctions slated to take place.

TAG The Date

Okay, forgive me: That sub-heading is the one and only time Heuer’s post-’85 partner in crime will be featured in this auction preview. That’s because the fevered anticipation surrounding the Phillips auction of November 11-12 is a huge collection of the most quintessentially ‘Heuer’ pieces of the Jack Heuer era.

Geneva Watch Auctions - Tag

Image supplied, courtesy of Phillips

I can only speak personally, but I much preferred Heuer’s pre-1985 output. This auction promises to be a treat for those who feel the same. In a year that’s seen the rebirth of the Autavia, interest in the vintage pieces from this established Swiss marque couldn’t really be higher.

The weekend’s bidding activity will open with this collection of 42 vintage Heuer pieces, dubbed the ‘Crosthwaite & Gavin Collection’. Upon its conclusion, The Geneva Watch Auction: Six, will take place in two parts. The first will commence at 7:30pm UTC+1 on the 11th, and the event will conclude the on the 12th following a session that starts at 6pm.

Sometimes, Less is More… Much, Much, More…

I will confess to you now that my favourite complication is a moon phase. When done correctly, this bewitching, celestial dance adds indelible class to a watch dial. Then again, there’s nothing more exciting than rarity and difference, so even I can’t begrudge Patek Philippe too much for quietly creating seven less complicated reference 3448s that lack a moon phase.

Geneva Watch Auctions - Patek

Image supplied, courtesy of Christie’s

Seven. Imagine owning one of seven pieces in the world. The Patek Philippe Senza Luna (basically ‘moonless’) is one of watchmaking’s rarest beasts. With just four yellow gold and three white gold pieces known to exist, you would be buying a significant piece of this adored maison’s back catalogue if you are prepared to shell out the estimated $300-500,000 (£227,000-£378,000) sale price.

Actually, that’s something of a misnomer: This Patek is so rare, it’s not even part of a back catalogue. In fact, were it not for Patek’s own confirmation that this 3448 is legit, we might never be sure whether the unusual dial was fitted by Patek themselves, or added as an aftermarket modification. This one is the real deal. If you want a chance of owning something genuinely remarkable, head over to Christie’s for their Rare Watches auction, due to be held on November 13th.

How to say Sorry in Style

If you’re bored of stonewall classics by the same old brands like Patek Philippe, Rolex, and Omega, why not branch out into the field of high-end horological art with the last of the Geneva watch auctions we’re previewing?

Geneval Watch Auctions - Antiquorum

Image supplied, courtesy of Antiquorum

With an estimate of $70,000-$90,000 (£53,000-£68,000) this unsigned floral piece is a beautiful 19th century example of a decorative technique known as champlevé enamel enamelling, which sees enamel sunk into hollows or depressions made in the base metal of the piece. It differs from cloisonné enamelling in that cloisonné creates separated cells by laying very fine wire on a flat surface. Both art forms are rarer now than they were in the past, and having the opportunity to witness a piece as exquisitely executed as this is a gift that will keep on giving. And no doubt earn you forgiveness in a way a simple bunch of gas station flowers never could. Check out this piece and others when they go under the hammer at the Antiquorum Geneva auction of November 12th 2017.


About the Author: Fell Jensen is a Swiss-trained watchmaker working as an industry analyst.


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The Sales Buzz Continues with the November 2017 Auction Calendar

We’re now well into the busiest season for the art market and the big-name auction houses have ramped up proceedings for the penultimate month before Christmas. Although art is the principal focus, there are also some blockbuster dates in the November 2017 auction calendar for luxury cars and watches that are not to be missed for the avid collector.

Borro’s Highlights for November

Sotheby’s Important Watches on November 12th

Sotheby’s are set to host another of their infamous ‘Important Watches’ sales in Geneva, the home of all luxury watches. The lot has an array of classic names such as Pateks, Rolexes and Audemars, but the title for most expensive and potentially the biggest highlight of the auction is the Vacheron Constantin collection. The set features four automatic wristwatches with day, date and engraved miniature mask dials, all produced in 2008. The lot is estimated between 260,000 — 430,000CHF (£201,535-£333,308).

November 2017 Auction calendar

Bonhams Post War and Contemporary Art on November 15th

Bonhams have placed some serious value in their Post War and Contemporary auction in New York with fine art works and sculptures from artists such as Ed Ruscha and Alfred Leslie. However, the lot that looks set to steal the show will be world renowned American artist Andy Warhol’s Puma Invader (Positive), set to fetch between $1,200,000-$1,800,000 (£910,000-£1,400,000) when the hammer drops later this month.

November 2017 Auction calendar

Image Source: November 2017 Auction Calendar

Historics’ Mercedes-Benz World Sale on November 25th

Image Source: Historics
Set to take place at the prestigious Mercedes-Benz World in Weybridge, England this is surely not to be missed by any classic car enthusiasts and collectors. Specialist classic and sports car auctioneers, Historics, are set to auction off a fleet of 31 cars in total, with production years ranging from 1929 right through to 2010.

It appears that age indicates value in this auction, with the 1929 Bentley 4.5 litre Open Tourer in the Vanden Plas Style estimated to fetch between £750,000-£875,000. This estimate is more than double that of the next most expensive car featured in the lot.

November 2017 Auction calendar

Image Source: Historics

See the full November 2017 auction calendar below:

AuctionAuction HouseCategoryDateLocationURL (If Available)
Christies Watches OnlineChristie'sJewellery & Watches01/11/2017Online
From Earth to FireSotheby'sFine Art and Antiques01/11/2017London
CHRISTIE'S JEWELS ONLINEChristie'sJewellery & Watches01/11/2017Online
The Library of a European GentlemanSotheby'sFine Art and Antiques02/11/2017London
London to Brighton Run Sale, Veteran Motor Cars and Related AutomobiliaBonhamsLuxury Cars03/11/2017London
Rugs SaleSotheby'sFine Art and Antiques07/11/2017London
The Library of an English Bibliophile Part VIISotheby'sFine Art and Antiques07/11/2017London
Chinese Ceramics & Works of ArtChristie'sFine Art and Antiques07/11/2017London
ART AS JEWELLERYChristie'sFine Art and Antiques07/11/2017Online
The Misumi Collection of Important Works of Lacquer Art and PaintingsBonhamsFine Art and Antiques08/11/2017London
Important Chinese ArtSotheby'sFine Art and Antiques08/11/2017London
EDO TO POST-WAR: 500 YEARS OF JAPANESE ART AND DESIGNChristie'sFine Art and Antiques08/11/2017Online
Fine Chinese ArtBonhamsFine Art and Antiques09/11/2017London
Fine Japanese ArtBonhamsFine Art and Antiques09/11/2017London
Importante Collection Européenne de PhotographiesSotheby'sPhotography10/11/2017Paris
The Bothwell CollectionBonhamsFine Art and Antiques11/11/2017Los Angeles
Magnificent Wines from the Park B. Smith CollectionSotheby'sFine Wine11/11/2017New York
ONLY WATCH 2017Christie'sJewellery & Watches11/11/2017Geneva
NEC Classic Motor Show Sale 2017SilverstoneLuxury Cars11/11/2017England
Important WatchesSotheby'sJewellery & Watches12/11/2017Geneva
Fine and Rare WinesChristie'sFine Wine12/11/2017Geneva
The Collection of Edwin & Cherie SilverSotheby'sFine Art and Antiques13/11/2017New York
American ArtSotheby'sFine Art and Antiques13/11/2017New York
Rare WatchesChristie'sJewellery & Watches13/11/2017Geneva
IMPRESSIONIST & MODERN ART EVENING SALEChristie'sJewellery & Watches13/11/2017New York
Travel, Atlases, Maps and Natural HistorySotheby'sMiscellaneous14/11/2017London
20th Century Art - A Different PerspectiveSotheby'sFine Art and Antiques14/11/2017London
Impressionist & Modern Art Evening SaleSotheby'sFine Art and Antiques14/11/2017New York
MAGNIFICENT JEWELSChristie'sJewellery & Watches14/11/2017Geneva
IMPRESSIONIST AND MODERN ART WORKS ON PAPERChristie'sFine Art and Antiques14/11/2017New York
LaliqueChristie'sFine Art and Antiques14/11/2017London
American Art OnlineChristie'sFine Art and Antiques14/11/2017Online
Fine Glass and British CeramicsBonhamsFine Art and Antiques15/11/2017London
Home and InteriorsBonhamsMiscellaneous15/11/2017Edinburgh
JewelryBonhamsJewellery & Watches15/11/2017London
Fine Books, Atlases, Manuscripts and PhotographsBonhamsMiscellaneous15/11/2017London
The Greek SaleBonhamsFine Art and Antiques15/11/2017London
Magnificent Jewels and Noble JewelsSotheby'sJewellery & Watches15/11/2017Geneva
Finest and Rarest WinesSotheby'sFine Wine15/11/2017London
Impressionist & Modern Art Day SaleSotheby'sFine Art and Antiques15/11/2017New York
EUROPEAN FURNITURE, WORKS OF ART & CERAMICSChristie'sFine Art and Antiques15/11/2017London
ENGLISH FURNITURE & WORKS OF ARTChristie'sFine Art and Antiques15/11/2017London
SILVER & 19TH CENTURY FURNITURE, SCULPTURE & WORKS OF ARTChristie'sFine Art and Antiques15/11/2017London
POST-WAR & CONTEMPORARY ART EVENING SALEChristie'sFine Art and Antiques15/11/2017London
CHRISTIE'S WATCHES ONLINEChristie'sJewellery & Watches15/11/2017Online
Imperial War Museum DuxfordH&H ClassicsLuxury Cars15/11/2017Cambridgeshire
Contemporary Art Evening AuctionSotheby'sFine Art and Antiques16/11/2017New York
POST-WAR & CONTEMPORARY ART DAY SALE PART IChristie'sFine Art and Antiques16/11/2017New York
POST-WAR & CONTEMPORARY ART DAY SALE PART IIChristie'sFine Art and Antiques16/11/2017New York
Contemporary Art Day AuctionSotheby'sFine Art and Antiques17/11/2017New York
MODERN/BRITISH ART ONLINEChristie'sFine Art and Antiques17/11/2017Online
LATIN AMERICAN ART ONLINEChristie'sFine Art and Antiques17/11/2017Online
HOMMAGE À JEAN ROYÈREChristie'sFine Art and Antiques20/11/2017Paris
DESIGN VENTE DU SOIRChristie'sFine Art and Antiques20/11/2017Paris
ASIAN 20TH CENTURY AND CONTEMPORARY ART ONLINEChristie'sFine Art and Antiques20/11/2017Online
THE EXQUISITE EYE: CHINESE PAINTINGS ONLINEChristie'sFine Art and Antiques20/11/2017Online
Australian Art and Aboriginal ArtBonhamsFine Art and Antiques21/11/2017Sydney
Watches and WristwatchesBonhamsJewellery & Watches21/11/2017London
British and European ArtBonhamsFine Art and Antiques21/11/2017London
Prints and MultiplesBonhamsFine Art and Antiques21/11/2017London
Contemporary CuratedSotheby'sFine Art and Antiques21/11/2017London
Scottish ArtSotheby'sFine Art and Antiques21/11/2017London
European ArtSotheby'sFine Art and Antiques21/11/2017New York
Art Treasures of America, the Collection of John F. EulichSotheby'sFine Art and Antiques21/11/2017New York
Latin America: Modern Art, Part ISotheby'sFine Art and Antiques21/11/2017New York
AUSTRALIAN ARTChristie'sFine Art and Antiques21/11/2017London
LATIN AMERICAN ARTChristie'sFine Art and Antiques21/11/2017New York
AMERICAN ARTChristie'sFine Art and Antiques21/11/2017New York
COLLECTION VÉRITÉChristie'sFine Art and Antiques21/11/2017Paris
Jacques Grange | CollectionneurSotheby'sFine Art and Antiques21/11/2017Paris
Modern & Post-War British ArtSotheby'sFine Art and Antiques21/11/2017London
Medals, Bonds, Banknotes and CoinsBonhamsFine Art and Antiques22/11/2017London
Modern British and Irish ArtBonhamsFine Art and Antiques22/11/2017London
Latin America: Modern Art, Part IISotheby'sFine Art and Antiques22/11/2017New York
LATIN AMERICAN ARTChristie'sFine Art and Antiques22/11/2017New York
MODERN BRITISH & IRISH ART EVENING SALEChristie'sFine Art and Antiques22/11/2017London
ART D'AFRIQUE ET D'OCÉANIEChristie'sFine Art and Antiques22/11/2017Paris
BRITISH IMPRESSIONISM EVENING SALEChristie'sFine Art and Antiques22/11/2017London
HANDBAGS & ACCESSORIESChristie'sHandbags and More22/11/2017Online
Fine and Rare WinesBonhamsFine Wine23/11/2017London
MODERN BRITISH & IRISH ART DAY SALEChristie'sFine Art and Antiques23/11/2017London
BRITISH IMPRESSIONISM DAY SALEChristie'sFine Art and Antiques23/11/2017London
Fine and Rare WinesChristie'sFine Wine24/11/2017Hong Kong
ASIAN 20TH CENTURY & CONTEMPORARY ART (EVENING SALE)Christie'sFine Art and Antiques25/11/2017Hong Kong
Mercedes-Benz World 25th November 2017 SaleHistoricsLuxury Cars25/11/2017London
ASIAN 20TH CENTURY ART (DAY SALE)Christie'sFine Art and Antiques26/11/2017Hong Kong
ASIAN CONTEMPORARY ART (DAY SALE)Christie'sFine Art and Antiques26/11/2017Hong Kong
DEAR MONSIEUR MONETChristie'sFine Art and Antiques26/11/2017Hong Kong
RUSSIAN ARTChristie'sFine Art and Antiques27/11/2017London
CHINESE CONTEMPORARY INKChristie'sFine Art and Antiques27/11/2017Hong Kong
FINE CHINESE CLASSICAL PAINTINGS AND CALLIGRAPHYChristie'sFine Art and Antiques27/11/2017Hong Kong
IMPORTANT WATCHESChristie'sJewellery & Watches27/11/2017Hong Kong
Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of ArtBonhamsFine Art and Antiques28/11/2017Hong Kong
AntiquitiesBonhamsFine Art and Antiques28/11/2017London
JewelryBonhamsJewellery & Watches28/11/2017Edinburgh
Musical ManuscriptsSotheby'sMiscellaneous28/11/2017London
Russian PicturesSotheby'sPhotography28/11/2017London
Russian Works of Art, Fabergé & IconsSotheby'sFine Art and Antiques28/11/2017London
FINE CHINESE MODERN PAINTINGSChristie'sFine Art and Antiques28/11/2017Hong Kong
HONG KONG MAGNIFICENT JEWELSChristie'sJewellery & Watches28/11/2017Hong Kong
LIVRES RARES ET MANUSCRITSChristie'sFine Art and Antiques28/11/2017Paris
THE EXCEPTIONAL SALEChristie'sFine Art and Antiques28/11/2017Paris
WINE ONLINE / LDNChristie'sFine Wine28/11/2017Online
MODERN PRINTSChristie'sFine Art and Antiques28/11/2017Online
MODERN PRINTSChristie'sFine Art and Antiques28/11/2017Online
Prints and MultiplesBonhamsFine Art and Antiques29/11/2017London
Antique Arms and ArmorBonhamsFine Art and Antiques29/11/2017London
The Russian SaleBonhamsFine Art and Antiques29/11/2017London
Ancient Sculpture and Works of ArtSotheby'sFine Art and Antiques29/11/2017London
IMPORTANT JEWELSChristie'sJewellery & Watches29/11/2017London
IMPORTANT CHINESE CERAMICS AND WORKS OF ARTChristie'sFine Art and Antiques29/11/2017Hong Kong
HANDBAGS & ACCESSORIESChristie'sHandbags and More29/11/2017Hong Kong
LE GOÛT FRANÇAISChristie'sFine Art and Antiques29/11/2017Paris
CHRISTIE'S JEWELS ONLINEChristie'sJewellery & Watches29/11/2017Online
MOMA: WOMEN IN PHOTOGRAPHYChristie'sPhotography29/11/2017Online
EINSTEIN: A LIFE IN LETTERS PART IIChristie'sMemorabillia29/11/2017Online
Arte Moderna e ContemporaneaSotheby'sFine Art and Antiques29/11/2017Milan
Modern Sporting GunsBonhamsMiscellaneous30/11/2017London
The Buzhishuzhai Collection of Post Han JadesSotheby'sFine Art and Antiques30/11/2017Hong Kong
THE ART OF CHINA: ONLINE WINTER SALEChristie'sFine Art and Antiques30/11/2017Online
CHRISTIE'S WATCHES ONLINEChristie'sJewellery & Watches30/11/2017Online
Chinese â??Art Including Selected Works of Art from the T.Y. Chao Family CollectionSotheby'sFine Art and Antiques30/11/2017Hong Kong

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Things Every Luxury Watch Lover Should Know

The wristwatch is a favourite accessory the world over, with shoppers willing to fork out hundreds of thousands to obtain the most desirable models to adorn their wrists. Even though they have intrigued us for centuries, the average luxury watch lover wouldn’t know where they originated from or the level of artistry that goes into creating every luxury timepiece.

To answer these questions and many more, the luxury watch experts at ROX – Diamonds & Thrills have compiled a definitive list of 100 things to know about luxury watches. It’s a watch geek’s delight and we’ve listed some of our favourites below.

Timepieces date back to the 16th century when the first egg-shaped pocket watches were created in Europe. Until the early 20th century, only women of noble birth wore wristwatches, with the first ‘modern’ piece made by Patek Philippe & Co. in 1868 for Countess Koscowicz of Hungary.

Luxury Watch Lover - Women - 2Artboard 1

Source: ROX – Diamonds & Thrills

For the last 200 years, the basic mechanical principles behind Swiss watches have not changed much, although there have been major advances in the technology behind luxury timepieces. These levels of craftsmanship take years of apprenticeship to master, with finishes ranging from intricate Côtes de Genève stripes on the watch’s surface, to sinuous “anglage” on the edges of bridges and plates.

Luxury Watch Lover - Hand finishArtboard 1

Source: ROX – Diamonds & Thrills

Audemars Piguet’s world-famous Royal Oak wristwatch immediately captured the hearts of every luxury watch lover when it was released in 1972, quickly becoming a cult favourite. The watch’s recognizable styling was the work of renowned designer Gérald Genta – also the man behind Patek Philippe’s Nautilus and IWC’s Ingenieur.

He came up with the Royal Oak’s octagonal bezel, held in place by eight visible screws, over the course of a single night after a last-minute request to design a watch that would appeal to the Italian market.

Luxury Watch Lover - royal oakArtboard 1

Source: ROX – Diamonds & Thrills

Are you a luxury watch lover that has evolved to a luxury watch investor? Learn how to maximise the value of your collection.


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Collecting Watches as an Investment

Patek Philippe – Highlights of Watch Making Excellence

Authenticating an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak