Borro Passes £200M in Lending

Borro is pleased to announce that it has completed £200M in lending. Although the first £100M was lent over 5.5 years, the following £100M was lent in 1.5 years. The increased pace of lending has been driven by expanding product lines and continued distribution growth.

“This is a very exciting milestone,” commented Paul Aitken, CEO and Founder, “it’s a sign of our experience as a company. The business has reached a point where servicing a £5,000 loan is as simple as a £500,000 loan, and this has allowed us to expand very rapidly.”

Research conducted by Equifax shows that Borro’s clients are part of the most affluent 5% of the UK population. Since completing its first £100M in lending, Borro’s average loan size has grown 350%, and the most common asset used by clients is now Fine Art. In 2016 Borro has also lent over £20M on property.

“Over the last year and a half our business has expanded dramatically,” said Director of Sales, Claire Barrington-Jones, “new products like property lending have allowed us to reengage with partners and target a more affluent client base.”

This is reflected in Borro’s repeat rates: 60% of its clients borrow again.

“A client’s first loan may be against their Rolex,’ Claire Barrington-Jones continued, ‘but after experiencing the level of service we offer, they will return with their art collection or property portfolio.”

Combined strong client loyalty with increasing referrals from partners, Borro expects to complete an additional £50m of lending by year end.

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Chopard: A History of High Quality Jewels and Jewelled Watches

Founded by watchmakers

Chopard Family
Source: Chopard

Chopard is internationally renowned for its high quality jewels and jewelled watches. Established in 1860, Louis-Ulysse Chopard created a watchmaking factory, in Sonvillier, Switzerland, at the age of 24, encouraged by his father, a farmer, Lucien Chopard.

Louis-Ulysse Chopard combined unique designs and precision watches. He soon presented his collections to international clients, visiting countries like Poland, Hungary and the Netherlands in 1912 and earned immediate recognition.

Karl Scheufele
Karl Scheufele, source: Chopard

In 1937, Chopard relocated to the heart of Haute Horlogerie quarters in Geneva. In 1943, Louis-Ulysse’s grandson, Paul André took over the company. Twenty years later, at the age of 70, Louis André Chopard was keen to sell his company. At the same time, Karl Scheufele III, descendant of German watchmakers and jewellers from Pforzheim, Germany, made it public he wished to purchase a Swiss manufacturing company. The decision to buy Chopard happened very quickly, “After half an hour of conversation, I knew it was the right choice “says Scheufele. As an independently owned company, Chopard has continued to grow as an international jeweller and watchmaking leader.

In 1974, when Chopard relocated to the Meyrin-Geneva site, on the outskirts of Geneva, its effort focused on women’s jewellery and watches.

The corporate woman
Working Girl
Working Girl

The 1980s saw big changes for women in their social and professional roles. This was the time of big hair, big shoulder pads and big money. After the Art Déco period- when women came out of men’s shadow following the First World War- the women’s empowerment movement culminated in the 1980s. Women were now well respected in the workplace and taking on roles traditionally held by men. Naturalistic and flowy dresses gave way to tailored jackets, blazers and shoulder pads. Whilst remaining feminine and glamourous, outfits were masculine, structured and uncomplicated.

Madonna, Material Girl
Madonna, Material Girl

Madonna said it in her 1984 album: it was a decade of accessories for the Material Girl.
Chopard, enclosed between two sapphire crystals, loose diamonds are free to move around the dial
Source: Chopard, enclosed between two sapphire crystals, loose diamonds are free to move around the dial

The busy executive woman no longer had time to waste with long sautoirs of the 1970s.

A seed pearl, ruby and diamond sautoir, Bulgari, circa 1970
Source: Sotheby’s, A seed pearl, ruby and diamond sautoir, Bulgari, circa 1970, sold for CHF 50,000, 13th May 2014

Jewels had to be functional, practical but elegant and synonymous of power and wealth. Chopard embraced this choice of luxury jewellery and watches. It was then that Ronald Kurowski created a new line of jewelled watches, the “Happy Diamond” collection.

As diamonds move freely, sparkling and reflecting light, accurate timekeeping is ensured by Chopard’s tradition of excellence in watchmaking.

chopard jewellerychopard pendantchopard brooch
Source: Chopard

As the collection became more and more successful, Chopard designers further developed it and adapted it to jewellery such as rings, pendants and brooches.

chopard Happy Sport watch
Source: Chopard

In 1993, the luxury functionality of the “Happy Diamonds” was taken one step further with the creation of the “Happy Sport” collection. The same principle applied: loose diamonds within a watch’s dial but modified slightly to give it a sporty powerful edge. Rubber strap for example is one of the materials used in this collection.

Global Expansion, Innovation and Recognition

In 1983, Chopard opened its first store in Asia, in Hong Kong and three years later, in Geneva.
With an established international recognition and clientele, Chopard returned to the Jura area of Switzerland in 1996 and was dedicated to refining the “L.U.C” (Louis-Ulysse Chopard) movements.

A year later they were awarded the “Watch of the Year” by Swiss magazine Montres Passion.

Chopard. Discover the making of the Palme d’Or
Source: Chopard. Discover the making of the Palme d’Or on

In 1998, Chopard became the official partner of the Cannes Film Festival, designing the Palme d’Or, which every film director hopes to win one day. Caroline Scheufele was asked to redesign the Palme: the golden stalk now ended with a heart-shape – one of the company’s symbol – and the palm rests on an emerald-cut crystal echoing a diamond.

Julia Roberts wearing a chopard emerald and diamond pendant necklace
Julia Roberts at the 2016 Cannes festival wearing no shoes but a Chopard emerald and diamond pendant necklace.

Following last year’s outrage that women in flat shoes were turned away from the Red carpet, Julia Robert’s decision to wear Chopard seemed to be the clear choice. Chopard embraced women’s empowerment in the 1980s and has once again been the preferred jeweller of influential women.

Chopard is no stranger to the motion picture awards. Since 2004, 13 Oscar winners have worn Chopard jewels such as:

Charlize Theron wearing chopard jewellery
Charlize Theron, 2004

Helen Mirren with her chopard jewellery
Helen Mirren, 2007

2004 – Charlize Theron, Best Actress, Monster
2005 – Hilary Swank, Best Actress, Million Dollar Baby
2006 – Rachel Weisz, Best Supporting Actress, The Constant Gardener
2007 – Helen Mirren, Best Actress, The Queen
2008 – Marion Cotillard, Best Actress, La Vie en Rose
2009 – Kate Winslet, Best Actress, The Reader
2009 – Penelope Cruz, Best Supporting Actress, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
2010 – Mo’Nique, Best Supporting Actress, Precious
2011 – Colin Firth, Best Actor, The King’s Speech
2012 – Michel Hazanavicius, Best Director, The Artist
2013 – Jennifer Lawrence, Best Actress, Silver Linings Playbook
2014 – Cate Blanchett, Best Actress, Blue Jasmine
2014 – Matthew McConaughey, Best Actor, Dallas Buyers Club
2015 – Julianne Moore, Best Actress, Still Alice
2015 – Eddie Redmayne, Best Actor, The Theory of Everything

With over 150 years of experience in luxury watchmaking and fine jewellery, Chopard has adapted and innovated, creating daring combinations of jewellery and watches which have become their signature pieces and most popular designs. Over the decades, Chopard has been able to reinvent itself always with the same elegant style without ever neglecting quality and refinement. To perpetuate this unique know-how, Chopard trains 25 apprentices in the art of watchmaking each year.

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The Rise of In-flight Watch Thefts

Once you’ve decided which luxury wristwatch (or wristwatches) you want to purchase, what’s the worst possible thing you can imagine happening after you strap it on for the first time?

nomos glashutte timepiece
Source: Author

You could drop it, but that’s no big deal – even though it’s expensive, any decent after-sales department can fix up a modern watch for you in a matter of weeks. Maybe the water resistance fails – yes, that’s annoying, but no doubt covered by your guarantee. In a terrifying scenario, your whole family might be kidnapped and held to ransom. Painful as it might be to part with your wrist candy, these luxuries pale into insignificance against things that actually matter in life. Also, you might be able to take some solace in the kidnapper’s obvious appreciation of haute horlogerie. A kindred, albeit criminally insane, spirit.

No, the worst thing that can happen to your beloved investment would be to have it stolen. But how could this happen? Surely anyone who has poured thousands into a decent timepiece would not just leave it lying around? As much as it begs belief, that’s exactly what’s been happening on a rash of recent flights. You might think this is pretty uncommon, but reported mid-air thefts rose by 25% in 2015, jumping from 48 cases in 2014, to 60 by year’s end.

You might roll your eyes and profess the careless owner had it coming, but it makes my blood run cold to imagine someone in 2016, boarding a flight with the intention of mid-air thievery. It is brazen beyond belief, but it’s happening. So what can you do to protect yourself?

Good Sense and Smart Storage Solutions

Firstly, unless it is absolutely necessary, do not travel with hundreds of thousands of dollars in your hand luggage (in both recent cases, the watches were nabbed along with a huge wedge of ready bank notes, stashed flippantly in an attaché case stored in an overhead locker).

Source: Pacsafe

Secondly, whatever precious cargo you are carrying should be kept with you at all times! Obviously wearing a watch is a very good way of protecting it during transit, but make sure you don’t shake hands with the Artful Dodger en route.

Sometimes, however, it is just as dangerous to wear a valuable watch. You may want to travel incognito, and avoid the prying stares of would-be thieves. In those instances, you should consider some kind of travel safe, or at the very least a secure briefcase that is small enough for you to store under your seat while flying.

Vigilance, as with all theft prevention, is key. It should never leave your attention when you are a steward of a potential heirloom. If you’re on a long haul flight and you might have to sleep, it’s probably worth quietly notifying the cabin crew that you are in possession of a valuable item(s), and even consider surreptitiously handcuffing yourself to your carry-on bag. It’s even more important if the watch has sentimental value, as that kind of problem can never be fixed, no matter how much money you throw at it.

About the Author

Rob Nudds is a WOSTEP qualified watchmaker, working as a consultant in the UK market. You can read more of his work on

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August Auction Dates

April Auction Dates

AuctionAuction HouseVerticalStart DateLocationURL
HOME & INTERIORSBonhamsFine Art & Antiques23/08/2016London, KnightsbridgeN/A

July Auction Dates

April Auction Dates

AuctionAuction HouseVerticalStart DateLocationURL
Medieval and Renaissance ManuscriptsSotheby'sFine Art & Antiques05/07/2016London
TreasuresSotheby'sFine Art & Antiques06/07/2016London
ANTIQUITIESBonhamsFine Art & Antiques07/07/2016London, New Bond Street
EUROPEBonhamsFine Art & Antiques07/07/2016London, New Bond Street
John Harrison's Enduring LegacySotheby'sFine Art & Antiques07/07/2016London
English Literature, History, Children?s Books and IllustrationsSotheby'sFine Art & Antiques12/07/2016London
Finest and Rarest WinesSotheby'sFine Wine13/07/2016London
HOME & INTERIORSBonhamsFine Art & Antiques19/07/2016London, Knightsbridge

GT Spirit 10th Anniversary Supercar Tour – The Spirit of Adventure

Zaid Hamid, GT Spirit 2016© Zaid Hamid, GT Spirit 2016

Last month Borro contributor Tim Hutton joined the GT Spirit 10th Anniversary tour taking in some of the finest roads Europe has to offer.

If you are a fan of supercars you will have no doubt heard of the website GT Spirit. To celebrate their 10th anniversary founder Des Sellmeijer organized a tour. Before setting off all I knew was that we would start in Munich and finish three days later back in Munich.


For the trip I chose to take my own classic Porsche 911, based in London this meant a mini road trip just to get down to Munich, choosing to stop over halfway at the Nurburgring to see friends and drive around the GP track, I decided driving the longer and more famous Nordschleife would have put too much strain on the car.

Arriving into Munich on Thursday afternoon the familiar sounds of supercars with sports exhausts could be heard, the 911 was without a doubt the oldest car on the trip but also seemed to be the fan favourite. Thursday night saw the official launch party at Heart House, Munich’s first private members club, it was a great opportunity to have a drink and relax while meeting the other drivers, a great ice breaker for what laid ahead.

Lamborghini Aventador

Friday morning came around much quicker than planned with an 8.30am start we were given our first route card, this morning we would head to Austria to drive the beautiful Nockalm Pass at Glockenhütte. Lunch was served at the very top and when in Austria if you are not a vegetarian you should always order Wiener Schnitzel! After lunch we headed down the other side of the pass in convoy with a blacked out Lamborghini Aventador, Mercedes AMG GTS and one of two Porsche Cayman GT4s. What the little 911 lacks in power it makes up for with a very low centre of gravity and super sticky tyres, the descent was ‘good’ fun!


The afternoon route card alerted us to the news that we still had a fairly long drive all the way to Zagreb in Croatia, a really nice touch was that the organisers had pre-purchased the vignettes for driving through Austria and Slovenia. This really helped us out especially as the 911 has a full roll cage, bucket seats and harnesses, getting out to pay tolls is quite an operation!


Zagreb was spectacular with our overnight at the decadent Esplanade hotel. As so often is the case our stop was too short with just time for a meal in a top local restaurant called ManO and then on to the Khala Club. It is very easy to get carried away and forget that you need to once again be up early and driving, so some restraint is required on these kinds of adventures!

The Akrapovic

Saturday morning saw us taking a short drive to the Akrapovic exhaust factory in Slovenia, not many people are granted access and all phones had stickers placed over cameras during our guided tour. What I can say is that the facilities, attention to detail and quality of their product is unrivalled. After Fridays long drive it was great to hear that today we just had a short run via lunch to Portoroz on the coast of Slovenia. Waking up not knowing where you will end up each evening is a really fun way to spend a few days, safe in the knowledge that the organiser has fine taste and won’t let you down. Portorz was a real gem, a lovely small and picturesque resort occupying a section of the 46km of coastline that sits between Italy and Croatia. After the previous night’s antics having time to relax in the pool at the Kempinski hotel and then a buffet dinner was a welcome energy boost set to a backdrop of a mega thunderstorm.

Grossglockner Alpine Road

From Portoroz we headed to the Grossglockner Alpine Road, one of the finest roads in Europe which rises to just over 2,500 meters giving a great view of the Grossglockner mountain that peaks at 3,798 meters, Austria’s largest mountain. The run up was drenched in sunshine meaning plenty of photo stops but as we passed through the tunnel to the north side the weather was wet, foggy and almost freezing, not ideal for a car with no ABS, traction control and semi-slick tyres! It’s a stark reminded that the weather can change very quickly up in the mountains. Our evening destination of Kitzbuhel was thankfully now just a short drive away.

Tonight the group were treated to a trip to Rosi’s a popular après-ski stop and hilarious fun with Rosi getting her guitar out and more schnapps than I have ever drunk before!

group picture

Monday saw the final day of our adventure with a short run back to Munich via the stunning Rossfeld Panoramastrasse, arriving back into Munich our final destination for the drinks and awards ceremony is the BNM restaurant and everyone is in high spirits as we laugh about our crazy adventures over the last few days.

With the trip over, the come-down sets in as my pace of life settles back down to a more relaxed speed. There are thousands of miles of stunning roads in Europe that when mixed with a group of friends or strangers will give you the greatest memories. If you have a car, now is the time to get out and drive these roads that will take your breath away.

About the Author:

Tim Hutton has been involved in the automotive industry for 17 years, creating ideas and content for premium brands. When not writing about cars, you will find him driving them all around the world. Having learned to drive at seven in a racing car, petrol is very much in his veins.

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Borro Featured Asset –Bentley Mulliner Tourbillon

Bentley Mulliner Tourbillon watch

Born out of a shared passion for performance and elegance, the Breitling for Bentley collection combines British chic with Swiss excellence. The relationship began in 2002 when Breitling participated in the design of the technical instruments in the Continental GT, marking the first time that Bentley had entrusted the task to a watchmaker. The watch collection debuted the following year.

The Bentley Mulliner Tourbillon named after “Mulliner,” the Bentley created exclusively for the Continental Range and features the ultra-sophisticated mechanisms that define Tourbillon models. Just a few units are produced per year and can be completely customised according to the wishes of its future owner.

Estimated Value: Up to £90,000

Borro offers secure and flexible financing solutions for luxury watches and cars.

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Did the Auto Market Plateau at Goodwood?

goodwood festival redbull

Tim Hutton looks at a selection of cars at this year’s Bonhams auction at Goodwood Festival of Speed.

It’s officially summer and that can mean only one thing, it’s time for the Goodwood Festival of Speed, an annual pilgrimage for thousands of motoring fans all over the world. Thumbing through the auction catalogue it felt like prices have calmed down a little in the last six months, with cars listed at prices that are perhaps more representative of their true value. We picked out four cars ahead of the auction and charted their progress during the sale on Friday to see how the estimates and sale prices compared.

1985-88 Lister Jaguar 7.0 Litre Le Mans1985/88 Lister Jaguar 7.0 Litre Le Mans

This really is a beast of a car. One of around two dozen to feature the full body kit this car was actually on the cover of Autocar & Motor in 1989 and accelerated from 0-60 in just 4.5 seconds. Since then the car has been treated to twin supercharges, one of only three built to this ‘ultimate’ specification. This car was restored over a five year period finishing in 2006. Although not in its original colour this is a true representation of the ultimate in 1980s excess. In total over £250,000 has been spent to make this car what it is today, with a reserve starting from just £40,000 this is a fascinating opportunity to buy a rare stand-out car from a period where huge gains are being seen with the values of cars. Remarkably, for whatever the reason the car went unsold. When this happens – especially on such a rare car – I would always advise to put in a cheeky offer direct, you never know the situation of the seller and can often easily snap up a real bargain.

1984 Ferrari 400I GT Coupé1984 Ferrari 400I GT Coupé

A classic V12 Ferrari with a manual gearbox for just £30,000, I need not say much more on the matter. The 400I has been one of the last unloved Ferrari models to see its value rise but in recent years the cars have doubled in value. This car is freshly imported from California and the odometer reads just 29,976 miles, completely standard apart from a Borla exhaust this is a real catch with a reserve starting from £30,000. On the sale day the public seemed to agree and pushed the car up to a price of £49,450 including premium. Realistically this was probably a fair price given the quality of the car and the fact it was a manual.

1992 Lamborghini Diablo1992 Lamborghini Diablo

Ten years ago the unloved Diablo could be picked up for under £40,000, I know, I turned one down myself. Today they have enjoyed a stable rise in value alongside their older brother the Countach. Originally registered in Dubai then shipped to California and brought into the UK in 1999. Because the Diablo was at one point a cheap entry into supercar ownership so often you will find these cars are tatty and run down with the bare minimum of servicing covered. This one is quite the opposite and has been part of a small private collection for a few years. £100,000 seems fair and worth the investment. Remarkably the car sold with premium for just £102,300, a really great purchase for the lucky bidder on a car that is sure to continue to appreciate.

1972 Porsche 911T 2.4-litre

1972 Porsche 911T 2.4-litre

A two owner 911 in original condition that can be used without the worry of losing value. At a reserve of £50,000 you could buy this car, enjoy some fine road trips, tours and events and then move the car on in a year or two having at the very least covered your costs. Not many things in life can offer such an opportunity. On the day the car sold very strongly with a final price of £70,940 including premium, at this value it becomes a little trickier to feel like you can use the car and not worry about affecting its value too much.

It’s clear there is still interest in the classic car market, buyers continue to get more selective and the good quality original cars will always be strong sellers, less original cars are more of a gamble but can be enjoyed with less worry of affecting future values.

About the Author

Tim Hutton has been involved in the automotive industry for 17 years, creating ideas and content for premium brands. When not writing about cars, you will find him driving them all around the world. Having learned to drive at seven in a racing car, petrol is very much in his veins.

*June 2016 monthly average GBP to USD exchange rate used

Image credits
© Bonhams 2016

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Luxury Assets Are a Brexit Hedge

Borro is predicting a move towards hard assets, including luxury assets such as art and classic cars, as Britain reacts to the referendum result. The morning the UK’s referendum results were published, gold rose by 6% – 20% if sterling fluctuations were taken into account – an indicator that investors are seeking protection against market changes.

‘Economic uncertainty often leads to increased activity in different markets, including luxury assets,’ Samantha Lilley, Director of Valuations commented, ‘buyers are looking for a tangible store of wealth to protect themselves against volatile financial markets. Additionally, savvy collectors will be watching auctions, looking for opportunities to generate long term returns.’

At Bonham’s Goodwood Festival of Speed auction last Friday, the first major auction after the result was announced, a 1938 Jaguar Roadster estimated at £180,000 – £260,000 sold for £337,500. In 2008, while the FTSE fell by 31% over the year, the fine art market only fell by 4.5%. More significantly, by 2011 the market had recovered to the record levels of 2007 and grew every year up until 2015.

‘Luxury assets benefit from an international market,’ stated Paul Aitken, Borro’s CEO and Founder, ‘although Brexit may be affecting confidence in the UK, that doesn’t have a dramatic effect on Patek Phillipe sales at Christie’s Hong Kong.’

‘The global nature of these markets has always been beneficial to us as a company,’ Paul Aitken continued, ‘we have always taken into consideration not only local market prices, but international markets which may have higher demand for certain assets.’

‘Our 7 year track record combined with our experienced staff makes me confident that we will be able to continue lending as expected.’

Borro has valued over 50,000 luxury assets, while its property lending team has over 90 years of underwriting experience. The company has made no changes to its growth forecasts for luxury asset or property lending on the basis of the Brexit vote.

Contact: Anthony Fernandes –

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This entry was posted in: Brexit

Emotions Drive Desire to Remain During Brexit Uncertainty

A survey conducted by Borro of its partners in the luxury asset, property, and financial markets shows a majority favour remaining part of the European Union.

With 53% of respondents saying the UK should remain a member of the EU, it is not surprising that just under half (47%) believe that Brexit would have a negative impact on their business. The vast majority of those surveyed count small businesses and the wealthy as their clients.

“Economic uncertainty has a tendency to hit small businesses the hardest,” said Claire Barrington-Jones, Borro’s Director of Sales, “it is not surprising that our partners, whose clients are being affected the most, are hesitant to leave.”

Britain also commands a 65% share of the EU’s art and antiques market, and its major auction houses all declined to comment when contacted by Artnet earlier this June. There remains significant uncertainty on just what impact Brexit will have on their business.

“It isn’t just about money,” Claire Barrington-Jones continued, “the type of person who deals regularly in French Impressionism or Italian sports cars simply feels more of a connection to Europe. They will have European partners they work with on an almost daily basis and they know that Brexit could complicate those relationships.”

In the property sector, approximately 60% of partners were in favour of Brexit, with no consensus on how it will impact their industry. The EU has come under fire for regulation like the Mortgage Credit Directive, which Money Saving Expert’s Martin Lewis believes hinders the ability of some to remortgage at better rates.

“Brexit makes more sense for our property partners than others,” Steve Brenan, Director of Property Lending explained, “it will increase market activity in the short term, which will benefit a lot of people. On top of that, homeownership is higher in Britainthan other European countries, and some people point to it being a key driver for our economy.”

One thing common to both markets is uncertainty over just what the long term impact of Brexit would be. This is shown in Borro’s data: only 25% of respondents or their businesses have contingency plans for Brexit. Given the Lisbon Treaty gives countries two years to make arrangements before formally leaving this is not as dramatic as it seems, but it demonstrates that no matter Thursday’s outcome, there is still a long way to go.

Contact: Anthony Fernandes:

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This entry was posted in: Brexit