Chinese Watch Collectors Have Appetite for Vintage Pieces
Is there anything regarding luxury that the Chinese don’t want? Each season, Christie’s presents a range of 19th-century timepieces made especially for the Chinese market. This year, at the auction house’s Dec. 2 auction of watches, five 19th-century timepieces made especially for the Chinese market are coming up for sale. One, a circa-1877 gold-and-enamel pocket watch depicting three angels, is estimated to sell for between HK$320,000 and HK$480,000 (pictured). In addition, in 2005, Asia overtook the U.S. as the biggest market for Patek Philippe. Collectors are buying both new and vintage models, but there is an increasing focus on older pieces, according to the Wall Street Journal blog, Scene Asia.
Antique Clock Auction
Clocks will be a major focus in the Skinner, Inc. annual auction of Science, Technology & Clocks on November 20 in its Marlborough, Mass., gallery. Among the timepieces on the block, is a very important regulator by the Bond Shop (pictured). The Regulator No. 396 is was one of three made; No. 394 was developed for the Harvard Observatory, No. 395 for an observatory in Liverpool, England, and No. 396 for the personal use of Bond in his chronometer shop. As the director of the Harvard Observatory, Bond was one of the first to work towards establishing standard time. It is estimated at $300,000 to $500,000. Other clock highlights include a Newport tall clock, c. 1725 by William Claggett of Newport, R.I., which is the earliest American clock being offered in the sale. The piece is estimated at $60,000 to $80,000. The sale also includes a number of Willard clocks.
Frederique Constant to Introduce Luxury Girl’s Watch
The U.K. trade publication, Professional Jeweller, has learned that Frederique Constant will introduce a girl’s luxury watch at BaselWorld. “The company’s global sales director, Ralph Simons, confirmed it with a nod of his head during an interview this week,” the publication wrote. Stay tuned.
Marvin Unveils Sébastien Loeb Collection
Swiss luxury watch brand Marvin has created a new limited edition line in partnership with its ambassador, World Rally champion Sébastien Loeb. Two exclusive chronographs have been developed with Loeb and they both carry his signature. Their design is the work of two creative watchmakers: Jean-François Ruchonnet, best known for the TAG Heuer Monaco V4 and the Cabestan, and Sébastien Perret, the Neuchâtel designer who has been associated with all recent Marvin collections. The new Loeb Special Edition has a 44 mm diameter steel case flexible red horns mounted on spring suspensions, buttons coated in black PVD that resemble gear change paddles, and counters designed like dashboard instruments. The collection is limited to 777 pieces, representing Loeb’s seven world championship titles.
Grand Prix d'Horlogerie PreviewThe 2010 edition of the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève will be November 18 at the Geneva Grand Théâtre. Ten timepieces have been shortlisted for each of the competition’s seven categories, including best ladies, men’s, design, jewelry, complicated, sports and the Petite Aiguille watch prize (the best timepiece under SFr5,000). There will also be four special awards, including the public prize, voted for by 5,000 participants. Brands shortlisted include Bulgari, Van Cleef & Arpels, Ralph Lauren, Audemars Piguet, Piaget, Chopard, Chaumet, Graff, Harry Winston and Chanel. The Financial Times has written a preview of the prestigious event that can be viewed here (subscription required).
Baume & Mercier In Search of ‘Very Special Reporter’
Baume & Mercier has launched a contest appealing to its social media fans. The Swiss luxury watch brand has invited its 75,000 Facebook fans to upload videos explaining their love of the brand and why they would make ideal "Very Special Reporters" at the upcoming Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva, Jan. 17–21, the trade show for high-end watch manufacturers and buyers.