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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Timepiece Tuesday: Christie’s, Antiquorum Auctions; IWI 'English' Watches; Mayors Opens Rolex Store

As I write, the Christie’s “Important Watch” auction in New York had just ended. It was the last auction of the year for the international auction house and judging from the early results, some people will be receiving some spectacular holiday presents.

The evening’s stunner was a limited-edition “Kanthara” diamond-set wristwatch from Piaget (above) that sold for $602,000, double its high estimate. The 32 mm wide watch has nickel-finish signed watch is literally covered in diamonds, including a dial set with baguette-cut diamonds, oval case enhanced by emerald-cut diamonds, diamond-set crown, 18k white gold Piaget bracelet and hidden clasp set with emerald-cut diamonds.

Other highlights include:

A Breguet (Reference 3857) limited-edition platinum minute-repeating tourbillon wristwatch sold for $434,500, well above the high estimate of $350,000. It was produced in 1997 to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Abraham Louis Breguet, who invented the tourbillion, which counteract the effects of gravitational pull on timepieces.

Patek Philippe had seven of the top ten sales for the evening, according to early results. Among them was a stainless steel chronograph watch with Breguet numerals that sold for $386,500 (left), above the high estimate; an 18k gold perpetual calendar chronograph watch with phases of the moon sold for $314,500; and an 18k gold perpetual calendar chronograph that sold for $266,500. More to come.

Antiquorum Auction
On Dec. 8 Antiquorum held its final watch auction of the year, featuring a FP Journe set of six platinum watches with champagne dials that sold for $200,500 and a white gold “Double Tourbillon 30 Vision” watch (left) that sold for $160,000.

British Watches
There are quality watches made outside of Switzerland. A case-in-point is IWI, a new luxury sports watch brand headquartered in Lancashire, England. Calling itself a “truly English brand,” the company is headed by watchmaker Ian Walsh. Studying Classic Horology at Manchester and later working with Tag Heuer, Walsh said it was while working with vintage timepieces that he realized that he wanted to recreate classic designs. The IWI stainless steel watches pay homage to motorsport. The watches contain Swiss automatic movements and The IWI signature crown is situated at 12 o’clock. Walsh says the classic dials inspire the glory days of auto racing.

Mayors Opens Rolex Store
Just in time for Christmas, Mayors jewelers opened its first dedicated watch store in Orlando, Fla. Called “Rolex Presented by Mayors,” the new store is located in the Mall at Millenia. More than 300 luxury timepieces are on display in the 1,100-square-foot space. The store is Mayors' second retail location in the mall.

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