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The Horological Society of New York (HSNY) this week launches the Grace Fryer Scholarship for Female Watchmaking Students, adding it to financial aid options for those who study watchmaking at a full-time watchmaking school in the United States.

HSNY derived the name of the new scholarship from Grace Fryer (1899 – 1933), a dial painter in New Jersey who was poisoned by radium during her work in dial-making companies in the 1920s.

Grace Fryer

The women at these companies, which were located in Connecticut, Illinois and New Jersey, were instructed to point the radium-lined brushes using their lips. The Radium Girls, as the women would later be called, suffered horrific side effects from radium poisoning and many lost their lives.

Fryer spent years fighting for the Radium Girls and their case would go on to gain national media attention and establish legal precedents, having tremendous labor rights impacts and ushering scientific advances.

“I believe Aunt Grace would view this scholarship, which the Horological Society of New York has graciously named after her, as a symbol of progress for women,” says Art Fryer, Grace Fryer’s nephew. “I feel Grace would be honored to be associated with HSNY in helping to welcome women into the horological craft.”

The Grace Fryer Scholarship joins HSNY’s additional financial aid opportunities in watchmaking, which include:

  •  The Henry B. Fried Scholarship for Watchmaking Students
  •  The Benjamin Banneker Scholarship for Black Watchmaking Students
  •  The Oscar Waldan Scholarship for Jewish Watchmaking Students
  •  The Howard Robbins Award for Watchmaking Schools

Students can apply now until March 1.

Any female student who has been accepted or is currently studying at a full-time watchmaking school in the U.S. is eligible to apply to the Grace Fryer Scholarship. Prospective students may also apply, with the understanding that the scholarship is contingent on their enrollment at a full-time watchmaking school. Financial aid is awarded every April with awards up to $5,000 in 2022.

 

A 2019 Rolex GMT-Master and a very sharp-looking Chopard L.U.C men’s watch highlight the January Jewels and Timepieces live auction by Farber Auctioneers & Appraisers, set for January 11.

Also drawing collector attention in the 452-lot auction is a men’s tourbillon model by Franck Muller and an unusual Speake Marin Velsheda Piccadilly men’s watch.

U.S.-based auction house Farber Auctioneers & Appraisers is a favorite for many collectors in search of a wider range of watches than typically found at the larger auction houses. Farber maintains an active presence in its own New Jersey community and has a well-established global network.

Founded forty years ago, Farber Auctioneers & Appraisers specializes in fine jewelry, timepieces, sterling silver flatware and hollowware as well as United States coins and Collectibles.

Below is a look at a few of the highlights for the January 11 Jewels & Timepieces live auction. Bidding begins at 10 am EST. Click here for a list of all the auction’s watch and jewelry lots and for details on how to bid.

 

Rolex GMT-Master Stainless Steel from 2019.

Rolex

This vintage Rolex GMT-Master Stainless Steel Watch (Reference number 1675) features an automatic movement. Its case measures 39mm (excluding crown) and it has a gold gilt dial, acrylic crystal and a non-original stainless steel Oyster bracelet. Watch is in working order. Functions: Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Date, GMT function. Watch comes with official Rolex Service Paperwork from 2019 and Rolex pouch with service box.

Starting bid: $15,000

Estimate: $30,000 – $40,000

Franck Muller Ronde Tourbillon Men’s Watch.

Franck Muller

The 42mm Ronde Tourbillon Men’s Watch features a manual wind 21-jewel movement. Its case measures 42mm x 49mm lug tip to lug tip. Original leather band and tang buckle.

Back view, Franck Muller Ronde Tourbillon Men’s Watch.

Watch is in working order. Function: Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Tourbillon. Marked- Tourbillion, 7002 T, Number 75, Franck Muller marked on movement. Watch is in excellent pre owned condition. Does not come with box or papers.

Starting bid: $30,000

Estimate: $45,000 – $60,000

Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Celeste 18-karat Rose Gold Ladies Watch.

Jaquet Droz

This very nice 39mm Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Celeste 18k Rose Gold Ladies Watch features an automatic 28-jewel movement with an impressive 68-hour power reserve and is in working order. Functions: Hours, Minutes. The watch is in new store sample condition. Comes with box and papers.

Starting bid: $15,000

Estimate: $22,000 – $30,000

Chopard 18k White Gold Tourbillon Esprit de Fleurier Men’s Watch.

Chopard

This sharp-looking Chopard 18k White Gold Tourbillon Esprit de Fleurier Men’s Watch features a top-notch, highly decorated Chopard L.U.C manual-wind movement. Bearing components of the movement are solid 18-karat gold. The case measures 40.5mm x 49mm lug tip to lug tip.

Chopard, back view showing decorated L.U.C movement.

Original Chopard leather band and 18-karat gold tang buckle. Watch is in working order. Functions: Hours, Minutes, Seconds, display showing the excellent eight-day power reserve. Marked ‘Chronometer Esprit de Fleurier, 11/15, 1911, LUC, 1691751.’

Starting bid: $35,000

Estimate: $55,000 – $70,000

Cartier Pasha Moonphase perpetual calendar.

Cartier

Two Cartier watches are particularly noteworthy. One (above) is an 18-karat yellow gold Cartier Pasha Moonphase perpetual calendar watch with a quartz movement. The 38mm watch comes with its box.

Starting bid: $6,000

Estimate: $12,000 – $18,000

Cartier Tortue 18k Gold Diamond Ladies Watch.

The second Cartier watch is this 18-karat gold Tortue Diamond Ladies Watch, featuring an 18-jewel manual-wind movement. Its case measures 28mm x 34mm. Original Cartier leather strap and gold deployant buckle. Watch is in working order. Functions: Hours, Minutes. Ref 2643. Marked ‘Cartier, 2643, 750, Swiss made, 18781CE.’

The watch is in excellent pre-owned condition and comes in Cartier pouch. No box or papers.

Starting bid: $6,000

Estimate: $9,000 – $12,000

Speake-Marin Velsheda The Piccadilly.

Speake Marin

This rarely seen 41mm Speake-Marin Velsheda The Piccadilly 18k Rose Gold Men’s Watch features an automatic 28-jewel movement with a 50-hour power reserve. The watch includes an original brown leather band with tang 18-karat gold buckle and is in working order. The watch is in new store sample condition and comes with box and papers.

Starting bid: $7,500

Estimate: $11,000 – $15,000

Back view of Speake-Marin Velsheda Piccadilly 18-karat Rose Gold Men’s Watch.

A different kind of auction house

(Sponsored) With more than forty years of experience, Farber Auctions is now expanding its fine jewelry and wristwatch categories with unique selling points for a wide scope of timepiece owners.

First of all, if you don’t want to wait for the auction to happen, Farber’s experienced team will evaluate your wristwatch (or jewelry item), confirm the authenticity and condition, and then develop a minimum valuation. At that point you can move forward with placing your item in the auction, or as an unheard-of service within the auction world, Farber will offer to buy your item at their original estimate right then and there – before it ever goes to auction!

Sellers who would rather let their item go forward in a given auction may very-well realize more than the “buy it now” estimate from Farber, but if for any reason your item does not reach the minimum bid, Farber Auctions will offer buy your wristwatch for their original quoted price after the auction is complete.

Eliminating the risk of leaving you empty handed when the auction is over sets Farber Auctions apart from the crowd and will no doubt appeal to a huge audience of collectors looking to divest themselves of part or all of their collections.

In another unprecedented service, Farber Auctions does not charge the seller any fee when an item is sold. Buyers do pay a premium, while sellers receive the full amount of the hammer price – another reason to look at Farber as a great option when you’re looking to get the most for your watches & jewelry. You simply can’t lose as you know the minimum you will receive for any given item.

Finally, while other auction houses tend to curate ultra-exclusive offerings to appeal only to the highest net worth individuals, Farber Auctions has an ethos that encompasses a wider swath of timepieces and jewelry to come under the hammer. While other auction houses turn their noses up at more moderately priced jewelry and watches, these accessories now have a new home at Farber Auctions.

Months after Audemars Piguet opened its sprawling Manufacture des Saignoles in Le Locle, which now hosts the workshops of Audemars Piguet Le Locle – previously known as Renaud & Papi – Audemars Piguet has just laid the first stone of its new building, named the Arc, adjacent to its existing facility in Le Brassus.

The Arc, designed by De Giuli & Portier Architects, will measure a full 17,000 square meters divided between three floors and a basement where the technical rooms are located.

A rendering of new Arc in Le Brassus.

In addition, the Arc will be connected to the current Manufacture des Forges. These two buildings will essentially combine all of Audemars Piguet’s industrial sites, which are currently spread across the Vallée de Joux. The courtyard situated between the Arc and the Manufacture des Forges will be converted into a garden.

Construction work for the Arc started in the spring of 2021 and is planned to finish in 2025. The building allows long-term flexibility thanks to its modular layout and anticipates the company’s future needs. The two buildings also highlight the brand’s dedication to and respect for their environment.

Situated in Le Locle, the Manufacture des Saignoles hosts the workshops of Audemars Piguet Le Locle.

The project has been developed from an ecological standpoint and incorporates a partial land use plan. A green roof will recreate an ideal biotope for insects and birds, while offering a panoramic view from of the Vallée de Joux’s meadows. The project will also benefit from a cutting-edge energy management plan. In addition to using industrial waste heat, the Arc will be connected to the remote fossil-free wood-based heating system, Le Brassus Bois, situated next to the train station. Photovoltaic panels will provide the Manufacture with an additional source of renewable energy.

Source: Audemars Piguet

Inside the Manufacture des Saignoles.

 

Bucherer recently added a second store to its ongoing expansion within the U.S. as the Swiss-based retailer revamps the Tourneau chain, which it acquired in 2018.

Just weeks after debuting its extensive renovation of the TimeMachine flagship in New York, Bucherer adds a location in the King of Prussia Mall.

Bucherer’s new store in King of Prussia.

The new 4,976-square foot store features large windows and decorative “BB” mesh at the storefront and a mix of dark woods, soft fabric panels, and reflective stones in a neutral color palette inside.

In addition, the space features two group lounge areas; a custom banquette and a bar open to serve coffee, tea, and light refreshments.

The Swiss-based Bucherer 1888 has worked with each of its multi-brand partners Hublot. Tudor. Blancpain, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Hublot, Longines and Carl F. Bucherer, to provide retail locations within the new boutique. These are in addition to Rolex, IWC Schaffhausen, and Panerai mono-brand boutiques adjacent to the store.

Audemars in Aspen

In Aspen, Colorado, Audemars Piguet has opened a new boutique at 535 E Hyman Ave. The 900-square-foot boutique offers clients a retail setting inspired by the brand’s home in the Jura Mountains of Switzerland, which are echoed by the Rocky Mountains near Aspen. The boutique will offer an extensive selection of men’s and women’s models, including many from the new Royal Oak Offshore collection.

Audemars Piguet’s new boutique in Aspen.

The Aspen store joins Audemars Piguet boutiques in New York, Las Vegas, East Hampton, Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, Boston, Bal Harbour, Manhasset, Beverly Hills, St. Barths, and Costa Mesa.

 

 

Horology in Art, the second exhibition of the Horological Society of New York (HSNY), opens at HSNY’s library at 20 West 44 Street in Manhattan starting Tuesday, November 23.

On loan from HSNY Exhibit Curator Bob Frishman, the sixty artworks depict how clocks and watches have been displayed and referenced in artwork around the world.

Edgar Allan Poe at work.

Among the original artworks are a circa-1830 folk-art portrait of a mother and child holding a pocket watch; the preparatory watercolor by Anatol Kovarsky for a 1961 New Yorker cover showing a watchmaker in his shop; and a portrait miniature on ivory, circa 1840, in which a young woman’s watch and chain are visible.

Ad poster by Hugo Laubi for Turler Watches and Jewelry, Zurich, circa 1960. .

Salvador Dali, Jan Steen, Andrew Wyeth, Winslow Homer, and Giovanni Piranesi are Among the artists represented in the exhibit. Vintage photographs include two rare mid-19th century daguerreotypes, cabinet cards, cartes de visites, glass lantern slides, and several examples of Mathew Brady Civil-War-era portraits.

“Curating these artworks for my personal collection, and now for the public to view, has been a two-decades-long passion project for me,” says Frishman, who has been a clock restorer and writer-lecturer on horology for more than 30 years. See Frishman’s first Horology in Art exhibit here.

Clockmaker, an original cover of ‘The New Yorker’, March 11, 1961, by Anatol Kovarsky.

“Thanks to today’s technology, I am happy to share my archives of over 2,000 examples of timepieces displayed in artworks through a continuous slideshow exhibition. The different depictions of watches and clocks in art help us earn about how time was perceived in the past while helping to advance the art of horology today.”

Visits are free of charge and timed tickets are required to visit the Horology in Art exhibition, currently on display starting November 23 until April 2022. To visit, please schedule an appointment here. HSNY is located at 20 West 44th Street.

The cover of the HSNY exhibit catalogue.

Ulysse Nardin this week previewed a new showroom adjacent to its manufacturing headquarters in Le Locle, Switzerland. The new private space, measuring 175 square meters, is designed to allow visitors a view of historic Ulysse Nardin timepieces set alongside the watchmaker’s current collections.

While the Museum is not open to the public, it is built to receive future visitors at the Watchmaking Heritage Days, organized every two years by the region.

Massimo Bonfigli, Ulysse Nardin’s head of brand heritage, provided a guided tour to the first visitors to the new space.

Massimo Bonfigli, Ulysse Nardin’s head of brand heritage.

Bonfigli has worked with Rolf Schnyder and Ludwig Oechslin and was present when the French luxury group Kering purchased Ulysse Nardin in 2014. “It’s a pleasure for me to have this dedicated space to tell our 175 years of history,” he explains.

In contrast with the exterior walls of the watchmaker’s historical building, the new display space is contemporary, with suede and wood, in a minimalist atmosphere.

“This luminous space is a platform of expression of the brand, which will showcase the achievements of yesterday, today and tomorrow, thus contributing to promoting the whole of Swiss watchmaking. It was important for us to have a setting which matches the message we wish to get across to brand aficionados, one that accurately reflects the brand identity”, explains Françoise Bezzola, Ulysse Nardin marketing director.

One of the newest pieces, Ulysse Nardin’s UFO table clock, is on display at the new space,just weeks after a special orange edition sold at the Only Watch 2021 charity auction for CHF 380,000. The UFO sold out in three weeks after its launch this past April.  A new copper-colored UFO, not available for sale, will be permanently displayed in the showroom.

The Ulysse Nardin UFO table clock.

 

Watches of Switzerland has acquired the stores of three of the country’s leading watch retailers, including Ben Bridge (at the Mall of America), Timeless Luxury Watches in Plano, Texas, and the Betteridge boutiques in Greenwich, Vail and Aspen. The Palm Beach Betteridge boutique remains under the family’s control.

The acquisitions are part of British-based Watches of Switzerland’s ongoing expansion since entering the United States in 201 and builds on the group’s already large global network, including Watches of Switzerland, Analog Shift, Mayors, Mappin & Webb and Goldsmiths.

Betteridge in Greenwich.

“Since the acquisition of Mayors in 2017, followed quickly by the opening of Watches of Switzerland SoHo, The Group has shown its acute command of the U.S. market and deep understanding of its discerning and diverse consumers,” says David Hurley, executive vice president of The Watches of Switzerland Group USA.

“As leaders in the industry, we understand the responsibility that comes with that role and look forward to expanding our team in North America while investing in the growth of each of these new markets and communities.”

The new Watches of Switzerland in Plano, Texas.

Watches of Switzerland says it will convert the Ben Bridge and Timeless locations into Watches of Switzerland boutiques, while the Betteridge locations in Greenwich, Vail and Aspen will continue to operate under their current name.

The Betteridge location in Greenwich will become the largest (by square footage) boutique operating under the Watches of Switzerland corporate umbrella. Terry Betteridge will take on an advisory role in conjunction with the three acquired locations.

Watches of Switzerland at the Mall of America.

“In many ways this seems like a return to our roots for Betteridge, with my family coming to the U.S. from England in 1892, bringing with them generations worth of metal working skills,” says Terry Betteridge.

With these five acquisitions and the opening of Watches of Switzerland in Kenwood, Ohio, The Watches of Switzerland Group will add seventy-five personnel through retention and new hires.

 

The ninth edition of the Only Watch charity timepiece auction raised $32.1 million to fund research to combat Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Auctioneer Christie’s reports that the event, held at the Geneva Palexpo for the first time, resulted in all fifty-three one-off horological creations designed for the auction sold to collectors from across the globe, with many reaching final hammer results after spirited bidding volleys.

Five of the auction items drew final bids exceeding $1 million. These included pieces by Patek Philippe, F.P. Journe, Audemars Piguet, Richard Mille, and De Bethune/Kari Voutilainen.

The auction, which lasted more than three hours, took place to a crowd of 850 collectors, philanthropists, watchmaking manufacturer representatives, scientists and press.

To see a full listing of the Only Watch 2021 final results click here.

“As the world emerges in the post-pandemic era, it is both humbling and gratifying to see how Only Watch’s message of hope, determination and confidence in the future has again resonated so strongly both with the community of watchmakers who contributed such masterpieces and the community of watch aficionados and generous donators who participated from around the world,” says says Luc Pettavino, President of the Monaco Association Against Muscular Dystrophy and Founder/Organizer of the auction.

Here are a few of the highlights:

De Bethune and Voutilainen Kind of Magic. Estimate $219,444 to $274,306. Final was $1,426,389.
F.P. Journe and Francis Ford Coppola FFCBue, Estimate was $329,167 to $438,889. Final was $4,937,500.

 

Patek Philippe, Complicated Desk Clock. Estimate $438,889 to $548,611, Final was $10,423,612.

 

 

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo Only Watch. Estimate $175,556 to $351,111. Final was $3,401,389.

By Laurent Martinez

Jonathan Ward may be best known for his automotive company, Icon4x4, which custom-builds classic cars furnished with modern tech and cutting-edge materials, but he is first and foremost an industrial designer and craftsman. In addition to his sublime car restoration projects, Ward also likes to channel his creativity into making handmade leather goods (think jackets, luggage, purses, and wallets) ­– and into designing watches.

Jonathan Ward

 

The ICON4x4 founder comes from a line of car guys—his grandfather owned a repair shop in Virginia, where a young Jonathan would spend his school vacations studying auto parts and tools from the fifties. Ward’s early interest in cars was further fueled by his father’s enthusiasm for them. Father and son would attend car shows together.

Ward believes you are either born with or without an appreciation for details. At seven years old, he moved from a small town in Maryland to New York City. That move made a significant impression on the soon-to-be designer.

The sky-high architecture and ground-level store displays sparked his lifelong curiosity about how things are made, and more importantly, what does it take to make them even better. He remembers being fifteen years old in his dad’s garage taking apart a digital flip clock and putting it back together just to understand how it worked.

While not formally trained in design, Ward had an open mind to find inspiration everywhere. Whether transportation, architecture, or consumer goods, the challenge of being an industrial designer is to create a cohesive package that balances looks, engineering and utility. While he is certainly mechanically capable, Ward makes sure he surrounds himself with a team of expert engineers so he can focus on design.

Ward and his wife Jamie started the TLC Land Cruiser service center in the mid-1990s, which paved the way for Jonathan to become a consultant for Toyota. His work with Toyota and Mr. Toyoda resulted in the 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser.

The 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser.

Watch guy

Given his appreciation for design and mechanics, it comes as no surprise that Jonathan is a watch guy too. He is a passionate watch collector but quite different in his approach from other collectors I’ve met. Rather than caring about particular brands and ultra-popular models, he focuses on designs, styles, and aesthetics that speak to him.

For instance, until relatively recently, he resisted collecting Rolex watches as he believed those pieces are more about making a social statement. 

One of his first watches was a Bulova with a red LCD. However, he found his passion for watches when he found his grandfather’s Hamilton in the attic and restored it to its full glory as a birthday gift to his grandfather. This exercise sent him down the rabbit hole of Art Deco, Art Nouveau, and Streamline design language in the world of horology.

At the time, his collection was limited to six or seven timepieces. Once his business was established, he was able to indulge in his watch hobby.

Today, Ward owns more than 115 watches, ranging from $40 watches to vintage classics with great patina and tropical dials to high-end avant-garde pieces. He also makes his own watchstraps, which he believes augment the look of the timepiece—especially for smaller 32mm to 34mm cases.

Jonathan Ward owns more than 115 watches.

Design language

When Ward buys a watch, the first thing he looks at is design language, identity, and consistency. He prefers time-only watches or GMT watches, and has a particular interest in the provenance of the watch.

When he bought a military watch at a car show in Germany, the set included photos of the owner wearing the watch, which he loves. Thanks to actual images, Ward can imagine that military pilot wearing his watch while flying a plane during combat so many decades ago.Ward also owns an unbranded early marine chronograph that was gifted to Jacques Cousteau who then gave it to one of his main divers. The watches Ward collects are not necessarily expensive—for example, he owns a Waltham that was produced in low numbers—because he’s all about the designs and stories behind the watches.

The Icon Duesey

Along with designing cars, Ward has also poured his passion for watches into designing them.

His first watch design is the Icon Duesey, which is inspired by the dashboards of the vintage Duesenberg SJ automobile. The jump hour display of the watch is modeled after the original trunk-style gauge of the car.

Using Fusion 360 CAD software, Ward designed the case, crown, clasps, dials, and other components of the watch until he was finally able to print a few prototypes with his 3D printer. He used Computerized Numerical Control (CNC) machining to manufacture the case and a Dubois Dépraz-modified ETA base caliber for the movement.

Ward’s Icon Duesey merges traditional aesthetics with modern materials.

During the process, Jonathan realized how complicated it is to develop and manufacture a watch—especially if you want to follow the Swiss Made parameters. He wanted to ensure that any advanced watchmaker could service the watch.

It took Ward a tremendous amount of time to get the deep black porcelain dial right. The straps all had to be made according to highly specific requirements. Just like the Icon cars, the Icon watch merges traditional aesthetics with modern materials; the case is crafted from T5 titanium while the bezel is formed from T2 titanium. Why? Because Jonathan’s friend is allergic to traditional titanium.

As a designer with an obsession for details, even the box that the Icon Duesey includes special storage underneath that can house five watches.

I think this is a very clever idea. Ward supervised the entire manufacturing process of the ICON Duesey because, after all, his ultimate goal was to make the perfect watch for himself.

Only fifty examples of the ICON Duesey were made. Only a few remain for sale. Amazingly, ICON watch buyers are not the same as ICON car buyers. Ward says he has successfully enticed an entirely new audience for his company. I can sense just how proud he is of the watch.

As Ward’s wife Jamie is the more financially conservative of the two, Jonathan has agreed that he’ll only start creating a new watch once every Icon Duesey piece is sold. He has a GMT model in mind since he’s a frequent traveler. And this time, the design inspiration will be a yacht; a classic teak-deck style for the dial and copper and brass for the case.

I look forward to seeing what Jonathan Ward will come up with because I know, whatever he makes is driven by his unwavering passion for great design.

 

Laurent Martinez is the proprietor of Laurent Fine Watches Greenwich, Connecticut. Read more by him at blog.laurentfinewatches.com or visit his store’s site at www.laurentfinewatches.com.

 

 

 

 

Accutron has teamed with Vermont-based Stave Puzzles to create The Accutron Challenge, a hand-cut wood jigsaw puzzle inspired by the 2020 launch of new Accutron Spaceview.

The Accutron Challenge wood jigsaw puzzle, made by Vermont-based Stave Puzzles.

The puzzle offers seven separate challenges, including a “Beat the Clock” multiple design puzzle, with the final products creating seven different colored Accutron timepieces.

Accutron launched a new series of Spaceview watches last year to commemorate the original 1960 tuning-fork-powered Spaceview,  the first electrically powered wristwatch. The new Accutron Spaceview is powered in part using electrostatic generators.

The Accutron Spaceview 2020.

Accutron adds Stave Puzzles to its expanding list of U.S.-based collaborations, which also includes Hudson Whiskey, La Palina Cigars, and Esterbrook Pens.

The Accutron Challenge is priced at $745 and can be purchased from Accutron’s website.