The Horological Society of New York (HSNY) and Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo will host an online watch auction July 6 to July 13, with proceeds to assist HSNY as it advances the art and science of horology. Funds raised from the auction will underwrite offering financial aid to watchmaking institutions and scholarships to full-time watchmaking students.
Timepieces for HSNY: 2022 Charity Auction will include interesting and often rare watches from Swiss, German, Japanese and American brands, including a Tiffany-stamped watch, one prototype model and many others. Bidding is encouraged with a ‘No Reserve’ policy in force.
Here are the Lot items from Timepieces for HSNY: 2022 Charity Auction.
Lot 1 — Unimatic x Massena LAB, U1-MLBN “Family and Friends”, DLC-plated stainless steel, circa 2020. Brand New. Donated by Massena LAB.
Lot 2 — Nomos Glashütte, Ludwig Neomatik 39, stainless steel, circa 2020. Brand New. Donated by Nomos Glashütte.
Lot 3 — Equation of Time x Atom Moore ‘Fat Arrow’ Prototype, stainless steel, circa 2022. Brand New, with limited edition metal print. Atom Moore and Roland Murphy/EOT Watches.
Lot 4 — Grand Seiko, Reference SBGW277 U.S. Exclusive, stainless steel, circa 2021. Brand New. Donated by Grand Seiko.
Lot 5 — Ulysse Nardin, open-face chronograph pocket watch with certificate and presentation box, gunmetal blue steel, circa 1912. Donated by Ulysse Nardin.
Lot 6 — Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso, stainless steel, circa 2022. Brand New. Donated by Jaeger-LeCoultre.
Lot 7 — Paket Philippe, Reference 715, open-face pocket watch retailed by Tiffany & Co., 18K yellow gold, circa 1967. Donated by Collectability.
Lot 8 — TAG Heuer, Hodinkee TAG Heuer Carrera ‘Dato’ Limited Edition, stainless steel, circa 2020. Brand New. Donated by Hodinkee. .
Lot 9 — Zenith, Collective x Zenith Chronomaster El Primero C.01, stainless steel, circa 2019. Pre Owned. Donated by Collective Horology.
“The watches donated for HSNY’s 2022 auction are amusing, exciting, historical and most of all – meaningful,” said HSNY Executive Director Nicholas Manousos. “The proceeds from the generosity of the donors and bidders will go a long way towards ensuring the success of watchmaking students, and I encourage everyone to bid with that in mind.”
“We are honored and delighted to once again support HSNY’s efforts that continue to advance watchmaking science and culture in the United States,” adds Paul Boutros, Phillips’ Head of Watches, Americas. “One hundred percent of the proceeds from the sale of each watch, including Phillips’ buyers’ premium, will benefit HSNY’s educational programs, scholarships, and watchmaking school awards.”
Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo (at 432 Park Avenue in New York) will be hosting viewings of Timepieces for HSNY: 2022 Charity Auction by appointment only from July 6-13. To schedule an appointment contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last month Patrick Getreide, a passionate collector who has spent the past four decades quietly building what is undoubtedly one of the world’s greatest privately-owned collections of wrist and pocket watches, made his collection freely available for all to see in a remarkable international touring exhibition.
The OAK Collection exhibition (OAK stands for ‘One of A Kind’) comprises 160 vintage and contemporary museum quality watches, among which are unrepeatable special orders, ultra-rare limited editions, the most valuable examples of their type and the largest number of Patek Philippe pieces once owned by the celebrated collector Henry Graves Jr. to now be held in private hands.
Every watch is in truly perfect condition, with the majority of examples being new or virtually unworn. All are serviced on a regular basis by a highly experienced watch maker whose working life is dedicated to maintaining the collection which, having been patiently gathered and never previously revealed, could fairly be described as one of the watch world’s ‘best kept secrets’.
Tour coming to U.S.
The OAK Collection exhibition was first unveiled in London on May 19 before embarking on a global tour. (We’ll alert our readers about the location and date for the collection’s stop in the United States.)
Getreide is a remarkable individual filled with exquisite passion to watchmaking and fine horology. He has amassed the OAK Collection (which comprises more than 600 pieces in total) and is happy to share the story of why and how he came to covet, and eventually own, many of the finest watches in the world.
“As a young boy at boarding school in Switzerland, I lived among the children of some of the world’s wealthiest people – but all I had was a small, weekly pocket money allowance. I didn’t feel envy, but I did want to be like these people and their parents. It gave me what I call ‘the Count of Monte Cristo syndrome’, a determination to achieve a level of success that would give me freedom to do the things I loved,” Getreide says.
“As soon as I achieved a moderate level of success, I began to buy watches at prices I could afford,” he explains. “Gradually, that amount increased and, little by little, the watches became better and the passion for collecting them became stronger. Perhaps strangely, I never thought of the financial aspect or that values might rise – but, thankfully, I seem to have bought the right ones at the right time,” he explains.
Over the decades Getreide has built up a small, tight-knit network of experts whom he has come to know and trust and who are now the only people through whom he acquires additions to the OAK Collection.
In the early stages of creating it, however, he would seek-out rarities everywhere he went.
“As I traveled the world on business, I would always look for watches – but it was at a flea market in France 35 years ago that I think I acquired my greatest bargain. It was a steel Patek Philippe Reference 130 Sector, and when I saw it, I began to shake.
“I see being able to send the OAK Collection exhibition around the world both as a reward to myself for building it and as a unique opportunity to share it with the many people who are just as passionate about watches as I am, but have not been as fortunate as me in having the time and the means to acquire so many special pieces” he continues, “I really do see owning them as an honor and, with that, comes an obligation to let others enjoy them.”
Showing the collection
Although Getreide has long wanted to show his watches to other enthusiasts, it was his son who originally suggested doing so by means of a global exhibition having spent a lifetime observing his father’s undying passion for horology.
“I have not been involved in acquiring watches for the collection, but I have been on the margins of it for as long as I can remember,” he explains.
“It has taught me that true collectors are a rare breed who simply never lose interest in the subject they love, but only want to learn more about it. There have been many occasions when I have found my father, very late at night or in the early hours of the morning, poring over watch books either alone at his desk or lying in bed, with dozens of reference works spread out around him.
“As a boy, for example, I quickly grew to understand that when he suggested we looked at a few watches on a Saturday afternoon, it would be a case of spending five hours at his side hearing about every detail and every nuance. And as for shopping for watches with him – that was always a painfully embarrassing experience for me, because he would ask endless questions to ensure that whatever he was considering buying met with his exceptional standards. Nothing must have been tampered with, cases must not be polished, dials must not have been retouched. Originality is key and the overall condition must only be pristine. These have always been the golden rules.”
The OAK Collection was displayed at The Design Museum London within a series of bespoke-designed, interconnected rooms that were recreated at each location and have taken the viewer on a tranquil horological journey comprising eleven sections, each of which could be described as a ‘chapter’ of time that encapsulates the Getreide’s appreciation of specific genres of watch, from simple, three-hand models to high complication pieces.
The maker most strongly represented in the exhibition is Patek Philippe. Vintage Patek Philippe models include references once owned by noted individuals including the musician Eric Clapton and the actor Jean-Paul Belmondo, as well as pieces that were developed for particular uses or which display the maker’s mastery of rare hand crafts such as enameling and engraving.
Also remarkable is the OAK Collection’s extraordinary holding of Patek Philippe watches that once belonged to the legendary patron Henry Graves Jr, the late banker and railroad tycoon who, between 1922 and 1951, commissioned no fewer than thirty-nine watches from the revered maker.
Of those, only around thirty are believed to have survived, five of which form part of the OAK Collection. The only larger selection of Graves watches belonging to a single entity is that on show at the Patek Philippe museum, which holds thirteen.
The Patek Philippe models in the OAK Collection account for six of the exhibition’s 11 sections, covering Calatrava, Nautilus, World Time and perpetual calendar/ complication models in addition to the aforementioned Graves and rare handcraft pieces.
But while the collector focuses strongly on the work of Patek Philippe, he does not do so exclusively. As a Rolex connoisseur, he has allocated three significant sections of the exhibition to its pieces, and has also dedicated an area to watches made by the ‘new age’ independents, notably Francois-Paul Journe and Kari Voutilainen. Getreide’s commitment to modern makers is further demonstrated in the fact that, during the eight editions of the biennial Only Watch charity auction, he has been the most prolific buyer, accruing no fewer than ten unique pieces with dial names as diverse as Kari Voutilainen, H.Moser, and Chanel.
Source: The OAK Collection
iW Chats with Patrick Getreide
Vasken Chokarian, Publisher iW Middle East: Since you started buying watches to collect, did you ever imagine or think that you will get to where you are right now?
Patrick Getreide: Never. Absolutely not.
Your Patek Philippe collection at the OAK project presentation in The Design Museum in London is scary. I was stunned to see those amazing one of a kind watches, vintage or modern, collected by one person. Why Patek Philippe?
They are simply the best. They are the “Ferrari” of watches. They are the only ones to produce excellence in every category of watchmaking: complication, sport, classical etc…
Is your passion for collecting fine timepieces driven commercially?
Not driven at all by commercial objectives. I have never sold any of my timepiece except one piece only since I started collecting.
What advice do you give to today’s collectors who find it difficult to acquire watches they wish to collect?
Save money – learn a lot about watchmaking – patience.
Why present the OAK Collection, especially at such a global size and exposure?
To bring forth and present the fine watch making as a piece of art. My second objective was to be able to share it with the public.
Are you still collecting or there comes a time when you say it’s enough?
The more the time passes the more I love collecting watches. The passion remains intact.
What would be the first thing that appeals to you when you decide to go for a watch?
The dial attracts me first, then I feel some chills that make think this watch is for me.
How important are auctions to collectors? What other ways have you followed to collect watches?
Auctions are indeed very important but I also buy from some professionals.
What would you say if someone approached you today to buy it all? Would you sell? Why?
I would say “NO !” – I am not a sales man but a “buyer”…
iW Middle East has been supporting independent watchmakers for more than two decades. However there are so many who popped out during the last decade as independent watchmakers, some making “limited” watch collections and in doing so hiking up prices to unusual and sometimes illogical levels. What is your input on that practice?
That means that the watch market is in big expansion, we never have to complain about that. Moreover certain new indies could be the “big” watchmakers of tomorrow.
Where would you classify your drive and passion when it comes to buying a watch even though you are advised not to?
My experts explain to me about some watches particularities but at the end, it’s only me who makes my decision. Always.
The first that struck me about you is your humble and intellectual personality. How difficult is it for collectors to communicate and deal with watchmaking brands who are famed for their arrogance?
If arrogance is felt, it is very simple, I am not interested. Those who are arrogant – and there are many – I don’t buy their brands. Because I was raised learning that you should always respect the customer.
Which timepiece or an horology piece that you always wanted to have but you couldn’t?
An overview of auction houses and the role they play in the watch resale market.
By Laurent Martinez
A big part of an auction house business model is sourcing pieces to consign. Of course, there are several techniques to do this, such as broad advertising or direct contact, but they all center on reaching clients (whether existing or potential) that are interesting in selling their goods.
Certain auction houses specialize in one or two areas, while the more prestigious ones such as Phillips, Sotheby’s, and Christie’s, have multiple departments with experts running each one. For some customers, the size and geographical coverage of an auction house is important — certain clients prefer proximity and a company with offices on both coasts (and sometimes in between) can make the consignee more comfortable.
Naturally, prestige and reputation are the cornerstones of luxury sales, which is certainly applicable to auction houses like Phillips, Christie’s, and Sotheby’s.
The world of high-end watches was always associated with prestige, fashion, and social status. But these days, it’s often also associated with collecting, investment, speculation, momentum, and high demand. Most men consider watches as one of the few accessories they can wear while more and more women are entering the collecting space too.
Yes, watches are considered hot commodities right now, and we’ve witnessed some sky-high resale prices recently.
For example, in November 2021, Phillips sold a series of five F.P. Journe souscription watches ranging in price from more than $500,000 to almost $4 million. The following month it sold a Tiffany blue Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 for more than $6.5 million. Furthermore, Sotheby’s sold Gerald Genta’s Audemars Piguet Royal Oak for $2.1 million just this spring.
Factors such as brand, demand, rarity, and provenance all contribute to the values of these watches. Over the last few years, we’ve seen some incredible private vintage watch collections being sold at auction. Seasoned collectors who have been buying watches for more than thirty years are consigning their collections. As a result, we’re seeing some fascinating and unique timepieces offered for sale.
In addition to the vintage market, we’re also seeing contemporary watches re-selling for significant premiums thanks to rampant demand and COVID causing a slowdown in production.
However, it has become increasingly difficult for auction houses to source timepieces to sell, particularly from brands like Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, and Rolex. In today’s environment, the once-traditional sources are drying up. Yet, Richard Lopez at Sotheby’s has managed to overcome this issue by being creative, resourceful, and not afraid to take some risks.
Richard understood many years ago that at some point, the American market would not be able to provide enough high-end timepieces for auction to satisfy the tremendous demand. So he turned to the Latin American market. Richard is originally from Ecuador, which gives him the advantage of language, as well as a familiarity with the region and culture.
Though he began his investigation into the Latin American market a few years ago while he was at Christie’s, he’s now putting much more energy and attention into the region. Some of his recent trips include stops in Mexico, Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru.
Lopez’s hunch turned out to be right. A collector reached out to Sotheby’s with a few photos of his collection that he was considering selling. Judging by the few photos made available, Richard knew that it was likely that there were more pieces in the collection. So he followed the lead, gave a quick estimate based on the photographs, and developed a relationship with the collector with the hope that he’d be invited to see the collection in person.
A trip was quickly arranged and Richard was delighted to find that the collector had 175 watches to sell! Plus, they were all in mint condition because security concerns meant that the watches were barely worn. It’s clear that Richard’s experience, knowledge, and expertise gave him the confidence to correctly assess the authenticity and value of each piece.
Richard’s competitive advantage of being one of the only watch specialists to cover this region paid off with this fantastic surprise, and will likely yield more in the future. It has the potential to become a gold mine for Sotheby’s. He believes that the U.S., European, and Asian markets are so saturated at the moment that the South American market is the right place to source. He thinks that there is a wealth of collectors that nobody knows about yet.
Mass European emigration took place in the 19th and 20th centuries and it’s estimated that about 21% of these European immigrants settled in Central and South America, bringing a lot of watches with them. In more modern times, there are plenty of luxury watch buyers in the region too including some very serious collectors.
Like most markets, the Latin American market is complex and challenging to understand for outsiders. Knowing who to do business with, calculating risk, investigating provenance, and so on are all important considerations — otherwise, it can become a nightmare. Having worked a few years in the region myself, I can confirm that it requires years of work and experience and plenty of learning along the way to make it work. This is not a market you can just decide to develop out of the blue and expect immediate results.
June 15 at Sotheby’s
Richard Lopez illustrates, yet again, that creativity, thinking outside the norms, and taking risks can pay off. However, that strategy must be coupled with expertise, patience, and resilience. These pieces from the private collector will be on the auction block on June 15, 2022, during the Sotheby’s Important Watches event in New York. The auction details confirm that it will showcase “Part I of The X Collection, a comprehensive and prolific curation (sic) of more than 170 wristwatches amassed by a single owner.”
Congratulations to Richard and his team, and good luck to all the collectors who will be bidding on these exceptional timepieces.
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
Leading with a newly designed Travel Time watch that now includes an annual calendar, Patek Philippe at Watches and Wonders 2022 debuted twelve new watches, including three models designed with a feminine focus.
But first, another debut
Perhaps to give the new Annual Calendar Travel Time its own spotlight, Patek Philippe waited until just after the Geneva show to launch a splashier technical innovation: the new 41mm platinum-cased Patek Philippe Ref. 5470P-001, a 1/10-of-a-second monopusher chronograph.
To engineer its first high-frequency chronograph Patek Philippe started with its existing CH 29- 535 PS caliber from 2009. Watchmakers amped the frequency from 4 Hz to 5 Hz (36,000 vibrations per hour, or ten steps per second) and then equipped the movement with an additional 1/10th of a second chronograph mechanism.
As Patek Philippe explains, the designers provided the caliber CH 29-535 PS 1/10 with two independent and synchronized chronograph mechanisms, each of them driving a different central hand. The hand that performs a complete revolution per minute shows the stopped seconds in the traditional manner. The other hand (in red lacquered Silinvar) performs one revolution per twelve seconds.
We’ll have more details about the new Cal. 5470P in a future post. For details and a video, see the Patek Philippe website.
The totally new Ref. 5326G-001 Annual Calendar Travel Time arrives in a new 41mm white gold Calatrava case with a terrific hobnailed case-side treatment meant to recall the hobnail bezels that have long characterized Patek Philippe’s traditional Calatrava collection.
The watch will also draw stares to its light-refracting textured charcoal gray dial that darkens to black toward its minute track. Vintage-styled applied numerals and white gold hour and minute hands are coated with an equally retro beige luminescence.
(This same dial, case, hand and marker layout is also found on another 2022 debut, the less complex Cal. 5226G, a three-hand 40mm white gold Calatrava with date–see below.)
Patek Philippe’s watchmakers designed a new self-winding caliber (new 31-260 PS QA LU FUS 24H) for the new Annual Calendar Travel Time in which the Travel Time mechanism controls the Annual Calendar.
The unusual setup, in which the watch’s date display is synchronized with local time, allows forwards and backwards date correction.
And to better retain the dressy Calatrava style, Patek Philippe resisted the need to install two pushers to control the two hour hands (a solid hand for local time and a skeletonized hand for home time). Instead, the wearer can correct the local time via the crown. Calendar indications can be adjusted via small case-side correctors located near their respective functions: day at 10, month at 2, date at 4 and moon phases at 8 o’clock.
For this debut, Patek Philippe also updated its legendary Annual Calendar, which the brand essentially invented for the wristwatch in 1996.And, Patek Philippe’s engineers shortened the Annual Calendar’s changeover time. Thanks to a new cam system, the changing dates and move to local time is five times faster (eighteen minutes) than the same actions in earlier annual calendars.
This change is among many that Patek Philippe has cited in eight patent applications for the new caliber.
Patek Philippe delivers its Ref. 5326G-001 Annual Calendar Travel Time with two interchangeable straps, one beige calfskin with nubuck texture. The second black calfskin strap has embossed textile finish and beige decorative stitching. Price: $76,882.
Additional highlights among the twelve 2022 Watches and Wonders debuts for Patek Philippe include:
Cal. 5320G-011 Perpetual Calendar, an eye-catching new version of the contemporary vintage Patek Philippe perpetual calendar in 40mm white gold with a stunning rose-gilt opaline dial. With its three-tiered lugs, this debut recalls a Patek Philippe model from 1945. Price: $94,624.
Cal. 5172G-010 Chronograph, a new version of the manually wound Manufacture chronograph in 40mm white gold, also features a rose-gilt opaline dial (above). You might recall this model from 2019 with a blue dial. $80,431.
Patek Philippe also added a trio of olive green-dialed models and one green lacquered watch during Watches and Wonders 2022.
We’ll have more reporting about the remaining Patek Philippe 2022 debuts in future posts. These debuts include several artisanal updates to the firm’s Worldtimer plus new gem set options for the platinum-cased Ref. 5374/300P Grand Complication with a minute repeater and a perpetual calendar and the Ref. 7121 Ladies’ Moon Phases watch.
In Geneva next month Patek Philippe will present to the public nearly sixty new clocks, pocket watches and wristwatches that make up its Rare Handcrafts collection for 2022. The Exhibit will then move to a location in Paris in May.
The full collection, including fifteen dome table clocks, nine miniature dome table clocks, ten pocket watches and twenty-five wristwatches, will first be exhibited at Patek Philippe’s historic headquarters on Rue du Rhone starting April 6 until April 23.
The collection, which Patek Phillip expands annually, includes pieces made using a wide range of artisanal skills. These include grand feu cloisonné enamel, miniature painting on enamel (a genuine Genevan specialty), manual engraving, manual guilloching and paillonné enamel. Even rarely seen skills such as wood micro-marquetry and Longwy enameling, will also be on display.
In addition, visitors can also watch masters of their art demonstrating tradition-steeped techniques.
Among the topics of this year’s pieces are several objects directly related to Geneva.
One is the dome table clock 20118M Bol d’Or in cloisonné and paillonné enamel, created as a reminder of the seven trophies that the manufacture’s honorary president Philippe Stern won at the Lake of Geneva regatta.
Another piece, the pocket watch 995/130G-001 Swan, shows a Genevan bird in wood micro-marquetry.
The Rare Handcrafts 2022 exhibition at the Patek Philippe Salons on Rue du Rhône 41 is open to the public every day except Sundays from April 6 to 23, 2022, from 11 am to 6 pm. Visitors are requested to preregister online at the patek.com website starting on March 28, 2022.
Patek Philippe will also present the exhibit in Paris from May 14 to 22 in a gallery on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré 85.