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Zurich-based Ineichen Auctioneers will help Audemars Piguet celebrate five decades of Royal Oak designs with Royal 50, a dedicated auction to mark the anniversary.

The auction, which is scheduled to place in Zurich and online on May 28, will also mark the first time a major watch auction house will drop the buyer’s premium and register its shares on the Blockchain.

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak was among the first high-end sports watches made with a steel case. And, presaging the upcoming auction, a Royal Oak was also the first collectible watch that Ineichen CEO Artemy Lechbinskiy added to his own collection.

The Ineichen auction joins other 50th anniversary celebrations underway in auction houses and exhibitions across the globe. For example, the Royal Oak design is the subject of an exhibition at Harrods in London while Audemars Piguet itself is debuting a 39mm steel Extra-Thin 50th anniversary Royal Oak with a flying tourbillon, with a 37mm version set for release in late 2022.

Here are the top lots listed for the Royal 50 auction, slated for May 28.

 

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Premier Limited Edition Ref. 26530ST

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Premier Limited Edition Ref. 26530ST (Estimate: CHF 400,000 – 450,000)

This model boasts Audemars Piguet’s signature Tapisserie design transformed into a sunburst pattern (called Evolutive). More of the sunburst pattern can be revealed behind the sapphire caseback. From the back you’ll see a beautifully finished in-house Caliber 2950 with 65 hours of power reserve and Geneva stripes, emulating the pattern on the dial. This stainless steel version comes with a smoked blue gradient dial design.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Minute Repeater Supersonnerie Premier Limited Edition Ref. 26591TI

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Minute Repeater Supersonnerie Premier Limited Edition Ref. 26591TI (Estimate: CHF 350,000 – 400,000)

This model, called Supersonnerie, produces loud and clear sound and is a result of eight years of research. Unlike most others repeaters, the Supersonnerie’s gongs are attached to a titanium membrane on the back of the movement. This membrane acts the same way as guitar’s soundboard, dramatically amplifying the sound and providing it with the most clear, pleasing tone. Apertures in the caseback allow the sound to escape freely.

The 42mm case crafted from grade 5 titanium is complemented with a titanium bracelet. Inside lies in-house Caliber 2953, a hand-wound movement made of 362 parts and beating at 3Hz. Made as a five-piece limited edition with a smoked blue Grande Tapisserie dial, the watch is among the most collectible minute repeaters.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon Automatic Ref. 25902PT.OO.1110PT.01

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon Automatic Ref. 25902PT.OO.1110PT.01 (above) Estimate: (CHF 350,000 – 400,000)

Launched in 1999, only ten pieces were produced. Inside is the automatic tourbillon caliber 2875SQ, which was seldom used in the Audemars Piguet collection. Now discontinued, this artistic skeleton execution appears only in this reference. The 41mm case is made of platinum 950.

A transparent dial showcases the chiseled and engraved skeletonized caliber 2875SQ. The power reserve is up to 54 hours and visible via the sub-dial at 9 o’clock. Hours and minutes are indicated with an off-center main dial. The flying tourbillon is at 6 o’clock, and the date sub-dial at 3 o’clock.

 

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Open-worked ‘Rose Gold Jumbo’ Ref. 15204OR.OO.1240OR.01

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Open-worked ‘Rose Gold Jumbo’ Ref. 15204OR.OO.1240OR.01, above.  (Estimate: CHF 150,000 – 200,000)

This open-worked mechanical watch features outstanding technical and decorative characteristics of the skeletonized caliber 5122, one of the best traditionally skeletonized self-winding movements with art-deco aesthetics.

Launched in 2014, this rose gold 39mm watch features a skeleton dial with a peripheral chapter ring, rose gold hour and minute hands, and a luminous, sapphire caseback. The ultra-thin, self-winding, open-worked 22k gold oscillating weight displays the logo and Tapisserie motif on the rim.

 


Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Open-worked ‘All-Rose Gold’ Ref. 25829OR.OO.0944OR.01

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Open-worked ‘All-Rose Gold’ Ref. 25829OR.OO.0944OR.01 (above) (Estimate: CHF 200,000 – 250,000)

A refined open-worked perpetual calendar wristwatch in rose gold; this Royal Oak perpetual calendar watch communicates a certain era in the development of the Royal Oak collection – from 1997 to 2014. At this point, the dial incorporated the classic leap year indicator, but was still without the central hand to indicate the week of the year.

The latter is a customary feature of modern models cloned from caliber 2120/2800. The transparent dial with blackened-gold, leaf-shaped hour and minute hands on Royal Oak models is also rare, as is the all-rose-gold execution of the watch. The piece is no longer in production. It was succeeded in 2015 by the latest generation of 41mm perpetual calendars, featuring the number of the week indication via a special pointed hand.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Open-worked ‘The First Generation’ Ref. 25636BA.OO.0344BA.01

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Open-worked ‘The First Generation’ Ref. 25636BA.OO.0344BA.01 (Estimate: CHF 200,000 – 250,000)

The first open-worked perpetual calendar in the Royal Oak collection, produced from 1983 to 1993. At this stage in the development of the Royal Oak perpetual calendar the classic leap year indicator was absent from the dial. Ref. 25636BA is seldom seen on auction. The number of pieces produced was limited, with production discontinued in 1993. The case of this wristwatch is 18k yellow gold. It has a diameter of 39mm, and thickness of 8.3mm. The early Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar “stick” hands are noteworthy on the transparent sapphire (or skeleton) dial.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Open-worked ‘Platinum Edition’ Ref. 25829PT.OO.0944PT.01

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Open-worked ‘Platinum Edition’ Ref. 25829PT.OO.0944PT.01, above.  (Estimate: CHF 200,000 – 250,000)

This platinum Ref. 25829PT is another rarity. It features a rare full-platinum case, bezel and bracelet. A collector’s item from the 1997 to 2014 era, its dial features the classic leap year indicator sans central hand for the week of the year. The transparent dial with leaf- shaped hands, which is unique to the Royal Oak collection, as well as the ultra-rare platinum execution makes it a priority for collectors.

The case in platinum 950, with a 39mm diameter, 9.3mm thickness, and transparent sapphire (skeleton) dial encloses the caliber 2120/2800SQ, and a self-winding, open-worked rotor with ultra-thin inertial segment in 21k yellow gold. The power reserve is up to 40 hours. This piece is mounted on a platinum Royal Oak bracelet with Audemars Piguet platinum double folding clasp.

Source: Ineichen Auctioneers

 

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.

The new Patek Philippe new Ref. 5326G-001 Annual Calendar Travel Time.

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.

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.

 

Travel time

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.)

The new Cal. 5226G, a three-hand 40mm white gold Calatrava with date, sports the same dial treatment as the new Annual Calendar Travel Time.

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.

A view of Caliber 31-260 PS QA LU FUS 24H from the case back of the new Annual Calendar Travel Time.

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:

Patek Philippe Ref. 5320G-011.

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.

Patek Philippe Ref. 5172G-010.

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.

Patek Philippe Ref. 4910/1200A-011

The trio includes Ref. 4910/1200A-011 Twenty-4 manchette quartz watch in steel with a sunburst dial ($15,377 (above), Ref. 7130R-014 Ladies’ World Time watch in rose gold ($57,957) and a Ref. 5205R annual Calendar with moon phases ($55,592).

Ref. 7130R-014 Ladies’ World Time.
Ref. 5205R annual Calendar with moon phases.

For a new platinum Ref. 5270P-014 Chronograph with a perpetual calendar ($211,271), Patek Philippe applies a green lacquered dial with a black gradation (below).

The new platinum Ref. 5270P-014 Chronograph with a perpetual calendar.

 

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. 

Since it debuted in 2005, the H. Moser & Cie. perpetual calendar has been widely seen as one of the simplest watches of its type to read, set and adjust. This week, H. Moser launches the Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Funky Blue Tutorial, a new model within the collection that cleverly plays with its original minimalist image by displaying a ‘cheat sheet’ of operating instructions directly on its blue dial.

The new H. Moser Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Tutorial (left) and Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Funky Blue.

The new Tutorial model is one of two debuts that commemorate the original Funky Blue edition of the watch, first seen with its stunning blue fumé dial in 2015. In addition to the limited edition Tutorial edition, H. Moser is also launching a core collection version featuring the brand’s logo in transparent lacquer.

The H. Moser Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Tutorial.

As you can see on the Tutorial model dial, H. Moser essentially reminds the wearer with short written phrases how simple it is to read the time, date, month and even the leap year on its Endeavour Perpetual Calendar models.

Hence, the busy dial on the Tutorial edition humorously turns this “perpetual calendar for dummies” (as H. Moser call the watch) into a blue chalkboard crammed with text and icons.

H. Moser continues to power both watches with its superb hand-finished, manually wound HMC 800 caliber, a double-barrel, slow-beat (18,000 vph) integrated perpetual calendar movement with an impressive seven-day power reserve and a Moser escapement. See all specifications below for additional details.

Prices: $60,000 (Funky Blue core collection) and $65,000 (Funky Blue Tutorial version, limited to twenty pieces)

Specifications: H. Moser Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Funky Blue

(Reference 1800-0204 with logo in transparent lacquer and Reference 1800-0205, Tutorial model, a limited edition of 20 pieces).

Movement: Hand-wound HMC 800 Manufacture caliber, frequency of 18,000 VpH, power reserve of 7 days, hacking seconds, double barrel, interchangeable Moser escapement, original Straumann hairspring, pallet fork and escapement wheel made from gold. Movement and components hand-finished and decorated.

Case: 42mm by 11.9mm white gold, curved sapphire crystal, curved see-through sapphire crystal case back, screw-in crown adorned with an M.

Dial: Funky Blue fumé with sunburst pattern, H. Moser & Cie. logo in transparent lacquer or Tutorial decals, leaf-shaped hands, months indicated by a small arrow-shaped center hand, seconds hand,big date display. Power reserve indicator at 9 o’clock and leap year cycle indicator on movement side.

Strap: Hand-stitched beige kudu leather, solid 18-karat white gold folding clasp engraved with the Moser logo.

Price: $60,000 (Funky Blue core collection) and $65,000 (Funky Blue Tutorial version, limited to twenty pieces).

Frederique Constant adds a new blue-grey dial to its Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture collection, adding a stylish air to the Geneva manufacturer’s classical perpetual calendar dial layout.

A new blue-grey dial graces the Frederique Constant Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture.

The new deep blue-grey dial almost guarantees perfect legibility to the perpetual calendar’s myriad displays. These include: days and the phases of the moon, date, month and leap year – all in addition to the time of day.

Frederique Constant has carefully considered its chromatic choices with this fourth dial option within the nicely priced Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture collection.

Thus, we see an eye-pleasing contrast of white typography and mirror-polished and luminescent hour-markers and hands. At the center of the dial Frederique Constant places the Highlife collection’s signature guilloché Earth motif.

Here we have a nicely integrated three-link bracelet, alternating polished and satin-finished surfaces. If you’d prefer a strap, Frederique Constant has you covered: the entire Highlife collection offers bracelet-to-strap interchangeability.

The Frederique Constant Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture comes with a navy blue textured and stitched rubber extra strap that can be changed as desired without the need for tools.

The back of the watch allows a clear view of the automatic Manufacture FC-775 caliber, which Frederique Constant has embellished with circular graining and Côtes de Genève decoration.

Price: $9,950. Available in June.

Specifications: Frederique Constant Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture

(Ref. FC-775BL4NH6B)

Displays: Hours, minutes, moonphase, date, day, month, leap year.

Movement: Automatic FC-775 in-house caliber, perpetual calendar, Perlage & circular Côtes de Genève decorations, 38-hour power reserve, 28,800 vph.

Case: 41mm by 12.65mm brushed and polished stainless steel three-part, convex sapphire crystal with anti-glare coating on both sides, see-through caseback, water-resistant to 50 meters.

Dial: Blue grey, globe decoration, silver color applied indexes filled with white luminous treatment, hand-polished silver color hour and minute hands filled with white luminous treatment, date counter at 3 o’clock with silver color hand, moonphase at 6 o’clock, day counter at 9 o’clock with silver color hand,
month and (leap) year counter at 12 o’clock with silver color hands.

Bracelet: Three-link brushed and polished stainless steel bracelet, includes an additional navy blue rubber strap.

Price: $9,950.

 

MB&F this week adds a vibrant blue-green color dial and a new case metal to the lineup of its Legacy Machine Perpetual EVO, which the pioneering independent watchmaker first launched in 2020. Seen initially cased in zirconium with an orange, blue or a black dial plate, the newest edition frames its new dial hue in titanium.

The new MB&F LM Perpetual EVO Titanium.

The Legacy Machine Perpetual EVO built its sporty chassis and new livery around the original GPHG-award-winning Legacy Machine Perpetual from 2015, devised for MB&F by watchmaker Stephen McDonnell.

McDonnell effectively redesigned the traditional perpetual calendar when he built the LM Perpetual in 2015 with a “mechanical processor” (a series of superimposed disks) that takes the default number of days in the month at 28 and then adds the extra days as required by each individual month. He also built in a safety feature that disconnects the pushers during the date changeover to eliminate any risk of damage to the movement when the date is changed.

For the 2020 EVO edition, MB&F added a series of technical upgrades to the watch that effectively toughened its resistance to shock and water. The EVO offers a redesigned, sleeker case, ergonomic double-sprung pushers, an integrated rubber strap, Super-LumiNova, a specially developed ‘FlexRing’ shock-absorbing system, a screw-down crown and 80 meters of water resistance.

MB&F will ship the new LM Perpetual EVO Titanium, with its all new green-blue dial, to its retailers around the world, though expect a few available at the MB&F eShop. Price: $176,000.