The very solid and spacious tent on the grounds of the La Reserve hotel in Geneva on May 10, 2015 turned out to be a very special time and place as the world’s most prestigious watches went under the hammer for the inaugural Phillips Watches auction in association with Bacs & Russo. Let’s have a look at how a few of the most interesteing pieces did at this premier event, which was presided over by auction guru Aurel Bacs.
Phillips’ inaugural watch auctions were held on May 9 and May 10, 2015. A relative newcomer to the world of highly collectible timepieces, its partnership with the highly experienced Bacs & Russo team has led to an amazing array of watches on offer. However, I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I was asked to preview a selection of the stunning timepieces featuring in The Geneva Watch Auction: One. What I found took my breath away.
Rolex had a very interesting Baselworld that included updates of many much-loved standards, in particular a very handsome facelift for the Yacht-Master, and – almost unbelievably – springtime coloring on the dials of the new Oyster Perpetuals. Funky colors! That’s what hit us squarely in the eye when regarding both the new Oyster Perpetual and the Datejust Pearlmaster 39 models.
The collector community has christened vintage Rolex models with a great many nicknames. One of these is the “rail” dial. While the exact origins of the word “rail” are not clear, this name is used for Rolex dials on which the letter C within the two lines stating “superlative chronometer” and “officially certified” line up as straight as train tracks. Have a look at an Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller, a watch water-resistant to a depth of 610 meters (2,000 feet), with a “rare” rail dial.
Rolex is decidedly famous for its sports watches. Despite that, there are watch fans – and Rolex fans – who prefer a dressier style of timepiece on their wrists. And for them, Rolex has the Cellini line, the first of which was released in 1928.
You may be familiar with the old Christmas diddy “The Twelve Days Of Christmas.” Let me sing you the final verse of this song, including what my true love gave to me on the twelfth and final day, in horological terms…
I recall when I first found a Rolex Submariner 5512 with zinc sulfide on the dial. It led to a major discussion on an Internet forum about whether the dial had been re-lumed or not. Well, years later, we know a lot more; and one thing that is now certain is that the dial had not been re-lumed, but that it was an original zinc sulfide dial.
I recently had the superb opportunity to try out the most complicated wristwatch made at modern-day Rolex for a week: the Sky-Dweller. The Sky-Dweller hides its complexity in the simplicity of using it: despite being complicated, the Sky-Dweller is an extremely practical timepiece that takes the businesslike philosophy that Rolex habitually utilizes to new “heights” by adding an interface like a function selector for setting and adjusting the time zones and annual calendar.
“If you’re wearing a Rolex, you’re wearing something special,” Sir Jackie Stewart said as we sat and talked on a sunny day in Carmel Valley, California during Pebble Beach car week.
However, the fascinating congregation of food, wine, people, and some of the world’s most expensive and interesting cars faded well into the background as the Flying Scot began to tell stories.
Wilhelm (Bill) Kuettel is a typical participant in the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance, however, his 1923 car differed from most of the other hundreds of cars taking part in the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance in a big way: Kuettel ‘s car was a legendary Hispano-Suiza (Spanish-Swiss), a near mythic brand that is half Swiss.