Those are the three pieces that most catch my eye from an aesthetic point of view. And if you are buying to keep an item that you find compelling and plan to keep for the long-haul, do just that. But if you're buying with an eye to "invest" and possibly flip one of these watches in the next couple of years, you might need to take a different tack. The truth is, there is a decent chance that with the hourglass or Gagarin tourbillon you might have a tough time recouping your money. If you want to help the charity and still have an opportunity to make this event an investment, there could be better choices. The reality is that we watch nuts aficionados are a very small percentage of the population. Everyone twenty minutes out of the womb knows what a Rolex is, but most people aren't familiar with Ikepod or Bernhard Lederer. The aforementioned MB&F “Flying Panda” will be appreciated by horological cognoscenti everywhere. I would also recommend that investors take a serious look at the offering from Patek: Lot #30. The only thing less enticing about the name ("Patek Philippe, Ref. 3939") of this piece is the look. To the unappreciative there's nothing exciting going on here. But look a little deeper and consider ... not only is this a Patek (that's enough to do it for most of us) it's also a tourbillon and a minute repeater! That's the trifecta. If anything in this auction will hold value and appreciate, I bet it's this Patek. The "Wish Price" for this dream piece is EUR 450,000 - 650,000. One slightly peculiar note with this Patek is that it's stainless steel and not a precious metal. And the case is only 33.3mm, rather diminutive for a modern man's wristwatch.
Fashion designer JC/DC (Jean-Charles de Castelbajac) once again works with Hong Kong based watch maker O.D.M (ODM) in this interesting and whimsical watch called the "Gummy Me." Done in silicone, the watch in its entirety looks like a sort of rabbit-like creature. The eyes are two small LCD screens that tell the time (hours for one eye, minutes in the other). Coming in four colors it is strange, it is fun, and it is probably not destined to find a home on most people's wrists - but some will love it.
In the marketing campaign Max and Laurent were photographed in black and white, with an electric guitar - emphasizing the Rebels behind the ReBel. MB&F's plan is to continue this practice and continue to work with some of the world's best watch retailers to be ambassadors of specific limited edition collection.
Wait a minute, de GRISOGONO is thinking along those lines already! Look at that oddly placed gold plate on the dial at 7 o'clock. Engraved right on there in power cursive is "Power Breaker." Screw the lighting letters, they already have the text done for you! de GRISOGONO really does think of everything.
It feels as though Van Cleef & Aprels couldn't decide how much Jules they wanted in the Les Voyages watches. As they use many highly talented female artists on the creation of the dial, there is a distinct feminine twist to these watches. It is possible though that I am looking for more techie stuff as I am of the Star Wars and video game generation. Speaking of the dials, they are stunning in their design and construction. Using engraved gold, mother of pearl, paillonne enamel, and other materials such as precious stones - the dials are created each by hand in a lush three-dimensional style. Few if any one in the world can rival Van Cleef & Arpel's techniques and executions.
Probably the most interesting piece is not a wrist watch at all but the Swatch Jeremy Scott Hypnotic Heart pocket watch. This is not only an extremely rare Swatch pocket watch but also a more cohesive design that arguably has a more mainstream appeal. Swatch is pretty hush on technical specs as these are being touted for the fashion market, so I don't know what movement is powering this uber pocket watch.
Really really well done, and quite high quality - it remains legible for eight hours or more. The blue colors fade faster, but the hour, minute and dial markers are the longer-duration whitish green, well matched to the eye.
The signed crown has simple knurling and classic crown guards, and is well placed at four o'clock. Good thread, easy to operate and secure. The handwinding and hacking movement winds as smoothly as any ETA 2824 I've seen, and keeps excellent time.
My understanding is that Omega only released one case style for the watch which was in steel with a 14k gold bezel and serial number plaque. The case is about 49mm tall and 32.5mm wide. It is 12mm thick and overall feels stately but not massive on the wrist. Retro by today's standards a bit, the tapered single-link style bracelet and overall design does endure well in my opinion. I find it interesting that the serial number is so prominently displayed on the case. Another design feature intent on making it feel more like an important instrument rather than formal timepiece. This was a serious geek watch for its time.
The Mikrotimer was never supposed to be a commercial product. Babin mentioned that Tag Heuer actually produced and sold 11 of them. If the Tag Heuer Mikrograph before it (1/50th of a second) cost ,000 - I can't imagine what the 11 Mikrotimers sold for (I hear it was 65,000 Euros each actually). There are no plans for a commercial Mikrogirder, but it could easily happen as a special limited set for select customers. It is a cool item of interest for those who can appreciate this precise timepiece toy. Playing with it is undoubtedly fun. Mr. Babin was showing it to VIP Tag Heuer retailers and constantly winding the crown as the power reserve is so short. It is a novelty through and though - just one with a lot of R&D behind it.
Being 40mm wide, this is your classic moderately sized watch with a thin profile and a super legible face. As the movement is manually wound, you have a handy power reserve indicator on the dial (56 hours), and a subsidiary seconds dial. While the dial design isn't symmetrical, it is nicely balanced. Imbued with brand character, this represents tried and true method of having a great looking watch dial that isn't too simple or too complicated, and won't give you a headache to look at.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: At 48mm, the Benthic Ti is big - at least by my standards. I have puny wrists - wrists better suited for Gore Vidal's pool boy than a 250 lb 6'-1" male. But I've been wearing the watch for over a week and surprisingly, the watch is incredibly comfortable to wear as an everyday watch thanks to the comfortable high quality strap and the thoughtful case design. I love this watch. The titanium case makes it easy on the wrist. Keep in mind that Titanium is lightweight - not weightless. It has bulk to it.
So who or what are the Hydro Mechanical Horologists? The world will find out soon, and I will keep you updated. For the time being enjoy the fun teaser video. Oh, and now I have been able to add an image of the watch caseback.
The X-Ray watch collection has four dial color variations and two dial designs. This piece is done in black with silvered imagery, while the converse view is always available. There are also two silver and gold style dials as well. The design of the dial has to do with the movement. Inside the X-Ray watch is either a Swiss ETA Unitas 6497-1 or 6498-1 manually wound movement. The difference between these two is just the orientation of the movement itself, which will effect what the x-ray image looks like.