Just Because: Five Totally Crazy Watches You Probably Forgot About

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Over the years, we have seen some pretty crazy stuff in the watch industry. We’ve seen ups and downs, crazy sales and crazy prices, flips and flops, and that’s exactly what this story is all about. Here is a look back at some of the wildest watches to hit the market in the past decade or so that you may have forgotten about (or never heard of in the first place). 

The Patek Philippe Titanium Collection

What watch-dreams are made of – the reference 3928T-001 with diamond-set caseback. (Image: Courtesy of Sotheby’s)

In my former life, I was an associate specialist at Sotheby’s, and in that former life I had the opportunity to see some INSANE pieces, including the Henry Graves Jr. Supercomplication (which was epic). But the one collection that stands out to me as the coolest was the Titanium Collection back 2014. This group of watches belonged a single-owner who commissioned eight unique pieces with five in titanium. The king of the collection was the reference 5001T Sky-Moon Tourbillon but the one that stuck out to me the most was the reference 3928T-001, a simple time-only reference with Breguet numerals. Flip it over and the manual-winding caliber 177 is on full display…through a perfect 9.44 ct., D color, flawless square emerald-cut diamond (sign me up!). You can read more about this unique watch and the rest of the collection (including the earliest single-button split-seconds chronograph) here

The J.B. Champion That Sold For $4 Million

The J.B. Champion watch in platinum. 

If you don’t know about the J.B. Champion watch, you should. This watch sold at Christie’s for over $4 million back in 2012 in the same auction as Eric Clapton’s 2499P (which only sold for $3.65 million). J.B. Champion was a VVIP client of Patek Philippe after the war and was an incredibly successful criminal defense lawyer (who lived his best life). The J.B. Champion watch was a modified reference 2548 that housed a special movement produced by Patek Philippe designed for competition in the Geneva Observatory "Concours de Chronomoetrie." There were 30 movements produced to particular specifications so that they could compete in Category D-Wristwatches and the diameter couldn’t be more than 30mm and have a total surface area of 706.86mm. Only two movements were cased and Champion’s watch was one of them (in platinum of course). The best part about this watch is his name is written on the dial. Can you imagine? You can read more about the watch here

The Only Patek Philippe 3448 In Red Gold

The Patek Philippe 3448R sold at Christie’s in 2011. (Photo: Courtesy, Christie’s)

It’s no secret that I love the 3448 (it’s the best!). Way back when, in 2011, Christie’s offered a possibly unique reference 3448 in red gold. As you may know, the 3448 was the first automatic perpetual calendar wristwatch produced by Patek Philippe. When first introduced, people were unsure of it’s retro case shape with angular lugs, but it has now become a highly-sought after reference at auction. Most often produced in yellow gold and the more rare white gold with a few in platinum but none in pink or red gold. Well Christie’s found one in red gold in the back of a client’s safe, no less. There hasn’t been something this disruptive for the 3448 since the Senza Luna. The watch was estimated for CHF 500,000-1,000,000 and fetched over CHF 2,000,000, and you can read more about it here

When The Cost Of Vintage Daytonas Changed Forever

Aurel Bacs at the helm of the record-breaking Christie’s Daytona Sale. 

We all know that Daytonas are expensive, and while today the average cost of a vintage Paul Newman Daytona is anywhere from $120,000 to $250,000, that wasn’t always the case. The Christie’s Rolex Daytona: "Lesson One" sale created by Aurel Bacs was nothing short of groundbreaking. It was a highly curated sale of only the best Daytona references in the best condiition (similar to the way Bacs’s sales at Phillips are handled these days). The auction was a smashing succes,sand Ben calculated that the average watch cost well over $200,000, which was insane at the time and puts the sale of the Paul Newman Daytona in proper context. You can read more about the sale here.

Three Strange Rolexes

White gold Submariner Prototype. 

While these are recent occurrences, it’s crazy that three super-weird vintage Rolex watches all hit the market in 2017. First, there was this white gold Submariner Prototype sold at Christie’s that I can’t get out of my head. Then there was the two-tone Daytona at Phillips and the Explorer/Day-Date hybrid at Christies. All three claimed to be possibly unique, and boy are they ever. The white gold Submariner went on to be the most expensive Rolex Sub ever sold at auction for $628,572. The Day-Date sold for CHF275,000 and the two-tone Daytona sold for CHF 218,750.

Honorable Mention: The Cartier Tortoise Clock

A 1928 Cartier tortoise clock. (Photo: Courtesy, Sotheby’s)

While there’s a very good chance you’ve never heard of this Cartier Tortoise Clock, it’s an all time great one. This clock came up for sale at Sotheby’s through the family of the original owner who had no idea what it was. It was consigned from a random phone call on a regular day and turned out to be one of the most exciting pieces for sale (along with the aforementioned Titanium Collection). If you know anything about Cartier, you know they used to do some incredible things back in the early 20th century and made some of the most beautiful desk timepieces and clocks around. This tortoise one ended up fetching over $900,000 (nearly double its estimate) and you can read more about it here

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Hands-On: The Jacob & Co. Astronomia Solar

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The Jacob & Co. Astronomia Solar is the latest version of the Astronomia Tourbillon, which was one of the most talked-about watches of Baselworld when it debuted there in 2014. The Wall Street Journal’s Michael Clerizo called it one of his three favorites of the show, and the fact that a company that had been primarily known for high jewelry timepieces had created something so mechanically complex, as well as visually spectacular, got a lot of heads turning and tongues wagging. Of course, this was not the first high mechanical complication from Jacob & Co. but it was certainly the most stunning from a design standpoint, and there was something about it that really captured the watch world’s collective imagination. This sort of really over-the-top, maximalist, go-big-or-go-home watch design was something a great many companies, both new and established, have tried since the Ulysse Nardin Freak appeared as the first real member of the high mech, big-and-bold genre back in 2000, but it’s a hard thing to get right as it requires a sense for the essence of excess that very few watch companies have.

Since the first model was introduced, the design has continued to evolve. One of the most interesting models is the Astronomia Sky, which includes a sidereal time indication and star chart (with which we went hands-on earlier this year) and we also had the pleasure of having Jacob & Co. founder Jacob Arabo, and watchmaker Luca Soprano, of watch design house Studio 7h38 (Jacob & Co.’s partner in constructing the movement and watch) in the office to talk about the Astronomia Sky on video.

The Jacob & Co. Astronomia Sky.

The latest version of the Astronomia is the Astronomia Solar. The Solar is different from other Astronomia watches in a number of respects. The first that you’ll probably notice is that the central carrier has three arms, not four. The time is visible on one dial (which is mounted on a differential gear system that ensures that 12:00 is always at the top, in order to make the time easier to read) and the tourbillon is on a second carrier arm; the globe representing the Earth is on the third arm. At the center of carrier is a 1.5 carat citrine, with 288 facets.

The Jacob & Co. Astronomia Solar.

The central spherical citrine represents the Sun.

As with the other Astronomia watches, the Astronomia Solar is not an astronomical complication in the ordinary sense of the term – that is, it’s not meant to mirror in miniature the movements of heavenly bodies accurately. The miniature Earth, for instance, does not rotate on its axis once every 24 hours. Instead Jacob & Co. has opted for creating a more visually dynamic experience that’s really about capturing the irrational exhilaration of looking at the night sky, rather than the more, you might say, austere and rational delights of the Music of the Spheres. Of course the Astronomia Sky has an accurate sidereal time indication, but that degree of fidelity to actual celestial dynamics has been the exception rather than the rule in Astronomia watches.

The Earth rotates quickly enough for the rotation to be visible: once every 60 seconds and the carrier system now rotates once every 10 minutes, which is twice as fast as the carrier systems of previous models (which take 20 minutes to make a single revolution). The globe of the Astronomia Sky does rotate on a vertical axis once every 24 hours, which is appropriate for the most astronomically accurate Astronomia watch. As in other models, the Earth is enameled titanium and has been engraved by hand.

The two axis flying tourbillon rotates on its central axis once per minute; it’s technically a two-axis tourbillon thanks to the ten minute rotation of the carrier arms.

The base (the background underlying the carrier system) is aventurine and carries stylized representations of all the planets of the Solar System (only eight; Jacob & Co. adheres to the controversial decision of the International Astronomical Union to demote the former Ninth Planet, so sorry, Pluto fans).

Winding and setting for the new movement is via two keys on the caseback, with recessed hinged tabs. The flanks of the case are set with sapphire panels, as in earlier Astronomia models.

This is, not insignificantly, the smallest Astronomia; the original Astronomia is 50mm in diameter, with a 25mm-high crystal. The Astronomia Sky, by contrast, is a relatively svelte 44.5mm x 21mm. Obviously the point of these watches is not to be unobtrusive daily companions, but spectacular showpieces, however many folks will probably find the 44.5mm version of the Astronomia wearable in a way that the 50mm version is not.

The movement, caliber JCAM19, is 16.50mm x 34.55mm, inclusive of the height of the carrier arms and their components (excluding the garnet knocks that down to 11.70mm) and frequency is 28,800 vph, which is a higher frequency than any prior Astronomia model. Thanks to the additional complexity of the design relative to other Astronomia watches (and especially the contra-rotating aventurine backdrop) the parts count is higher than for any other Astronomia watch: 447 components, excluding gemstones.      

Jacob & Co. Astronomia Solar

As with all Jacob & Co. high complications, there are any number of possible variations on the basic design theme. This is as over-the-top as modern watchmaking gets, but behind the razzle-dazzle is quite a lot of hardcore serious horological engineering – as is the case with all the Astronomia watches, getting reliable performance and reasonable chronometry out of a movement with so many mobile elements rotating on a central axis is a pretty neat trick. Price is $280,000 as shown and if you’d like to see the other Jacob & Co. high mechanical complications, you can check them out right here.

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Introducing: The Piaget Altiplano Ultimate 910P, The World’s Thinnest Automatic Wristwatch

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The pre-SIHH releases continue with the latest from Piaget – the Altiplano Ultimate Automatic 910P, which is now the world’s thinnest automatic watch to date, at 4.30mm overall. This trumps the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra-Thin Automatique, which measures 5.15mm. Piaget is no stranger to manufacturing super-thin wristwatches. The caliber 9P,  in 1957, was at the time the thinnest movement ever made, at just 2mm thick, and the automatic caliber 12P, introduced in 1960, was only 2.3mm thick.

The Piaget Altiplano Ultimate is now the thinnest automatic watch, measuring 4.30mm thick. 

The Altiplano Ultimate Automatic is available in pink and white gold and features an ultra-thin automatic movement: the caliber 910P.  The secret to the slim dimensions is the same as in the hand-wound 900P, on which the 910P is based: the case also functions as the baseplate of the movement, so there’s actually no conventional, separate movement and case. It’s worth noting that though the 910P is now the thinnest automatic watch in production in absolute terms, Bulgari Octo Finissimo remains the thinnest self-winding watch in the world with a conventional movement and case construction.

This is a design solution for ultra-thin watches originally pioneered by Audemars Piguet, for the automatic tourbillon caliber 2870, all the way back in 1986 (which is 4.8mm thick). The automatic winding system uses a peripheral rotor, which allows it to lie in the same plane as the rest of the gear train. The peripheral rotor means the 910P is slightly wider than the 900P: 41mm vs. 38mm respectively. There are a total of 238 components, with some of the wheels measuring just .12mm thick. Overall this watch has a power reserve of 50 hours, and the time display is featured on the eccentrically placed dial. 

<p>The Piaget Altiplano Ultimate 910P in white gold.&nbsp;</p>

The Piaget Altiplano Ultimate 910P in white gold. 

<p>It's also available in pink gold.&nbsp;</p>

It’s also available in pink gold. 

We will be able to get an in-person look at SIHH so stay tuned for more hands-on images in January 2018. The price for the white gold version is $27,000 and the pink gold version is $26,000. See Piaget’s full current lineup of ultra-thin watches, right here.

Source: http://ift.tt/1IiKaDm

Introducing: The Piaget Altiplano Ultimate 910P, The World’s Thinnest Automatic Wristwatch

Piaget hero.jpg?ixlib=rails 1.1

The pre-SIHH releases continue with the latest from Piaget – the Altiplano Ultimate Automatic 910P, which is now the world’s thinnest automatic watch to date, at 4.30mm overall. This trumps the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra-Thin Automatique, which measures 5.15mm. Piaget is no stranger to manufacturing super-thin wristwatches. The caliber 9P,  in 1957, was at the time the thinnest movement ever made, at just 2mm thick, and the automatic caliber 12P, introduced in 1960, was only 2.3mm thick.

The Piaget Altiplano Ultimate is now the thinnest automatic watch, measuring 4.30mm thick. 

The Altiplano Ultimate Automatic is available in pink and white gold and features an ultra-thin automatic movement: the caliber 910P.  The secret to the slim dimensions is the same as in the hand-wound 900P, on which the 910P is based: the case also functions as the baseplate of the movement, so there’s actually no conventional, separate movement and case. It’s worth noting that though the 910P is now the thinnest automatic watch in production in absolute terms, Bulgari Octo Finissimo remains the thinnest self-winding watch in the world with a conventional movement and case construction.

This is a design solution for ultra-thin watches originally pioneered by Audemars Piguet, for the automatic tourbillon caliber 2870, all the way back in 1986 (which is 4.8mm thick). The automatic winding system uses a peripheral rotor, which allows it to lie in the same plane as the rest of the gear train. The peripheral rotor means the 910P is slightly wider than the 900P: 41mm vs. 38mm respectively. There are a total of 238 components, with some of the wheels measuring just .12mm thick. Overall this watch has a power reserve of 50 hours, and the time display is featured on the eccentrically placed dial. 

<p>The Piaget Altiplano Ultimate 910P in white gold.&nbsp;</p>

The Piaget Altiplano Ultimate 910P in white gold. 

<p>It's also available in pink gold.&nbsp;</p>

It’s also available in pink gold. 

We will be able to get an in-person look at SIHH so stay tuned for more hands-on images in January 2018. The price for the white gold version is $27,000 and the pink gold version is $26,000. See Piaget’s full current lineup of ultra-thin watches, right here.

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Weekend Round-Up: An Impenetrable Museum, An Astronomical Clock, And The Best Photos Of 2017

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We’re back with yet another installment of the Weekend Round-Up. To say it’s been a strange week in the news would be an understatement, but there are still tons of fun, uplifting, and in no way problematic stories for you to read on a lazy Saturday morning. Check out the below, tune out the news cycle, and just relax. 

Enjoy.

Best Photos Of 2017 – National Geographic

Photography just has a way of conveying what words just sometimes cannot – a way of illustrating worlds and circumstances that we, in our respective bubbles, are often oblivious to. Nobody does it like National Geographic and William Daniels’ shot of the woman at a refugee camp in Bangladesh ( #31) is particularly powerful.

– Will Holloway, Director of Content

The Rewatchables: Zodiac – The Ringer

This podcast is always outstanding, and the latest episode is about one of my all-time favorite movies, David Fincher’s Zodiac. The hosts cover everything from why this incredible flick was snubbed by the big awards, how the performances hold up, and how it’s more of a workplace procedural than a crime thriller. Watch the movie, then give it a listen.

– Stephen Pulvirent, Managing Editor

Why The Getty Center’s Art Stayed Put As Fires Raged Nearby – The New York Times

For those of us into overly-engineered, extravagantly-expensive feats of human ingenuity, this explanation of why LA’s Getty Center chose not to evacuate its priceless art collection even as embers from the nearby Skirball wildfire licked at the front door is a fun (quick) read.

– Walker Tovin, Associate Designer

Jens Olsen’s World Clock – Atlas Obscura

The astronomical clock of Jens Olsen deserves to be better known. An incredibly complex timepiece whose designer was inspired by the great astronomical cathedral clock in Strasbourg. The slowest turning wheel in the clock rotates once every 25,753 years (showing one full cycle of the precession of the Equinoxes – that is, the wobble of Earth on its axis).

– Jack Forster, Editor-in-Chief

Riding A Time Capsule To Apartment 8G – The New York Times

This story shines a light on a superannuated technology found in some of New York’s oldest apartment buildings. The last time I was in an elevator that required manual “leveling” by a trained operator was in my father’s office in the mid-80s. Even back then the whole thing was akin to entering a time capsule.

–  Jon Bues, Senior Editor

Source: http://ift.tt/1IiKaDm

Weekend Round-Up: An Impenetrable Museum, An Astronomical Clock, And The Best Photos Of 2017

Hero.jpg?ixlib=rails 1.1

We’re back with yet another installment of the Weekend Round-Up. To say it’s been a strange week in the news would be an understatement, but there are still tons of fun, uplifting, and in no way problematic stories for you to read on a lazy Saturday morning. Check out the below, tune out the news cycle, and just relax. 

Enjoy.

Best Photos Of 2017 – National Geographic

Photography just has a way of conveying what words just sometimes cannot – a way of illustrating worlds and circumstances that we, in our respective bubbles, are often oblivious to. Nobody does it like National Geographic and William Daniels’ shot of the woman at a refugee camp in Bangladesh ( #31) is particularly powerful.

– Will Holloway, Director of Content

The Rewatchables: Zodiac – The Ringer

This podcast is always outstanding, and the latest episode is about one of my all-time favorite movies, David Fincher’s Zodiac. The hosts cover everything from why this incredible flick was snubbed by the big awards, how the performances hold up, and how it’s more of a workplace procedural than a crime thriller. Watch the movie, then give it a listen.

– Stephen Pulvirent, Managing Editor

Why The Getty Center’s Art Stayed Put As Fires Raged Nearby – The New York Times

For those of us into overly-engineered, extravagantly-expensive feats of human ingenuity, this explanation of why LA’s Getty Center chose not to evacuate its priceless art collection even as embers from the nearby Skirball wildfire licked at the front door is a fun (quick) read.

– Walker Tovin, Associate Designer

Jens Olsen’s World Clock – Atlas Obscura

The astronomical clock of Jens Olsen deserves to be better known. An incredibly complex timepiece whose designer was inspired by the great astronomical cathedral clock in Strasbourg. The slowest turning wheel in the clock rotates once every 25,753 years (showing one full cycle of the precession of the Equinoxes – that is, the wobble of Earth on its axis).

– Jack Forster, Editor-in-Chief

Riding A Time Capsule To Apartment 8G – The New York Times

This story shines a light on a superannuated technology found in some of New York’s oldest apartment buildings. The last time I was in an elevator that required manual “leveling” by a trained operator was in my father’s office in the mid-80s. Even back then the whole thing was akin to entering a time capsule.

–  Jon Bues, Senior Editor

Source: http://ift.tt/1IiKaDm

Weekend Round-Up: An Impenetrable Museum, An Astronomical Clock, And The Best Photos Of 2017

Hero.jpg?ixlib=rails 1.1

We’re back with yet another installment of the Weekend Round-Up. To say it’s been a strange week in the news would be an understatement, but there are still tons of fun, uplifting, and in no way problematic stories for you to read on a lazy Saturday morning. Check out the below, tune out the news cycle, and just relax. 

Enjoy.

Best Photos Of 2017 – National Geographic

Photography just has a way of conveying what words just sometimes cannot – a way of illustrating worlds and circumstances that we, in our respective bubbles, are often oblivious to. Nobody does it like National Geographic and William Daniels’ shot of the woman at a refugee camp in Bangladesh ( #31) is particularly powerful.

– Will Holloway, Director of Content

The Rewatchables: Zodiac – The Ringer

This podcast is always outstanding, and the latest episode is about one of my all-time favorite movies, David Fincher’s Zodiac. The hosts cover everything from why this incredible flick was snubbed by the big awards, how the performances hold up, and how it’s more of a workplace procedural than a crime thriller. Watch the movie, then give it a listen.

– Stephen Pulvirent, Managing Editor

Why The Getty Center’s Art Stayed Put As Fires Raged Nearby – The New York Times

For those of us into overly-engineered, extravagantly-expensive feats of human ingenuity, this explanation of why LA’s Getty Center chose not to evacuate its priceless art collection even as embers from the nearby Skirball wildfire licked at the front door is a fun (quick) read.

– Walker Tovin, Associate Designer

Jens Olsen’s World Clock – Atlas Obscura

The astronomical clock of Jens Olsen deserves to be better known. An incredibly complex timepiece whose designer was inspired by the great astronomical cathedral clock in Strasbourg. The slowest turning wheel in the clock rotates once every 25,753 years (showing one full cycle of the precession of the Equinoxes – that is, the wobble of Earth on its axis).

– Jack Forster, Editor-in-Chief

Riding A Time Capsule To Apartment 8G – The New York Times

This story shines a light on a superannuated technology found in some of New York’s oldest apartment buildings. The last time I was in an elevator that required manual “leveling” by a trained operator was in my father’s office in the mid-80s. Even back then the whole thing was akin to entering a time capsule.

–  Jon Bues, Senior Editor

Source: http://ift.tt/1IiKaDm

Photo Report: Roger W. Smith At The Horological Society Of New York

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On December 4, 2017, Roger W. Smith lectured at the Horological Society of New York (HSNY) on the development of practical watch escapements. The large crowd was enthusiastic to hear Smith speak and to meet him in person, with many attendees lining up after the lecture to ask for autographs and photos. This guy is a (humble) horological rockstar if there ever was one. 

A group of watchmaking students attended the lecture from both Rolex’s Lititz Watch Technicum in Pennsylvania and the Patek Philippe Watchmaking School here in New York City, and a handful of people flew in to NYC to attend the much-anticipated lecture. The Sunday before Smith’s lecture at HSNY, he guest instructed a special horological education class for six lucky students. The class was an opportunity for students to learn from one of the world’s leading watchmakers, over an afternoon in Brooklyn.

Roger W. Smith at the Horological Society of New York

Smith describing the functionality of the cylinder escapement.

<p>Smith speaking with attendees after his lecture.</p>

Smith speaking with attendees after his lecture.

<p>Watchmaking students from the Rolex and Patek Philippe schools being recognized before Smith's lecture.</p>

Watchmaking students from the Rolex and Patek Philippe schools being recognized before Smith’s lecture.

Roger W. Smith at the Horological Society of New York

Smith lecturing at the Horological Society of New York.

<p>Smith discussing escapement mechanics.</p>

Smith discussing escapement mechanics.

<p>Smith speaking with Tom Wilcox, Executive Director of the National Association of Watch &amp; Clock Collectors.</p>

Smith speaking with Tom Wilcox, Executive Director of the National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors.

Roger W. Smith at the Horological Society of New York

Smith lecturing at the Horological Society of New York.

Roger W. Smith at the Horological Society of New York

Smith wearing a Series 2 Open Dial watch.

Sunday, December 3, 2017: Horological Education Class In Brooklyn

Smith instructing a horological education class.

Smith instructing a horological education class.

<p>Smith demonstrating balance installation to the students.</p>

Smith demonstrating balance installation to the students.

<p>Smith instructing a horological education class.</p>

Smith instructing a horological education class.

Smith instructing a horological education class.

Smith assisting a student.

Bonus: Video Recording Of Smith’s Lecture

All HSNY lectures are video recorded and made available to HSNY members. For Smith’s lecture, HSNY has made the video recording available to the public. Enjoy!

For more information, visit the Horological Society of New York’s website.

HODINKEE is a sponsor of the Horological Society of New York.

Photographs by Atom Moore and Liam O’Donnell.

Source: http://ift.tt/1IiKaDm

Photo Report: Roger W. Smith At The Horological Society Of New York

L1006999.jpg?ixlib=rails 1.1

On December 4, 2017, Roger W. Smith lectured at the Horological Society of New York (HSNY) on the development of practical watch escapements. The large crowd was enthusiastic to hear Smith speak and to meet him in person, with many attendees lining up after the lecture to ask for autographs and photos. This guy is a (humble) horological rockstar if there ever was one. 

A group of watchmaking students attended the lecture from both Rolex’s Lititz Watch Technicum in Pennsylvania and the Patek Philippe Watchmaking School here in New York City, and a handful of people flew in to NYC to attend the much-anticipated lecture. The Sunday before Smith’s lecture at HSNY, he guest instructed a special horological education class for six lucky students. The class was an opportunity for students to learn from one of the world’s leading watchmakers, over an afternoon in Brooklyn.

Roger W. Smith at the Horological Society of New York

Smith describing the functionality of the cylinder escapement.

<p>Smith speaking with attendees after his lecture.</p>

Smith speaking with attendees after his lecture.

<p>Watchmaking students from the Rolex and Patek Philippe schools being recognized before Smith's lecture.</p>

Watchmaking students from the Rolex and Patek Philippe schools being recognized before Smith’s lecture.

Roger W. Smith at the Horological Society of New York

Smith lecturing at the Horological Society of New York.

<p>Smith discussing escapement mechanics.</p>

Smith discussing escapement mechanics.

<p>Smith speaking with Tom Wilcox, Executive Director of the National Association of Watch &amp; Clock Collectors.</p>

Smith speaking with Tom Wilcox, Executive Director of the National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors.

Roger W. Smith at the Horological Society of New York

Smith lecturing at the Horological Society of New York.

Roger W. Smith at the Horological Society of New York

Smith wearing a Series 2 Open Dial watch.

Sunday, December 3, 2017: Horological Education Class In Brooklyn

Smith instructing a horological education class.

Smith instructing a horological education class.

<p>Smith demonstrating balance installation to the students.</p>

Smith demonstrating balance installation to the students.

<p>Smith instructing a horological education class.</p>

Smith instructing a horological education class.

Smith instructing a horological education class.

Smith assisting a student.

Bonus: Video Recording Of Smith’s Lecture

All HSNY lectures are video recorded and made available to HSNY members. For Smith’s lecture, HSNY has made the video recording available to the public. Enjoy!

For more information, visit the Horological Society of New York’s website.

HODINKEE is a sponsor of the Horological Society of New York.

Photographs by Atom Moore and Liam O’Donnell.

Source: http://ift.tt/1IiKaDm

Breaking News: Phillips Announces ‘Daytona Ultimatum’ Thematic Sale For Spring 2018

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Phillips has just announced that this spring it will host a thematic sale called "Daytona Ultimatum," focused exclusively on the well-known Rolex chronograph. The auction will take place in Geneva on May 12, 2018, and will offer "an extremely limited selection of the finest, rarest, and best-preserved Rolex Daytona wristwatches known to exist." This of course comes in wake of Phillips selling Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona in October, when it became the most expensive wristwatch ever sold.

While Phillips has not done a Daytona-themed sale before, Aurel Bacs hosted one when he was running the Christie’s watch department back in November 2013. "Rolex Daytona ‘Lesson One’" in many ways kicked off the era of super-hyped thematic sales that we’re in now. It’s also worth noting that the Daytona madness isn’t limited to just the auction world – mega dealer Davide Parmegiani has just published a catalog called 111 Fabulous Daytona, which is exactly what it sounds like.

Sold at Phillips in May 2017 for $3.7 million, this gold Oyster Paul Newman is the most expensive Daytona other than Paul Newman’s own.

For your daily dose of pedantry, can we please examine the name of this sale? "Daytona Ultimatum" is a pretty bold moniker. Beyond the colloquial use of ultimatum, it’s also the singular accusative form of the Latin ultimatus, meaning the last or final bit of something. Is Phillips saying that it is planning on writing the final chapter in the story of the Daytona’s journey into completely irrational, over-hyped territory? God, I hope so.

There’s no question that the Daytona is a great watch and that there are many interesting and value-worthy examples from its more than five decades of continuous production. I’m not debating that. But the current state of the market, where every year someone seems to find a new tiny dial variant or previously unknown configuration, and that watch then pushes all Daytona prices up over the course of a two or three hour auction, is unsustainable. At some point, reality and rationality have to prevail.

Aurel Bacs during the "Rolex Daytona ‘Lesson One’" sale at Christie’s in 2013.

For now, Phillips isn’t saying anything about the exact watches that will be in the sale. That information will be released over the coming months as we get closer to the actual auction date. Considering all the big Daytona results we’ve seen over the last 24 months alone though, there are going to need to be some seriously insane watches in that catalog for Daytona Ultimatum to make the splash I’m sure the auction house is hoping for. All of that said, the Phillips team has given me no reason not to believe that they’ll put together a group of watches that will create huge buzz and generate strong results. This will definitely be an interesting one to watch.

We’ll obviously be following this story closely and will share more information with you as soon as it becomes available.

For more, visit Phillips Watches online.

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