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Ineichen Auctioneers - Exceptional Watches Under The Hammer

Ineichen Auctioneers Exceptional Watches Under The Hammer

A preview of the November 2021 Ineichen auction

Following the excitement of the weekend just past, with record-setting auction sales results, market interest is at an all-time high for independent watchmaking. Of course, for those who have appreciated and followed these artisanal brands since the beginning, it’s only natural that consumers are finally beginning to discover these gems of modern horology.

Coming up in the latter half of November is a wide-ranging sale by Ineichen Auctioneers, a Zurich auction house established just a few decades ago in 1973, that has thus far flown under the radar of most industry watchers. In its earlier years, Ineichen was known for its deep focus on exceptional and historically significant pocket watches, although it has since pivoted towards a more curated offer of independent artisanal watchmakers of the modern age. Over two days in late November, Ineichen will offer over 200 timepieces (predominantly wristwatches) for sale, including two focused sub-categories centred on case material.

Ineichen Auctioneers

"Shades of Grey" © Ineichen Auctioneers

One of them, called “Shades of Grey”, features exceptional wristwatches in various types of white metal and is where you’ll find some of the most exciting independent watch brands of today, such as FP Journe, Konstantin Chaykin, Vianney Halter and URWERK. The recent performance of FP Journe timepieces at auction has resulted in one of the biggest brand-specific price booms in recent history, comparable in amplitude, if not magnitude, to the Rolex “Paul Newman” craze of last decade. Up for sale are two examples of FP Journe’s Vagabondage series of jumping-indication timepieces, one of the eight Chronomètre Souverain in platinum with ruthenium “tuxedo” dial made for Texas retailer De Boulle, a Tourbillon Souverain and the iconic Chronomètre à Résonance (one of the earliest executions of this model).

Vianney Halter’s Antiqua also makes an appearance in “Shades of Grey”, a perpetual calendar watch that first introduced watch lovers to the “steampunk” design concept and forever marked the face of modern independent watchmaking. Equally disruptive and historic is the final lot in “Shades of Grey”, the URWERK UR-103, the follow-up model to URWERK’s first commercial piece, the UR-102.

The other sub-collection in Ineichen’s sale from 20–21 November is called “Alchemy of Gold”, a group of 12 exceptional wristwatches featuring yellow-gold cases. The material itself was waning in popularity throughout the turn of the millennium, with white gold and rose gold gaining in favour, before yellow gold started a slow but steady resurgence in recent years. The current demand for yellow-gold watches still lags behind that of watches in other precious materials, but this curated selection by Ineichen shows the full exuberance and richness of yellow gold.    

Ineichen Auctioneers

"Alchemy of Gold" © Ineichen Auctioneers

Taking central stage is a quartet of Audemars Piguet Royal Oak timepieces in full yellow-gold regalia. While the original (and most widely coveted) Royal Oak “Jumbo” ref. 5402 of 1972 was first presented in steel, connoisseurs who appreciate a certain whimsy in their watches will appreciate the poetry of wearing the gold version of a watch that was famously advertised as being more expensive than a gold watch.

Vianney Halter’s Antiqua returns in yellow gold vestments in the “Alchemy of Gold” sub-collection, the penultimate lot in this group, which is finished by a superb yellow-gold openworked Daniel Roth Perpetual Calendar in the emblematic Ellipsocurvex case. While the Daniel Roth brand and assets have been fully integrated within Bulgari since the latter’s purchase of the former in 2000, vintage Daniel Roth timepieces continue to hold great appeal for collectors and are facing a revival in popularity, with their undisputed mechanical and design excellence now reinforced by longevity.

Ineichen Auctioneers, Sale No. 175

20 November 2021, 1300h Central European Time
21 November 2021, 1300h Central European Time
Saal Metropol Zürich Stadthausquai 11-13, CH-8001 Zurich
Bidding via registration in person, via telephone or online



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