It's time to explore This Month In Watches, November edition!
As promised, we’re back with another episode of This Month in Watches. The first episode covered a lot of new watch releases from all sides and crevices of the watch industry, however, this month has a focus on watch auctions. We also saw the annual GPHG awards, some big Baselworld news, as well as a new familiar face (or should I say voice?) enter the industry.
Let’s start things off with a new release teaser...
Is there a new Seiko Alpinist on the way?
We started November on a positive note for Seiko fans, as it looks like the beloved Alpinist will be making a come back in 2020. There isn’t much information available online with SeiyaJapan (a well known and trusted Seiko dealer) being the only source of information. It looks like we will see the return of the green dial a new black dial and a white / cream dial option also strengthening the Alpinist range.
Pricing looks to be between 75,000 and 77,000 Yen which is around the £500-£550 mark. If this is true, there will be a lot of happy people right now.
Stay tuned for more news on these in 2020...
The only gift you need this ChristmasLast month was a pretty crazy one for us here at WatchGecko. Our much loved Black November sale started on the 1st of November with incredible deals to be had on our watches and watch straps. We also launched our new gift sets for six of our most popular watches. Still currently available, the gift sets offer a ton of value over buying just the watches for only a small increase in price.
Jean Claude Biver's private watch collection
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Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo is honoured and delighted to present «Jean-Claude Biver: A Retrospective. Share, Respect, Forgive», an exceptional non-selling exhibition illustrating one of the industry most influential figures and his life-long passion for watches, through his own private collection. Jean-Claude Biver: A Retrospective opens later this week at the Hotel La Reserve in Geneva, Switzerland and will be open and free to the public between Nov 7-10. You can see @jcbiver’s private collection online right now on Phillips, with video, exclusive photos and more live on the site. Link in bio.
Jean Claude Biver is a name that needs no introduction. Phillips are taking a selection of his watches on tour with them being scheduled to arrive in London during the first few months of 2020. Naturally, each watch has a fantastic story you can hear from the man himself below told in true Biver style.
The winners of GPHG 2019
November is a busy month for the industry with the Foundation of the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève (or GPHG) being one of the most prominent events. The GPHG is the awards show for watches, with brands submitting releases in a range of different categories for the judges to deliberate over and decide who comes out as #1. There are just shy of 20 awards given so we won’t run through them all here, but here are our highlights:
- After a mixed start to the year with the Code 11.59 release, AP cleaned up at the show winning three awards including the top prize of ‘Aiguille d'Or’ for their Royal Oak Selfwinding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin.
- MB&F won the 'Ladies Complication Watch Prize' for their Legacy Machine FlyingT which was easily one of my personal highlights from Baselworld this year. This watch is equally beautiful as it is technically impressive. A well-deserved winner.
- Bulgari surprised no one with winning the 'Chronograph Watch Prize' for their Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic, another watch I haven’t really stopped thinking about since Baselworld.
- The Germany brand Kudoke won the 'Petite Aiguille' prize. I haven’t handled this piece but their Handmade collection looks amazing so I’m pleased to see the small guys win.
- And finally, despite all of the uncertainty from the community online when this was announced the Tudor Black Bay P01 won the 'Challenge Watch Prize'.
Seiko & Grand Seiko out of Baselworld 2020
This is something we’re starting to become used to hearing unfortunately as Seiko and Grand Seiko join the growing list of brands who have left the biggest trade show in the industry, Baselworld. According to HODINKEE the primary reason being the trade show’s change in dates to later in the year.
The move was to be in alignment with Watches and Wonders Geneva (SIHH) which has been met with overwhelming amounts of praise for both shows. It seems Baselworld cannot please everyone. With the landscape of media and communication with end consumers continuing to evolve it looks like traditional trade shows continue to have issues. Something that doesn't look to be slowing down anytime soon.
Only Watch auction and the Patek CHF 31 million
November also means auction season for watches and what better way to kick things off than with Only Watch. This auction is set up and ran to continue the funding of research for a muscular based disease, so not only do we see amazing 1 of 1 watches created but we also know it’s for a great cause.
Only Watch 2019 was by no means a disappointment with the Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime becoming the most expensive watch ever with a hammer price tag of CHF 31 million (move aside Paul Newman’s Paul Newman).
Other highlights include:
- The Akrivia Chronomètre Contemporain in platinum with it’s blue/grey dial brings in $350,000 - a beautiful watch and a fantastic result for both Rexhep and Only Watch.
- The Tudor Black Bay Ceramic One also brought in a similar total of $350,000.
- Remember that Breguet I was obsessed with earlier this year? Yup, it sold for $211,000.
- And finally, a CODE 11.59 sold for just over $1 million.
Double the auctions - This time with Phillips
Continuing our auction portion of the round up we head over to Phillips for their double signed auction. Double signed dials always hold such fascination for watch collectors. Nowadays seeing two recognisable names on a watch dial is only reserved for the Patek and Tiffany & Co’s of the world. However, in the past it was more frequent to see the likes of Cartier and JLC both feature on a dial; hence their desirability now. Here are a few of our personal highlights:
- Lot 47 is a Patek Philippe 1593 with a Gübelin signed dial. The case on this piece is stunning with its hourglass-like shape and big faceted crystal. Sold for CHF 20,000
- Lot 4 is a Rolex 1510 on an incredibly unique bracelet. Sold for CHF 15,000
- Lot 12 Patek Philippe 2526 in pink gold with Serpico y Laino signed dial. Everything about this piece is beautiful, the bracelet design, calatrava dial, the hands and indices, the pink gold. Everything. Sold for CHF 62,500
There are many more including an unbelievable Patek 2499. Check out the full catalogue here.
Ed Sheeran says hello to the watch community
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You might know Ed Sheeran as one of today’s best-selling singer/songwriters. He’s won four Grammies and his most recent tour became the highest-grossing of all-time. But deep down, he’s a watch guy, just like us. And today on HODINKEE he has penned a letter to the community about how he got into watches. You can read about it now on H.
HODINKEE has created a handful of videos and articles with John Mayer over the years telling the story of his pretty insane collection. Last month another well-known artist from the music industry popped up to say hello… Ed Sheeran. If you’re active on Instagram you will have probably seen Sheeran’s watches appear on watch spotting account and it looks like he may be warming up to talking more about his collection soon.
The Longines Heritage Military 1938It looks like Longines have been busy recently, last month we saw the introduction of the Heritage Classic and now we have another Heritage: the Military 1938. The first time I saw this piece it instantly reminded me of the Dirty Dozen watches with its black dial gilt coloured printing sub-seconds and old school clean branding. It’s worth mentioning this watch comes in at 43mm wide, so it’s essentially reserved purely for those with larger wrists.
The Military 1938 will retail at £2,020 - find out more here.
Pharrell Williams and Richard Mille team up
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“With the RM 52-05, we've looked at Mars from a different angle, an unexpected first-person point of view. We have the best timekeeper in the world. We have Mars. And we have an African-American man from Virginia, all connected.” @pharrell #richardmille #Pharrell ? @robertjasophotography & TimePhoto
We’re doing a 180 from Longines with the next piece of news as a new Richard Mille was announced in November. Unfortunately we don’t talk too much about RM to the capacity we would love to. However, this one really caught my eye. Pharrell Williams has teamed up with RM on an insanely cool limited run of 30 RM 52-05 Tourbillon. Taking inspiration from the continued discovery of Mars, Pharrell and RM have created a beautifully deep and intriguing watch that I can’t stop looking at.
The New MB&F Legacy Machine 101 Palladium
We’ve hinted at MB&F earlier, however, this time they’re back not to just win awards but to release a new model, the Legacy Machine 101 in Palladium. The Legacy Machines bring the balance wheel of the movement right to the top and centre of the watch creating an almost floating illusion.
This latest LM101 is cased in palladium with an ice-cool lacquered dial really making the whole watch pop (as if it needed any more pop, right?).
Your Next Watch: The Hamilton Pilot Pioneer
Hamilton released the Khaki Mechanical last year to overwhelming success and coverage from the watch world. So when Hamilton announced the Pilot Pioneer we were keen to get some decent hands-on time with it to see what it’s really like. For this, we did some road testing with the watch and took it to Germany to see how it really performs.
LVMH aquires Tiffany and Co
News broke last week that LVMH has bought Tiffany and Co for just over $16 billion. Joe Thompson and Ben Clymer had a really interesting article on this topic with the main interest for us watch enthusiasts being based around the future of Patek Philippe and it’s relationship with Tiffany & Co. Where does this leave the future of double-signed dial?
Passion For Ice Episode #1 by WatchGeckoAnd finally, to wrap things up we have our latest mini-series, ‘ Passion for Ice’. In this short series, Andy McKenna discusses what he gets up to in a winter (throwing cars around a frozen lake in Norway), why ice-driving has been so important to his son (Scott McKenna, British champion & motorsport ambassador for us here) and of course we will hear about his watches.
Episode 1 is now live on the site, with the following episodes coming very soon!
So there you have it, November in watches. Very much something for everyone here with some unbelievable headlines thanks to the auction world. Don’t forget to check back with us next time as we look at the final month of the year (and decade) in watches...
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