RARE COINCIDENCE: A 2nd Reuben Schoots Series 1 has just landed on the Loupe This auction platform! RARE COINCIDENCE: A 2nd Reuben Schoots Series 1 has just landed on the Loupe This auction platform!

RARE COINCIDENCE: A 2nd Reuben Schoots Series 1 has just landed on the Loupe This auction platform!

Zach Blass
  • Reuben Schoots is a self-taught watchmaker who studied the work of George Daniels to bring traditional handmade watchmaking to Australia.
  • His first production watch, the Series 1, had a run of only 6 pcs. priced at an incredibly egalitarian A$15K.
  • The watch features a German silver dial handmade by Schoots, along with a movement largely made and entirely decorated by Schoots as well.
Reuben Schoots Series 1 Loupe This Auction 6
The Reuben Schoots Series 1

If you are a regular visitor of the site, you may have seen my conflicted news story in which I alerted you all to the fact that one of Aussie independent watchmaker Reuben Schoots’ Series 1 watches had come to auction on Loupe This – but to stay away because, at the time of writing, I was the highest bidder. Unfortunately, and perhaps partly my own undoing in bringing attention to the lot, I did not win – the final hammer bid clocking in at US$26,100. This was an incredible result and affirmation of Schoots’ work, and, with the watches being so rare due to the total production run of six pieces, the winner scored a very rare piece I honestly did not expect to see another one come to auction. At least not for a very long time. A moment of rare coincidence and deja vu, however, it turns out another Series 1 has just come up for auction – and, once again, on Loupe This!

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Australian watchmaker Reuben Schoots.

I hope you are familiar with the story of Reuben Schoots. If you are not, definitely head here to learn more about Schoots’ incredible journey into the world of watchmaking. The backstory, in short, is that Reuben, in the wake of a serious illness, began to read George Daniels’ horological bible of sorts – titled Watchmaking – and undertook the tall task of teaching himself the ‘Daniels Method’ of handmaking watches. In the same manner that Roger W. Smith created a pocket watch following the ‘Daniels Method’, Schoots, a few years ago, began to do the same – and he is still in the process of putting in the requisite 3,000 hours of work to realize his own Daniels-style pocket watch (which he hopes to one day show to Smith once completed).

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The watch features a 42mm stainless steel case and a German silver dial handmade, engraved, and filled with India ink by Schoots himself. The hands have also been handmade and heated to a purplish-blue hue per the ‘Daniels Method’.

While he has by no means given up on this effort, Schoots would divert his attention to realize his first-ever production watch – a watch he could actually sell to clients, to have pieces he crafted worn out in the wild. That being said, his first-ever production watches, a set of six timepieces dubbed the ‘Series 1’, were priced at A$15,000. All of the watches were pre-sold ahead of the Series 1 unveiling, a shame for horological bystanders, who, like me, were dumbfounded by the incredibly low pricing for what was ultimately a truly handmade watch.

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For the calibre, Schoots personally made the barrel bridge, the wheel train bridge, the balance cock, the clickspring, the ratchet pawl, the movement screws, as well as all the finishing and engraving.

Eric Ku, Co-founder of Loupe This, explains: “The six buyers who got the Series 1 watch from Reuben were incredibly lucky. It was really amazing to see such a [largely] handmade watch, and a small run no less, delivered at such an egalitarian price. You really cannot find watches, made in this manner, priced at this level. At the end of the day, there really could not have been any monetary profit for him on this Series 1 run. It was really about proving to himself he could complete his own production watch and, ultimately, the Series 1 would set the stage for his Series 2 which was priced much higher – showcasing just how much value the initial Series 1 offered.”

To put this in perspective, A$15,000, at the time of writing this story, is equivalent to just under US$10,000. So, when the first Series 1 sold for US$26,100 back in  July 2023 it achieved a result that was approximately two and a half times more than its original retail price. Yet, to find this level of craftsmanship from another brand you would likely be paying such an amount from the outset – if not more.

Reuben Schoots Series 1 Loupe This Auction 1

It is quite insane that, of this tiny run of six pieces, Loupe This would be the platform to host the sale of not only the first-ever Series 1 to come to market (to my knowledge) but also the second. With my recent acquisition of a Credor Eichi II, you will not have to worry about competing bids with me this time around. It will be interesting to see where the final price lands this time around. The auction closes March 7 at 12:09 PM EST and already sits at a high bid of US$11.4K (at the time of writing). But, whether less than, equal to, or just above, the previous result, whoever does win will be very lucky indeed.

 

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To learn more about the lot, or register to bid, you can head to Loupe This here.