FRIDAY WIND DOWN: Rolex celebrates 100 years of Le Mans, while Philippe Dufour is a birthday boy FRIDAY WIND DOWN: Rolex celebrates 100 years of Le Mans, while Philippe Dufour is a birthday boy

FRIDAY WIND DOWN: Rolex celebrates 100 years of Le Mans, while Philippe Dufour is a birthday boy

Borna Bošnjak

With our globetrotting editor out and about on a Paris adventure discovering the Type XX, I thought I’d jump in and cover some of this week’s biggest happenings. In lieu of a Formula 1 Grand Prix this weekend, we’re treated to the absolute peach that is the 24 Hours of Le Mans, held at the iconic Circuit de la Sarthe. The race is extra special this year as it marks the event’s centenary, so Rolex has a surprise up their sleeve. Presumably occurring at a slower pace, but celebrating just as important a hero, are the celebrations for Philippe Dufour’s 75th birthday. For this occasion, Christie’s is auctioning a unique Dufour Simplicity in a configuration that is the best embodiment of the model’s name I’ve ever seen. Let’s get into it.

Rolex’s Le Mans generosity

A special edition of Le Mans deserves a special prize. Alongside the trophy and your name forever engraved in the annals of motorsport history, Rolex is going to make it extra special for the drivers claiming the top spot on the podium. Engraving the casebacks of the Daytonas with laurels honouring the winners, it seems like the drivers will have extra motivation for the win.

With the two Ferraris locking out the front row in qualifying, it’s looking good for the Italian outfit in a season thus far dominated by Toyota. Now if they could only replicate that in F1…

Christie’s celebrates Philippe Dufour with a unique Simplicity

And how about this? It’s always big news whenever any watch made by Dufour – hailed by many to be the greatest watchmaker alive – hits an auction. When a piece unique that embodies the name Simplicity does, however, it’s a bit more than that. Consigned by a collector who purchased it on the occasion of Dufour’s 73rd birthday, it features no seconds hand and a unique 38mm size, whereas other Simplicity models measure in at 34mm or 37mm.

The dial is the epitome of its name, finished to absolute perfection from the dauphine hands and arrowhead indices to the dark depths of the blue dial and the polished steel case, but I couldn’t deprive you of the best hand-finishing money can buy to close out the week.

Finally – this is your reminder that it’s Father’s Day next weekend in the Northern Hemisphere at least. You’re welcome.


Watch meme of the week


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Brodinkee (@brodinkee)

I feel personally attacked. And so should you!

Wrist shot of the week: it doesn’t get much better than this

Image courtesy of Mr Watchley

Salmon dial. Wave guilloché. Platinum case.

This Vacheron Constantin Les Historiques 47111/000P hails from 2002, and is a tribute to the brand’s 4178 reference of the 1940s. It takes inspiration from its teardrop lugs, square pushers and two-register layout, but is powered by an extensively modified and hand-finished variant of the Lemania 2310, while the original was Valjoux 23-based. This salmon over platinum variant is among the more rare ones, with only about 60 watches produced in this configuration according to Mr Watchley.

Time+Tide Shop pick of the week: Boldr Venture Sandstorm

We’re not shy in saying that the Boldr Venture is the best-value titanium watch on the market. Let me remind you of some specs – 38mm titanium case, AR-coated sapphire crystal, Seiko NH35 movement for a smidge more than a MoonSwatch, keeping in mind that the Boldr won’t cause you to lose dignity trying to battle the scalpers. Its Sandstorm colourway is perhaps the most versatile, as its field watch aesthetic makes it suitable for all but dressy scenarios, though I bet you could get away with that too, provided you pair it with a nice leather strap.

Find out more about the Venture Sandstorm here, or head to the Time+Tide Shop to pick one up. Price: A$490

Our favourite Time+Tide coverage of the week:

The first double-faced watch wasn’t made by the brand you expect

When wristwatches rose in popularity during the 1930s, especially for use in sports, the question of protecting the crystal was an important one. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso is the most famous example, intended for playing polo and flipping the case around to prevent anything getting too scratched or broken. So naturally, you would assume that Jaeger-LeCoultre quickly figured out the same double-face trick with the Reverso right? Wrong. Read Ferg’s in-depth story to find out the answer, and disregard the hint in the image above.

WHAT IF… Universal Genève was revived?

Multiple star athletes, musical icons and toppled dictators all sported Universal Genève watches in some capacity, a few becoming heroes in WIS folklore, with their names becoming synonymous with particularly prominent models. For a brand with such an expansive heritage of innovation and pop culture relevance, it’s frankly surprising that it’s not around today, or at least not in the capacity enthusiasts would like it to be. Universal Genève’s current dormancy, if you will, isn’t for lack of trying (more on that later), but what if one of these revival attempts actually worked? Find out more here.

When are we going to accept that fashion brands can make legit timepieces? 

If a luxury brand is synonymous with handbags or jewellery, most watch collectors won’t usually give them the time of day, as we tend to get hung up on the fact that these names are known more for haute couture than haute horology. Despite the best efforts of the watch press, a whole segment of the industry has gone largely ignored by watch snobs in favour of the tried-and-true from Rolex, AP, Omega and other established watchmaking brands. But to ignore the output of names like Hermès, Ralph Lauren, Gucci, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany, Dior and others is to do so at your peril. Here are six watches that counter the notion “fashion brands” can’t deliver timepieces with serious watchmaking behind them. Check out D.C.’s picks here.