The Pink Dial Project Auction Lot Overview: The big box brands

The Pink Dial Project Auction Lot Overview: The big box brands

Zach Blass

Whenever an auction catalogue is released, many collectors scavenge through the lots to find unique or prototype pieces. Whether a piece unique, or watch #00, the pieces present ultra-rare finds for bidders – and, as we all know too well, ultra rare equals super collectible. But what if there was an auction entirely comprised of unique prototype watches? Well it’s not a matter of if, it’s when. October 25th marks the inaugural launch of The Pink Dial Project, a fundraising auction involving a long list of top watch brands in partnership with our friends at Revolution, Fratello Watches, Loupe This, and The Eye of Jewelry. In an effort to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer, each brand has been prompted to spotlight the colour pink – referencing and paying tribute to the breast cancer awareness movement (with all funds raised going to the Union of International Cancer Control). It is a great win-win opportunity, raising substantial funds for a great cause and presenting bidders with unique prototypes that can only be bought in the auction. There are plenty of lots to like, in fact, too many to digest in just one sitting. So, to kick things off, let’s dive into the watches presented by some of the big box brands.

Pink Dial Project

IWC Big Pilot’s Watch 43 Edition “Pink Dial Project”

Pink Dial Project

IWC wowed the watch world this year with a new more compact and robust take on the Big Pilot’s Watch that actually better echoes the aesthetics of the original design: the Big Pilot’s Watch calibre 52 T.S.C from the 1940s. While much smaller than the calibre 52 T.S.C, the clean dial better reflects the original layout and speaks to the dial purists who believe less is more. When stacked up against the modern Big Pilot’s Watch launched in 2002, you’ll immediately notice the absence of a calendar or power reserve complication. On the wrist the Big Pilot’s Watch 43 is more wrist manageable, with a more compact diameter (46.2mm versus 43mm) and thickness (15.5mm versus 13.6mm). Also, components such as the crown, and the lug-to-lug measurement across the wrist, were scaled down to meet the same ratio of proportions as the Big Pilot 46. Three new design elements really brought the watch up to modern standards: a more robust 100 metre depth rating, the introduction of Eas-XCHANGE rubber and leather straps alongside a first-ever bracelet also equipped with the quick-change technology, as well as an exhibition caseback to display the in-house caliber 82000. What makes this particular watch unique is, of course, its one-of-a-kind matte pink dial that offers a sense of playfulness never before seen in the collection.

Estimate: $9,250 USD

Bulgari Octo Finissimo – 103641 piece unique Pink Dial Project Auction

The beauty of the Pink Dial Project is how different brands have presented different interpretations of the pink theme. An exercise in less is more, Bulgari has used their super stealth black ceramic Octo Finissimo watch as a foil to the pink. While it only makes itself unique through the touch of pink incorporated in the sub seconds register, the all black aesthetic of the remainder of the watch draws the eye to the hint of pink. It is a small, yet powerful, change to the standard production model that makes a strong pop against the phantom black backdrop. Other highlights of the watch are its highly faceted sandblasted black ceramic 40mm case and bracelet, super slender 5.8mm thickness, and stunning in-house automatic caliber BVL 138 with 60 hours of power reserve, full balance bridge, and platinum micro-rotor.

Estimate: $16,500 USD

Piaget Limelight Gala precious sunset – G0A46582 Pink Dial Project Auction piece unique

Chances are if you are watching red-carpet coverage you will spot a Piaget Limelight Gala on someones wrist. A distinct Piaget creation, with eastern sensibilities that have universal appeal, the Limelight Gala is a very elegant design that leverages a fluid curvaceous case that stands apart with its asymmetrical two lug framework. In a world demanding more horological prowess for conventionally labelled women’s watches, Piaget has worked to upgrade the offering internally with in-house mechanical calibers such as their well-decorated automatic 501P1 exhibited via its sapphire caseback. The 32mm rose-gold case is adorned with 15 brilliant-cut diamonds and 32 pink sapphires that echo the pink theme of breast cancer awareness (also reinforced by the pink hours and minutes hands on the white mother-of-pearl dial).

Estimate: $72,000 USD

Panerai PAM02021 pièce unique Piccolo Due in Goldtech™ and pink mother-of-pearl dial

A unique take on their 38mm Piccolo Due, Panerai has realized a fresh take on the collection that incorporates a never before utilized pink mother-of-pearl dial paired with a pink alligator strap. The polished Goldtech™ case offers a proprietary gold blend that boasts a strong golden hue that will last thanks to its heightened resistance against oxidation. Inside, this smaller 38mm x 11.2mm Panerai watch is powered by the automatic P.900 caliber, with an Incabloc® anti-shock device and power reserve of three days. Controversially, the Piccolo Due is a 30 metre water-resistant piece but here the idea is far less military utility and much more about conveying a distinct and dressy sensibility not typically found from Panerai. If you want to Panerai peacock, this watch is for you.

Estimate: $15,700 USD

Zenith Chronomaster Revival A3818 “Cover Girl” Unique Piece

With the Chronomaster Revival A3818 “Cover Girl” Unique Piece, the power is in its bubblegum pink dial that can be spotted well across a room. The Chronomaster A3818 “Cover Girl” is one of the most beloved Zenith chronographs in their archives, so-called “Cover Girl” because it was the watch featured on the cover of Manfred Rössler’s book Zenith: Swiss Watch Manufacture Since 1865. The vintage “Cover Girl” is considered to be one of the rarest and most desirable iterations ever to carry the El Primero moniker, with less than 1000 thought to exist. So their recent revivals were a more than welcome addition to the modern catalogue. Its faceted tonneau case is super wearable, coming in at 37mm in diameter, 13mm thick, and 46.9mm lug-to-lug across the wrist. Mixed finishings grace the case, and it is paired with Zenith’s legendary ladder bracelet, and of course, a high-beat El Primero caliber 400 column-wheel chronograph movement with 50 hours of power reserve.

Estimate: 11,000 – 13,000 CHF

TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 Pink Dial Project WBP231H.BA0618

The TAG Heuer Aquaracer collection has caught the eyes of collectors as of late. A more polygonal take on the classic dive watch, the bezel stands out from other watches in the category with 12 knurled sides around the perimeter of the insert. Here the timing scale is against a black backdrop with the initial 15 minutes conveyed in neon pink and the remainder in a case matching silver tone. The pink does not stop there, with a wave patterned dial also rendered in pink met with diamond hour indices (aside from the lumed 12′, 3′, and 9′ hour applied indices). A symmetrically positioned 6′ date window works to interrupt the dial as little as possible, and is magnified with cyclops for added legibility. Inside the stainless steel case, 36mm in diameter and 11.9mm thick, is the TAG Heuer manufacture calibre 5 that rests beneath a special solid engraved caseback.

Estimate: 4,000 CHF

Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Pink Dial Project, R32128102

The Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Pink Dial Project, R32128102 follows the familiar format of their popular Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic line, but injects a playful twist: a pink stepped inner bezel outer minutes track to add a unique pop of colour to the dark grey tinted sapphire dial that reveals the front of the movement below. The case is large, yet manageable, with its dimensions clocking in at 43mm in diameter, 14.6mm thick, and 49.8mm lug-to-lug across the wrist. It’s fashioned in Rado’s matte plasma High-Tech Ceramic, with a sort of ghost grey tone throughout its aesthetic. The bezel ring, and crown, are made of stainless steel, but the remainder of the watch (i.e the bezel insert, case, and bracelet) is comprised of their robust and highly scratch-resistant ceramic. The 300m water-resistant diver is powered by Rado’s automatic caliber with an 80-hour power reserve and anti-magnetic Nivachron™ hairspring.

Estimate: $3,800 USD

Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Pink Dial Unique Piece

Montblanc, within their Geosphere collection, have explored a few case materials and various dial colours. But never have they gone so bold with a lacquered fuchsia-pink dial with a sunburst finish. Its tone really comes alive in contrast to the black DLC-coated titanium case – 42mm in diameter and 12.8mm thick. It features a bi-directional black DLC-coated stainless-steel compass bezel with shiny black ceramic insert to compliment the world-time complication featured on the dial. The engraved cardinal points on the bezel, along with the central hands and hour arabics and indices are coated with white Super-LumiNova® for added visibility in darkness. To recap the dial functionality, you have the hours and minutes in the centre, date at 3′, second time zone at 9′, and domed turning northern and southern hemisphere globes at 12′ and 6′ with a 24-hour scale and day-night indication respectively. This is all powered by the automatic manufacture caliber MB 29.25 inside (a Sellita SW330-1 base with an in-house world-time module), with 42 hours of power reserve.

Estimate: Euro 6,800

Longines Record Collection – Australian Limited Edition L2.820.0.89.0

Full disclosure, of the timepieces listed here this is the only reference that is not a piece unique – but it is still very rare as a numbered watch of 35 pieces. The Longines Record Collection – Australian Limited Edition L2.820.0.89.0 features a white mother-of-pearl dial, with blued steel hands and diamond hour indices, that has a neat cloud-like aesthetic to it. The pink comes into play with its pink alligator strap, which ties the elegant dress watch into the theme of the auction. But don’t get it twisted. This 38.5mm x 10.7mm steel dress watch packs the same manufacture caliber as the new Longines Spirit Titanium 40: the automatic caliber L888.4, with a monocrystalline silicon balance spring that’s highly resistant against magnetism, a power reserve of approximately 72 hours, and chronometer certification by COSC.

Estimate: $5,150 USD

The Pink Dial Project Auction 2021: How to Bid

The auction will run for seven days on Loupe This commencing at 5pm SG/HK on October 25th. Bidders must register with Loupe This for an account.  Unlike other charity auctions, they do not keep a single cent. Thanks to Eric Ku, founder of Loupe This, there are zero fees, and there will be proof that all the money has been sent to the selected charities.

To check out the complete catalogue of lots, and their complete specifications, you can visit Revolution Watch here.