The Pink Dial Project auction lot overview: The indies, micros, and sleeper hits

The Pink Dial Project auction lot overview: The indies, micros, and sleeper hits

Zach Blass

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. We’ve already covered half or so of the lots from the big name brands, but now it is time to dig into the watches presented by independents, micro brands, and more – all of which may stand to be the sleeper hits of the auction as well.

Airain Type 20 Pink Ribbon Pièce Unique

Pink Dial Project Auction

If you are doing a double-take at “Type 20” I wouldn’t fault you. You are probably more familiar with seeing Type XX, courtesy of Breguet who supplied chronographs to the military for their aviators. Airain, however, was also selected by the French military to supply their chronographs in the 1950s and 60s. Recently revived by the brand in November 2020, the Type 20 has huge appeal for those looking to have a classic case dimensioned chronograph with a very solid chronograph movement at a much more approachable price point. Its stainless-steel case is 39.5mm in diameter and 10.85mm thick with a domed hesalite crystal for added vintage appeal. Inside you have a fabulous manually wound column-wheel flyback chronograph caliber AM1 made in partnership with esteemed movement manufacture La Joux-Perret S.A. This particular prototype, however, meets classic with modern through its bright pink dial which boasts a running seconds register at 6′ and 30 minute elapsed minutes register at 3′.

Estimate: $3,200 USD

Anordain Model 3 Linen-Enamel 925

Pink Dial Project Auction

Anordain is known for delivering stunning enamel dials at a very value-driven price point. They are all very distinct creations, but the presented Anordain Model 3 Linen-Enamel 925 stands to be the most unique piece they have ever made. The one-of-one watch features a linen textured solid silver base dial with pink enamel and a modified bespoke font, all created in-house. Its gold toned hands are framed by hour arabics rendered in pink, but look closely and you’ll notice the eight hour numeral has been replaced with a breast cancer awareness ribbon. This symbolises the one in eight women who are diagnosed with the disease. Another distinguishing factor of this watch is its 39mm x 10.4mm case made of 925 Silver – giving this dress watch a precious twist. Inside is a hand-wound Sellita SW210 movement with 42 hours of power reserve. While this is, in fact, a piece unique, Anordain does disclose that this watch has a few sneak peeks of what to expect from their upcoming Model 3.

Estimate: $5,000 USD

Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Hope – DL2016B-S5CAJ-PK

Pink Dial Project Auction

Ball may not have the same brand power as brands like Omega, but many horological enthusiasts are familiar with their robust and luminescent watches. This unique Hydrocarbon Hope watch has a mixed texture pink dial that features 18 yellow and pink tritium micro gas tubes that make the dial glow bright in darkness.

Ball explains that their tritium micro gas tube system “requires no external source of light energy while being up to 100 times more efficient than conventional luminous paints”. Inside the 200 metre water-resistant, stainless-steel watch, 36mm in diameter and 13.1mm thick, is the COSC chronometer-certified automatic caliber BALL RR1101-C that provides robust and reliable timekeeping for the wearer.

Estimate: $2,799 USD

Baltic BICOMPAX – Pink Dial for REVOLUTION

Baltic is one of the most well-known micro-brands today, having captured the attention of the Biver family as well as a large number of collectors of all statuses around the world. Their bi-compax chronographs have been immensely popular pieces, driven by a Seagull ST1901 manually wound column-wheel chronograph movement to provide a crisp chrono at low cost. This particular one-off has a pink rose dial with frosted, radially brushed, and concentrically guilloched surfaces. It offers an exquisite symphony of textures that increase not only the aesthetic appeal but legibility as well. The outer pulsations scale has a frosted surface, followed by a raised radially brushed sector display for the hours and minutes – broken up by the two concentrically guilloched bi-compax registers that display the running seconds and elapsed minutes from left to right respectively. The inner central medallion then sinks and return to a frosted texture. By doing this, Baltic has created a layout where each point of information plays differently with light. This allows the eye to easily discern each separate piece of information.

Estimate: $670 USD

Bamford B347 – Pink

George Bamford is a pioneer of watch customisation, having popularised blacked-out Rolex watches and later recruited by LVMH to exclusively customise their pieces. But George didn’t just want to customise other brands pieces, eventually taking the step of creating watches under his own name that utilised his knack for cutting-edge materials and bold colour pallets. For the Pink Dial Project Auction, Bamford has created a unique take on his B437 mono pusher bi-compax chronograph watch – with a 41.5mm x 14.5mm carbon fibre case paired with a pink dial, black registers and date window, and a dial matching pink rubber strap befitting of its 100 metre depth rating. Inside is a Sellita SW510 MPa movement with a near weekend-proof 62 hours of power reserve.

Estimate: $2,950 USD

Jacques Bianchi – JB 200 – Pink Edition

Lefties will rejoice when they see the Jacques Bianchi – JB 200 – Pink Edition, thanks to its crown positioned on the 9′ side of the case versus 3′. For those unfamiliar with the brand, Revolutionexplains: “The JB 200 is a re-edition of a diving watch that was once used by the French Navy.Created in the 1980s, by the master craftsman Jacques Bianchi, it is a watch that is recognizable by its unique dial, featuring the silhouette of a diver in action. It is a part of the great watchmaking history of “French Skin Divers”. The stainless steel 200 metre water-resistant diver, 42mm x 13mm, leverages a curvaceous case primarily brushed. The hour indices on the matte black dial are bold and strong for increased legibility, the bezel timing scale, central hands, and indices all coated in SuperLuminova® for further assistance in that aspect. It features a touch of pink via its dial branding text and silhouette of a diver in action, which is quite striking against its black backdrop.  The watch runs on a Seiko NH35 movement, a cost-effective and reliable caliber that will provide solid performance.

Estimate: $1,200 USD

MB&F M.A.D.1 Pink Dial Project

Pink Dial Project Auction

Of all the watches listed in the auction, this watch I actually had the pleasure of seeing in the metal at Geneva Watch Days – and boy was I impressed. I would have loved to have been offered one of the limited production M.A.D. 1 watches, but I already have my Loupe This account made for this particular lot – although chances are I will definitely be outbid for this beaut. The M.A.D.1’s standout design elements are the fully visible automatic winding rotor and lateral time display comprised of a pink hours and black minutes discs that rotate to display the time. The aluminum alloy discs have numerals etched into the metal, filled with SuperLuminova® for boosted legibility. For this pièce unique, both the visible bridge and the time display have received a special pink treatment. An interesting twist is its Miyota 821A movement, not because it is uncommon in its usage. It is how it is used in this particular watch. The caliber has been flipped upside-down, visible from the dial, to showcase the custom manufacture’s triple-blade winding rotor, crafted in titanium and tungsten, which thanks to the Miyota’s uni-directional winding can rotate very fast – a visual feast as you move your wrist.

Estimate: $2,000 – $3,000 USD

Oris ProPilot X Caliber 115 Pink Dial Project

I recently covered the new ProPilot Big Date Bronze, but for this auction Oris has elected to offer up the more advanced version of that collection: their ProPilot X. The ProPilot X represents the pinnacle of their movement manufacture, with a 10-day power reserve caliber open-worked for the wearer’s enjoyment. Looking at the dial, you will notice the large coiled mainspring via it’s open barrel beneath the openworked dial frame rendered in pink. At the 7:30 position you’ll see the running seconds register and at 3′ the 10-day power reserve indicator. The entire watch is fabricated in titanium, with a large 44mm diameter that caters to professional pilot watch designs.

Estimate: CHF 7,400

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Automatic Skeleton DBEX0986

Cheating a bit here considering Roger Dubuis has been fully owned by Richemont since 2016, but the former independent brand has continually caught the eyes of collectors due to their horological prowess. This unique Excalibur Automatic Skeleton DBEX0986 stands out with its 42mm x 12.4mm rose-gold case, diamond-set bezel, and skeletonised caliber displayed front, back, and centre via the open dial and caseback. The caliber finishing is irrefutably top-notch, with the watch and caliber carrying one of the most respected certifications of Haute Horlogerie: the Poinçon de Genève. Every single component is laboriously finished by hand, conveying the utmost artisanal watchmaking skill that heavy-hitting collectors love. Here we have a touch of pink via its outer minutes and hours track, along with its matching leather strap.

Estimate: $83,500 USD

Sinn U50 S Pink Dial

When I think about robust watches, Sinn is always top of mind. The German manufacturer stands apart with their incredibly scratch-resistant German Submarine steel, further enhanced with a regiment coating that I have had personal experience with in my own collection. Even after months and months with it being worn on my wrist, my limited-edition Sinn U1DS “Grinded Dial” has yet to display any blemishes to its case and bracelet. If you looked at it you would think I never took it out of the box – seriously. That is why I believe whoever scores this unique Sinn U50 S Pink Dial has added a serious, yet playful, heavy hitter to their collection that will be a huge talking point at any watch meetup. The black hard coated regiment Submarine steel case is 41mm x 11.15mm, and provides great contrast to make the bold pink dial really come alive against it. Inside you have a Sellita SW300-1 automatic movement with 38 hours of power reserve.

Estimate: $3,500 USD

Tank Louis Cartier Limited Edition Print, ‘Fuschia’, 1/1 from artist Julie Kraulis

Watch collectors are not only enthusiast of watches, but often art as well. In this instance, however, it is not one or the other – you get to combine your passion with a 1/1 print of a ‘Fuchsia’ Cartier Tank Louis courtesy of artist Julie Kraulis. She is well-known for her graphite drawings that focus on horological designs, nailing the details that make the pieces so special and coveted to collectors around the world.

Revolution Watch explains: “One of the most iconic watches of all time, the Tank is effortlessly timeless and transcends any era of style. Louis Cartier designed the prototype in 1917 taking inspiration from the Renault FT tank. The artist created this artwork enthralled by the idea that one of the most elegant design objects of the 20th century was inspired by a war machine; the idea that something can be emptied of its negative content and repurposed for good. Woven inspiration is kept simple in this piece with five rivets from the Renault FT tank placed on the straps. The time is set to 7:22 (or 19h22) for the year the Tank Louis Cartier was first released.”

Estimate: $800 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.