My top 5 picks from the latest Ineichen auctionFergus Nash
At Time+Tide, we love a good auction. The thrill of the bids and the hunt for the bargains make them by far the most exciting way to go watch shopping, and there’s often some interesting and alluring products lining the catalogues. Zach and Ricardo have previously had their turns with Ineichen, but now it’s my go. The focus of their October sale focus is on complicated watches in every sense of the word. Some of the most impressive manufacturers to grace the world of haute horology are featured, such as MB&F, Girard-Perregaux, Daniel Roth and more.
MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual
MB&F aren’t just incredibly skilled at their craft, but also surprisingly prolific for a creator of such unique and creative watches. This Legacy Machine Perpetual is almost traditional by their standards, but it still manages to bewilder your senses with its array of visible components, sculpted bridges and elegant displays. The base of the “dial” is a blue so vivid and deep that it’s reminiscent of peacock feathers, showcasing the finishing of the metal beneath it spectacularly well. Paired with a yellow gold case, the Legacy Machine Perpetual oozes luxury and pulls you in, almost feeling like you’re wandering around inside a steampunk palace’s clock tower. Considering this limited edition of 25 was only released in 2020, the Ineichen October sale is a rare chance to get this collector’s piece early in its life.
In terms of specifications, the MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual doesn’t disappoint either. The 44mm diameter and 17.5mm thick size is exactly what you want out of a watch as bold as this, standing out from a distance to be noticed as well as being large enough to read the calendar details and clock easily. In case you were wondering just how complex this watch is, this perpetual calendar movement consists of 581 components, which is almost triple that of the average.
Estimate $80,000 – $100,000 USD
Daniel Roth Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Retrograde Date ‘XV years’
Improving a perpetual calendar by throwing in a tourbillon is a time-honoured tradition at this point, but I love the dedication from Daniel Roth to include a tourbillon without letting you see it from the dial. This Daniel Roth, whose model name is laughably long, was designed to celebrate the brand’s 15th anniversary back in 2004, hence the XV numerals embossed around the running seconds hand. Visually, the watch is like a hypnotic kaleidoscope meshing of Breguet and Cartier, with guilloché patterns surrounding the concentric circles of minute track, Roman numerals, and the retrograde date.
The case shape is unable to be described simply, with a silhouette of a circle that’s had two sides flattened into it. The bezel is then gently sloped and suddenly stepped, with long, straight lugs that give the whole thing a sense of Art Deco classicism. The back of the watch shows how small the movement really is, with a partly skeletonised winding rotor that lets you see the tourbillon cage rotating. It’s entirely polished, which makes the platinum metal almost glow on the wrist with white lustre.
Estimate $30,000 – $40,000 USD
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Minute Repeater
I am a massive Jaeger-LeCoultre fan, as most watch enthusiasts are, but this Master Minute Repeater takes on a fairy unusual look for the brand. Usually steeped in tradition and Art Deco cues, even with some of their modern or sporty pieces, the 2007 Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Minute Repeater could be mistaken for a completely different brand if you missed the logo applied to the underside of the sapphire crystal. It’s almost like the inner workings of a spaceship, with different shades of grey and silver coming together in a pleasingly symmetrical array of parts.
The regular hands are slender and skeletonised so that you have the minimum needed to check the time from the markers around the dial’s perimeter, as the watch eggs you on to use the minute repeater at any chance you get. The generous indicators on the left and right show you the watch’s 15-day power reserve and torque levels so that you know when the watch is capable of chiming, and then you can see the gongs sound as they’re attached directly to the sapphire crystal.
Estimate $30,000 – $40,000 USD
IWC Portugieser Minute Repeater Squelette
The word labyrinthian barely even begins to describe the intricate and hypnotic display of the IWC Portugieser Minute Repeater Squelette, but that’s the closest descriptor possible. The mass of components swirls regardless if it’s a static piece or a moving one, and this orchestrated chaos is what people dream about when they hear the word “skeletonised”. If you could show this watch to a curious 10-year-old, this would almost certainly ignite a passion for watches. This reference, first launched in 2004, was one of 50 pieces made in rose gold and it looks positively delectable with a caramel brown leather strap.
The Calibre 95911 is finished impeccably on both sides, with the Probus Scafusia hallmark guaranteeing IWC’s top levels of quality. You can see the minute repeater gongs which have been blued in the traditional heat-treating method, and enjoy the sound of their chimes on request.
Estimate $30,000 – $40,000 USD
Girard-Perregaux Laureato Flying Tourbillon Skeleton
The numbered edition of this Girard-Perregaux Laureato Flying Tourbillon Skeleton was launched in 2017, producing very small quantities of what could be one of the most attractive integrated-bracelet watches of all time. Here in 18k rose gold, the Laureato case shape glides lovingly down into the tapering bracelet, with horizontal brushing meeting polished lustre for a sophisticated and sporty look. The openworked dial is actually incredibly simple yet ornate in a way that doesn’t look real, as though it was a conceptual design that couldn’t possibly work as a watch.
Gently curved bridges and surrounds in a softly shining matte finish contrast phenomenally with the gold tones, having a relaxing effect whenever you check the time. The flying tourbillon is obviously the centrepiece of the dial, but the mainspring barrel on display helps to balance out the asymmetry nicely.
Estimate $60,000 – $80,000 USD
To see the rest of the watches available in Ineichen’s October sale, check out the link to their website here.