Sunday, September 23, 2007

My thoughts on Antiquorum Only Watch Auction Results

After having a chance to review and contemplate all the results from this week charity action some results stuck in my head resulting in some thought-provoking opinions. Certainly whenever there are charity auctions one can hardly be in position to “accurately predict” or “judge” achieved valuations as in the end they’re (in most cases) a very generous (and tax free) contributions with an outcome of an exclusive plaything to boot. With that said taking out of the account the splendid amount of money raised for the worth cause some inordinate results stick out for one reason or another.

Granted the star of the show Patek’s one off Nautilus 5712 was expected to reach the sky not only owing to the uniqueness of it being a sole titanium model ever made, but as well due to the current inordinate Nautilus/Patek model demand (with the aspect to current certain geographical supply shortages). Considering the Pateks ever present ultimate luxury timepiece cache, adding the exclusivity of such piece unique and Voilà we have a creation of worldwide appeal to many present bidders all resulting in an instant collector blockbuster. The price achieved (almost 600K Euro with fees) was indeed impressive, yet a bit shocking how steep especially when compared to some other rather underwhelming prices that were achieved for some quite outstanding pieces. Perfect example of such is GP’s Perpetual Calendar Financial which was a steal and certainly a great bargain for the lucky bidder. I know that GP doesn’t have the same marketing clout of some of the big names in horology, but to score an outstanding one off complication timepiece for probably less then you could get similar regular series model from a retailer does seem shocking to me. Same can be said for the Frédérique Constant’s ”Heart Beat Zerodur”. I mean where else can one get for around 10K Euro a pink gold piece unique with moon-phase indicator containing innovative Zerodur balance and Silicium escape wheel. Even the next highest priced DeWitt and Jean-Michel Wilmotte “Incognito” creation and Richard Mille/Philippe Starck model make sense owing to their relative unique pairings that most likely will never be repeated or be close to compare to anything similar from the creators regular line up. As great as that might be then I notice the really fantastic Vacheron Constantine Malte Tourbillon featuring a carriage bridge in platinum (a first for VC) for almost 3rd of that price – a relative bargain of 130K. OK so I can understand the appeal of some special collaboration, but to have such disparity present here I am left here really puzzled. Especially when I see the 50K higher price for that IMO horrid Frank Muller Crazy Something creation – I mean aren’t we over this hoopla at this point. Then just when I was feeling a bit better I noticed a figging “pink quartzy” Swatch and the always horrible abomination from Zenith to make me think WTF is wrong with some of this bidding people? In the end after reviewing all I do calm down realizing that most watches realize 1.5 to 2.5 times their relative value for comparable series watches which makes a perfect sense at this point.
In the end I am smiling because the total of 2.7 million Euro raised is for medical Research on Duchene Muscular Dystrophy leaving me and my insignificant thoughts all flailing in the dust of big picture insignificance.

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Daily thoughts, musings & interests about anything (mostly horology) that currently makes my soul & grey matter tick.