Our Highlights From The Upcoming “Complications: Dates & Calendars” Auction of Ineichen
A selection of fine calendar watches from established brands and praised indie watchmakers.
Ineichen, the fast-growing auction house based in Zurich, seems to have a thing for both modern, important watches as well as something that is dear to us, independent watchmaking. Following thematic sales focused on one specific material or an iconic watch celebrating its 50th anniversary, we’ve seen an October sale dedicated to tourbillons and skeletonization. Today, we’re announcing the second part of this thematic auction, this time devoted to date and calendar complications… And as you can guess, the selection of watches to be featured is certainly more about complex displays than the classic date window. Here are 5 of our favourites.
Ineichen’s “Complications: Dates & Calendars” sale will be taking place in Zurich and online on December 3th, 2022. It features 54 watches ranging from classic high-end calendars from established manufacturers like Vacheron Constantin or A. Lange & Söhne (with a wide range of Datograph models), as well as highly attractive 1990s and 2000s models from independent watchmakers. The catalogue of this Part 2 of a series that began with the October sale is now accessible and we’ve selected 5 watches that we believe are worthy of your interest. Note that Ineichen recently introduced “fixed price” options, which allow potential buyers with immediate interest to skip the bidding and buy at a fixed price. Unless the bidding reaches the fixed price level, this option remains accessible.
F.P.Journe Octa Chrono Ruthenium
There’s no need to explain the current hotness of F.P. Journe watches in auctions recently… These are probably the most sought-after timepieces from modern independent watchmaking currently. Of course, not all Journe watches were born equal, and the present example is a fine example of desirability. The Octa Chrono, an automatic watch presented in 2001, combines the classic self-winding Octa base Calibre 1300 with a chronograph module on top, featuring the brand’s classic double-digit date and an off-centred display, a signature style of the watchmaker.
This example is even more noticeable as it’s part of a limited run of 99 pieces, including in the rare Ruthénium Collection (the first limited edition collection of F. P. Journe). Cased in platinum, this collection was special thanks to its gold dials and movements that are dark grey coloured, being ruthenium-coated. Measuring 40mm in diameter, it’s also part of the early brass-made movement series and despite the multiple complications, it remains a slim and elegant watch. The production of the Octa Chronographe watch ceased in 2008, the brand replacing it with the Centigraphe Souverain chronograph, and the present example (33/99) is thus an important watch in the brand’s collection. It’s said to be in slightly worn condition, with an estimate of CHF 150,000 – CHF 200,000. A fixed price option is also possible at CHF 350,000. More details here.
De Bethune Perpetual Calendar DB15
Close behind Journe when it comes to highly popular independent watchmakers is De Bethune… The brand was founded in 2002 by a proper genius watchmaker, Denis Flageollet, helped by Italian vintage watch dealer David Zanetta. And while current designs are certainly highly appealing, there’s something rather special in the earliest models… Such as the 2004 Perpetual Calendar DB15, with the distinctive and extremely elegant cone-shaped lugs and a modern take on watchmaking classics.
This perpetual calendar, while traditional at first sight, comes with a lot of unique features, such as the 3D spherical moon indication (made of platinum and blued steel), a hidden leap year indicator, which is installed in the largest star of the decorative sub-dial and an in-house movement with 5-day power reserve, a 3-spoke titanium balance with platinum ogival weights under a long elastic steel tourbillon-like bridge. The movement has the brand’s signature shield-shaped barrel bridge and is superbly finished. The present example, in a 43mm white gold case, is offered in very good condition at an estimate of CHF 70,000 – CHF 80,000. A fixed price option is also possible at CHF 150,000. More details here.
Daniel Roth Masters Calendar
A favourite of ours, here at MONOCHROME, Daniel Roth has been one of the most important independent watchmakers of the late 20th century, being one of the main actors in the comeback of high-end mechanical watchmaking. In 1989, he founded his own brand after fifteen years as the leading watchmaker at Breguet, using this background to create his unique style, with a double ellipse-shaped Ellipsocurvex case design, instantly recognisable amongst watch collectors. Among all the watches made by Roth, the perpetual calendar is even more special, since its development (being a proprietary module) has been undertaken in collaboration with Philippe Dufour.
The present watch belongs to a series of semi-instantaneous perpetual calendars launched as a result of the second development path, powered by the Girard-Perregaux GP3300 as the new base calibre. This white gold example features a dial with a grey ruthenium finish and a vertical linear guilloché motif. This second-generation Daniel Roth Masters Calendar is offered in mint condition with an estimate of CHF 20,000 – CHF 25,000 and a fixed price option of CHF 50,000. More details here.
Christiaan van der Klaauw Astrolabium 2000
Known as the master of the planetarium watch, Dutch watchmaker CvdK or Christiaan van der Klaauw is currently under complete renewal, which makes us want to talk about older models in the collection too. The Astrolabium is not only a perfect example of the watchmaker’s work, but it’s also a watch that couldn’t be more Dutch (see the small windmill in the aperture at 12 o’clock…) In typical CvdK style, it displays astronomical indications that you’ll rarely see on other watches, such as the sun & moon position or the solar & moon eclipse indication.
In addition, there’s also a classic date and month calendar and the watch is powered by a highly decorated automatic movement that combines guilloche patterns and a sun-shaped rotor. The present example, encased in rose gold, measures 40mm and has a silver-toned guilloche dial. It is presented in good, yet slightly worn condition, with an estimate of CHF 15,000 – CHF 20,000 and a fixed price option of CHF 40,000. More details here.
Andersen Genève Chronometre Perpetual
Ending up this selection, we have another important independent watchmaker, who again participated in the renewal of high-end mechanical watchmaking, following the quartz crisis. Svend Andersen was a founding father of the Academy of Independent Watchmakers (Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendant, AHCI) in 1985, with a solid background at Patek Philippe’s Atelier des Complications. In the 1990s, with extensive experience with perpetual calendars, Svend Andersen undertook two extraordinary developments. The first was a double-sided perpetual calendar of a minimalist design (as presented here), as well as the extraordinary Perpetuel Secular Calender, which took into account a rare oddity in our calendar.
While visually very sleek, the Chronometre Perpetual is a watch with some tricks. While the dial only displays the time and the date, the back reveals an additional month and leap year indicator mounted on the back of the calibre, on top of the rotor… Produced from 1993 to 1996 and in very small quantities with a COSC-certified ETA 2892 as a base movement, the present example is made of white gold and is number 27 within the series. It is offered in very good condition with an estimate of CHF 15,000 – CHF 20,000 and a fixed price option of CHF 40,000. More details here.
where watches do not show how wonderful they are at first sight,
my procedure-steps is:
1. Check Crown design
2. Check hand-winding feel
3. Check movement sound
4. Check dial harmony
5. Check Case haptics
6. Check movement finish
7. Check dial finish
8. Check lugs and case details
9. Check strap and buckle details
10. Check for condition of the watch
To keep things simple.
only FPJ has a nice crown.
The others I wouldn’t even touch, as they lose on #1 step.