Watches are not only an attribute of status; they are also real pieces of art. Connoisseurs collect watches with their utmost seriousness and passion and spend years searching for unique rare models. Nine facts from the world of collectable models.
Moonphase indicator is by no means a rarity in the mechanism of modern watches. However, Rolex has released only two models with moonphase indicator in its history. The price of these watches called Rolex Stelline comes up to $1 million.
Often, watches become valuable not for precious jewels amount, but due to a new function or even for a text line on the dial. In 1963, Rolex produced a limited collection of Explorer with a mark “Space-Dweller” that was released for the Japanese market. This small detail has increased the model cost eight times.
The rarest pieces go under the hammer of the Sotheby’s Auction House during the Important Watch Sales. Watch auctions are held following each other in the three cities: New-York, Genève and Hong Kong. Prices for extra valuable models exceed millions of U.S. Dollars.
Second rating score of the most expensive watches in the world is taken up by the Hublot diamond watch bought by Beyonce for $5 millions.
It is difficult to name a more iconic figure in the contemporary watchmaking industry than Mr. Jean-Claude Biver, Chairman of the Management Board of Hublot, President of LVMH Watch Division and General Director of Tag Heuer. During his guidance the manufacture created the first-ever watch made of gold and rubber, bright red ceramics, carbon fiber and unique gold alloy called “Magic”. This year the company released the breakthrough model Hublot MP-05 LaFerrari with a record 50-day power reserve, for which Hublot has won the fame among the collectors for breakthrough and most innovative watches design.
The watch that has never been exposed for sale is a Jaeger-LeCoultre 101 one-of-a-kind model with the smallest caliber in the world. Queen Elizabeth II wore them on her crowning in 1953.
Vintage models are consiedered as most valuable. However, queues line up for new models as well. Thus, in 2016, a huge waitlist from two to five years long formed for the Rolex Cosmoghraph Daytona, presented on Baselworld. clock is dated to over seven centuries. It was mounted on the tower of Cathedral Church in the Somerset, England. Throughout its entire history, it had never been down.
All images of watches including auction sale catalogues show the same time set on: 10:10 or 11:05. Marketing experts consider this time as “lucky”, as shape of the hand position reminds a smile and a V-symbol (for Victory). In terms of practice, it is reasoned that in this position the hands do not overlap and do not cover symbols and functions shown on the dial.
Usually, the most valuable and expensive watches become available for sale only after decades from creation. For instance the Rolex Reference 4113 Split Second Chronograph watch was manufactured in the forties in a limited edition of 12 copies and were presented to the leading racers of that time, such as Mr. Ettore Bugatti, a founder of Bugatti iconic car brand. Only 8 copies of the collection remain today. Mr. Paul Butte, Director of Watch Division under Phillips Auction House, notes: “the acquisition of such watches is equivalent to meeting a unicorn”.