Vintage & Auctions

The Hottest Lots from Ineichen’s Upcoming “Complications: Skeletons & Tourbillons” Auction

The Zürich-based auction house is gearing up for its “Complications: Skeletons & Tourbillons” auction, which begins on Saturday, October 29th, at 14:00 CET.

By Marco Gabella
Chairman & Executive Publisher

Zürich auction house Ineichen Auctioneers has crafted a unique identity that is easily recognizable and sets them apart from all other auction houses. Since introducing its themed auctions (which feature only 50 lots) in 2021, Ineichen has clearly changed the rules of the game.

And their unique, themed auctions – like “La Vie en Rose,” “Precious Blues,” and “Royal 50” – offered up some real Grail watches and created immense enthusiasm in the watch collecting world.

Furthermore, in May 2022, the house decided to stop charging the traditional buyer’s premium for items sold at its auctions. And that, to say the least, was another game-changing announcement.

Auctioning Itself?

Then, on May 28th, 2022, when Ineichen auctioned 0.5% of the total share capital for CHF 210,000 (approx. $216,000), it gave the company a corporate valuation.

As a result of this success, a month-long auction, called “The New Co-Owner(s),” started on July 20th and ran until August 20th, with a total of 33% of Ineichen Zürich AG were put up for sale. And although it was a bit larger than Ineichen’s signature themed auctions, the catalog for “The New Co-Owner(s)” auction was pretty straightforward: There were sixty-six lots, each offering 0.5% of the total share capital. The bidding for each lot started at CHF 210,000.
 

In the end, twenty-two bidders from eleven countries bid a total of CHF 151,447,500 to achieve a maximum 33% stake in Ineichen. The average bid per lot was CHF 238,500, bringing the total company’s valuation to CHF 47,700,000.

It’s Complicated

Next on the docket is the “Complications: Skeletons & Tourbillons” auction, which begins on October 29th at 14:00 (2:00 pm) CET. This themed auction of 50 lots will take place in Zürich and, of course, online.

Luckily, Watchonista had the chance to go through the “Complications: Skeletons & Tourbillons” auction lots, and we are delighted to share with you some of the gems we spotted.

Stunning Breguet Pieces, Including Sleeper Gems

If no fewer than five astonishing Breguet tourbillons are not enough to grab your attention, the auction’s three non-tourbillon Breguets certainly grabbed mine. Specifically, three early Tradition models, including the watch Nicolas Hayek created to relaunch Breguet and make the brand’s inimitable style known to the public.

The first two, Lots 3 and 6, are early 38mm yellow and white gold Tradition References 7027 that should be followed closely once the action starts. Introduced in 2005, the Breguet Tradition was the first wristwatch to display a reversed calibre on the dial side of the watch. The Ref. 7027, discontinued in 2015, put the brand back on the map, yet it was (and still is) a bit underrated by the wider collector community.
 

The third, Lot 8, is a gorgeous 38mm white gold Breguet Tradition 7037 with a rhodium-plated automatic movement, openworked dial, and dark blue alligator leather strap.
 

A Daniel Roth Anthology

Hailed as a modern master of complications, Daniel Roth is also known for intricate skeletonized versions of his watches, as lots 23, 25, and 27 demonstrate. But for me, Roth’s double-faced tourbillons in their distinctive double ellipse-shaped “Ellipsocurvex” cases present an almost unheard-of level of refinement and impact. And there are three up for grabs.
 

The rose gold Lot 24 and white gold Lot 26 are Tourbillon Double Face 8-Days Power Reserve models and iconic examples of watchmaking rebirth and resurgence in the 1990s and 2000s.
 

Another important Daniel Roth piece in the upcoming Ineichen auction is Lot 28. Featuring a Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Retrograde Date “XV years” Limited Edition made of platinum, this lot represents one of just fifteen pieces produced to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Roth manufacture.
 

At that time, mastering a perpetual calendar was the highest horological achievement you could attain, and if you added a tourbillon to the equation? That is an advanced mechanical wonder.

Two Cartier Pièces Uniques

Proving they know how to create a serious and substantive catalogue with only 50 lots, Ineichen Auctioneer mixes together the most relevant pieces that match a theme and zeitgeist, including a few unique or extremely limited references.

Take, for example, the Tank Louis Cartier Skeleton CPCP of Lot 19 and the Cartier Rotonde Skeleton CPCP of Lot 20. These two lots are pieces unique from the prized Collection Privée Cartier Paris (CPCP), which ran from 1998 to 2008.
 

Made under client commission, these two one-of-a-kind Cartier watches represent not only ultra-contemporary creations but also ultra-rare timepieces – the sorts of rare birds you might see flying around only once an auction.

Skeletonized Girard-Perregaux Laureatos

With the reintroduction of the Laureato collection in 2016, Gerard-Perregaux not only revived an always-appreciated watch with an integrated metal bracelet but also created some extremely desirable skeleton pieces within the Laureato’s design DNA.

Mixing the sporty vibe of the Laureato collection with the refinement of skeletonization, Lots 34 and 37 are particularly compelling. A non-limited rose gold model and stainless-steel piece, respectively, to me, these skeletons are extraordinary for their graphic look and proportions. Then there is the sharp and captivating Lot 39, a Girard-Perregaux Laureato Skeleton made of black ceramic with a skeletonized blue dial and applied indices.
 

Finally, Lot 36, a Girard-Perregaux Laureato Flying Tourbillon Skeleton, displays the beautiful GP09520-0001 calibre produced exclusively for the skeletonized version of the timepiece.
 

More For Your Radar

All the lots in the upcoming “Complication: Skeletons & Tourbillons” auction are stand outs. And while it was difficult to home in on what to highlight, here are a few final gems to keep your eye on.

Lot 10 – One of the 30-piece-limited Vacheron Constantin Medicus Chronograph Skeleton models, this platinum beauty is a real masterpiece for its subtitle play between openworked and engraved areas.
 

Lot 22 – A pure hymn to skeletonization, this IWC Skeleton Portuguese Minute Repeater in rose gold offers a unique and fascinating view of complexity in action. You will end up activing the minute-repeater functions to look at it as much as you will to listen to it.
 

Lot 30 – As one of four desirable De Dethune lots, this Dream Watch Three Tourbillon stands out for me. Between its uncommon case design, openworked blue dial, golden indices, and tourbillon display at 6 o’clock, this lot represents the mechanical watchmaking renaissance of the past few decades.

 

Lot 41 – Last but not least, this MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual Calendar in yellow gold with a blue three-dimensional dial is the kind of unicorn every watch collector should be attracted to. Launched in 2020, this 25-piece limited edition’s perpetual calendar movement (designed by Stephen McDonnell) is already a modern classic for its major improvement on a traditional complication.
 

You can register and pre-bid for the next Ineichen Auction, “Complications: Skeletons & Tourbillons” now.

(Images © Ineichen Auctioneers)

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