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Our Top 10 Watches from Indie Watchmakers at the Upcoming Ineichen Watch Auction

Some seriously collectable pieces from indie watchmakers on display...

calendar | ic_dehaze_black_24px By Brice Goulard | ic_query_builder_black_24px 7 min read |
Top 10 Watches from Independent Watchmakers at Ineichen Auctioneers November Alchemy of Gold and Shades of Grey

We don’t often cover auctions at MONOCHROME. Classic vintage watches, such as your regular 1960s Submariner or Daytona, are not our speciality or our primary focus. But since independent watchmaking is on the rise and has gained immense interest recently among the collecting community, it has motivated us to look deeper into what the auction market has to offer. And as you might know, independent and creative watchmaking has always been a great source of interest for us here at MONOCHROME. Next weekend will be the watch sale by Zurich-based auction house Ineichen. Among the many watches offered, two themed auctions will take place: Alchemy of Gold and Shades of Grey. And yes, there are some pretty interesting indie watchmakers represented.

Ineichen Auctioneers is an auction house that specialises in watches and jewellery. Founded in 1973 and based in Zurich, it’s the oldest auction house with a focus on watches in Switzerland. This coming weekend – November 20th-21st – will be the house’s 175th watch auction, with over 200 lots presented, including the usual suspects – Rolex, Patek Philippe or Audemars Piguet (there’s an impressive selection of rare Royal Oak models if ever you’re interested) – but also a fine selection of watches produced by independent watchmakers. Think De Bethune, Gerald Genta, Urwerk and a wide selection of Chaykin watches (something you don’t see that often). In addition to the classic auction, two thematic sub-auctions will be presented, Alchemy of Gold and Shades of Grey, with a pretty sweet selection of indie watches. And here are our top 10 lots to follow.

Andersen Geneve Minute Repeater

Estimate CHF 15,000 / CHF 20,000

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The first lot to catch our attention from the Alchemy of Gold collection is a deceptively simple watch. Look at it in a glance, and you’ll only see a pretty simple 3-hand watch. But, two things of importance. One, it’s a watch produced by one of the most revered contemporary watchmakers, Svend Andersen. Second, it is a minute repeater watch with an antique hand-wound movement inside. And that, combined with a fairly low estimate and given the provenance of this watch, makes this lot something that needs to be tracked closely. You can see more details about lot 02 here.

Vianney Halter Antiqua Perpetual Calendar Yellow Gold

Estimate CHF 50,000 / CHF 100,000

If there’s one watch that could define the entire work of master watchmaker Vianney Halter, it could well be the Antiqua Perpetual Calendar. Bold, uniquely designed, oddly attractive, infused with a massive dose of steampunk, this watch caused a stir when the independent watchmaker revealed it in 1998. Subtitled “Relic of the Future Past”, it is defined by its porthole-inspired display with framed sub-dials for each indication partially protruding from the petite 36mm base case. Under this complex display is an equally fascinating movement with an invisible oscillating weight. Here it is presented in yellow gold with silver-plated sub-dials and comes with a box and papers. You can see more details about lot 11 here.

Ineichen Auctioneers November Alchemy of Gold

Daniel Roth Perpetual Calendar Skeleton

Estimate CHF 15,000 / CHF 20,000

You can’t miss a Daniel Roth watch. Somewhat overlooked for far too long, the independent watchmaker is in the limelight again as some of his watches slowly but surely gain in collectability. Alongside tourbillons and the signature papillon models, the renowned watchmaker also created all sorts of complicated watches, and the skeletonised perpetual calendar presented as part of the Alchemy of Gold collection is quite attractive, to say the least. With a movement plate entirely hand-engraved and silvered “Breguet-style” sub-dials revealing the QP mechanism underneath, it makes a statement. And I’m sure it’ll look even better on a nice leather strap. More details about lot 12 here.

Ineichen Auctioneers November Alchemy of Gold

Konstantin Chaykin Mouse King

Estimate CHF 10,000 / CHF 20,000

We now switch to the Shades of Grey collection, starting with this cool, unusual and rather special piece… Looking at it, you can guess who the watchmaker is behind this unique creation. Russian independent watchmaker Konstantin Chaykin has been creating his Clown/Joker watch since 2017. One of his latest Joker-based watches, the titanium “Mouse King”, was launched in 2020 to celebrate the Chinese Year of the Rat. In addition to the new, bold style and theme used by Chaykin, this watch also introduced a new Vaucher base movement to power the in-house rolling eye display. And keep in mind that we’re talking about a very rare watch, with only seven examples manufactured – the present one is number 5. More details about lot 02 here.

Ineichen Auctioneers November Shades of Grey

F.P. Journe Vagabondage I

Estimate CHF 50,000 / CHF 100,000

The Vagabondage is, without a doubt, one of the most fascinating series of watches created by F.P. Journe. Entirely different from the usual round models of the brand, this series started with the present watch, the Vagabondage I of 2005, with a focus on jumping indications. The first model in this sub-collection, a limited edition of 69 watches in platinum, features a jumping hour and wandering time display, with a balance wheel placed right in the middle of the dial. Here, a window “catches” an hour printed on a rotating disc and then travels around the dial for the coming hour, pointing to the minutes. Probably the most balanced of all three models, this 2006 example is presented with a certificate of authenticity. More details about lot 05 here.

Ineichen Auctioneers November Shades of Grey

F.P. Journe Vagabondage II

Estimate CHF 50,000 / CHF 100,000

In addition to the previous watch, Ineichen will also offer a Vagabondage II, a watch released in 2010 that marked the evolution of the Vagabondage series. Part of a limited run of 147 watches – 69 pieces in platinum, 68 pieces in red gold and ten pieces in platinum with baguette diamonds – this second opus is a watch with jumping indications, both for the minutes and the hours, with the help of three independent discs. The partially tinted sapphire crystal reveals the solid gold movement underneath, contrasting with the cold platinum case. The present example, number 14, is offered as lot 06 here.

Ineichen Auctioneers November Shades of Grey

F.P. Journe Tourbillon Souverain Ruthenium

Estimate CHF 100,000 / CHF 200,000

The Tourbillon Souverain is certainly one of the most emblematic watches ever created by François-Paul Journe. Actually, this was his first-ever wristwatch back in the late 1990s. This tourbillon with remontoire d’égalité would be presented in different generations and multiple editions, but the one here is quite special, being part of the Ruthenium collection. What makes it unique is the use of ruthenium coating on the dial and movement (yes, we’re talking brass movement here), housed in a platinum case of 40mm. Part of a limited edition of 99 pieces, the present example (with an extract from the Archives) is number 50, and it’s a rare occasion to add a brass-made tourbillon by F.P. Journe to your collection… and not any kind, thanks to its unique dial. More details about lot 14 here.

Ineichen Auctioneers November Shades of Grey

F.P Journe Chronomètre a Resonance Ruthenium

Estimate CHF 100,000 / CHF 200,000

Equally rare and attractive, and showing the same spirit, is this Chronomètre a Resonance Ruthenium. Again an immediately recognisable watch thanks to its movement with twin balance relying on the concept of resonance, this is a spectacular watch. Made of platinum and housed in a 40mm case, this watch also shows a special ruthenium-coated dial and, as explained below, a brass-based movement with the same dark grey coating. Also part of a limited run of 99 watches, it comes with box and papers and would make quite a pair with the tourbillon above. More details about lot 15 here.

Ineichen Auctioneers November Shades of Grey

Vianney Halter Antiqua Perpetual Calendar White Gold

Estimate CHF 50,000 / CHF 100,000

If one Vianney Halter Antiqua Perpetual Calendar was not enough, the Ineichen Shades of Grey collection offers a second model… And not any kind, but a stunning white gold version with gold-coloured sub-dials… The combination of white metal with such warm dials is truly spectacular. The watch is, otherwise, identical to the yellow gold model above. The present example, made in 1999, was first sold by Ginotti (Antwerp, Belgium). More details about Lot 16 here.

Ineichen Auctioneers November Shades of Grey

Urwerk 103-EW

Estimate CHF 10,000 / CHF 20,000

Last but not least is one of our all-time favourites from Urwerk, the UR-103, here presented in a fluted white gold edition named EW. Futuristic but still entirely focused on traditional watchmaking, this edition of the 103 might well be one of the most intriguing, with its small arched window revealing the mechanism of the wandering hours and its textured case almost entirely covering the top of the watch. A true horological UFO with an impressive personality, it was produced in a limited series of 25 watches. The model here is number 11 and was manufactured in 2007. More details about lot 17 here.

Ineichen Auctioneers November Shades of Grey


You can consult all the watches to be auctioned next weekend – November 20th and 21st, 2021 – by Ineichen Auctioneers here, at ineichen.com.

https://monochrome-watches.com/auction-top-10-watches-from-independent-watchmakers-upcoming-ineichen-watch-auction/

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