The Auction Hammer – TME01

calendar | ic_dehaze_black_24px By Martin Green | ic_query_builder_black_24px 4 minute read |

Antiquorum is preparing itself for yet another auction in Hong Kong. This city is not only a thrilling place by itself, it is also a city where watches are more than appreciated! To meet the cities passion for high end horlogerie Antiquorum has once again succeeded in an impressive array of watches.

Amongst them a couple of very beautiful Jaeger-LeCoultre clocks, the usual high-end Pateks and….R2D2’s brother. Atleast that is what it seems like since its name and looks are just as exotic. The TME01 (Time Machine Experience) was created by Marc Alfieri, who in the past has also teamed up with Chaumet for which he created a special TME01 and Cabestan  with whom he developed the Sol Invictus, while he was also involved with Kronotype.

The most unusual thing about Alfieri is that he started out as a designer for high-end knifes, before he started to design watches. A high end watch is not the same as a knife, but it does give Alfieri a unique view on the subject and that shows. At a first glance the TME01 doesn’t look all that complicated. Sure it has a tourbillon, but mainly it is a very legible watch at which the time can be read in a fraction of a second.

A closer look reveals that the watch actually houses more complications than expected. A colorful subdial at the one o’clock position is the seconds and minute counter for the monopusher chronograph while a little lower, between two and three o’clock, we find a vertical thrust index. As if all this is not complicated enough, the watch also features a second time zone between four and five o’clock, and AM/PM indicator at six o’clock and a vertical power reserve meter between nine and ten o’clock. Although the power reserve meter doesn’t indicate the power reserve by means of numbers, but with a more intuitive use of color, this watch has an impressive power reserve of 120 hours.

It is a true accomplishment that all these functions where brought together on the dial in such harmony, while at the same time no sacrifice has been made to the readability of a single one of them.  Alfieri had a lot of ground to work with because with dimensions of 44 x 56mm this is one big watch! Too big? That is for the individual to decide but the rectangular shape works in the watch advantage as it the curved case to ensure a nice fit on the wrist. Another great treat that this watch has in store for its owner is the back. Although the glass back doesn’t show any interesting hidden features, it does give an inside in the unusual architecture of the movement. The baseplate is made out of carbon fibre and the titanium bridges are shaped like stitch of carbon fibre.

The back also reveals that the watch is powered by BNB. Industry insiders will immediately recognize that this is BNB Concept SA, a modern day high tech wizard workshop that was located in the town of Crans-près-Céligny, close by Geneva. Was is indeed the unfortunate word that has to be used because they had to file for bankruptcy in the first months of 2010. However, since they founding in 2004 they have created the mind blowing movements of for example the Romain Jerome Moon-Dust DNA, Concord’s C1 Quantum Gravity and of course their own La Clef du Temps Tourbillon, for which they also auctioned one off in the 2009 edition of the Only Watch auction. They also made a couple of movements for Hublot, and after the company folded it was also Jean-Claude Biver who offered all the talent of BNB refuge at Hublot.

The TME01 that Antiquorum auctions at 23 October in Hong Kong is made in titanium and pink gold, and is number 9 of 23, although Antiquorum states that no more than 10 have ever been made. The TME01 was also available with a solid titanium or solid pink gold case. The estimate is set quite modest, between 250.000 and 350.000 Hong Kong Dollars ( 23.000/33.000 euro’s or 32.000/45.000 USD), and seems to be a unique opportunity to acquire a unique watch. Click here to see lot 300 with the TME01.

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