While most of the attention in the auction market last week went to the $24 million Patek “Graves Supercomplication”, there were a couple of neat Breguet pocket watches that sold last week at the Christie’s “Important Watches” auction in Geneva last Monday (November 10th, 2014). Both pieces were acquired by Marc A. Hayek (President and CEO of Breguet) on behalf of the house of Breguet. Most notable among the two historic gold pocket watches is this rare quarter repeating watch equipped with the first free escapement with natural lift ever made by Breguet. The Breguet N° 1135 (circa 1806) sold for a tidy sum of 605,000 Swiss Frances, or about $630,000, including premiums. This piece, in the present owner’s collection since 1983, fetched more than 2x its pre-auction estimate. As a fan of Montres Breguet (in fact the name of this blog was directly inspired by A.L. Breguet’s perpétuelles of the late 1700s), the No. 1135 strikes me (sorry for the pun) as a particularly noteworthy piece and a wonderful example of the talent of A.L. Breguet.
I was convinced of the potential of this unusual, distinctly oval form.”
-Audemars Piguet Artistic Diretor Octavio Garcia
The oval shape of AP’s Millenary design allows for a unique sort of three-dimensional depth such as that found in great architecture, one might suggest. And indeed, the pure form of the Millenary — a simple oval — drew inspiration from the Coliseum in Rome, according to Garcia. That, and earlier models from AP’s museum collection. Almost all Audemars Piguet Millenary models showcase on the dial side the intricate and hand-finished inner workings of the watch caliber. In the case of this new Millenary Quadriennium, we are treated to not only a very beautiful and distinctive watch, but also one with very practical mechanics.
Kevin Rose is a successful and highly-regraded technology entrepreneur and angel investor; among other active efforts, he is presently a General Partner at Google Ventures — but I first came to know of him back in the day as the founder of Digg. And with the launch of his latest app, it is no secret now that Kevin Rose is also a passionate watch guy as well.
I spoke with Rose this past week in advance of the launch of his new app for watch enthusiasts, Watchville. Watchville is described as “the easiest way to keep up with wristwatch news, aggregating the most popular watch blogs all in one place. Watchville also includes tools for the watch collector, including an atomic clock, leap year, and moon phase setting tool.” And that really is a pretty good descriptor! Isn’t it about time the watch community
On the content side, I liken Watchville to an RSS reader-type of format, but in a much, much more enhanced & curated manner. The content in the aggregated feed is from a select few blogs like Hodinkee, Ablogtowatch, Haute Time, us of course, and a couple others. On top of this, Rose has integrated an atomic clock, leap year, and a very neat moon phase calendar into the app — all of these features intended to give luxury watch owners a quick & easy reference to make sure their mechanical timepieces are properly set and keeping accurate time.
What’s missing? Well, this is probably a good start to see how the market will react to such a specific, niche app like this. I do think the app could accommodate a few more blogs, particularly given the ability to turn specific blog feeds on and off. And if Watchville goes big, a way to generate some ad revenue would also be nice.
Overall, as Rose told me, creating this app was essentially taking care of an itch that needed scratched. And I’m thankful for it. Congrats Kevin.
See you in Watchville!!
SIHH 2015 sneak peek…
The first major watch event of 2015 is right around the corner, and you know what that means: let the pre-releases begin! As usual, Officine Panerai shares with Perpetuelle.com readers a first look at one of the new watches to be presented in its 2015 collection. The new Panerai PAM 580 has an in-house automatic mechanical Panerai caliber (the P.9100) providing flyback chronograph timing capability. It is housed in an absolutely killer looking 44mm black ceramic case with a bead-blasted matte-finish.