7 February 2015
Sold for HK$273,000
When watches such as this sell for relatively paltry sums one realises how utterly undeveloped the collecting world really is and how narrow the focus of its audience – by which I mean that the amount of money people are willing to part with for a really special watch is still dictated largely by the name on the dial.
Would, for example, this lot have made “only” HK$237,000 (which is a very reasonable £20,000 or so) had it been made by Patek Philippe? I doubt it – but who could possibly argue that the level of workmanship, finish and engineering excellence isn’t equal to that of Patek?
For my money (which, sadly, it wasn’t) this was a truly excellent buy, despite the fact that it was in “worn” condition with a case that had had a few knocks and a movement that would certainly benefit from a thorough service.
But look at it! A perpetual calendar, skeletonised movement based on the self-winding Vacheron Calibre 1120/1 (which is actually designed and manufactured by Jaeger-LeCoultre as the 920 and was used in the original Nautilus), complete with perpetual calendar and moon phase, and all inside an exquisite, elegant case measuring just 36mm in diameter.
I have no idea how many of these were made, but it seems unlikely that there were more than a couple of hundred at most – which, to my mind, makes this watch an outstanding bargain.