This week we’re talking auctions, limited editions from Zenith and Oris, F1 branding and the land speed record
By Chris Hall
Something unusual: An FP Journe for less than £10,000?
Hidden towards the lower end of Phillips’ grandly titled “Geneva Watch Auction: Eight” catalogue is something that would cause the eye of any collector of fine things to linger: a pair of pens – one ballpoint, one fountain – produced by none other than FP Journe. Made from titanium and platinum with blue enamel coatings, they are apparently nearly untouched in nine years of existence, and numbered 7 of 500. Estimate CHF5,000 – 8,000. Check it out here.
Something to distract you: Watches of Knightsbridge’s latest catalogue
It’s auction season, so you’re going to be hearing a lot about the various sales from us over the coming weeks. Ahead of the stellar arrays of Geneva’s auctions, closer to home we have Watches of Knightsbridge’s sale on November 3rd. The catalogue is now out and we’ve been spending more time than is healthy poring over it in the QP office; there are a number of top-tier watches, of course, but also a good many tempting buys below £5,000. Go on, take a longer lunch break and get stuck in.
Something for a good cause: Oris Movember
Oris began working with Movember a couple of years ago, and while the initiative instinctively feels somewhat removed from the wheelhouse of your typical luxury watch brand, that’s Oris for you. Facial hair might not be as unfashionable as it was for the first decade or so of Movember’s existence, but you can’t argue with the causes it supports. This year, proceeds from sales of a new Big Crown Pointer Date will be donated to the Movember Foundation.
Something to make you think: Zenith X Bamford X Mr Porter
To make you think? Surely this is just a nice-looking chronograph? Case closed? Yes and no; it is very nice-looking indeed, and that’s the point. George Bamford’s Zenith designs are consistently outshining those of the brand itself – it can only be because they’re strictly limited in number (just 25 pieces) that they’re allowed to look this good, surely. And only available through Mr Porter – could any single watch speak more loudly about the state of the watch industry in 2018?
Something that will annoy Rolex (pt 1): Richard Mille sponsors Circuit Paul Ricard
Following the return of the French Grand Prix to the Formula 1 calendar, it has been announced that Richard Mille has signed a sponsorship deal with the circuit. Rolex is the official timekeeping sponsor of F1 and while we can’t imagine they’ll lose too much sleep over this, it’s another little nibble around the edge of its total branding dominance over the one sport that, for all its woes, brands still fall over themselves to grab a part of.
Something that will annoy Rolex (pt 2): Bloodhound project goes into administration
This is actually something that makes us sad, more than annoyed. After a decade of work and more setbacks than we can count, it is being reported that Project Bloodhound is facing insolvency and is looking to appoint administrators to help it fill a £25m gap in its funding. As timing partner and maker of the “Instruments of Speed” (dashboard clocks and speedometers to you and me) for the potentially-1000mph car, Rolex will be disappointed to see the project stumble yet again. And yet, the potential to turn it into a PR coup looms large: for a fraction of its annual profit (we assume, naturally) Rolex could underwrite the whole thing and be the ones to keep the land speed record attempt alive. Go on chaps, you know it makes sense.