The Uber-Wealthy in the world have a lust for rare watches. A bidding war will commence over these rare watches in Geneva, Switzerland. They will zoom in on private jets across the globe. Arriving will be Wall Street wizards from New York, Hong Kong real-estate Kings, and the oil sheiks from the Middle East en route to Geneva for one of the rarest watch auctions. Their passion for owning these rare watches is all-consuming.
THE UNIVERSALLY EXALTED RARE WATCH CHARITY AUCTION CALLED “ONLY WATCH” RETURNS THIS FALL TO GENEVA SWITZERLAND
Every November and May, the world’s auction houses are presented by auctioneers like Phillips, Christie’s, and Antiquorum, selling the rarest watches on the planet. They come to Geneva to set up for the Rare Watch auctions; Switzerland is where the world’s wealthiest battle for some highly anticipated rare watch sales. And as one might expect, these multimillion-dollar events draw watch fans and super-rich folks alike, all looking to add to their collections of exquisite timepieces and rare watches, like Patek Philippes and Rolexes.
But of the significant houses taking rare watches to the Peace Capital, it’s Phillip’s Geneva Watch Auction that is causing the most considerable stir this year. You might not have known it, but this past weekend was one of the biggest weekends for the watch industry this year — at least in Geneva. It was kicking off with the annual Grand Prix d’Horlogerie Genève. Also called “the Oscars of the watch world,” which awarded 18 prizes for the most exquisite timepieces of the year, the weekend quickly transitioned into a weekend of auctions and incredible sales, with events presented by Phillips, Antiquorum, and Christie’s.
The most significant of these was Only Watch 2021, presented by Christie’s, one of the most famous and attention-grabbing watch auctions of the year because the rare watches up for bid are all unique exquisite timepieces created especially for the auction. The event continues to serve as a critical launchpad for some of the most experimental work in the rare watch industry; The widely praised charity auction, Only Watch, returned this fall, with 54 watch brands announcing their participation and 53 total lots set for sale. As in previous years, watchmakers submit exquisite timepieces, extremely rare watches for auction.
One Must Never Underestimate F.P. Journe. The Grand Prize winners for the most expensive Rare Watches
Three different exquisite timepieces from F.P. Journe broke the million-dollar mark in Geneva: Two at Phillips and a third at Only Watch. Not only was the million-mark passes, but they also destroyed it. The Chronomètre à Résonance “Souscription” sold for $4,242,030.00, the Tourbillon Souverain à Remontoir d’Egalité “Souscription” sold for $3,850,458.00, and the FFC Blue for Only Watch reached $ 4,894,650.00.
The F.P. Journe + Francis Ford Coppola FFC Blue Sells for Over $4,894,650.00. At Only Watch 2021, A New Record
NOVEMBER 06, 2021
In front of 850 collectors, brand representatives, and press in Geneva’s Palexpo today, the F.P. Journe × Francis Ford Coppola FFC Blue sold for CHF 4.5 million, breaking the record for an F.P. Journe watch and for the hammer price of a timepiece from an independent maker.
This is the third time in a row that Journe’s contribution to Only Watch has broken the million-dollar mark and stunned the horological world in the process, following the Monopusher Split-Seconds Chronograph at CHF 1.15 million in 2017 and the Astronomic Blue at CHF 1.8 Million in 2019. The FFC Blue more than doubled the 2019 result, hammering for $4,894,650.00 becoming one of the most expensive timepieces by an independent maker at auction, breaking the GBP 3,615,000 record set by the George Daniels Yellow Gold Space Traveller’s I at Sotheby’s in 2019 (the Daniels, with buyer’s premium, went for CHF 4,451,146.12 at the current exchange rate. As of February 2019, Sotheby’s charges a buyer’s premium of 13.9% of any amounts over $4,000,000/£3,000,000). However, it wasn’t enough to top what, a day earlier, had been achieved by the Philippe Dufour Grande & Petite Sonnerie No.1 at Phillips Geneva Watch Auction XIV: an all-in price tag of CHF 4,749,000
Although it had an estimate of CHF 300,000 – 400,000, there was no lack of grand expectations on the FFC Blue. Numbers I heard tossed around by in-the-know collectors had the watch around the five-million-dollar mark. And for a moment, I thought we were going to get there. The lot started with two men yelling one million and two million at the same time. It quickly jumped to three million. Then four. Which is where it paused for a moment. A few minutes later, the bidding stopped at CHF 4.5 million
The FFC Blue joined – surpassed, really – an already strong day for independent watchmakers at Only Watch. The Akrivia Chronometre Contemporain II reached CHF 800,000, and the collaboration watch between Kari Voutilainen and De Bethune broke CHF 1 million. Shortly after the Journe watch closed, the H. Moser Streamliner Cylindrical Tourbillon hit CHF 750,000.
The Hand of Time a truly Exquisite Timepieces and one of the Rare Watches on Earth
This year, F.P. Journe celebrates the 20th anniversary of the automatic Octa Calibre 1300 in all its forms. This latest opus is the ultimate version of the legendary model, with an automaton powered solely by the Octa movement’s mainspring. As one might expect, this was no easy task. The minutes are driven by a rotating disk located at noon, while the mobile fingers appear or disappear instantaneously, indicating the hours by their position. The fingers were inspired by a mechanical hand created by Ambroise Paré (1509-1590), the father of modern surgery.
“This watch was born in 2012 while having dinner at Francis Ford Coppola’s house in the Napa Valley. He asked me if it could tell time with a hand in a watch. I replied that the idea was interesting and required thinking about it. But how to display 12 hours with five fingers? It was not easy, and this complex challenge inspired and motivated me. Once I figured it out, Francis immediately sent the sketches for the fingers’ positions. After more than two years, I could finally focus on “Fecit.” After seven years of development, I am proud to present the FFC prototype”.
A unique Tantalum case and blue hand, in the same vein as other F.P.Journe Only Watch timepieces in years past.