Contemporary Classics at Monaco Legend GroupBy Ross Povey
Modern, classic watchmaking has never been more in demand than at the current time. Whether an intriguing creation by an independent watchmaker or highly in demand modern piece by one of the goliath brands, we are witnessing what could be termed hyper-demand for rare and interesting watches. Davide Parmegiani and Claude Cohen both recognise this and have embraced this brave new world by curating a selection of watches that will appeal to all watch lovers, whatever their ‘poison’. Monaco Legend Group’s October sale includes such pieces. According to Parmegiani: “Our rapid growth in the world of watch auctions is largely down to the attention and passion we put into selecting the out of the ordinary collectable timepieces for our friends and customers.”
When it comes to barrier breaking watchmaking, one watch that always comes to mind is the Harry Winston Opus series. Launched in 2001, the Opus watches were collaborations with some of the world’s leading watchmakers with the aim of redefining how we tell time. Lot 136 is an example of an Opus 9, which was a collaboration with two independent forces in watchmaking – watchmaker Jean-Marc Weiderrecht and designer Eric Giroud. Diamond-set watches are nothing new, but the use of gems in the Opus 9 was revolutionary in that the time is read using two parallel diamond-set chains with two mandarin garnets on the chain that represent the hour and minute ‘hands’. The watch is housed in a not insignificant 45x55mm white gold case and was made in an edition of 100 pieces. The example in the sale is number 65.
When it comes to special order Patek Philippe unique pieces, Lot 123 is about as special as yu could imagine. The watch was made for the founder of Creative Artists Agency and ex-President of Walt Disney, Michael Ovitz and even has his monogram on the calendar and monophase sub dial. The reference 5139G measures 38mm and features perpetual calendar, moonphases, 24-hours and leap year indicator. What sets the watch apart from any other, however, is the incredibly clean dial in blue lacquer with applied Breguet hours and leaf-form white gold hands. The reference 5139 was first introduced in 2008 and harks back to the early 1970s and reference 3520 which was the first reference to feature the classic “Clous de Paris” bezel style.
Staying with the theme of Classic Patek Philippe’s, Lot 150 is a platinum minute repeater reference 5078P that is a stunning as it is rare. Made in 2010 the watch has an utterly timeless white enamel dial with black Roman hours. The grand complication minute repeater houses a double-gong chiming mechanism that marks the hours, quarter hours and minutes. The sapphire caseback gives the beholder the opportunity to admire the incredible craftsmanship of the complicated movement. Truly stunning!
Lot 144 is a very rare Patek that dates to 2012 in the form of a steel split-seconds chronograph. The split seconds chronograph from Patek is a rare beast indeed, with only a small number being made. The very first came in 1923 as a yellow gold officer watch. Between 1938 and 1971 around 165 examples of reference 1463 were made which was succeeded by reference 1563. At Baselworld 2010 the reference 5950/A was launched in a style that harked back to the 1920s and 30s style of classic watches. Lot 144 dates to 2012 and is a rare example of a steel cased complication from Patek, as most were made in precious metals. Whilst a very modern watch, the styling is really classic and I’m sure this watch will perform incredibly well.
Moving onto one of the greatest powerhouses of modern watch making, Audemars Piguet. The October Exclusive Timepieces sales has a number of exceptional pieces by AP, including a rare and interesting Royal Oak Concept. The Royal Oak Concept was created in 2002 to celebrate 30 years of AP’s most iconic creation and this watch features a 44mm Alacrite case, a cobalt-based alloy that is used extensively in the aerospace industry and was used for a watch for the first time with the RO Concept. The watch houses a skeletonized dial with tourbillon, vertical inline power reserve indicator and dynamographe indicator at 12. The watch is one of 150 pieces that were made and is an important watch in the history of one of Gerald Genta’s most important designs.
Sticking with the Royal Oak, Lot 205 is a Quantieme Perpetual calendar in steel and platinum. The reference 25636SP has a perpetual calendar and moonphase that are presented with a skeletonized dial. The steel case has a platinum bezel and was made in a tiny run of 25 pieces, making this exceptionally rare. Importantly for a steel Royal Oak, the case remains in really crisp condition and the watch comes with an AP Archive Extract. And if you want one completely made in platinum, Lot 280 is for you. Another Royal Oak QP with skeletonized dial, this watch dates to 1990 and also remains in stunning original condition.
Finally, one of the biggest success stories of recent years has been the Bulgari Octo range of watches. You know we love them here at Revolution, but Lot 236 is something quite incredible and is fore sure one of the most eye-catch watches of the sale. The Octo was first launched in 2012 and has quickly become one of the hottest watches of the past decade. The watch at Monaco Legend Group dates to 2019 and is in white gold and entirely set with diamonds. Not just the dial or case or bracelet…literally everything! To be precise, according to the catalogue the dial is set with 192 baguette-cut diamonds and one rose-cut diamond at a combined 7.74 carats of VVS grade diamonds…just the dial! The case, bracelet and crown have a further 979(!) baguette-cut diamonds making the entire watch come in at over 50.25 carats. When you look closer the gem-setting is incredible and it is made even more impressive when you consider that the watch is entirely set with baguette cut diamonds. I can pretty much guarantee you won’t get out-blinged if you ever rocked this amazing watch!
The Monaco Legend Group Exclusive Timepieces sale will take place on 17th October 2021 at the Hotel Hermitage in Monaco. For more information click here.
There will also be a special ‘Cartier 88’ sale featuring rare and exclusive Cartier pieces on 16th October 2021 at the Hotel Hermitage in Monaco. For more information click here.