Get Ready for Ineichen’s 50th Anniversary and Independents Auctions
Coming December 9, the Ineichen auction house will hold live and online auctions of some truly bid-worthy watches.
Founded in 1973 and specializing in watches, the Swiss auction house Ineichen is turning 50 years old. To celebrate, it’s—what else?—holding an auction. In fact, it’s holding two year-end events that promise to be nothing short of candy shops for collectors.
The first is specifically its 50th Anniversary auction, and it’ll be held live at the Metropol in Zurich on December 9th. The second is the Independents 2023 Part 2: Christmas Edition, and it’ll also start on December 9th but take place online and run through December 22nd. If you’re in Zurich, you can also see many of the lots from the Independents auction displayed in the window at the Metropol.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Gyrotourbillon I Ref. Q6002420 Limited-edition Prototype 0
You’ve probably heard of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Gyrotourbillon before. It’s bonkers. Not content with the notorious challenge of a standard tourbillon, the brand made one that not only rotates on two axes but is spherical in architecture. And then, they kept going, compounding the dazzling complexity of the watch with a perpetual calendar with retrograde displays, equation of time and more.
At the time it was introduced, in 2004, not many brands were producing anything comparable. This is an actual prototype of the watch featuring the caseback inscription “Limited Series Proto 0,” and Ineichen says that it’s “probably unique.”
As the boundary-pushing complexity of this watch is its reason for being, it’s fitting that it’s all on display with skeletonized dial and bridges allowing one to peer into its clockwork. Under a loupe, a mix of different finishes can be appreciated across its astounding circa 700 components. You can see an engraved plaque on the movement reading “Istanbul -0h 04,” believed to refer to a previous owner.
F. P. Journe Chronomètre à Résonance Ref. RN ‘The Second Generation’
The independent watchmaking superstar F.P. Journe can make even a simple, time-only watch an exquisite creation. But he rarely does that. More often, his watches are packed with complexity, horological creativity and design brilliance. This particular example is a case in point.
Mr. Journe is one of the few watchmakers that tackle the esoteric principle of resonance in watchmaking: two balance wheels in close proximity naturally synchronize, each canceling out rate deviations in the other for improved chronometry. It’s rare and a bit mysterious, but understanding it and then seeing it in action on your wrist actually kind of feels like a deep experience.
This lot is in the Independents 2023 auction (naturally), and it’s part of F.P. Journe’s second generation of resonance watches, nicknamed Résonance Nouveau (hence, “RN”). Not only does it feature the brand’s masterful and celebrated finishing as well as the fascinating resonance feature, but also a dual time function with two separate dials alongside a power reserve (42 hours) indicator. You’ll have to turn the watch over to see its two harmonious balance wheels beating away, and admire the 1499.3 movement with its solid 18 carat pink gold plates and bridges.
Cartier Tortue Monopoussoir Ref. 2396 caliber 045MC Mk2 ‘Unnumbered’
Cartier goes toe-to-toe with brands creating some of the most sophisticated haute horlogerie, but its storied name more typically stands for history, style, elegance and shaped watches. The Tortue isn’t currently part of Cartier’s collection, but it’s as well known as other recognizable designs from the Pasha to the Crash.
This Tortue was introduced as part of the Collection Privée Cartier Paris, produced in limited numbers from 1998 to 2008 and based on historic designs updated with modern movements. With a design base dating to 1912, it’s combined with a monopusher chronograph courtesy of a hand-wound movement developed by THA Èbauche, the company founded by famous independent watchmakers Vianney Halter, Denis Flageollet and F.P. Journe. Though most examples of this Tortue were numbered, a notable feature of this lot is its unnumbered mainplate.