Swiss watchmaker Hublot are observing their ongoing “HUBLOT LOVES ART” campaign by partnering with road artists Hush and Tristan Eaton. The outcomes of this collaboration are two new limited edition watches based loosely upon the theories of “Fame” and “Fortune,” as evidenced by Hollywood on America’s West Coast and Wall Street in New York’s Financial District respectively. Hush was tasked with designing “Fame,” in the form of the Hublot Spirit of Big Bang West Coast Ceramic Black and White. Tristan Eaton’s cooperation piece is therefore “Fortune,” in the form of this Hublot Classic Fusion 45mm Chronograph East Coast Bronze.Street artist Hush is representing America’s West Coast with his timepiece, in particular Hollywood and its association with fame. Although Hush is in fact established in London, he is known for his work with frescoes throughout Los Angeles, including regions of West Hollywood, Melrose, and Santa Monica. The Hublot Spirit of Big Bang West Coast Ceramic Black and White is Hush’s first collaboration piece with all the brand, designed around a monochromatic portrait of a posing girl who is unnamed but for some reason reminds me strongly of Milla Jovovich’s character in Zoolander.Tristan Eaton includes a creative agency called Thunderdog Studios situated in New York, and lots of his large-scale murals are featured in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The bronze case is intended to signify the iconic Charging Bull sculpture on the bowling green of Lower Manhattan. This is Eaton’s second collaboration slice with Hublot, using previously designed the Classic Fusion Aerofusion Concrete Jungle watch for its newest in 2016.
Back to the hublot watches minimum price Replica HUB6311 movement, it is performed in Ruthenium-coated Anthracite, also Hublot also boasts of an “imperceptible” crystal above the cage that holds the top part of the tourbillon utilizing a bridge. I’ll have to wait to watch this in action closely, but Hublot states the outcome is that the aesthetics of a flying tourbillon while supplying the stability of a tourbillon with two pivot points.The watch is 45mm wide but 14.8mm thick, which can be fairly thin, thanks partially to the manual-winding motion. The crown is at 4 o’clock with the chronograph pusher above it which Hublot asserts is an ergonomic choice – though I can envision an errant digit or thumb hitting the pusher accidentally when correcting the crown. That would be slightly annoying, even if the movement weren’t enough to start the chronograph. But I am just speculating and nitpicking here.The Hublot Techframe Ferrari Tourbillon Chronograph is a dramatic but not gaudy tribute to Ferrari’s 70th anniversary, although we don’t have pictures of this gold model yet, the ceramic and PEEK Carbon (that’s carbon made with especially long fibers for durability) look absolutely incredible to me. I’m a fairly big fan of Hublot, but I believe even people who say some of their offerings are “too much” will probably be able to enjoy the design here. Obviously, that appreciation will be done similarly to many admiration of Ferrari’s cars: by a space. Coming in 70 pieces of each version, the ceramic version will be priced at $127,000, the carbon version at $137,000, and also the King Gold version will cost $158,000. In Baselworld 2017, Hublot announced the Hublot MP-09 Tourbillon Bi-Axis, the latest chapter in their assortment of Manufacture Piece (MP) watches. Hublot made a persuasive 3-sided sapphire crystal case that tapers at 6 o’clock specifically to display the double turning of this bi-axial tourbillon. Not just the case was created to set the bi-axial tourbillon front and center, the new movement was created with maximum visibility of the mechanism in mind. So, yeah, this Hublot is all about being seen and the outcome is a watch that’s unlike any other.
Auctions are best suited to the sale of unique items that aren’t otherwise available on the market. For that reason, I always look forward to the interesting watches that are donated to the Only Watch auction series which is currently being run by the auction house Christie’s. Only Watch is an event that we’ve covered a lot over the years on aBlogtoWatch, and the next installment of this biennial auction sale will happen in Geneva on November 11th, 2017.
The Only Watch auction series isn’t as strong an event as it used to be, but its main theme continues to be respected. The idea is that watch brands submit unique watches made especially to be donated and sold at the auction. These are unique prototypes or are the first in a limited-edition series. The proceeds (minus all sorts of fees, I am sure) are to be given to Association Monegasque Contre le Myopathies (AMM) whose goal is to fund medical research to help treat a form of muscular dystrophy.
Only Watch is only as strong as the watches which are donated by watch brands. These are tax write-offs as well as a way to get publicity and an ego boost. Brands love to see their products go under the gavel and get bought up by collectors. With that said, there is nothing to stop brands from bidding on their own watches either directly or via a proxy. So, in my opinion, the actual numerical value of what the watches end up going for at the auction should be taken with a grain of salt. That same philosophy should be applied to the results of any auction, as they merely represent what one buyer, who happened to be present, was willing to do on that day.
This year, Only Watch decided to debut all of the watch auction lots on the same day, which is a departure from their more traditional tactic of slowly releasing watches over a several-week or several-month period. Nevertheless, certain brands didn’t quite get their acts together and get stuff done on time. I will go into that a bit more below. Another semi-new element to the auction is that many of the auction lots include an experience such as a trip or special meeting – along with the watch, of course. These experiences (which are not attached to all the lots, should help liven up the bidding quite a bit when the experiences prove as interesting as the timepieces.
A total of 49 lots will be auctioned off during the event in November that, unfortunately, won’t be able to benefit from the glitz of having an event in Monaco itself. With that said, the watches (well, the complete ones) will be traveling around the world “on tour” so that potential buyers can check them out. Click the link above to see if you are in one of the nine cities that will have the watches there for a few days at a time starting at the end of September 2017.
In the video that is embedded in this article, you can hear myself and David Bredan talk about all 49 of the watches/clocks. We spend just a few moments on each in order to bring you our take. This year’s lots aren’t bad as wearable items, but leave much to be desired when it comes to actually being interesting or unique. Allow me to go over some of the most interesting and important lots from Only Watch 2017. For a full list of the watches along with technical specifications and auction price estimates check out the watches at the Only Watch website.
Patek Philippe always uses this occasion to release a one-of-a-kind version with a titanium or steel case of an existing watch they produce or have produced. This year’s model is a bit more on the conservative side, but is very high-end and will easily be the auction’s top lot with a price that is almost guaranteed to be over a million dollars. The watch is the Patek Philippe 5208T-010, which is a version in titanium on a blue cordura strap of their perpetual calendar chronograph minute repeater. At 42mm wide, this is among the larger timepieces that Patek Philippe makes – and of course, it is considered to be a “grand complication,” which means it is far more exclusive than more standard Patek Philippe products. The 5208 is a really nifty Patek Philippe, and this version – like all the titanium or steel models for Only Watch – will be coveted by collectors.
Audemars Piguet offers a blue-dialed version of its all black ceramic Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar as the reference 26599CE.OO.1225CE.01. Audemars Piguet also points out that the caseback and the oscillating weight (rotor) on the movement are also ceramic – which I believe is a first for the ceramic Royal Oak models. It will go for a fair amount of money, but nothing mind-blowing, in my opinion. This is just another uncommon (in this instance, unique) watch for one of the world’s many Audemars Piguet fans.
The last Only Watch auction was the first that Tudor participated in, and even though their watch was among the lowest when it came to the auction estimate, it went for a really high price. Once again, Tudor comes to Only Watch with a small change on an existing model which is a lefty version with an olive green bezel and dial of the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze. They call it the Black Bay Bronze One, and it is the reference 7925/001. It isn’t the most amazing thing in the world, but it is pretty and it should attract a price likely several times what the stock Black Bay Bronze goes for. With the Tudor watch comes the experience of being invited to the Tudor headquarters in Geneva – a place that is normally not open to guests.
Ulysse Nardin’s Only Watch 2017 entrant isn’t all that original either, but pleasant enough, with a steel-cased version of the Marine Tourbillon known as the Ulysse Nardin Marine Tourbillon Only Watch. It has the same type of engraved and then blue enamel painted dial as this Ulysse Nardin Classic watch – so it should be truly striking in person. I would love one of these if I had the money.
I have a feeling that the second most valuable watch at Only Watch 2017 will be the piece submitted by F.P. Journe. Interestingly enough, there are two watches in the auction with movements produced by F.P. Journe’s Geneva factory. The F.P. Journe Chronographe Monopoussoir Rattrapante (chronograph monopusher split second) is likely going to be very nice looking in person. It begins with a unique tantalum case that is 44mm wide (bigger than pretty much anything F.P. Journe makes) and has a dial that is “blue chrome” with orange and yellow accents. The watch’s movement is further extremely beautiful being the caliber 1517 and was apparently developed just for the Only Watch 2017 auction. That makes it one of the few unique movements for the event. This watch has “half a million bucks” written all over it.