5 Surprising Results At The Ineichen Zurich Auction

Written by:Fabrizio Bonvicino|
9 minutes

The Ineichen Zurich watch auction ended a few days ago, bringing some impressive results. While most of the auction market is focused on Geneva, New York and Hong Kong, this time it’s the city of Zurich in the spotlight.

The auction session at Ineichen Zurich

The sessions were split into four parts, including two thematic auctions: 17 Shades of Gray and Alchemy of Gold.

For some time now, names or themes other than the classic descriptions have not been used in the auction market. It always goes like “10th Geneva auction”, or “Rare watches pt.2121831”, so we can say that Ineichen has managed to emerge, at least in our eyes.

Ineichen Zurich

Returning to the thematic auctions, 17 Shades of Gray included precisely 17 watches, all characterized by a white / gray metal such as platinum, steel, titanium or white gold. Just open the catalog to see how each of these lots fades in its own way between one photo and the next, with the names of the most coveted independent brands right now.

De Bethune “Reedition Speciale” DB10W

Among the 17 watches, an unusual DB10 in white gold stands out.

The history of this watch dates back to a particular era for the independent brand, it was still in its infancy. In terms of design, one can immediately recognize the ogival lugs that characterized the De Bethune of the time. The DB10 on auction was signed 19/20 on the case and featured an extremely simple dial with a rose gold date hand in the center.

Simplicity paid off in this case and rewarded the auction house and the brand with a result 5 times higher than the starting price.

Estimate: CHF 10.000 – 15.000

Price realised (tax included): CHF 50.000 / €48.000

F.P.Journe Vagabondage I and Vagabondage II

Two Vagabondage by F.P.Journe offer contrasting emotions, between those who love quartz and those who snub it. Apart from the opinions on the mechanism, these two watches represent an important moment for François-Paul Journe.

Actually, three watches were produced: I, II, III.

The history of Vagabondage dates back to the 30th anniversary of Antiquorum, for which François-Paul Journe created 3 unique pieces, which were then followed by a limited edition and some other special pieces. What characterizes these watches is the complication of jumping hours in I, jumping hours and minutes in II, and jumping hours and seconds (you read that right, seconds!) In III.

In auction at Ineichen there were the first two Vagabondages, which in addition to significantly exceeding the estimate, broke the previous record of Sotheby’s for number II.

VAGABONDAGE I (sx)

Estimate : CHF 50.000 – CHF 100.000

Price realised (tax included) : CHF 240.000 / €230.000

VAGABONDAGE II (dx)

Estimate : CHF 50.000 – CHF 100.000

Price realised (tax included) : CHF 225.000 / €216.000

The two Vianney Halter Antiqua Perpetual Calendar

An unexpected but very important result is that of Vianney Halter, an independent watchmaker that veterans will have known for some time, while guys like me may have heard him from the particular collaborations with Louis Erard. The watch is anything but conventional and probably for the classic taste of us Italians it will not appeal to everyone.

Vianney Halter’s Antiqua Perpetual Calendar is a historic piece for collectors of independent watchmakers and it is estimated that approximately 100 were produced in total (in all various metals), making it quite collectible.

It sports a very unusual display: in the upper left is the day of the week (monday, tuesday, etc.), in the upper right hours and minutes, in the lower left leap year and month, finally in the lower right the date.

Having achieved this figure is a great achievement for Vianney Halter as an independent watchmaker and for Ineichen Zurich.

ANTIQUA QP White Gold

Estimate : CHF 50.000 – 100.000

Price realised (tax included) : CHF 190.000 / €182.000

ANTIQUA QP Yellow Gold

Estimate : CHF 50.000 – 100.000

Price realised (tax included) : CHF 170.000 / €163.000

Audemars Piguet Quantieme Perpetuel – 25 pieces Limited Edition

Let’s not forget that Audemars Piguet, which although it has been in the games for much longer than the companions mentioned above, is also part of the landscape of independent brands.


Attracting the spotlight is a skeletonized Perpetual Calendar, in a very rare combination of metals: steel and platinum. As you well know from our article on what makes a watch rare, this QP ticks all the boxes: rare configuration, limited production and difficult to find. What you see was produced in only 25 copies.

The Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar are one of the most absurd phenomena on the market, considering the fact that just 3-4 years ago it was possible to buy them for 30-40 thousand Euros in the “basic” steel versions.

Now finding them for less than 100 thousand euros can be a forbidden dream, but it is also true that sometimes it takes years before the genius is understood and appreciated by the general public. Gerald Genta surely would have been proud of it!

Estimate : CHF 100.000 – 200.000

Price realised (tax included) : CHF 260.000 / €250.000

Conclusions

Ineichen Zurich ended a great session, totaling 8,000,000 CHF and a growth of 166% since the last auction in May.

The watchmaking market has been in turmoil since 2020 and we think it is still destined to grow exponentially in the coming years. It has become a meeting point for lovers of art and beauty, as well as for investors and speculators, on the other hand what does a Fontana have to envy at a minute repeater?

Looking at the positives we can say that the artists who create these watches are seeing a worthy recognition, the result of years of work and research.

Will we see a small price drop or adjustment like in all markets? What do you think about it?

For all the live reports on the world of watchmaking follow the IWS Instagram account!

Author

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Est. 1999. From a simple idea he and his partners gave birth to one of the most famous media channel in Italy about horology. Consistency, commitment and a relentless ambition are all he is made of. He is the COO and Chief Editor of Social Media.
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