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Watch Talks

Phillips Watches Auction House - A New Era in Time...

Phillips Watches Auction House - A New Era in Time...

The spring auction season is just around the corner and there is excitement in the air as Phillips Watches launches its new partnership with Aurel Bacs and his wife Livia Russo (Bacs & Russo) with the widely publicised Glamorous Day Date sale and Auction One. Both auctions are full of beautiful watches that have received extensive coverage over the past couple of weeks. There are some star lots including the incredibly rare 6263 ‘Albino’ Daytona from the collection of Eric Clapton and some important Patek Philippe pieces.

At Bulang & Sons we have long been advocates of the Day Date watches and the Datejust. We love the smaller size of the cases, at 36mm, and they are the perfect when worn on one of our straps. For a long time the vast majority of collectors were only interested in the 40mm sports watches and the main market was Asia for the dress watches. There has always been a core of European enthusiasts who have been interested in these watches, but the world market has exploded over the past couple of years and it will be fascinating to see how collectors and dealers bid during the Glamorous Day Date sale on Saturday 9th May in Geneva; we can see a whole new attitude to these watches over the next year or so following this incredibly cool sale.

We have spent some considerable time of the last week devouring the two catalogues and we thought we would share with you some of the watches that speak to us and that may not have had as much press attentions as the ‘stars of the show’, but are very much in tune with our love of really interesting watches with undoubtedly an interesting story!
Tropical 1680 Submariner
Nobody can resist a tropical dial and watches that house a dial that has turned a wonderful shade of brown have created a movement in themselves, with collectors searching for watches with tones that can range from caramel to autumnal hues. Lot 70 is a really cool meters first Red Sub, reference 1680, that has a chocolate-brown dial. The dial is beautifully off set by the charcoal coloured fat-font insert.
Phillips Auction House - A New Era in Time...
Rolex 16650 Explorer Cream Dial
Every collector loves a ‘full set’ watch and it’s always nice to see a rare watch with all the documentation that it was originally sold with. Lot 71 is a beautiful cream dialled Explorer 2, reference 16550. The condition and ageing of the dial is very nice. The 16550 is a great collectible sapphire-glass watch that is robust and can be worn and used for your adventures!

Phillips Auction House - A New Era in Time...

Rolex Daytona 6263 Gold
The Daytona was the star of the last Geneva based Rolex mono-themed sale and the watches in that sale sold for record prices. Gold pieces are also enjoying a return to vogue and Lot 76 is a watch that is both a Daytona and gold. What we find really cool about this lot is the patina of the gold. It is so easy to polish this off a watch yet the patination of gold gives the watch a unique look that we love. This 6263 is a full set with fantastic historical interest for football fans, as it was owned by the legendary Italian footballer Antonio Cabrini. The balance of the black bezel and black dial makes this our favourite gold chrono and we’re sure it’ll draw a lot of attention at the the auction.

Phillips Auction House - A New Era in Time...

Rolex Comex 16660 matte dial
All Comex watches are rare and the first batch of Comex issued 16660 watches are maybe the rarest of them all. The matte dialled, sapphire glassed Seadweller was the first in a new generation of Seadwellers that were waterproof to 4000ft. Comex received in the region of 200 16660 watches, the first 50 having the matte dial and the later 150 with the more common glossy dial, with white gold surrounded hour plots. Lot 112 is a lovely, clean example with punched papers, boxes and other accessories. We’ll be watching this one for sure!

Phillips Auction House - A New Era in Time...

When you want to see some more Comex porn… check the articles we wrote on our blog where we made some reports on pure Comex collector meetings we intended and our Comex watches from the past. Great fun!

>>> Comex Meeting 2010

>>> 5513 Comex fun

>>> Rolex 1665 Comex
Rolex Daytona 6240
Lot 113 is another interesting Daytona. Reference 6240 was the first of the manually wound chronos to be fitted with screw-down pushers, making the case waterproof and so enabling Rolex to use the term Oyster on the dial. The watches were not a huge commercial hit and so the production run was fairly short. What makes the present example even rarer is the dial designation of simply ‘ROLEX’ and no other text; know by collectors as ‘Solo’. This is a clean looking watch and we’re sure it’ll be a big hitter at the sale.

Phillips Auction House - A New Era in Time...

Rolex 6105 Datejust
As I mentioned earlier, the Datejust is a popular watch here at B&S and the is a lovely example as Lot 183. There are so many things about this two-tone reference 6105 that are just ‘right’! The case is still in great condition, with very crisp reeding on the bezel. The dial has turned an attractive cream/brown shade, with punctuation by the red date wheel. The dial also features two very interesting features – the retailer’s moniker Serpico Y Laino (Rolex’s distributor in Venezuela), and a depth rating is present ‘50m = 165ft’. This combination of interesting features are the reason that we love this big bubbleback or “Ovettone”.

Phillips Auction House - A New Era in Time...
Rolex Daytona Beach Collection
Summer is just around the corner and we are considering our summer collections here at Bulang & Sons. Lot 193 is a group of four Rolex Daytonas in white gold (reference 116519) that were marketed as the ‘Daytona Beach’ collection. Featuring stone dials, with matching leather straps in pastel shades these watches are perfect for that preppy summer vibe. Coordinate with your espadrilles and Polo swimming trunks and you will be set for the pool or beach bar this August!

Phillips Auction House - A New Era in Time...
Rolex 5513 Milsub
Whether a coveted 5517, sought after Tudor MN or ultra rare South African – we have a deep appreciation of MilSubs at Bulang & Sons. The history, adventures and battle scars are all part of a MilSub’s appeal. Lot 212 is a great example of the iconic Rolex Military Submariner reference 5513. With its fixed lug bars, sixty-minute bezel insert, sword hands and ‘circle T’ dial, this is a full spec watch that even comes with the original admiralty grey wabi’d nato strap. This is not a watch you would ever want to polish, as it is in completely original condition with the battle worn case in the perfect condition for lovers of rare vintage military watches.

Phillips Auction House - A New Era in Time...
When you want some images of Milsub Heaven… see the specialized Milsub Meeting from a while ago… biggest collection in 1 room ever!

>>> Milsub Meeting in Chester

In closing, I want to make special mention of the catalogue. The quality of the printed versions are stunning, with good descriptions and good sized pictures. All the photography was done by Phillip’s International Strategy Advisor, Paul Boutros. It makes a refreshing change to see clear, honest photos that show the watches in their unaltered state as opposed to the Photoshopped pics that traditionally appear in auction catalogues. This is a welcome change and will give absentee bidders real confidence in their potential purchases.

I am sure these two auctions will be a roaring success and I will eagerly await each auction season to see what Phillip’s with Bacs & Russo bring to the fray.

Ross Povey