Well there are watches, and there are watches, very special watches…
When it comes to extraordinary watches, I, as many of us nerds out there, are used to look at the big auction houses like Phillips, Christie´s and Sotheby´s. But there are smaller, more specified auction houses offering amazing watches too, like Cortrie Spezial Auktionen based in Hamburg. In their upcoming auction there are again quiet a lot of very interesting watches. I picked up four absolutley fantastic pieces this time.
One of the most important things I´m looking at when I see very special watches is, your guess is right, the case. So I´ve choosen three early watches from 1930-40, the time of most inventions and design wise most interesting in 20th century. Plus the absolut superstar of the auction, an insane beautyful ANONYMUS watch that might cost more than your housing… or your car plus your entire watch collection. So if someone is willing to pay big money on an unbranded watch, that has to be VERY special… and it is!!
Unsigned calendar watch with moonphase, minute repetition from around 1925
Scrolling through the offers quite fast without looking for prices, this watch catched my eye immediately. The interesting shimmering metal case combined with the moonphase and the position of the day and date window just over the subdial at 6 are quite unique. At least I had never seen something like this before. Reading the catalog text I understood why. Because this “big” 34 x 34mm, platinum case from the mid 1920´s contains a very fine precision lever movement with minute repeater, additionally triple date with moon phase. There are hardly any wristwatches from this time period with minute repeater and triple calendar. The only known with this kind of complications at these early days were made by Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe.
So that is an absolutley aesthetic and mechanical masterpiece for top collectors. I´m already excited to see the final price for this fantastic watch.
Case wise the early Cartier watches are on the top end of the scale! This small platinium “Duoplan” with backwinder crown is one of these, dated back to around 1930. The movement of the watch was made by European Watch And Clock. Co. 10 x 33mm small, that is one of the most beautiful ladies wristwatch I know.
This golden rectangular “Rolex Prince” may look like a womens watch on the first glance too. But with a size of 19 × 46mm it is for sure a mens watch. What makes the watch very peculiarly, as you might already guess, is the case design. The asymmetrical shape explains itself by the function of the watch. The slightly domed cased watch was made for car driver, similar to the Marvin Motorist I showed on my last post. Even if I´m not 100% sure if the dial has not been restored in the past, this “Prince” will look fantastic on the wrist.
Rolex ref. 3233 “cassa moneta”
31mm is quiet small, for some collectors even to small. As I have a 33mm Longines “disco volante” in my own small collection, I can assure you that these lugless beauties even in smaller size are super cool watches on the wrist. This 18k gold Rolex ref. 3233 has a black/gold dial, the combination collectors love most.
Next to the dial the watch has a very nice looking caseback too. But what I really like are the old Rolex buckle and even better, the Rolex signed grey leather strap. I would wear it on that strap for sure, after a good cleaning and a desinfection.