High-end tailoring, the kind that happens on the esteemed Savile Row in Mayfair, has more than a passing resemblance to the world of high-end horology. Years of practice and mastering of the craft is needed to ensure that the delicate art of creating beautiful objects is done to the very highest of high standards.
We can assume that it is this absolute attention to detail coupled with an appreciation for beautiful design that so many tailors are also collectors of watches. The perfectly formed Rolex collection of one particular occupant of Savile Row caught my attention a few years back. The trio of vintage Rolexes belonging to Luke Sweeney – one half of bespoke powerhouse Thom Sweeney – was the perfect capsule collection that covered any occasion, comprising a yellow gold Day-Date, Explorer and red-writing Submariner Date 1680.
Fast-forward to this year and The House of Sweeney has joined forces with the House of Phillips (sorry, I started watching Game of Thrones this week!) to collaborate on a celebration of bespoke British tailoring and high-end independent watchmaking.
Make your Marks
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We’re delighted to announce Well Suited – a selling exhibition that combines the world’s finest independent watchmakers with a showcase of tailoring excellence from British luxury menswear brand @thom__sweeney. Up to 25 important watches from brands including Philippe Dufour, Vianney Halter, Richard Mille, Romain Gauthier, Ludovic Ballouard, F.P. Journe, and a Grand Seiko will be on sale, alongside timepieces by Rolex and Patek Philippe. The exhibition will be hosted by James Marks (@thomas_crownaffair) in London between March 15-21 and you are of course all invited! Ahead of the sale, we asked Luke Sweeney and Thom Whiddett, themselves passionate watch collectors, to choose their favourite pieces from the exhibition. Find out why they picked our platinum F.P. Journe Tourbillon Souverain and Grand Seiko Spring Drive 8 Day Power Reserve, in our latest online feature. Link in bio.
James Marks has firmly stamped his mark at Phillips London since joining the house as Director and International Specialist, heading up the London watches department. The London watch scene has been treated to collaborations with Singer, the world-class Porsche re-imaginers, as well as private treaty sales that have all ably demonstrated that an auction house can be so much more than a couple of sales per year.
The latest project spearheaded by Marks is a selling exhibition of high-end watches is being showcased alongside examples of tailoring excellence by Thom Sweeney. Marks, himself an avid collector, has curated the watches for the Well Suited exhibition, which includes pieces by Richard Mille, FP Journe, Vianney Halter and Romain Gauthier as well as watches by Rolex, Patek Philippe and Grand Seiko.
The highlight of the sale is a highly coveted and rare Philippe Dufour Simplicity. The 37mm hand-wound Simplicity is something of a grail watch for the watch aficionado, with very few ever being offered on the open market and very few of those in the UK. We are sure that there will be significant interest in the rose-gold watch when the exhibition opens later this week. Other highlights include a grey dial FP Journe Souverin in platinum and a Grand Seiko 8 Days in platinum. One of my personal favourite independent pieces is the technically brilliant Ludovic Ballouard Upside Down. Ballouard, an alumnus of FP Journe, created the Upside Down in 2009 as his first complication, where only the current hour shows the right way up, with all the other hours being upside down. The example in the Well Suited exhibition is in platinum. And when you’ve feasted your eyes on the incredible horology on offer, there will be a live working cutting room in operation, where you can observe the Thom Sweeney team doing their thing.
The exhibition runs from 15-21 March 2019. Opening times are Mon-Sat 10:00-18:00 and Sunday 12:00-18:00. Phillips, 30 Berkeley Square, London W1J 6EX