This July’s ‘Exclusive Timepieces & Jewels’ sale at Monaco Legend Group’s purpose-built space in Monaco is the first under the new ownership of renowned dealer Davide Parmegiani. Parmegiani Senior and Junior (Andrea) have joined forces with founder Claude Cohen to offer a collector-focused auction house that caters to buyers of watches at all levels. Their first catalogue is both eclectic and accessible to buyers at all price points in the market – truly a ‘something for everyone’ sale. In his catalogue introduction, Parmegiani is very clear that this sale is “to test the actual market conditions and put ourselves in direct contact with the clientele to better understand their needs and desires”. From rare Patek complications to double-signed Rolex Oysters there is a good mix. So let’s delve a little deeper…
Lot 18 – Rolex 6084 with Diamond Markers
A Rolex dial with diamond hour markers is no big deal, there are plenty of them out there and they are one of the brand’s most popular dial options. This, however, is a little different as it dates to 1953 and was very much a man’s watch in that era. Measuring 34mm, reference 6084 is know by collectors as a semi-bubbleback due to it being bigger than a regular 32mm Bubbleback yet a little smaller than the Ovettone Big-Bubblebacks at 36mm. But in the 1950s 34mm was a reasonably large watch. The dial has three brilliant cut diamonds set in a rectangular housing at each of the three, six and nine hour markers. My good friend Eric Ku has a watch that is virtually identical to this and in fact, I might not have believed it existed had I not seen Eric’s a few years ago. It is fascinating to imagine to whom this watch would have been marketed in the early 1950s. The watch is accompanied by the original box and papers, including chronometer certificate, and looks to have been sold in Saudi Arabia. Mid-20th century bling at its finest and most understated!
Lot 145 – Platinum Cartier Cintree
We were recently blessed to have been given access to Auro Montanari’s incredible collection of vintage Cartier watches (see current issue). There is no doubting Cartier’s ascent to become one of the most eagerly fought-over lots in recent years’ important auctions. Lot 145 is a modern, yet rare platinum Cintree. In 2007 Cartier produced 50 Cintrees as pat of the ‘Collection Privee Cartier Paris’. Most were fitted with black dials, but the present lot has a unique white dial with red printing. The case back is engraved with the year and “No1”, marking it as the first in the limited run. The watch also features Breguet-style hands in a similar fashion to the originals and maintains the original 1920s case dimensions of 23x46mm. The dial pops and it is a perfect summer watch to wear in Monaco. If you are the winning bidder, you’re almost certainly going to want to wear it for your post-auction dinner on the sea front!
Lot 140 – Tropical Omega Speedmaster 2915-2 FAP
One of the headline lots in the sale, this Speedy has an interesting history and will surely attract a lot of attention. The vintage Speedmaster has awoken from its slumber and is now very much alive and kicking in the vintage collecting community. One Speedmaster that will get pulses quickening is the original Broad Arrow reference 2915, with its distinctive large arrow hour hand and alpha-shaped sub-registers hands. The watch on offer in this sale has two additional cherries on the cake. Firstly, the dial has turned a beautiful and uniform shade of chocolate brown. It’s stunning and truly makes the watch stand out. The second element is that it was delivered to the Peruvian Air Force, as signified by the FAP engraving on the case back and confirmed in the accompanying Archive Extract. This watch really is the gift that keeps on giving, but sadly it won’t be a gift and I expect will cost the winning bidder a pretty penny. But as the saying goes, “find another…”
Lot 120 – Rolex Turn-O-Graph reference 6202
Launched in the initial era of the Submariner, back in the early 1950s, the Turn-O-Graph has always been the forgotten sibling in the rotating-bezel-sports-watch-with-black-dial for which Rolex is adored. At 36mm it’s a little smaller than the Subs (Submariner and Sub-Aqua) of the era, but it is no less charming and a great buy for collectors. Lot 120 features all the iconic elements of the ’50s era sports watches: gilt chapter ring dial, no crown guard case, brass bezel ring, red-triangle insert and rivet bracelet. The watch is accompanied by its original box and papers, which are signed Serpico y Laino – a great bonus for a great watch.
Lot 240 – Ulysse Nardin Aviator Watch
Large size steel Calatravas have been big news over the past few years, as collectors seek out new and interesting avenues down which they can take their collections. Lot 240 is a 38mm steel time-only watch by Ulysse Nardin and could easily slip under the radar. In my mind, it’s a stunning watch with oversize winding crown and radium arabic quarter numerals. The gilt dial has turned tropical and the text has turned a bronze colour. The large steel case has a ridge around the crystal, which led to it being given the name step-case by collectors. These watches were super-big for the era – 1943 – and were delivered to wartime aviators who would have found the time easy to read due to the large hour numerals and adjusting would have been effortless due to the large winding crown. No doubt, this watch will fly!