One could be forgiven for momentarily lapsing into bouts of navel-gazing (or more literally, wrist-gazing) last Friday as watch aficionados descended upon Phillips auction house on Berkeley Square in London to listen to an expert panel espouse their thoughts and opinions on the irrevocably intertwined subjects of timeless watches and men’s style with a view to Phillips’ upcoming ‘Styled’ auction in December.  Chaired by the esteemed film director Paul Feig, the panel, which consisted of the founder of Bacs & Russo, one Aurel Bacs (the man who sold the most expensive wristwatch in the world), Mr Porter’s Managing Director Toby Bateman, and The Rake’s founder Wei Koh, opined on many a topic, including their favourite watches, which timepieces they would take to a desert island, why watches have become such an important element in the modern man’s oeuvre of style, and of course, the auction itself on December 5th in New York, which will see the serious business of 121 of the most collectable watches in the world go under the hammer at Phillips’ auction house in New York. Time was very much of the essence.

Phillips' auction guide books showing each of the 121 lots being sold on December 5th
Aurel Bacs seen here with The Rake founder Wei Koh.
Paul Feig and Toby Bateman, Mr Porter's managing director look on with amusement as The Rake founder Wei Koh discusses his rather pragmatic use for a Rolex on a desert island (note: it involves opening coconuts)
The evening witnessed some excellent marriages of fine watches and style, not least this gentleman's polished ensemble.
Cashmere blazer, champagne and Rolex - a holy trinity if ever there was one.
Not to be outdone by the men, a female attendee at the event advertises some serious wrist real estate.
The evening drew watch collectors and aficionados from around the world to hear more about the lots going under the hammer.

On Friday, however, business was far from everyone’s minds as the panel discussion got underway. Brilliantly hosted by Paul Feig, the discussion shed light on the dual worlds of watch collecting and menswear. Although it is rare for these two industries to meet in any significant way, even just a cursory glance at the attendees that evening would have led you to believe that fine watches and elegant style go very much hand in hand. And why shouldn’t they? There is perhaps no better way to sign off your look than with the timepiece on your wrist, especially if it is somehow significant. But as the panel stated, a significant watch worn carelessly simply becomes a bit of expensive real estate, a jarring bookend to an ill-conceived outfit. Style and watches are symbiotic by nature and so how they interact needs to be carefully considered. This is the premise behind the ‘Styled’ auction, for which both Mr Porter and The Rake have curated 12 unique looks that define the most important style moments in a man’s life.

The 121 watches up for auction has been moved from London to New York where they will be exhibited at Phillips until the gavel’s first strike on December 5th. To stay tuned with all the news around the event, follow @therake, @phillipswatches and @mrporterwatches oninstagram or search for #StyledAuction. Otherwise, visit Phillips.com/Watches for in-depth information on the lots and auction details.

A Rolex Daytona beautifully offset by a striking combination of blue suit and contrast yellow pocket square.