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Ineichen Auctioneers – the Independents Project

As many of you already know, my commitment to finding new small creative brands and independent watchmakers has always been important. This is the reason why is a true honor for me to share the same philosophy with Ineichen Auctioneers.

Explain the value and difference between a timepiece produced by an independent watchmaker and an ordinary watch bought in a regular store is extrimely important. They both have hands, and they both tell us the time, so what’s the difference?

Voutilainen 28TI Piece Unique

Ineichen saw a significant increase in the interest of collectors in watches created by independent watchmakers and small creative brands. For this reason Ineichen decided to support this trend through a new project called Independents (you can visit also the site) and which consists of an annual auction featuring exclusive timepieces created by independent watchmakers.

Ineichen Independents May Auction – The Emerging Power of High Watchmaking Art

The first auction dedicated to independents watchmakers fine timepieces will take place on May 11 in Ginevra at President Wilson Hotel and the auction will be dedicate solely to independent watchmakers and small creative brands, and, moreover, mainly to unique pieces and extremely rare watches.

There will be around 40 pieces of pure high watchmaking art and you can check all the lots and informations on their site www.independents.com

I decided to choose my favourite 5 fine timepieces to present you from the list.

Ineichen Independents May Auction – Lot n.1 Gérald Genta

Starting with the lot n.1 Tourbillon Sonnerie Repetition “Piece Unique” we can admire a unique, impressive and extremely complicated yellow gold grande and petite sonnerie minute repeating wristwatch with Westminster chime and tourbillon, from the haute horlogerie Swiss watch brand Gérald Genta.

Openworked dial with spherical polished indexes, and ‘filet sauté’ guilloché motif. Caliber GG 31001, hand-wound, with reversed hand-fitting, chiming and repeating on four hammers onto four gongs, marked by Poinçon de Genève quality mark.

Power reserve of sonnerie mechanism: 24 hours in grande sonnerie mode, 28 hours in petite sonnerie mode.

Functions – sub-dial for indication of time in hours and minutes at 3 o’clock, tourbillon at 10 o’clock, grande and petite sonnerie and minute repeater with Westminster chime with four striking hammers and four gongs, sonnerie selectors (‘grande/petite’ and ‘silence/chime’) and power reserve indicators (of the caliber and the sonnerie mechanism) installed on the back of the case. 

Gérald Genta black leather strap with 18k yellow gold Gérald Genta pin buckle. 

Lot n.1 – Reason to bid

The Grande Sonnerie Carillon Westminster Tourbillon Ref. GS1.X.20.893.CN.BA Piece Unique would appear to be a fine purchase for the collector thanks to its outstanding and memorable design, elaborate hand finishing and decoration of the caliber, and the extraordinary combination of Empire and Baroque styles. 

The grande and petite sonnerie function, as well as a minute repeater is extremely rare and the most complicated among traditional mechanical haute horlogerie complications, made even more sophisticated by the addition of a tourbillon. 

Wrist shot

It would also be a fine occasion for the collector to obtain one of the iconic timepieces of modern haute horlogerie, originating from Gérald Genta, one of the most well-respected names of luxury watchmaking. 

Ineichen Independents May Auction – Lot n.2 Voutilainen 

Lot n.2 consists of a unique, extremely fine, and unusual titanium wristwatch of Kari Voutilainen, the Swiss independent watchmaker of Finnish origin, who founded his atelier in 2002 in Môtiers, Switzerland. Produced circa 2020.

Case is made of titanium, diameter 39mm, 13.4mm thick, sapphire caseback. Open-worked dial, rose gold and blackened steel hands. Caliber Vingt-8, hand-wound with reversed hand-fitting, power reserve up to 65 hours.

In 2019 Voutilainen introduced the 28Ti watch, with a reversed layout caliber. This saw the bridges side of the caliber with its large balance appear on the dial side, and the former dial side move to the rear side of the watch.

Thereby, the caliber received a complex direct impulse escapement enabling a more constant distribution of energy and extended power reserve. Furthermore, Kari Voutilainen updated the caliber’s chronometric quality. The large balance wheel with four regulating eccentrics allows fine adjustment of the rate. The balance is paired with a chronometric hairspring featuring a Phillips curve for the external coil, while the internal coil uses the Grossmann curve. 

Functions – indication of time in hours and minutes, small seconds hand and power reserve indicator at the movement back. Dark green Voutilainen leather strap, Voutilainen titanium pin buckle.

Lot n.2 – Reason to bid

The Voutilainen 28INV-1/1 Unique Piece would appear to be a fine purchase for the collector thanks to its unique design, excellent and extremely elaborated hand finishing of the case, dials and movement, as well as the rare inversed caliber design, and is, therefore, full of charisma.

The present lot, produced as a unique piece, will remain part of the exclusive circle of the rarest watches of an independent watchmaker, one of the most respected in this professional community.

Kari Voutilainen and his watches are a prominent feature of the landscape of modern haute horlogerie. Indeed, one can call them one of the symbols of the independent watchmakers’ movement. 

Ineichen Independents May Auction – Lot n.10 Czapek & Cie

A very rare, unusual, and sporty limited-edition stainless-steel split-chronograph wristwatch of Czapek & Cie, ancient watch brand, revived in 2012 in Switzerland. Limited edition launched in 2021. Case made of stainless steel, diameter 42.5mm, 15.3mm thick, sapphire caseback. 

Open-worked dial with rhodium-plated circularly brushed peripheral ring and counters, luminous blued steel hands. Caliber SXH6, self-winding, with split-chronograph mechanism on the dial side, power reserve up to 60 hours.  

Czapek & Cie found their way in this niche with a watch with a barrel-shaped case, round bezel and dial, and an integral bracelet tapering from the case to the clasp.

Caliber SHX6, Czapek’s proprietary caliber found in the present example, was developed in collaboration with Chronode, a Geneva-based atelier of complications. For it, an atypical scheme was chosen with a single-button chronograph and the placement of the chronograph and split chronograph mechanisms on the dial side of the caliber.

The back of the caliber accommodates a self-winding system with a central full-size rotor, equipped with a heavy segment made of solid 18k rose gold with the Czapek & Cie logo. The balance bridge and rotor both exhibit the same industrial aesthetic as the chronograph mechanism. 

Functions – indication of time in hours and minutes, small seconds hand, monopusher split-chronograph with 30-minute counter, central seconds hand of chronograph, central seconds hand of split-chronograph. Integrated stainless steel Czapek & Cie bracelet, triple folding clasp. Limited edition of 77 pieces. 

Lot n.10 Reason to bid

The Czapek & Cie Antarctique Chronograph Rattrapante Silver Grey Ref. 302.025 would appear to be a fine purchase for the collector looking to obtain a rare, sophisticated and elegant stainless-steel limited-edition mechanical watch from a Swiss watch brand that specialises in haute horlogerie collectible watches.

The combination of the elegant sporty design, stainless stees integral bracelet, rare caliber design with split-chronograph mechanism placed under the dial, and haute horlogerie execution and finishing of the movement undoubtedly allows one to perceive the present watch as a worthy alternative to the great classics of this genre, and adds to the appeal of this lot. 

Ineichen Independents May Auction – Lot n.18 Christiaan v.d. Klaauw 

A very rare, unusual and collectible astronomic rose gold wristwatch from the independent Dutch watchmaker Christiaan van der Klaauw, an honorary member of the AHCI independent watchmaker’s academy, who established his brand in 1974. Produced in 2000s. Case in 18k rose gold, diameter 40mm, sapphire caseback with “Christiaan van der Klaauw Joure 750/1000 18kt 50mt” inscription engraved on rim.

White silvered dial with ‘lotus’ guilloché motif, recessed peripheral minutes ring and counter outlines, blued Breguet hands. Self-winding movement with guilloché decoration, rotor decorated by guilloché and skeletonized depicting the Sun, power reserve up to 38 hours

Functions – indication of time in hours, minutes and seconds, subsidiary dial with solar and lunar eclipse indication at 6 o’clock, Sun and Moon position with seven city names on large polished chapter ring at 12 o’clock, month indication at 3 o’clock, date indication at 9 o’clock. Christiaan van der Klaauw dark blue leather strap, 18k rose gold Christiaan van der Klaauw pin buckle. 

For his complicated watches Christiaan van der Klaauw uses different base calibers. In particular, for the present watch he used the basic self-winding Eta 2824-2 caliber, fitted with a complication module produced in his workshop. 

The base movement was fine-tuned by hand with a guilloché decor rarely used in such a manner, and a skeletonized rotor depicting the Sun was also made especially for this model. That is one reason why Christiaan van der Klaauw’s astronomical watches are strikingly different from the products of the few other brands implementing similar complications, and obviously they are primarily intended for collectors. 

Lot n.18 Reason to bid

The unique character of the Christiaan van der Klaauw Joure Eclipse watch is created with an obvious degree of manual work, which is usually not desired by big brands seeking to limit production costs. The extensive use of guilloché decor in the finishing of the dial and caliber lends a special charm to the watch – Christiaan van der Klaauw belongs to a small circle of modern watchmakers to apply this décor regularly.

However, the main attraction is the unprecedented set of astronomical complications present in this model. Therefore, the Christiaan van der Klaauw Joure Eclipse watch would definitely be an excellent purchase for the collector who desires a rare and probably unique complicated wristwatch, a notable and important piece of history of modern haute horlogerie, capable of not only showing the passage of the Sun and Moon across the sky, but also of predicting eclipses. 

Ineichen Independents May Auction – Lot n.22 Benzinger

An extremely rare, unusual and attractive decorative one-of-a-kind wristwatch by Jochen Benzinger, an independent German craftsman of hand-guilloché, engraver and watchmaker. Made in 2022. stainless steel case, diameter 42 mm, crown at 2 o’clock, sapphire caseback.

Two-piece sterling silver dial, dark blue lower part with hand-guilloché decoration, partially openworked to reveal the caliber, black PVD-coated upper part with chapter ring and small seconds indicator. Caliber Eta/Unitas 6498, manual winding, finely skeletonized with hand-guilloché decoration, power reserve up to 46 hours.

The spectacular appearance enriched by the unusual mirrored design of the intricate hand-guilloched dial and skeletonized movement makes the present example even more attractive and valuable.

Functions – display of time in hours and minutes, small seconds at 5 o’clock. Black leather strap, stainless steel triple folding clasp. Unique piece. 

Lot n.22 Reason to bid

The best thing about the Benzinger brand is the concept of a boutique brand with a small production, with a high percentage of handwork and decorative finishes, as well as the possibility for the customer to contact the brand directly and also order customized watches.

The Benzinger Subscription ‘Blue Joy’ appears to be a fine purchase for the collector who chooses an extremely rare, unusual and attractive skeletonized wristwatch from a German independent watchmaker known as a master of hand guilloché, skeletonization and engraving. 

The spectacular appearance enriched by the unusual mirrored design of the intricate hand-guilloched dial and skeletonized movement makes the present example even more attractive and valuable. 

Do you want to discover all the lots? You can visit the site www.independents.com or follow me on may 9-10-11 to discover live all these great timepieces!

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