Mini-documentary - Eterna-Matic KonTiki (late 1950s)

(il video in italiano è in fondo alla pagina)
The most viewed video clip from the 10e10.ch by Marco Strazzi YouTube channel. Enjoy!

Il video più cliccato del canale YouTube 10e10.ch by Marco Strazzi. Buona visione!


Watches at auction

The 28 May sale at Christie's Hong Kong saw several world auction records broken. A Patek Philippe Ref. 2523J from 1955 reached US$ 8'546'282. It is a 18K gold two-crown world time wristwatch with 24-hour indication and cloisonné enamel dial depicting the North American map
A Patek Philippe 18K pink gold Ref. 1595 from 1952 more than doubled its high estimate, as it realised the price of US$ 1,212,293. Its cloisonné enamel dial depicts a Tahiti forest 

The catalog of the upcoming auction at Christie's New York  (6 June) includes two fresh-to-market rare timepieces.

Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 3700/1, stainless steel, retailed by Gübelin, circa 1977. Estimate : US$ 100,000-200,000


Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Ref. 25554ST, stainless steel, the thinnest Royal Oak perpetual calendar, 1984. Estimate: US$ 150’000-200’000


New releases - Artime ART01

The inaugural model of the newly found brand features a case alternating between transparent sapphire and titanium. Its round shape with monobloc lugs houses a white gold movement with a three-dimensional code, equipped with a one-minute tourbillon regulator and controlled by a function selector. It is 42 mm in diameter, 11.4 mm high and mounted on a black grained calfskin strap with a titanium folding clasp.



Vintage Ads - Repco (1957)

"Cuffette - Not just an improvement – A thoroughly new watch ". Meant for retailers, this ad guaranteed that the watch set in a cufflink was sure to make an impact on their customers as well as their turnover. The cufflinks were available in a number of different shapes and fitted with “high quality movements”. Repco was a trademark registered by Balmer & Gagnebin from Tramelan in 1944.  
Do you like vintage watch ads? Please visit the page about Watch Ads, my two-volume pictorial history of communication and design in 20th Century watchmaking. You can also watch the video clip about the publication and download a 20-page preview of Volume 1.
The vintage ads presented in this Blog are not featured in the Watch Ads books.

“Cuffette – Non è solo un’evoluzione – È un orologio di concezione inedita”. Indirizzato ai rivenditori, questo annuncio garantiva che l’orologio inserito in un gemello da polso avrebbe avuto un impatto sicuro sui clienti e dunque sul fatturato del negozio. I gemelli erano disponibili in numerose varianti ed equipaggiati con “movimenti di qualità eccellente”. Repco era un marchio registrato da Balmer & Gagnebin di Tramelan nel 1944.
Ti piacciono le pubblicità d'epoca? Visita la pagina dedicata a Watch Ads, la mia storia illustrata in due volumi della comunicazione e del design nell'orologeria del Novecento. Puoi anche guardare il video sull'opera e scaricare l'anteprima di 20 pagine del Volume 1.
Gli annunci pubblicitari d'epoca presentati in questo Blog non sono inseriti nei volumi Watch Ads.


Vintage press - La Suisse Horlogère (1977)

ENGLISH (il testo italiano è in fondo alla pagina)
La Suisse Horlogère was the official organ of the Swiss Watch Chamber of Commerce. This issue dating back to the Summer of 1977 was mostly devoted to the annual Basle Fair and the trends visitors could observe.

"Never have watches been so beautiful”, claims the title of the main article. Despite the worries about the plunging prices of quartz timepieces, the general mood was rather optimistic. The magazine pointed out that mechanical watches were “better and better still” thanks to caliber standardization, simpler design and higher quality: the newly introduced self-winding movement by Longines was mentioned. At the same time advanced models suggested that Switzerland was at the forefront in electronics as well. The local industry focused on analogue rather than digital watches, estimating that the LCD system was increasingly reserved for multifunctional timepieces.

The following pages feature a few products of the ETA Flatline collection, which included both automatic and quartz calibers. They met the growing demand for ultra-flat watches and super-accurate quartz watches with analogical display.

An interesting five-page report deals with the history of raw-movement production (ébauches) in Switzerland from the beginnings in the 18th Century to the 1970s. 

La Suisse Horlogère era l’organo ufficiale della Camera di Commercio svizzera dell’orologeria. Questo numero dell’estate 1977 è dedicato principalmente all’annuale Fiera di Basilea e ai trend emersi nel corso della manifestazione. “Gli orologi non sono mai stati così belli”, annuncia il titolo dell’articolo principale. Malgrado le preoccupazioni per i prezzi in picchiata degli orologi al quarzo, l’ambiente manifestava un certo ottimismo. La rivista sottolineava che gli orologi meccanici erano “in continuo miglioramento” grazie alla standardizzazione dei movimenti, alla semplificazione dei progetti e alla qualità più elevata: tra gli esempi si cita il nuovo movimento automatico Longines. Allo stesso tempo la produzione di modelli tecnologicamente avanzati indicava che la Svizzera era all’avanguardia anche nell’elettronica. L’industria locale si andava specializzando negli orologi analogici, stimando che l’affissione digitale si identificasse sempre più con i modelli multifunzione.
Le pagine seguenti mostravano alcune novità della collezione ETA Flatline, comprendente movimenti automatici e al quarzo che rispondevano da una parte alla domanda crescente di orologi extrapiatti, dall’altra a quella di modelli analogici e ultraprecisi al quarzo.
Un interessante servizio di cinque pagine tratta la storia della produzione dei movimenti grezzi (ébauches) in Svizzera dalle origini nel 18esimo secolo agli Anni 70.


New releases - Vulcain Skindiver Salmon Dial

Launched in January 2023, this vintage-looking timepiece inspired by the 1960 brand's classic now comes in a new variant with a salmon dial tone. Water resistant to 200m, the 38mm stainless steel case features a unidirectional fluted bezel with a black ceramic inlay, and houses the ETA 2824 self-winding caliber with a 38-hour power reserve. The 50 pieces of this limited edition are priced at CHF 1,490 each.


Watches at auction - Christie's, 13 and 26 May

As is often the case, Patek Philippe and Rolex are the undisputed kings of the upcoming live auctions at Christie’s.
The highlights of the Geneva event (13 May) include a rare ‘Oman’ section featuring 7 vintage and modern Rolexes, property of various owners, each made at the request of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al Said (1940-2020), the Sultan of Oman. One of the most interesting aspects of such timepieces is that the dials were specially designed only for the Omani watches in order to spotlight the Khanjar emblem or the signature of the Sultan himself.
Rolex Ref. 1665 Sea Dweller, circa 1971. Estimate: CHF 200,000-300,000
Rolex Daytona Ref. 6263, circa 1974. Estimate: CHF 600,000-1,200,000
The Hong Kong sale (26 May) features several outstanding Patek Philippe watches, as well as commissioned pieces by F.P.Journe and sought-after, discontinued Rolex Daytona references.
Patek Philippe Ref. 3448, 1977. Estimate: HKD 1,200,000-2,400,000 (EUR 140,000-280,000)
Patek Philippe Ref. 2523J, 1955.
Estimate : HKD 55,000,000-120,000,000 (EUR 6,350,000-13,850,000). This ‘Dual Crown World Time’ with a map of North America depicted on its cloisonné enamel dial is the most valuable timepiece ever to be offered in Christie’s Hong Kong auction room