Watch World RoundUp: October
by Xupes Team ; @Xupes | October 31, 2016
Perhaps the best thing to do if you just can’t get your head around the buzz for luxury watches in 2016 is to scan through this month’s long read in the Guardian (below). But if you already get it, and you know why two new Patek Philippe Nautilus watches is front-page news, then you’ll appreciate our watch news rundown from the best new watches to the Rolexes of US Presidents to independent watchmakers joining the pre-owned game.
Patek Philippe Release Two New Nautilus Models
Perhaps the biggest news this month goes to Patek Philippe and their release of two new Nautilus models in honour of its 40th anniversary.
Reaction to the watches has been mixed. They are essentially beefed up versions of previous editions but made from precious metals and with diamond markers and a date stamp embossed in the dial, which the Internet has nicknamed “the tombstone”. But the much-loved cork box from the original has made a return and the watches will undoubtedly find a happy home on the wrists of the mega rich. We covered the watches in a little more detail in our 14 Superb Patek Philippe Nautilus Shots From Instagram.
To mark the same anniversary, Christie’s is running four Patek Philippe Nautilus Auctions, boasting a collection of rare and interesting pieces from across its lifetime. The first of four auctions kicked off in Dubai.
Chopard Introduce L.U.C Time Traveller One and L.U.C GMT One
Chopard are also celebrating an anniversary and have also released a pair of watches. In 1996, Chopard announced their decision to reinvest in high-end watchmaking by opening a manufacturing facility in Fleurier, Switzerland. The new watches had in-house movements and paid homage to their watchmaking founder, Louis-Ulysse Chopard.
After two decades and a number of truly excellent watches, including the L.U.C Regulator we reviewed earlier in the year, the L.U.C collection has re-established Chopard as an important name in high horology. This month they expanded their L.U.C collection with two very cool dual-crowned travel time watches; a worldtimer with 24 time zones in different cities, and a regular GMT with a 24-hour hand.
The watches are available in stainless steel and rose gold and the Time Traveller One also comes in platinum. Read more on the Chopard website.
This month, Simon Garfield, Guardian journalist and author of Timekeepers: How the World Became Obsessed with Time, wrote an all-encompassing account of the state of play of the luxury watch scene, from 16,000-litre salt water fish tanks at Basel to the scent in Patek Philippe’s London store, from the history of the mechanical watch to why the iPhone “has no soul”. Garfield’s intelligent and humorous analysis touches on the enduring appeal of ostentation, control, achievement and intent.
British Watchmaking School Celebrates 10th Anniversary
The British School of Watchmaking, an institution you might not expect to hit headlines in 2016, featured in the Telegraph this month. Despite watchmaking being a trade of the past, this autumn marks ten years since the institute first opened its doors and it’s looking to expand.
Britain was once the world leader in horology, in the days of the likes of John Arnold, and has been returning to the fore over recent years with brands like Bremont and Roger Smith leading the way. What’s more, Britain is now the world’s leading destination for luxury watch shopping with many of the top brands setting up shop in London and the devaluation of the pound.
The British School of Watchmaking is setting itself up for the years to come. It’s financially supported by the likes of Patek Philippe, Rolex and Breitling, and it promises 100% post graduation employment rate for any student that passes the course.
For more information, visit the British School of Watchmaking website.
F.P. Journe has launched a buy-back and resale scheme that marks them as the first Swiss luxury watch brand to attempt to claw back profits from the bulging pre-owned watch market. Starting this month, they will be buying out of production models and restoring them to their previous glory.
Many industry insiders expected brands to make a move in this direction but few would have expected the pioneer to be such an esteemed independent watchmaker. Whether or not this will mark a change in the traditional watch market is unclear, but other brands will undoubtedly be closely following F.P. Journe’s progress.
Our story of the month goes to our editor's deep dive into the fascinating history of Rolex in the white house. With only days left to go until the 2016 US Presidential Election, now is a fitting time to check out the wrist-wear of US presidents, past and present. The story untangles the confusion around the “Rolex President” and covers the Rolex watches from Winston Churchill to Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump, revealing a probable presidential affair and the story behind the “Texas Timex”.
For more watch news, reviews and stories, follow our magazine.