IWC and the 70 years since the last flight of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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L’IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “The Last Flight” (Ref. IW388005) è stato presentato nel mese di agosto del 2014 per celebrare i 70 anni dall’ultimo volo di Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, il leggendario scrittore, poeta e pioniere aviatore.

Un esemplare di una speciale edizione limitata – il n.1 di soli 17 pezzo – è stato offerto all’asta Important Watches lo scorso novembre a Ginevra. Tutti i proventi sono stati devoluti alla Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation, a sostegno dell’Hospital Pequeno Príncipe a Curitiba, il più grande ospedale pediatrico del Brasile. Il fondo contribuirà a costruire una biblioteca per i piccoli pazienti di questo centro, specializzato in cardiochirurgia, trapianti e tumori.

Un volo di ricognizione sopra il sud della Francia il 31 luglio del 1944 pose una brusca fine alla carriera e alla passione di Antoine de Saint-Exupéry per il volo. Dopo il decollo da una base militare in Corsica, il Lockheed P-38 Lightning scomparve senza lasciare traccia. Saint-Exupéry era già stato congedato dalla forza aerea francese a causa della sua età, era anche un po’ sovrappeso e troppo robusto per la stretta cabina di pilotaggio del velivolo. Nonostante tutto, essendo un patriota e un autore costantemente in cerca di avventura, ha deciso di intraprendere quel maledetto volo di ricognizione. Da qualche parte vicino a Tolone fu intercettato dalla Luftwaffe tedesca ed abbattuto. Il mistero circa il luogo della sua scomparsa si concluse solo nel 1998, quando un pescatore trovò un braccialetto appartenente alla eroe nazionale francese nella sua rete, mentre era al largo della costa di Marsiglia.

Il CEO di IWC, Georges Kern, ha commentato: “La passione per il volo di Antoine de Saint-Exupéry ha guidato la sua vita e determinato il suo destino. Da quando abbiamo iniziato la nostra collaborazione con i suoi discendenti nel 2006, IWC gli ha dedicato una serie di speciali edizioni che perpetuano la memoria di questo straordinario pilota e pioniere. IWC, celebre per i suoi quasi 80 anni di esperienza nella produzione di orologi per gli aviatori, ha deciso di intraprendere una partnership con i discendenti di Antoine de Saint-Exupéry grazie a molti obiettivi condivisi. Entrambi condividono una passione per il volo, la tecnologia e l’ingegneria, e hanno un grande senso di responsabilità sociale”.

Ciò che subito impressiona di questo cronografo in edizione limitata è la sua cassa marrone in ceramica al nitruro di silicio di 46 mm di diametro. Il nitruro di silicio è una particolare ceramica che garantisce un’eccellente resistenza agli shock termici, agli urti e alla corrosione. La tonalità tabacco adottata in proposito richiama la tuta di volo che Antoine usava solitamente. I pulsanti, la corona e il fondello sono in platino e quest’ultimo reca un’incisione speciale in memoria dell’ultimo volo di Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

Il movimento 89.361 automatico, con riserva di carica di 68 ore, si lega al quadrante marrone con indici arabi e contatori rodiati. Un elegante cinturino in pelle marrone completa questo modello. Si tratta di un giusto tributo per un grande viaggiatore, un grande scrittore e un grande filantropo.

By Manuel Galvez e Andrea Foffi

www.meridianae.com – info@meridianae.com

www.oredelmondo.com – info@oredelmondo.com


IWC Schaffhausen never ceases to astonish with new and innovative watches. This is definitely the case with the IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “The Last Flight” (Ref. IW388005) introduced in August 2014 to mark 70 years since the last flight of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the legendary writer, poet and pioneering aviator.

A special limited edition – number one of seventeen – will be offered during the auction of Important Watches this November in Geneva. All the proceeds will benefit the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation, in support of the Hospital Pequeno Príncipe in Curitiba, Brazil’s largest children’s hospital. The fund will help to build a library for young patients of this centre, which specialises in highly complex heart operations, organ and bone transplants and cancer treatment.

In 1944, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry took off on a reconnaissance flight over France from which he never returned. Mystery surrounded his fate until 1998, when a fisherman found a bracelet belonging to the French national hero off the shores of Marseille. Pieces of wreckage were later recovered and identified as parts of Saint-Exupéry’s Lockheed Lightning.

This limited edition chronograph impresses with its 46 mm diameter brown silicon nitride ceramic case and push-buttons, crown and case-back in platinum with a special engraving in memory of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s last flight. The high performance ceramic case has several outstanding properties such as enormous heat and corrosion resistance.

The unusual and innovative blend of ceramic and platinum gives the piece a very steady look and feel. The appealing ‘tobacco’ hue connotes the pilot’s flying suit and the rugged characteristics of this pilot’s watch.

The calibre ref. 89361 is a completely in-house self-winding, flyback chronograph movement with a comfortable 68h power reserve and a brown dial with rhodium-plated counters. The date display, hours and minute counters are combined in a totalizer at 12 o’clock. A brown calfskin strap with quilted stitching and a pin buckle complete this model. It is a fitting and elegant tribute to a great traveller, a great writer and a great philanthropist.

A reconnaissance flight over the South of France on 31 July 1944 brought an abrupt end to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s career and passion for flying. After taking off from a military base in Corsica, his Lockheed P-38 Lightning vanished without trace. Saint-Exupéry had already been discharged from the air force because of his age. He was also slightly overweight, and too big for the aircraft’s narrow cockpit. Despite all that, he was a patriot and an author constantly in search of adventure and decided to embark on the reconnaissance flight. Somewhere close to Toulon he was spotted by the German Luftwaffe. Speculation as to where he came down only ended in 1998, when a fisherman found a bracelet belonging to the French national hero in his net while fishing off the shore of Marseille. Pieces of wreckage were later recovered from the sea and identified as parts of Saint-Exupéry’s aircraft. The German pilot who all those years ago had unwittingly shot down one of his favourite authors recently met the French aviator’s family for the first time. “Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s passion for flying guided his life and work, and ultimately determined his fate. Since we began our cooperation with his descendants in 2006, IWC has unveiled a series of special limited editions of its Pilot’s Watch that have kept the memory of this extraordinary pilot and aviation pioneer alive to this day,” says IWC CEO Georges Kern.

By Manuel Galvez e Andrea Foffi

www.meridianae.com – info@meridianae.com

www.oredelmondo.com – info@oredelmondo.com

Christie’s New York “Important Watches auction” highlights

Christie, New York – E’ in corso l’asta “Important Watches” con una ricca offerta di 408 orologi da polso, da tasca e da tavolo. Top Lots: un Rolex Ref. 6101, che vanta un quadrante in smalto policromo cloisonné con la mappa del Nord e Sud America, circondato da pesci e gabbiani; un Patek Philippe in oro bianco Ref. 5101 con quadrante blu; un Patek Philippe Ref. 715 da tasca che raffigura una scena di caccia su smalto firmata da L. Pellarin-Leroy, un artista che ha collaborato con Patek Philippe tra gli anni ’60 e ‘70. L’asta in due sessioni, con oltre un centinaio di lotti offerti senza riserva, è in corso presso la sala Christie al Rockefeller Center e si prevede raggiungerà i 6 milioni di dollari di vendite.

 

Al lotto 333 della sessione pomeridiana corrisponde l’iconico Rolex Milgauss Ref. 6541. Introdotto sul mercato a metà degli anni 1950, il Milgauss 6541 con lunetta girevole è stato progettato per l’uso in aree ad intenso campo elettromagnetico, come laboratori di ricerca o centrali elettriche. Quello in asta, con una stima tra $ 100.000 – 200.000, è del 1958, in acciaio, automatico con quadrante nero con finitura a nido d’ape (realizzato in ferro dolce), indici luminosi e in metallo applicati, lancette Dauphine in alluminio, secondi “a saetta”.

Tutti i dettagli su www.christies.com/calendar/

By Manuel Galvez e Andrea Foffi

www.meridianae.com – info@meridianae.com

www.oredelmondo.com – info@oredelmondo.com


NEW YORK – Christie’s New York announces highlights of its upcoming Important Watches auction on December 9. With 408 wristwatches, pocket-watches, and desk clocks on offer, the sale is highlighted by a Rolex, Reference 6101, which boasts a polychrome cloisonné enamel dial with map of North and South America, surrounded by fish and seagulls, a Patek Philippe, white gold Reference 5101 with blue dial, and a Patek Philippe, Reference 715 pocket-watch which depicts a hunting enamel illustration by L. Pellarin-Leroy, a top enamellist working for Patek Philippe in the late 1960s and 1970s. The two-session auction, with over one hundred lots offered with no reserve, is to be held at Christie’s flagship Rockefeller Center saleroom and is expected to achieve in excess of US$6 million. 

As Lot 333 of the afternoon session, the iconic Milgauss Reference 6541 will be a treat for watch aficionados. Introduced to the market in the mid-1950s, the Milgauss model reference 6541 with black revolving bezel was designed for use in areas of high electro-magnetic field, such as research labs or power stations. The present lot on offer December 9 (illustrated right; estimate: $100,000 – 200,000), manufactured in 1968, is an extremely rare stainless steel automatic wristwatch with black honeycomb dial also featuring a lightning flash second hand. In 2008, the watch was serviced by Rolex USA and following the servicing a Rolex SVP for Technical Operations sent a letter to the owner stating that upon inspection the watch, bezel, dial, hands and movement were all original Rolex manufacture. The letter further states the watch was manufactured on September 8th, 1958.

See on www.christies.com/calendar/

By Manuel Galvez e Andrea Foffi

www.meridianae.com – info@meridianae.com

www.oredelmondo.com – info@oredelmondo.com

Hong Kong – Christie’s Important Watches Autumn Auction 2014 – Nov 26, 2014

Hong Kong – L’asta “Important Watches Autumn Auction 2014” di Christie’s andrà in scena domani 26 novembre 2014, con un totale di 542 orologi in offerta e un valore stimato pari a HK $ 98000000 / $ 12,6 milioni, la vendita presenta una superba serie di orologi di altissima caratura. Oltre a pezzi dalla rinomata fama, l’asta presenterà una serie di creazioni all’avanguardia da parte di marchi indipendenti di tutto il mondo. Inoltre, i collezionisti saranno lieti di trovare importanti orologi da tasca.

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Patek Philippe ha a catalogo tre orologi da polso moderni eccezionali tra i punti forti della stagione. A guidare il trio, il Ref. 5074 in oro rosa realizzato intorno al 2011 quadrante nero. Prodotto in piccole quantità, esemplari in oro rosa sono estremamente rari da trovare. Ampiamente considerato un classico contemporaneo, questo Patek non è mai stato indossato, né tolto della confezione originale. La sua notevole esclusività rappresenta una grande opportunità per i collezionisti di tutto il mondo (Lot 2374, stima: HK $ 3,8-5.000.000 / US $ 480,000-620,000).

Due lotti notevoli riguardano Patek Philippe Ref. 5950 e il Ref. 5101. Il primo è un cronografo split seconds estremamente raffinato e raro con numeri Breguet, del 2013, è un modello classico per la funzione split (stima HK $ 2,5-4.000.000/US $ 320,000-500,000). Mentre il secondo, del 2006, è un raro cronometro rettangolare in platino rattrapante con 10 giorni di riserva di carica (stima HK $ 1,3-1.800.000 / US $ 160,000-230,000).

La sezione orologi d’epoca di questa stagione include quattro capolavori di cui due Patek Philippe. La Ref. 1579, un cronografo estremamente raffinato e raro del 1945 circa (stimato US$ 200,000 – $ 300,000); l’altro è la Ref. 3448, un calendario perpetuo con bracciale in oro 18k automatico con fasi lunari (stimato US$ 110,000-160,000). Poi sono da evidenziare due Rolex, il “Milsub” creato per la British Royal Navy, Ref. 5513/5517, del 1975 e il “Killy”, un cronografo con triplo calendario, Ref. 6036, del 1953.

Parlando di Rolex è da sottolineare tra i moderni uno splendido “SaruGMT Master II in oro 18k con diamanti, rubini e zaffiri al lotto 2627 Ref. 116758 del 2006 (stima US$40,000-60,000).

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Hong Kong – Christie’s Hong Kong Important Watches Autumn Auction 2014 will be staged on 26 November 2014. with a total of 542 watches on offer and estimated at HK$98 million/ US$12.6 million, the sale features a superb array of timepieces of the finest calibre. Apart from top-notch minute repeating, perpetual calendar, tourbillon and split seconds chronograph wristwatches from the world’s leading blue chip brands, the auction will also present a string of cutting-edge creations of the globe’s foremost independent makers. In addition, collectors will be delighted to find notable pocket watches featuring tourbillon and automata mechanisms, as well as some of the most lavishly jewelled watches ever manufactured.

MODERN WATCHES BY PATEK PHILIPPE

Patek Philippe, one of world’s most renowned watchmakers, continues to take centre stage in Christie’s Hong Kong watch auction, with three exceptional modern wristwatches among season’s highlights. Leading the trio is a Very Fine, Rare and Important 18K Pink Gold Automatic Minute Repeating Perpetual Calendar Wristwatch. In addition to its exceptional minute repeating function, this present Patek Phillippe Ref. 5074, made circa 2011, features  moon phases, 24 hour and leap year indication on a black dial. Manufactured in small numbers only, Ref. 5074 was launched in yellow gold in 2001 and was discontinued in 2006; pink gold examples are extremely rare to come by. Widely considered a contemporary classic, Ref. 5074 is hugely popular amongst collectors as it incarnates the strengths and wonderful acoustics of Patek Philippe minute repeaters.

According to research by Christie’s specialists, the present lot is one of the very few known examples with highly sought-after Arabic numerals on black dial, and marks the first time that a pink gold example has come to auction. Fresh to the market and still factory sealed (meaning it has never been worn, nor taken out of its original packaging). Its remarkable exclusivity presents a great opportunity for collectors worldwide (Lot 2374, illustrated right, Estimate: HK$3,800,000-5,000,000 / US$480,000-620,000).

MODERN WATCHES

Two other notable lots are a Ref. 5950 and a Ref. 5101. The former, an Extremely Fine and Very Rare Stainless Steel Cushion-Shaped Split Seconds Chronograph Wristwatch with Breguet Numerals, circa 2013, is a classic model for split function. While the latter, manufactured circa 2006, is a Fine and Rare Platinum Rectangular Tourbillon Chronometer Wristwatch for Split Seconds or Rattrapante Chronograph function with 10 Day Power Reserve.

Lot 2523. Patek Philippe. An Extremely Fine and Very Rare Stainless Steel Cushion-Shaped Split Seconds Chronograph Wristwatch with Breguet Numerals, Original Certificate and Box. Signed Patek Philippe, Geneve, Ref. 5950, Circa 2013
Estimate: HK$2,500,000-4,000,000 / US$320,000-500,000

 Lot 2241. Patek Philippe. A Fine and Rare Platinum Rectangular Tourbillon Chronometer Wristwatch with 10 Day Power Reserve, Original Certificate and Box. Signed Patek Philippe, Geneve, Ref. 5101, Circa 2006
Estimate: HK$1,300,000-1,800,000 / US$160,000-230,000

This section is highlighted by three exceptional pieces, each from an industry heavyweight, including Audemars Piguet, Hublot and A. Lange & Söhne.

INDEPENDENT WATCHMAKERS

Combining outstanding craftsmanship, unique looks and a wide variety of complications, independent watchmakers continue to garner admiration among collectors with their horological creations. An ultra-light model that was specifically created for its namesake Spanish tennis star, the Rafael Nadal RM027 Model (Lot 2719, illustrated left, Estimate: HK$3,200,000-4,800,000 / US$400,000-600,000), circa 2011 is from Swiss brand Richard Mille. This Fine and Very Rare Titanium and Carbon Composite Limited Edition Skeletonised Tourbillon Wristwatch weighs only 19 grams, and belongs to a limited edition of 50 pieces, of which the current lot is no. 2.

RM027 is named as one of the world lightest watch to ever be made. The alloy used here is also applied in aerospace on the Airbus A380, helicopters, rockets, satellites as well as in Formula 1 racing cars. Initially conceived by Mille for Nadal to wear during tennis games, the model was therefore designed to be light, extremely shock-resistance and comfortable to play tennis with. Having made countless appearances on the champion player’s wrist in top-level tennis matches, RM027 has proven itself to be a delicate marvel that’s also capable of handling the shock of a professional sport.

VINTAGE WATCHES

Meanwhile, from another Swiss high-end watchmaker, Greubel Forsey, comes a Very Fine, Important and Very Rare Platinum Asymmetrical 24 Seconds Inclined Tourbillon Wristwatch with 72 Hours Power Reserve, Tourbillon 24 Seconds Incline Model, No. 53, circa 2013.

Revered watchmakers Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey have been working together for nearly two decades in a relationship founded on their shared technical creativity and quest for perfection. In 1999, they began working on a new generation of tourbillons designed to improve the timekeeping of mechanical watches. Four years later, they unveiled Greubel Forsey and stunned horological aficionados with their innovation and excellence.

The present lot is complete with leather wallet, fitted presentation box and outer packaging, and a Greubel Forsey Extrait du Grand Livre and Certificat de Grand Service. This certificate is valid during six months following the date of acquisition of the watch at Christie’s, offering the new owner a free servicing of the watch in Greubel Forsey’s workshops.

Another notable lot is a Fine, Rare and Unusual Platinum and Diamond-Set Tonneau-Shaped Wandering Hour Wristwatch from F.P. Journe Vagabondage Model, circa 2004. This season’s vintage section is highlighted by four classic masterpieces, including two Patek Philippes—one is an Extremely

Fine and Very Rare Stainless Steel Chronograph Wristwatch, Ref. 1579, circa 1945 (illustrated on page 1, HK$1,600,000 – $2,400,000 / US$200,000 – $300,000), and the other is a Bracelet Watch, Ref. 3448, circa 1970. Rolex wristwatches also offer two important wristwatches, the ―Milsub‖, an automatic Wristwatch Made for the British Royal Navy, Ref. 5513/5517, circa 1975 and the ―Killy‖, a Triple Calendar Chronograph Wristwatch, Ref. 6036, circa 1953.

BEJEWELLED TIMEPIECES

Led by five dazzling Cartier ―Le Cirque Animalier‖ watches, an array of bejewelled timepieces bring the bling to the sale. The bejewelled lady’s watches of Le Cirque Animalier de Cartier were first created in 2008. As they were all produced in limited editions, the watches are highly coveted and notoriously difficult to obtain. Exceptionally, on offer in this sale is the entire initial collection made in 2008, which depicts three endangered animal from Asia – the Panda, the Tiger and the Elephant. Also featured here are the Turtle watch from the 2011 collection and the Dragonfly watch from the 2012 collection. Each piece in this spectacular quintet of stunners is estimated to worth HK$320,000 – $480,000 / US$40,000 – $60,000, and is truly a work of art in its own right that transcends the dimensions of time and fashion.

Other top lots in this section consist of a Cartier wristwatch with three rotatable dials, a Piaget lady’s 18k white gold and diamond-set tonneau-shaped bracelet watch, a Vacheron Constantin white gold and baguette diamond-set limited edition chronograph wristwatch with black dial and an automatic dual time wristwatch signed by Rolex. This Rolex watch with GMT- Master II ―Saru‖ Model is made in 18k gold and set with diamonds weighing approximately 10 carats, rubies weighing around 1 carat and sapphire weighing approximately 1 carat, giving it its ―Saru‖ nickname.