- The legendary auction house open up its doors to Port ahead of a Geneva watch sale of vintage IWC pieces
Words Chris Chasseaud
Photography Robin Sinha
There’s something rather special about owning a vintage watch. Whether it has a documented history or not, the aura surrounding it adds an extra touch of class. We’ve become familiar with the idea of fathers handing down a watch to their sons, and that very rite-of-passage image may exist to show a united understanding of how to measure the value of a watch. The reality, however, might be that you are yet to have been handed down a vintage timepiece by a parent.
Nowadays though, rather than wait, you can go ahead and acquire yourself a timepiece that has an heirloom sensibility about it. And as it becomes more appropriate and fitting to find a watch to suit your mood or your outfit, getting the right selection becomes important. Mixing vintage timepieces with your existing collection seems the safest and failsafe option.
Auction house Sotheby’s is about to embark on one of its largest timepiece auctions, celebrating Important Watches. Taking place in Geneva on 11th May, over 400 horological creations have been selected spanning the period from the 19th century through to the present day. A selection of vintage and modern wristwatches has be on display at the London Sotheby’s showrooms, illustrating what will be on offer in Geneva.
One brand that fits the classic and contemporary feel very well is IWC and in particular its Ingenieur style, which has became a watch making icon in its own right. Launched in 1955, the Ingenieur was a pure and simple man’s watch. The Ingenieur line was made with a specific clientele in mind: engineers, technicians, pilots and doctors. Themes and associations linked to those professional fields were used in advertising and inspired the stylised lightning logo that has become the hallmark of the Ingenieur.
Successive generations of Ingenieur watches have retained the basic concept of a rugged, water-resistant and antimagnetic watch in a round case, while also offering a fresher, sportier and more contemporary design. It therefore appeals not only to the technicians but also to discerning watch connoisseurs.
Geoffroy Ader, Head of Watches for Sotheby’s Europe, tells us that “IWC have become quite trendy recently, appealing to a younger and more active customer as the timepieces have a good price point and are in extremely good condition.” Aided by factors such as the timepieces coming with original boxes and certificates, interest has obviously been heightened. And with entrance prices being very reasonable, the Ingenieur is a perfect model to either start your own vintage collection or add an icon to your own ensemble of timepieces.
Ader added that it’s the first time Sotheby’s is doing something like this on such a scale for a horological auction. However, the interest has been very positive and if it’s successful they plan on doing more of the same thing. The selection on show in Sotheby’s London, offers a glimpse of what will be on offer in Geneva and invites customers to join them in Geneva to view the collection in its entirety.
More info on the Important Watches auction here
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