Fortuna Announces “Important Watches” Auction—And the Name Says It All

New York City-based auction house Fortuna hosts the second installment of the “Important Watches” auction following a successful sale in June. Another sampling of rare timepieces will be up for grabs during the September 27 event. Collectors’ pieces from Patek Philippe, Breguet, Audemars Piguet, Rolex, and more will go to the highest bidder, with starting prices ranging from $500 to $110,000.

Patek Philippe Nautilus with Date Moonphase Complications

The crown jewel of the auction—a rare, fresh-to-market Rolex “Paul Newman” Daytona—carries the highest starting bid at $110,000. And rightly so. The early 70s piece comes to the auction in great condition from its original owner. Other highlights include highly sought after vintage and contemporary pieces from Patek Philippe: a “Nautilus” Ref. 5712/1A (with box and papers) and an incredibly well-preserved first-series Ref. 2526 will be up for grabs. And not to be overlooked are a Gerald Genta “Success” Octagon Chronograph, a circa 1973 Rolex Explorer II Ref. 1655, and an impressive selection women’s pieces from Cartier, Chanel, and Piaget.

Important Watches will take place at 1:00 PM on Thursday, September 27th. Register to bid here.

The Witty, Wild World of Gucci Watches Online

Gucci hasn’t broken the internet, but it has cracked Instagram. And we can’t get enough.

Photographs by Martin Paar

For its new Instagram campaign, Gucci commissioned British photographer Martin Parr to capture its new watches at nine so-called Gucci Places—sites of brand inspiration, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Maison Assouline in London, and Gucci’s own Florentine garden. As with all of Parr’s work, the photos are hyper-saturated, acerbic, precisely observed. It’s the only luxury watch campaign this year co-starring a stale croissant, a pigeon’s gnarled claw, and a few spots of a tourist’s acne. #TimeToParr is as visually successful as it is ambitious. Which is saying something. 

ITALY. Gucci. Time to Parr. 2018.

The collaboration between Gucci, a brand that’s as Italian as bus strike, and Martin Parr, documentarian of British kitsch and quirk, was not self-evident. It owes its existence to one Roman Anglophile: Alessandro Michele, the visionary, maximally-coiffed creative director of Gucci.

Michele’s love of the British is foundational. His very first collections featured models that looked as if they were honey-dipped then dragged through the Elizabethan, Victorian and Edwardian eras; above the shoulders alone, accessories included ruffled collars, slips of tartan and silk scarves knotted under the neck, a look recognizable to viewers of The Crown. Another dream, realized in 2016, was a Gucci show staged at Westminster Abbey, the sight of all English coronations since William the Conqueror’s ascent in 1066. Cool, Britannia.

ITALY. Gucci. Time to Parr. 2018.

Now we have these Martin Parr pictures, which—not to put too fine a point on it—are about perfect. Timely, technicolor, absurd and charming. From the company that sells four-figure jackets embroidered with the Yankees logo, commissioning the former president of the Magnum photography collective to shoot an Instagram campaign makes a perverse kind of sense. It’s the full glory of high-low.

But there are many British photographers. What bound Michele’s cavalcade of prints, ruffles and horse-bit everything specifically to Martin Parr is a two-part epoxy: one part robust Anglophilia, one part dense, referential, mordant wit. Parr’s work is most often described as anthropological and satirical. What are Michele’s silhouettes, pulled from Renaissance paintings, if not anthropology? What is an interlocked-G Gucci logo the size of a focaccia if not satire?

Rather than flying in a phalanx of models, Parr cast subjects via their proximity to Gucci’s chosen locales and, in the case of one Chatsworth House groundskeeper, for the proximity of the green of his jacket to Gucci’s own trademarked hue. The man, gray and gentle, sweeps the pavement. Peeking from beneath the sleeve of his fleece: a 38mm G-Timeless, its band a perfect match to the worn broom handle.

GB. England. Gucci. Time to Parr. 2018.

Another photo from Chatsworth is a portrait-of-a-portrait: two teens taking a selfie. They’re demure and apple-cheeked. The boy’s phone case, garish and worn, would give most art directors an aneurysm. But follow his hand down to the wrist and you see the juxtaposition: cheap plastic foregrounding Gucci’s Eryx G-Timeless, sitting as serene and golden as a sphinx.

Across the Atlantic, a different shot shows a woman head to toe in pink: clothes, nails, eyeglasses, jewelry, hairdo, notably taut face. Whatever she’s regarding is out of frame, but it could be one of LACMA’s Rodins—her hand clasps her chin in homage to the sculptor’s “The Thinker.” The watch, Gucci’s Le Marché Des Merveilles, is appropriately Pepto-Bismol, plus serpents, studs, and shoe-leather from one of Shirley Temple’s old Mary Janes.

HONG KONG. TOKYO. LA. NYC. Gucci. Time to Parr. 2018.

Was commissioning Martin Parr, famed for biting meta-portraits of the leisure class, to photograph luxury goods a wise idea? Can such a surfeit of irony—Gucci’s current retro-indulgence plus Parr’s wicked perspective plus The Internet—trick the laws of metaphysics, piercing through layer after layer of critique, parody and burlesque, and end up engendering the glamour that makes a buyer point to a bauble, and say, Mine?

And so one might wonder: Is this #TimetoParr campaign the best Anglo-Italian collaboration since Spaghetti Westerns?

Indeed, we say. Decisamente, si.

Hit List: Chopard Mille Miglia Racing Colors

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of its partnership with the Mille Miglia, Italy’s famed open-road endurance race, Chopard has introduced a collection of five Mille Miglia Racing Colours watches inspired by cars that competed in the historic race between 1927 and 1940. Each 42 mm chronograph bears a different dial color, a nod to the race’s leading nationalities (Italian, British, German, Belgian and French).

Chopard Mille Miglia Racing Colors – The fiery Rosso Corso red.

$6,080, each sold separately; chopard.com

Hit List: Roger Dubuis Excalibur Aventador S

Proud of its newly minted partnership with Lamborghini Squadra Corse—the Italian automaker’s motorsports division, responsible for competitions such as the Super Trofeo—Roger Dubuis is touting a new 45 mm Excalibur Aventador S edition in blue that boasts a degree of complexity familiar to fans of supercars. Powered by the Geneva watchmaker’s Duotor (double balance wheels) concept, the model features a completely revamped 312-part RD103SQ movement sheathed in a skeletonized Excalibur Spider case.

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Aventador S
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Aventador S

$194,500; rogerdubuis.com

Raptures of the Deep

Photographs by Junichi Ito
Styling by Stephen Watson & Jared Lawton

Doctors call it nitrogen narcosis. Diving’s old guard call it Martini’s Law. Both mean the same thing: For every 15 meters of depth, the physical effect is equivalent to one drink. Euphoria? Hallucinations? All that and more. But you don’t need an underwater trip to see that modern sports watches are reaching higher levels of dry-land appeal. Slowly surface. It’s time to decompress.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph, $26,600; audemarspiguet.com
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Carbon Diver Watch, $8,950; cartier.com
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date 70s, $12,700; blancpain.com
Hublot King Power Titanium Oceanographic 4000, $20,600; hublot.com
LEFT: Rado Tradition Captain Cook MK III, $2,550; rado.com RIGHT: TAG Heuer Aquaracer Calibre 5, $2,400; tagheuer.com
Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic Oro Rosso, $26,700; panerai.com
Rolex Sea-Dweller, $11,350; rolex.com
LEFT: Vacheron Constantin Overseas, $20,900; vacheron-constantin.com RIGHT: Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver, $3,700; bellross.com
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