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Jason Pitsch

Patek Philippe 1518 in steel breaks all-time watch auction record

Jason Pitsch

Over the past weekend, at the Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR, Phillips watch auction house sold a “trilogy” of Patek Philippe 1518s, including a 1 of 4 stainless steel version, which achieved a higher result than any other single watch at auction ever. The numbers speak for themselves and put in perspective the level of rarity (and demand) there is for a steel Patek Philippe, particularly a reference 1518 in steel. The yellow gold 1518 achieved $603,980 (lot 100), which is impressive. Even more impressive, were the results for the pink gold 1518 (lot 196), which earned more than double what the yellow gold piece brought in, at $1,488,740. And, of course (lot 38) – the ultra-rare stainless steel 1518 – beat the former two by a mile, with a record-breaking price of $11,112,020 (lot 38). This sale perfectly demonstrates how

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Jason Pitsch

Japan's first automatic mechanical watch

Jason Pitsch

The origins of Seiko began in 1881 when Kintarō Hattori opened a watch and jewelry shop in Tokyo’s Ginza district. A little over a decade after opening the shop, in 1892, Hattori started manufacturing clocks under the “Seikosha” name, which roughly translates to “the house of exquisite workmanship.” The Laurel, produced in 1913, was the company’s first watch, and also the first wristwatch made in Japan. However, it was not until 1924 that the first watches produced under the Seiko name were introduced. The Laurel was the first Japanese wristwatch, created in 1913 before the brand Seiko was used In 1956, Seiko introduced its first watch with a movement that was designed fully in-house. The Seiko Marvel incorporated Seiko’s “Diashock” shock absorption system – and that was just the beginning of many years of innovations to come from Japan’s oldest

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Jason Pitsch

Video: Aurel Bacs explains the provenance of Patek Philippe's mythical stainless steel Ref. 1518

Jason Pitsch

In this video, Phillips Watches auctioneer, Aurel Bacs discusses the highlights of the upcoming Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR, which takes place November 12th and 13th. Specifically, Bacs discusses the trilogy of Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 wristwatches that will be auctioned, including what the company refers to as the ne plus ultra watch of the 20th century – the stainless steel Patek Philippe Ref. 1518. According to Bacs, in 1941, when reference 1518 was launched, it was the most complicated wristwatch in the world – made in series – in the midst of a war. The steel watch was made in 1943, and sold in Hungary in February 1944. Watch the video to learn the full story behind this amazing piece of horological history, as well as some additional Patek Philippe highlights, including a rare Ref. 565 black dial steel watch

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Original owner Rolex Submariner Ref. 5513 Explorer dial with box and papers to be auctioned

Gardiner Houlgate auctioneers in the UK have an original owner Rolex Submariner Ref. 5513 with a rare Explorer dial that will be auctioned on October 26th. The watch was purchased from Perry Greaves Limited in Birmingham on May 28th, 1966, for £69.10. It was a gift from the seller’s wife just before the birth of their first child, who was born in October of the same year. The 3-6-9 hour markers make this watch what is called a Submariner “Explorer” dial, due to its similarity to an actual Rolex Explorer dial. This is, of course, rarer than a standard 5513 and so it is worth many times more. Plus, it includes box and papers, and story from its original owner along with photos from the 1960s and 1970s, respectively, showing him wearing the watch. Additional details of the watch include

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Jason Pitsch

Crown & Caliber Heuer 100 Sale

Jason Pitsch

Over the past few years, Atlanta-based online pre-owned watch retailer, Crown & Caliber, has acquired 70 rare and important vintage Heuer timepieces in anticipation of their upcoming Heuer 100 Sale that will last from Monday, September 19th to Thursday, September 22nd. Crown & Caliber says this will mark the first time a sale like this (100 total Heuer watches) has been executed by a retailer, as big single-brand themed vintage watch sales usually take place at auction houses, such as Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and Phillips. According to Crown & Caliber, the sale will work like this: “On Monday, the minimum suggested sale price will be listed live on the site at noon EST, after which bidders may submit non-binding offers on the watches in the collection. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the current highest offer on an item will be published at

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Jason Pitsch

Two new Alpina Heritage timepieces, and the vintage watches that inspired them

Jason Pitsch

A trend in recent years has been for watchmakers to produce timepieces heavily inspired by past designs from within their archives. Longines has an entire collection of modern timepieces influenced by their past models, including, most recently, the Heritage Military COSD, and the Longines Heritage Diver 1967. Oris too, has started recreating past models, starting with the Sixty Five Diver, which looks practically the same as the original model from which is was designed, and it has been so success that they have already created additional variations, such as the Deauville blue version. Tudor, who has essentially relaunched their brand around the best selling Black Bay range, used inspiration from multiple past models to create a look the harkens back to models from the 1950s and 1960s. This year, Alpina has followed suit, starting with the launch of the Seastrong

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Josh Shanks

Pre-owned Heads and Tails with Govberg Watches

Josh Shanks

Many people know Govberg watches, they’ve been around since 1916. They’re one of the east coast’s premier authorized dealers of Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, and many others. However, you may not know that outside of selling new watches, they do a brisk pre-owned business. ProfessionalWatches is partnering with the folks at Govberg to bring you inside of their pre-owned vaults. Over the coming months, we’ll be bringing you thematic coverage of some of our favorites pieces in their vast inventory. Today’s edition: Summer watches As summer approaches, many of you may be looking for the perfect swimsuit or beach attire. Have you thought about what watch you’re going to wear? Maybe you have a dress watch and need a good dive watch. Perhaps your vintage diver isn’t the best option to go swimming in the ocean with. On a

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Josh Shanks

Pre-Owned Heads and Tails with Govberg watches

Josh Shanks

Many people know Govberg Jewelers, they’ve been around since 1916. They’re one of the East Coast’s premier authorized dealers of Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, and many others. However, you may not know that outside of selling new watches, they do a brisk pre-owned business. ProfessionalWatches is partnering with the folks at Govberg to bring you inside of their pre-owned vaults. Over the coming months, we’ll bring you thematic coverage of some of our favorites pieces in their vast inventory. Today’s edition: Textures In horology, textures can come in many different forms. Perhaps it’s the texture of a dial, a supple rubber strap, the feel of an exotic leather strap, or simply, the feel of a sharp crown. After a working our way through Govberg’s pre-owned inventory of nearly 1,000+ watches, here are some of my favorites: Texture: Rubber This

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Josh Shanks

The Wish List: A horological couple reviews the upcoming Geneva auctions

Josh Shanks

What we’d buy – A his/hers approach to the upcoming November auctions Many sites offer various market/auction reviews and recaps—but we’re going to try something a little different. We’re approaching the upcoming Christies, Phillips, and Antiquorum auctions from a couple’s perspective. Far too often, sites are curated with a man’s eye, but the woman’s perspective is lost. Since Brenda and I collect with consensus, we’ll each pick five watches we like and would actually buy. Enjoy! Antiquorum, Geneva - November 8, 2015 Christies, Geneva - November 9, 2015 Phillips Watches, Geneva - November 7 & 8 Brenda’s picks – When it comes to horological investments, I’m very particular and rarely find more than one every few months that I consider adding to the collection. This upcoming crop of auctions is pretty flush with great finds, though. Christie’s Lot 150 Patek

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Worn: Bulova Apollo 15 Lunar Surface Chronograph

An absolutely epic Bulova chronograph is coming up for sale next week. From October 15th to the 22nd, you will be able to bid on a watch worn on the moon by Commander Dave Scott of Apollo 15. As stated in his 5-page letter of authenticity, Scott explained, “The primary use of the wrist chronograph on the surface of the Moon was to track…the elapsed time of consumables use (oxygen, water, and battery) in the Portable Life Support System (PLSS) backpack.” In the letter Scott went on to say, “Knowledge of precise time remaining was essential…as a backup to the standard issued Omega chronograph, I carried and used a Bulova chronograph on the lunar surface…this unique strap was…worn during…each of my three EVAs on the lunar surface.” Paying $50,000 or more for a Bulova watch may seem ridiculous, but, in

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