This is Watch Bites. This week, Breitling makes a BIG acquisition in Switzerland, Hermes heads to Mexico, and more, so check your wrist, pause that obnoxious YouTube video, and let’s jump into it!
🍿 4 min read
Here's what we got today:
Breitling acquires Universal Geneve 🇨🇭
A shiny new Zenith to peak your anxiety
The weirdness of the watch market in 2023 😵💫
Junghans greatest release ever 🇩🇪
The numbers above represent market trends in secondhand watch prices. The “Price“ column represents the average secondhand price for the top 30 watches of each brand. This data is sourced from Watch Charts.
3 New York Auction Results Paint an Interesting Picture
We can all agree that 2023 was a wild (and kind of weird) year for watches, with unexpected upsets - the cancellation of Only Watch, for example - and formidable highs (the Carrera Glassbox, anyone?).
Nowhere was there more intrigue and surprise than at the auction houses, where multi-million dollar estimates either fell short or were proven depressingly optimistic. To round up the year, Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips all held auctions in New York, the results of which should leave us all with a sense of shaky optimism. Vintage Rolexes showed their teeth and commanded unholy sums (thanks, John player), while blue-chip Pateks stacked up massive sums, the highest of all being $1.8 million for a gorgeous Patek 1518R. Perhaps the strangest of all auction lots, however, was the $400,000 solid gold Casio G-Shock that, with the help of some ChatGPT AI interfacing, has possibly ushered in a new age of (it hurts to say it) luxury Casio timepieces.
I don’t know what to make of it all but one thing’s for sure - next year is going to be a hell of a ride for the “f*ck you money” watch enthusiasts.
Breitling Just Snapped Up Universal Geneve!
After Rolex acquired Bucherer earlier this year, a lot of people were left wondering if luxury watch retail was about to collapse if any other firms might try something so bold.
Few could’ve guessed that Breitling and Universal Geneve would be the two names involved in another massive deal before the year’s end. For years (perhaps decades), watch enthusiasts have longed to see the historically formidable house of Universal Geneve restored to its former glory as a bastion of haute horology and with the news of Breitling’s purchase of the old Swiss heartthrob, this dream is closer to reality than ever. Breitling CEO Georges Kern said in his press release that “Rebuilding a brand with such a rich narrative… is a meticulous labor of love that we anticipate will unfold over the coming years. A dedicated team will… allow Breitling and Universal Genève to operate as separate maisons”.
Of course, you’re entitled to some skepticism, but remember… everybody wins if UG starts making great watches again.
In most Rolex advertisements and displays, the date is usually set to 28. The reason for this is unknown but it could be because it’s the only date that every month in the calendar has (thanks, Obama February).
3 Watch Collection: White Gold Edition
What’s better than gold? Well, white gold, obviously. It’s disguised as steel but feels like a million dollars, so why wouldn’t you want the perfect trio of white gold watches? Strap in because this one’s going to get a bit crazy.
AP Royal Oak Frosted Chronograph (Sport watch) - With what may be the frostiest frosted case of all time, this limited edition AP separates itself from the crowd. If you know Audemars, you know that this puppy is unique in its finish and faultless in its operation. That’s $200,000 for a watch that looks so good, that you may not even notice the peerless calibre 2385 within.
Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921 (Dress watch) - With its timeless slanted dial design, corner crown, and soft-yet-hard edges, this VC is one of the most coveted high-end watches among collectors who understand timeless style. For everyone else, it’s a $40,400 watch that was made whilst having a hangover.
H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour Centre Seconds (Everyday watch) - If you love a bit of fumé like I love a bit of fumé, the $24,000 Endeavour Centre Seconds is perhaps the most perfect fumé dial of all time. H. Moser has got watch design down to a fine art, as this piece proves.
Total Collection Cost (USD): $264,400
Junghans’ new Meister Fein automatic dress watches are ultra minimal and probably their best release ever!
The colorful Arceau Belles du Mexique by Hermes will have you (or your wife) living the Mexican dream.
It’s weird. It’s chunky. It’s endlessly exciting. Is the Kollokium Projekt 01 2023’s newest watch, or a goofy flop?
Mirror, mirror, on the wall. Should I buy a scratch-magnet Zenith at all? The new DEFY Extreme Mirror proves that being sexy can be risky.
Watch Scout by Watch Bites
Oris Big Crown Bronze 80th Anniversary
Cartier Ronde Solo De Cartier
Case: 18k yellow gold, 36mm
Condition: Very good
Box & Papers: Yes, box and papers included
Case: Stainless steel, 44mm
Box & Papers: Yes, box and papers included
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*Watch Bites does not provide financial advice. None of this is financial advice. This is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. Please be careful and do your own research!