This is Watch Bites. This week, we’re geeking out over Rolliefest, getting colorful with Richard Mille, and more, so check your wrist, take your seat, and let’s get into it!
🍿 5 min read
Here's what we got today:
Rolliefest 2023 gathers choice Rolexes and more in New York 🗽
Vacheron Constantin links with the Metropolitan Museum of Art 🖼
Serica drops a brave new GMT Chronomètre 🇫🇷
Zodiac and Worn & Wound team up, with interesting results
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.
Rolliefest 2023 - the envy of every Rolex owner on the planet!
You don’t have to own a Paul Newman Daytona to get excited about RollieFest. All you need, like many people in attendance, is a desire to bask in the presence of the Swiss giant’s timepieces… and a 5-year waitlist.
Geoff Hess, head of watches at Sotheby’s, is the spirit and presence behind RollieFest. Hess said at this year’s gathering “Tonight, we are all the same. Together, we all share the same passion”. If he’s talking about a passion for watches that I neither need nor afford, he’s bang on the money.
Aside from a panel discussion, millions of wrist shots and a Manhattan cocktail hour, the festival was defined by the astronomical amount of luxury watches worn by attendees over the weekend. For those of you wondering, it wasn’t only Rolexes - sublime Cartiers, vintage Heuers, and a few rarer-than-rare Pateks were floating around in the crowd.
Check out Hodinkee’s photo dump below for more soul-crushingly sexy insight.
Vacheron Constantin gets educative with the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Education has always been a part of what goes on at Vacheron, stemming from Jean-Marc Vacheron’s commitment to teaching his fine skills to an apprentice all the way back in 1755. From this modest promise grew a storied line of apprentices and masters at Vacheron, as well as the Maison’s ‘One of Not Many Mentorship Program’ which, I’m sure, is as grueling as its title suggests.
Now, Vacheron has joined with one of the most important museums in the world to further both educational and cultural endeavors. As the old saying goes, two internationally renowned institutions are better than one, so expect great things from Vacheron’s partnership with the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We fully expect this partnership to bring with it a few unique timepieces. One can only imagine what to expect - will the Met inject more colorful and intricate dial designs into Vacheron’s revered watches?
Rolex made a breakthrough with the first-ever waterproof watch in 1926. Hermetically sealed with screw-down components and gaskets, the Rolex Oyster revolutionized the timekeeping world!
3 Watch Collection: Big Budget Edition
A sport, dress, and everyday watch with an unlimited budget? It sounds easy, but the stakes are high in the big leagues! This week a timeless Patek, a Vacheron for everything, and a limited Japanese racer take the reigns.
Grand Seiko SBGC229 (Sport watch) - This limited Japanese racer marks both the 20th anniversary of Grand Seiko’s Spring Drive movement and the 50th anniversary of Nissan’s Skyline 2000-GTR car. It’s a chronograph with stunning accuracy and attention to detail, from the 9R96 movement to the ceramic and titanium case finishing. It’ll run you $21,000, a small price to pay for this many sub-dials.
Patek Philippe Calatrava ‘Clous De Paris’ Ref. 6119R (Dress watch) - As dress watches go, you can’t get any better than this - the 6119R is as technically brilliant as it is beautiful. The hand-wound movement has a 65-hour reserve and is as fine-tuned as any mechanical being can be. For a meagre $29,600, you’ll at least believe it’s the most accurate dress watch on the planet.
Vacheron Constantin Historiques ‘222’ (Everyday watch) - Do you want to be more like Brad Pitt? Well, this Historiques can’t make you as handsome as him, but it might make you feel as famous. For $74,000 it’s certainly one to wear everyday, if only to get your money’s worth. The integrated case and bracelet might make this the best looking ticker out there, and the unparalleled caliber 2455/2 movement guarantees you’ll be on time for those casting calls and auditions you’ve started lining up…
Total Collection Cost (USD): $121,600
Richard Mille’s new RM 07-01 is a florescent color show of note, flaunting bold tones on multi-component ceramic cases. Having not seen Barbie, I can’t say with certainty that these watches are in the film but I’d be damn surprised if they aren’t, given that the new RM 07-01 literally looks like Ken’s entire wardrobe. Jokes aside, the simplicity of these dials despite their loudness is a breath of fresh air. Now, can we get one with some grown-up colors, please Richard?
Serica quietly released one of the year’s coolest GMTs this month, proving that the small French watch house is more than capable of making high-end watches that satisfy more discerning tastes. A tri-coloured rotating bezel and sharp pointer hands define the ticker’s overall look with standout style. And for $2,000, Serica is competing with some serious players.
Seiko commemorates the 110th anniversary of its first wristwatch release, the Laurel, with a flurry of new timepieces. There’s an homage in virtually every Seiko collection, including a number of Presage renderings, a couple of Prospex releases (namely a tasty Alpinist), and a 5 Sports number. Although they’re not all winners, there’s plenty here for the Seiko geeks among us!
W&W meets Zodiac halfway for a laser tag-inspired ticker that’s based on the latter’s SuperSea Wolf. It’s definitely a bit of fun, even if it looks as though it was made for 12-year-olds in the early 90s. Doubtless, no self-respecting watch collector would be seen dead wearing one of these in public but the effort is appreciated, in any case…
Watch Scout by Watch Bites
Oris Propilot X calibre 400
Blancpain Villeret Quantième Complet Moonphase
Case: Stainless steel, 40mm
Condition: Very good
Box & Papers: Yes, box and papers included
IWC Portuguese Perpetual Calendar 18k White Gold
Case: 18k white gold, 44.5mm
Condition: Very good, leather strap shows wear
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.!