2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the Aquanaut, a Patek Philippe sports watch which, despite its pedigree and fabulous design, remains in the shadow of the legendary Nautilus, and continues to divide hardcore fans of the brand.
A watch with a slide rule is a rare beast, made by only a handful of brands and intended for a specialist audience. As interest in professional tool watches grows, it's worth reminding ourselves how these mechanical calculators work, and why they were so important in the pre-digital age.
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"Geneva at the Heart of Time – The Origin of Swiss Watchmaking Culture" opened in Beijing at end April. The exhibition was patiently brought to fruition by the Capital Museum in Beijing, the Musée d'Art et d'Histoire in Geneva and Vacheron Constantin, and is already a landmark event in Asia.
Excluding the Henry Graves Supercomplication, which went for an astounding CHF 23.2 million, this November's Geneva sales realised CHF 25.4 million with Patek Philippe alone. Antiquorum, Christie's and Sotheby's closed their autumn sessions on a total CHF 78.6 million.
At Sotheby’s Geneva, The Henry Graves Supercomplication re-established its supreme status as the most valuable timepiece in auction history, selling CHF 23.2 million (USD 24 million / EUR 19.3 million / GBP 15.1 million), thereby beating the record of USD 11 million it established in 1999.
Three years ago in these same columns (Revue FH) we reported on efforts by officers of the Guardia di Finanza to curb counterfeiting in Tuscany. The region of Florence is well known beyond Italy’s borders for its rich manufacturing heritage, handed down from the Middle Ages.
Since the very first civilisations, the measurement of time has progressed with Man's ingenuity. The same is true of aviation, which turned to watchmakers for accurate, functional, durable products. Timepieces in a class of their own with an immediately recognisable design.
The American customs administration and the FH are collaborating closely to curb unlawful use of the Swiss made label.