Water is one of the biggest environmental challenges, from access to drinking water, at risk of becoming a luxury, to the threats that pollution and overfishing represent for the oceans and marine life. Many of the projects that Rolex supports propose innovative solutions.
Throughout the twentieth century, Rolex watches were worn by courageous individuals as they set out to explore unknown corners of the globe. Today's expeditions are more likely to pursue scientific and environmental objectives. Rolex is as present as ever through its Perpetual Planet campaign.
Between 2000 and 2004, at the behest of a private collector, the Manufacture in Plan-les-Ouates made a number of wristwatches in titanium whose reference numbers were never revealed outside a small inner circle. This extraordinary collection will now appear in public for the first time when it comes under the hammer at Sotheby's.
Auctions are an opportunity for clock and watch museums to add to their collections with pieces that rarely become available elsewhere. Yet despite these noble intentions, a museum is a bidder like any other, and must be prepared to pay the price for the lots it wishes to acquire.
The spring session of sales, though rather lacklustre, still managed to establish five record prices: three Patek Philippe, one Panerai and a Rolex whose dial, in cloisonné enamel, raised serious doubts as to its authenticity.
A museum quality marine chronometer, a Patek Philippe minute repeater from 1927, commissioned by Henry Graves, and two Rolex equipped with a Beta 21 quartz movement are expected to be the highlights of the four auctions, beginning May 10th.
Sotheby's and Antiquorum held sessions in Hong Kong for one, New York for the other, with mixed fortunes. While the former realised a more than satisfactory total, the latter can rank this among its least memorable sales… some might even say flops, given the numerous lots that went unsold.