An Afternoon At Piaget Geneva

This year has been a monumental one since I started curating more and more Piaget for my stock.. I had my eyes on Piaget for years but I didn’t reach the collector maturity to understand the beauty, the quality, the infinitely supreme craftsmanship and unsurpassable value that it represents for the past 150 years!

The relationship with the brand sprouted also on a corporate level and I am happy to say Piaget has been extremely warm and accommodating since we got to meet last May in Geneva (check my auction review on the blog from May 2023).

This past November while I was in town for the auctions, Piaget and their PR Team where extremely kind to invite a group of collectors and enthusiasts, myself included, to an intimate Swiss comfort lunch in old town Geneva followed by a visit to the historic Rue de Rhone boutique to look at highlights from their epic vintage collection.

The gracious Anne Sophie Mallard (the PR director) and the savvy Alain Bourgeaud (curator of the archival collection) were wonderful hosts for the rowdy and youthful group of enthusiasts allowing us to touch, feel and photograph some really epic watches I could only dream of seeing!

From Andy Warhol’s “Andy Warhol” Jumbo Piaget, to the Miles Davis mythical skeletonized Polo on the strap gifted at the Montreux Jazz festival in the 80s..passing through some crazy intricate jewelry watches and mesmerizing stone dials it has been an afternoon for the horological chronicles never to be forgotten in my memories.

 

LET THE PARTY BEGIN!

 

 

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Andy Warhol’s Andy Warhol Piaget
Miles Davis’s Skeletonized Polo

Piaget 1KG Ingot watch
THE ANDY WARHOL BETA 21 BLACK TIE ORIGINAL!
very unusual back for this epic Beta 21 Andy Warhol Piaget
holding and looking at the Andy Warhol was a dream for me

root of ruby Piaget
hawks eye
Dali X Piaget Coin Bracelet Watch

the new Polo “Field Green”. I love it!
Bongo Watch!

Geneva Auction Trip November 2022

back in milano…

The world is open at last with no medical restrictions of any sort hence I can finally participate in the jet setting watch circus and walk the streets of Geneva again breathing that old world – European nobility snobbiness scent in the air and living the movie to it’s fullest.

hotel tiziano – milano

As per usual I like to drop by Milan first and then make my way up to Geneva with the train, this way I can visit my favorite places while conducting some business. On this last trip I was fortunate to unearth a wonderful and rare Cartier “Stirrup” from 1929 in white gold. Truly a treasure and going to a great new home.

What trip to Milano could it be without a stop in my most favorite shop in the world Al Bazar of Lino Ieluzzi and being grateful for this moment of serenity and passion for style.

 

In Geneva I visited all the auction houses minus Phillips..

Visiting Christie’s at the Four Seasons Hotel de Bergues is always a surreal experience starting with that essential oil they pump in the air smelling like your ultra rich Swiss nobility chateau. The offering is always a bit unreachable along with the stuffy air, anyways fun to participate!

 

At Antiquorum with close to 500 lots is where I like to have fun and is where I feel at home. The approachable style of the offering along with the very nice staff starting with Julian and Romain make it my favorite time in Geneva. There is always something for everyone and if there is somewhere I’d spend my money this is it.

offerings at Antiquorum

 

 

At Sotheby’s we can see the creme de la creme of collectible horology, I love their setup at the Mandarin Oriental and the staff is very helpful with Mikael at the helm.

The array of vintage Cartier, Patek, AP, Rolex etc is outstanding. The Breguet was phenomenal indeed as well.

The special thing about Geneva and visiting auction houses in general is the fact that you can see the best and most coveted timepieces up close. Touch them, feel them, smell them and learn every detail about them…that you won’t have a chance to examine again under one roof together with other passionate people like yourself.

 

 

a fantastic vintage Panerai 1940s from Antiquorum
I came home with this wonderful Cartier London Baignoire with sexy cream dial
details of a 1940s cintree
cintree 1940s

 

 

Milano my love my hometown

It’s been 20 years since I moved to New York on October 21st, 2002 as a 21 year old boy full of hope but with no money in my pocket.

I’ve been fortunate enough to build myself up since then, change few career paths (that always brought me back home for business) and now I can go return to my hometown as a seasoned vintage watch dealer purveying the best form watches out there.

My last trip to Milano was in October 2020 right after the Covid psy-war started while there were still no Green Pass, masks, tests and the likes fully enforced…

FAST FORWARD TO July 2022 when everything crumbled apart I had to stay on the sidelines till then because honestly no one will ever force me to do anything in order to travel or make a living… they can stay there waiting.

I used to visit every couple of months and pickup the watches no one there wanted since everyone is so focused on what everyone else likes and wants, I am able to take home what I feel is tasteful and feeding your addiction that we mutually share.

My return to Milano was nothing short of fabulous. The city is reviving back from it’s Covid kick in the balls and is as hustling and bustling back with tourists, visitors and locals having the time of their life in this 2022 summer.

It was nice to see all my colleagues I missed for two years and it’s good to know I have access to the most coveted safes out there that rarely anyone gets to see.

I took some shots with my vintage digital Leica Digilux 1 as I was enjoying my business trip. I hope you can enjoy too.

I purchased about 15 pieces and some of them sold right away even before I got back to the USA. Among them a truly exquisite Audemars Piguet 1940s Oversized VZSS movement with it’s original matching bracelet. Congratulations to the buyer (a great collector and friend at this point).

Vacheron Constantin has been a strong focus on my buying trip as I feel and know this will be the year VC will have it’s stage and spotlight, I will make sure it is so just as it happened for Cartier.  I picked up several VCs most of them listed already.. the tear drop, the pink tank and the large cioccolato automatic are just freaking atomic watches! I bought also a wonderful VC perpetual but it sold immediately to a good guy in the UK.

My next trip is already scheduled and I can’t wait to uncover more treasures in my hometown.

Anyone can go to Milano but not anyone has access to those goods..

il buon Alby
a very special and extremely large (over 37mm) auto VC left it for next time..
white gold ellipse .. coming soon
Audemars Piguet 1940 Oversize VZSS
Lino Ieluzzi from Al Bazar, my absolute favorite place to shop in the whole wide world

The Case for Rare Steel and White Gold Japanese Market Patek Philippe

In my pursuit of the rarest, the most unusual and the funkiest along with the best value watches out there I came across rarefied Patek Philippe models that were rarely seen in their time on the western continent. The same can be said of similar Audemars Piguet of the era but I believe those were found also in Europe. The case for Patek Philippe is much more interesting.

Many of these Patek Philippe are in steel and most follow a certain late1960s to 1970s aesthetic, falling between Golden Ellipse and Tonneau shapes there seems to be a certain specific vibe catering to the disco era Asian market.

The first reference that comes to my mind is the 3580, with it’s ovaloid shape and backwinding bumper movement. I’ve had a few through the years (two rare ones on bracelet in stock right now!) and all of them came from Japanese original owner.

reference 3580
3580 with original hammer finish

Another reference that I recently sold that follows completely suit is the Patek Philippe 3418 with the mesh bracelet, the one I just had in fact had Japanese Patek Philippe warranty! Seems like steel metal and plain or blue dials were the Japanese preference of the time.

Form follows function in these Patek Philippe’s, luxurious in it’s construction yet understated in it’s colors and materials, so Japanese minimalist!

Below another reference that often comes from the Japanese estate market reference 3563 with it’s backwinder movement and integrated bracelet, many of them come in mint conditions. I guess bought (or gifted) but not really worn.

reference 3563 is often found in Japan

The most iconic reference of these esoteric series of watches has to be the 3579, with it’s futuristic shape reminiscent of the forthcoming Aquanaut along with it’s mechanical manual wind movement and screw back case it really embodies the design language I am trying to elucidate on. I’ve had a bunch through the years and they always sell in a flash!

gorgeous 3579 silver dial

Doubling down on the Tonneau fest another iconic and deep down the rabbit hole reference 3574 I believe also exclusively found in the Asian secondary market with blue or silver dial (which seems to be the ongoing Nipponic option)

the elusive reference 3574
3574 in a pure look
screwbacks are most often found on these manual wind 70s models

Blue or silver dials, tonneau shaped cases and automatic bumper movement or screw back case manual wind caliber seem to be the ingredients of these obscure references.

I really enjoy hunting them besides for the value they bring (a rare Patek Philippe which is in steel typically below $15k is quite a find) but also for this design language that really resonates with me. Utilitarian but luxurious giving me sorta vintage Leica camera vibe!

the back of a 3579
a blue dial 3580 (notice the absence of crown)

Honorable mention goes to the fabled reference 3770, which isn’t a “japanese market” watch but certainly fits the bill in terms of design and vibe. I’ve been chasing this reference through the years and I was lucky I believe twice.

The 3770 Nautellipse or Ellipsilus is the hybrid child of the Golden Ellipse and the Nautilus, featuring a Quartz movement (super rich in it’s time) .

3770 wow!

I hope you enjoyed this little overview of obscure 1970s Patek Philippe’s as much as I enjoyed showing you!

Dad’s Style

I’ve always been a fan of the Japanese magazine Free & Easy and it’s bi-yearly spread “Dad’s Style” in which all sorts of gents they picked shared a bit of themselves and their personal style while engaged in daily endeavors.

I loved all the close ups of the accessories that “made the man”, displaying his taste and character along with the objects and brands that give him solace.

After all, the watches I collect and sell are totally a display of my taste and personality, there isn’t one watch on this website that I wouldn’t wear personally and, if the milk turned sour ( God forbid),wouldn’t despair at all if I’d have to live with it for the rest of my life.

These wonderful accessories such as watches, belts etc give me joy, I enjoy picking each day something that matches my mood or intent. One of my happiest moments is to reach my watch pouch and pick the choice for the day or occasion matching it to my outfit and other accessories.

I had my son with me at work and we took some pictures a la Free & Easy magazine Dad’s Style.

I hope you enjoy, we had fun!

the Royal Oak is my own personal watch, the first vintage watch I ever bought myself. Reference 56023, the 36mm size is perfect for my wrist and I love the suppleness of the vintage bracelet.
The belt I’ve had for over 10 years custom made YK blue Louisiana alligator. The buckle is a vintage steel ( I’m allergic to silver) I picked up on ebay.
The ring was my grandfather’s and it’s over 100 years old. I love it.
I take all the pictures and do all the hustle myself 🙂
My favorite DAD HAT
artwork in my Long Island office
among my favorites

Cartier Tank American to celebrate Israel’s 50th Birthday

Being able to find something hyper exciting almost every day isn’t easy but becomes possible if God wants it.. so thank God I’ve been able to snatch this rare and fine limited edition of 50 pieces Tank American to celebrate Israel’s independence in 1998.

This is the second specimen I find in 8 years.

The watch is now sold to a good friend who is also close to me so I am happy !

Enjoy this marvel