A View of the Past


It seems that we have a busy period of exhibitions, auctions and presentations of fine art coming our way or already in progress. As we are heading for a new year and the shopping season is heating up I guess watch brands are aiming to divert the attention of potential buyers to their products. The competition is fierce as they are all struggling to outwit others, to make the ultimate cutting edge timepiece which will leave the audience breathless.

But during this whole rat race some watch fans might feel intimidated by the pace of the progress of technology and the importance of being up-to-date all the time. Maybe they are eager slow down a little both figuratively and literally. A place where time stands still. Where traditional values and beauties are treasured. Well, if thet’s the case, let me take you for a little journey into the past.

We have the Sothbey’s Institute of Art to thank for this marvelous opportunity to take an insight into the fairest timepieces of our past. This sale of Fine Watches is scheduled for December 13th 2011 inLondon, and it will encompass as many as 345 lots of different designers. Patek Philippe, Rolex, Cartier, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Daniel Roth and Audemars Piguet are just some contemporary names we can mention. But the interesting part will certainly be the display of old timepieces, reaching as far as 1690.

A Truly Fine Watch by Michael Johnson

This piece of fine art comes from the 17th century France. It is estimated that around 1685, thousands of Hugenots were forced to flee from France and come to England thus bringing this exquisite timepiece with them. It is mostly made of gold, silver and eventually mother-of-pearl on the tortoiseshell. The tortoiseshell is obviously decorated with extreme precision and skillfulness. This type of tortoiseshell piqué shell is not typically found on the English soil.

A Beautiful Dial Under The Mysterious Shell

A Beautiful Dial Under The Mysterious Shell

Within the shell we find the ineffable dial of the watch. The dial is “champlevé”, meaning that the surface of a metal object is carved and then filled with porcelain enamel. We have nicely designed Arabic as well as Roman numerals and fine thin hands within the 59 mm diameter of the case. The movement is signed by Michael Johnson. All this makes this watch a truly unique piece in anybody’s collection, but the price maybe says more than words for this one – the estimated price is £35,000-55,000.

The mechanism is signed by Michael Johnson

The mechanism is signed by Michael Johnson

Unusual, captivating, luxurious. Perhaps a must for an enthusiasts to at leas see it in person. If you happen to be in London in about a week or so you just may have an opportunity to sneak a peek.

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