Recommended: Vanity Fair Goes Inside the Watch World and 'the Rich People Who Love Them'
The high fashion mag takes its turn with some of the biggest watch stories of the last few years
“Paul Newman’s $17 million Rolex was just the beginning. Now, celebrities, style icons, dealers, auctioneers, and regular Joes do battle for vintage Patek Philippes, Audemars Piguets, and Richard Milles.”
Vanity Fair has an exciting feature that hits on many of the highs from the watch world of the past few years. The story begins with Phillips’ December 2021 sale of the Tiffany Patek Philippe Nautilus, but then turns to other frenzied auction results: Paul Newman’s Paul Newman, the “Bao Dai” Rolex, and the sale of the “The Emperor” Patek Philippe ref. 2497, whose custody was the subject of a high-profile court case in Switzerland.
Along the way, it introduces us to some of watch collecting’s biggest characters, including Aurel Bacs and Davide Parmigiani. It looks at high-profile watch theft. It wonders where the John Lennon Patek 2499 might be. A veritable grab-bag of some of the watch world’s biggest topics, in other words.
From Vanity Fair:
“Those who love watches often compare them to cars and art in terms of their emotional appeal. Like cars and art, they are also considered an alternative asset class, and in some categories their growth in value has well outperformed the stock market.
But this is not the reason watches cost what they do. Like any other collectible, luxury watches derive their value in part from the materials and man-hours required to make them, in part from their scarcity, and in part because other people think they have value, whether as a status symbol, as a piece of craftsmanship, or as a small bit of history. However inflated it might be, the watch market would collapse like a house of cards if it weren’t built on a solid foundation of passion.”
It’s a fun read capturing some of the most exciting watch stories of the last few years, and the general frenzy that has engulfed the watch world since… well, at least as far back as that 2017 sale of Paul Newman’s Paul Newman.
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