India’s first online watch auction brings together the old-world charm of antique watches and their modern counterparts.
Titled ‘Exceptional Timepieces’, the upcoming online auction by AstraGuru puts forth an impressive catalogue filled with antique and modern watches. From a Swiss Mystery clock, which dates back to the 20s, to the more recent Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date Wristwatch, the collection going under the hammer is a mix of lots of unique pieces.
Talking about the collection, Siddhanth Shetty, Vice President of AstaGuru, says, “The Exceptional Timepieces collection is true to its title, as the watches are rare and genuinely remarkable. The collection boasts of an impressive selection of pieces from leading haute watchmakers of the likes of Rolex, Patek Philippe, Jaeger Lecoultre, Audemars Piguet, Breguet, and Panerai, to name a few. We have curated vintage clocks, pocket watches and wristwatches for both men and women, so there is something for everyone.”
The beauty of antique clocks is unparalleled. Made of material like wood and brass, these one-of-a-kind pieces are all set to grab the spotlight. “The provenance of the timepieces appeals to our audience the most. A watch collector’s main focus is the make and pedigree of a watch when it comes to antique clocks and timepieces,” says Siddhant, and adds that most antique clocks are from Britain and France.
Although many of the watches were made in recent years, it’s the rarity and exclusiveness that makes them interesting for collectors. “Our watch collection features limited edition pieces and collector’s items that are no longer in production. These watches are in a league of their own. For example, the Audemars Piguet City of Sails Royal Oak belongs to a limited edition of 1250 pieces, manufactured in 2003. Or Rolex Daytona stainless steel wristwatch which has not been in production in recent years,” the vice president explains.
When it comes to collectors bidding for their favourite piece, it depends on various factors. “What collectors look for is a very subjective matter. If someone is looking at vintage pieces, they will probably opt for heritage clocks of French or British origin, whereas their contemporary counterparts will look at the make, the brand, the functionality and rarity of a timepiece,” he adds.
From elaborate wall clocks and pocket watches to sleek and stylish wristwatches, the timepiece has evolved over the years. Noticing the same in the collection, Siddhanth says, “You can see the evolution from table clocks to pocket watches to the more contemporary wristwatches that come with an array of features. Culturally, they have come a long way from their humble beginnings as objects of décor, and are now considered at par with other luxury items such as cars, jewellery, fine wine and art. There has been a gradual growth in the admiration for the art of watchmaking.”