27th Nov 2023
Weekly Wind Down | Sales Highlights including watches from Vacheron Constantin, Rolex and AnOrdain
by Nick Bennett
2023 Vacheron Constantin Historiques 222
A few things spring to mind when thinking about the ‘70s - bell-bottoms, wide collars, moustaches, big hair and most importantly, integrated-bracelet sports watches. Like all fashion trends, they’re cyclical, and while we’ve been spared flared jeans in recent years, the watches from this era have dominated the market.
In this space, It’s been all about Patek Philippe’s Nautilus and AP’s Royal Oak - until now! Vacheron Constantin decided to reassert its position in Swiss watchmaking’s ‘Holy Trinity’ by bringing back its 70s icon, the 222. Launched last year, it’s part of the brand’s Historiques collection and remains faithful to the original while introducing some subtle style changes and technical updates.
When it comes to this genre of watch, the bracelet is the make or break element, and the good news is Vacheron absolutely nailed it with the 222. It’s meticulously machined with hexagonal-shaped intermediary links which suit the watch perfectly and deliver superior ergonomics. With plenty of vintage charm combined with modern construction, this is a best of both worlds release. Recently sold on Watch Collecting for £61,100.
2022 Rolex GMT-Master II 'Meteorite'
What’s 4.5 billion years old, landed on Earth in prehistoric times and ended up inside a watch case? It’s meteorite, and this magical matter has found its way into many watches including some big hitters from the likes of Rolex and Omega. As eye-catching and characterful dials become increasingly prevalent in the watch world, what better way to add a point of difference than to incorporate something extraterrestrial?
Rolex surprised collectors when it debuted this reference in 2019 as it's the first time a meteorite dial has been offered on the GMT-Master line. On paper, it doesn’t make a great deal of sense, but in reality we think it looks the part and suits Rolex’s ambitions to source rare and exotic materials. With The Crown discontinuing its meteorite watches, this whimsical version of the GMT has continued to climb in popularity. Recently sold on Watch Collecting for £44,000.
2023 AnOrdain Model 1
While we’re on the subject of interesting dials, here’s something dazzling from UK watchmaker AnOrdain. Founded in Glasgow, Scotland, the brand has carved a reputation for creating vitreous enamel dials - one of the few manufacturer’s outside of Switzerland. The process involves applying powdered glass substrate to a metal base which is then fired at a temperature of hundreds of degrees Celsius until the powder melts and then re-hardens into an even glossy surface that provides a ton of depth.
This version of the Model 1 features a fume enamel dial in ‘Payne’s Grey’ and is double signed with renowned Glaswegian jeweller, James Porter & Son, which is an AnOrdain authorised dealer. With a rising profile and a multi-year waiting list for watches, it’s clear to see that AnOrdain is leading the charge among independent British watchmakers. Recently sold on Watch Collecting for £3,850.