One of the unexpected pleasures of owning a Patek Philippe watch is that the horology gods from Plan-les-Ouates like sending me their magazine – which is (almost) as desirable as their wrist art. The latest issue (#3, Volume III) arrived yesterday and it was full of some truly inspiring content – It’s almost as though they know what makes me tick! So, Mr Stern, please forgive me for plagiarism as I fill this post with some thoughts inspired by what I read.
So in contrast to the trend of oversize, shiny and diamond encrusted, precious metal “bling” made famous by American rap artistes in the late 90’s and still growing today – back in 1813 there was an equally strong trend for something quite, quite different.
Berlin Iron Jewellery had been manufactured since the start of the century at the Royal Berlin Foundry where it made all sorts of household goods such as vases, bowls, knife stands – and the odd necklace or two. But in 1813 the then Prussian royal family lead by Fredrick William III urged their citizens to hand in their gold and precious metal jewellery to help fund the uprising against Napoleon. In return for their gold, the citizens received iron jewellery inscribed with Gold gab ich für Eisen (I gave gold for iron). This continued for a couple of years, but alongside this patriotic endeavour another trend grew for commissioned iron jewellery and these pieces were as you might imagine quite a bit more intricate. Beautiful – and of course now, quite rightly, collectors items.
Hello Latvia – Eh!
So far I am guessing that you are wondering where this is all going? Well this image of one the covers might give you a clue. Graphic art at its best – and on every single cover since it started. Just look at them all – absolutely stunning! Well done Ilmars Rumpeters (artist for most of these).
Well my love of paper art knows no bounds and I can’t ever get enough of clever use of tree pulp. The german artist Simon Shubert – well he does it just with gentle folds and creases, creating a superb, subtle beauty with an almost ghost like quality.
If you don’t get it just with the one image here, then click and and view his gallery all at once to experience the full impact of his work.
News at auction
One of the usual features in the magazine is “News at auction” that highlights some of the most notable sales of Patek watches since the previous issue. This time there was a transaction of particular note: at Christie’s in Geneva on May 10th of this year a watch changed hands for the princely sum of (wait for it)… US$5,708,890!
This unique 1943 yellow gold perpetual calendar chronograph is now the most expensive wrist watch in history – and it more than doubled its pre-sale estimate; so much for the global recession! Ah, now if I just wait long enough my ref.5110 World Time might just be worth at least a percentage or two of that amount!