Excerpt from article in FT.com

Hi all,

This is an excerpt from an article by Nick Foulkes published today in the Financial Times. Thought you'd find it interesting. Hope I don't get anyone in trouble for posting this.

At the Plan Les Ouates Manufacture of Vacheron Constantin, there is some fascinating correspondence that sheds new light on the passions, horological rather than carnal, of Henry Graves Jr, one of the great American collectors of the early 20th century.

Penned during the summer and autumn of 1928, a sheaf of yellowing letters written by Graves to Vacheron have lain unseen in Vacheron's archives for eight decades.

While visiting Geneva in June of that year, Graves had heard about a tourbillon Chronometer, which had been awarded "First First Prize" in a timing competition at the Geneva Observatory. From then until the latter half of October, his voluminous correspondence with Vacheron Constantin shows that he was obsessed by this watch.

His letters display the impatience and anxiety of a infatuated teenager in love.

He agonises over the inscription on the inside of the case and questions the factory closely on the way the watch would be transported so that he could "be assured of the safe delivery to me of the watch without unnecessary jarring".
The letters show just how completely Graves was consumed with the acquisition of his new watch; and it is testimony to the power of fine watchmaking that 80 years later in an infinitely more crowded and busy world, the power of haute horlogerie to bewitch is just as potent as it was then.

very interesting thanks for the heads up. I guess this is the watch
04/04/2008 - 18:41

in the article:

The only grand complication VC pocket watch with tourbillon.

It should be interesting to have more information/pics.
04/04/2008 - 21:41

But the pic sent by you, Alex, shows already a great work!

Re: Excerpt from article in FT.com
04/04/2008 - 18:44

Very interesting. Alex could you please post some pictures of the watch?


there's a scan in my reply to JaumeV! (nt)
04/04/2008 - 19:01


Re: there's a scan in my reply to JaumeV! (nt)
04/04/2008 - 19:17

Alex, I have the link is it OK to post it?


please do (nt)
04/04/2008 - 19:41


so true! Thanks for sharing!
04/05/2008 - 01:53


Interesting history, I would like to see the
04/04/2008 - 19:30

complete set of documentation if possible. For me the history of watches is just as enjoyable as collecting.


10 complication pocket watch. Supposedly Graves wanted
04/04/2008 - 19:43

thie to be submitted to Observatory trials with the chronograph running (which normally adversy affects accuracy) and in 1934 this watch was submitted to the Geneva Observatory where it won 1st prize!!

Re: 10 complication pocket watch. Supposedly Graves wanted
04/05/2008 - 05:27

Pretty amazing end to the story Alex. 

Most complicated and most exspensive pw's from VC.
04/05/2008 - 12:06

Some summing-up on the most complicated and most exspensive pw's.

All these facts have been in other elegant pots before, but I put them together.  Number one King Fouad's, production started 1914 and it was deliverd 10 (!) years after.

Alex and I were among over 1000 other persons that were attending the auction,

in April 2005 in Geneva. Price 3.306.250 CHF.  The atmosphere is impossible to describe   

Number two, more complicated, his son's, King Farouk's,

started 1930 and was delivered 1935, but "cheaper" than his father's , sold 1994 at 1.158.500 CHF.

What would that price be today ?

The third most complicate and also in price was, this which I personally think is the most beautiful,

was produced 1914 and sold 1928, but to whom I don't know !

Sold 2003 at the price 1.103.500 CHF.

I also notice that Antiquorum has dropped the prices in the older catalogues...

It seems to me, who has most of the catalogues back since 1994, that I will be lucky in the future.

Antiqourum seems to be more and more anti....

This year is the first in 5 years that I haven't got the catalogue for free,

probably because I didn't buy enough last year

Soon they will probably take a fee for the possibility to wiev their old auctions !



the 3rd most complicated VC pocket watch
04/05/2008 - 14:39

supposedly belongs to an American collector who at the time also owned the Farouk!!!!

Yes, I remeber, he showed up at a meeting in NY
04/05/2008 - 16:35

with both watches in his pockets!

I think it was when Antiqourum toured the world before the 250 auction!  Everyone was just shocked, millions in his suit !!

I think I saw some images,

but also heard it from an Antiqourum person.

But as I remeber we were only let to see the watches, not the owner.  You know who he is?