Phillips is best known for smashing records for the sale of rare and historic watches, most notably the sale of Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona last year for $17 million. But the auction house is now throwing its considerable influence and financial muscle behind a group of contemporary watchmakers that are making major strides in technological innovation, design and artisanship.
The company is participating in a global roadshow for independent watchmakers called The Masters of Art Horology, which kicks off in Italy on April 6 before travelling to New York, Hong Kong and finally London in June.
The exhibition will showcase watches from Philippe Dufour, Hajime Asaoka, Christophe Claret, Ludovic Ballouard, De Bethune, Laurent Ferrier, Romain Gauthier, Vianney Halter, Christian Klings, Jean-Daniel Nicolas, Roger W. Smith and Kari Voutilainen.
A key draw for watch aficionados will be the Anniversary Watch no.1 a timepiece made by the late British horologist George Daniels, who many consider to be the father of modern independent watchmaking, and who has directly influenced the work of so many of the other watchmakers featured in the exhibition.
The opening and first leg of the international exhibition will be held in Rome at the MAXXI National Museum of 21st Century Arts from April 6 to 15.
It moves to New York from April 26 to 30 at Phillips’ New York gallery on Park Avenue; then Hong Kong from May 24 to 29 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel; and finally the exhibition will travel to London from June 19 to 26 at Phillips’ Berkeley Square showroom.