The Geneva Sessions, Spring 2023: Our Favorite Independent Watches In The Sale

The Geneva Sessions, Spring 2023: Our Favorite Independent Watches In The Sale

Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo is thrilled to welcome you to The Geneva Sessions, Spring 2023, online auction, running from 10:00 AM CET, Thursday, March 9, to 4:00 PM CET, Thursday, March 16. Featuring more than 50 different high-end luxury wristwatches, the sale covers everything from F.P. Journe and Daniel Roth to Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe.

Our very first auction of 2023 took place in January with Le Concours de Complexité, a single-owner online sale dedicated solely to F.P. Journe timepieces. Six weeks later and we're back yet again with another heavy focus on independent watchmaking as part of our new Geneva Sessions, Spring 2023, online auction. Yes, an F.P. Journe watch does make an appearance in the catalog, but it comes as part of a much larger assortment of timepieces from many of our favorite independent makers. 

We've already placed a spotlight on two of our favorite indie pieces in the sale (a Daniel Roth Perpetual Calendar and a Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Minute Repeater GMT) in our recent Specialist Picks story, but as you'll see below, there are plenty more to choose from. 

Lot 31: F.P. Journe Tourbillon Souverain TN

The Tourbillon Souverain à Remontoir d’Égalité was F.P. Journe’s debut watch and is the model that’s received the most attention for the brand over the years. For example, when we recently recapped the “greatest” F.P. Journe watches sold by Phillips to date, the Tourbillon Souverain showed up more than any other collection. 

One consequence of being the oldest member of the F.P. Journe family is the sheer amount of variety that can be found within the model’s history. The first generation (T), for instance, consists of all the brass-movement examples produced between 1999 and 2003, including the run of 20 “Souscription” pieces. 

F.P. Journe Tourbillon Souverain TN

This present example dates to the second generation of production for the Tourbillon Souverain, identifiable by the "TN" reference nomenclature. This is an early-production example from circa 2004 that features the rare combination of a 40mm platinum case with an 18k pink-gold dial and movement.

Estimate: CHF 150,000 - 300,000

Lot 8: Daniel Roth Monopusher Chronograph

You know a Daniel Roth watch when you see one. The brand's signature ellipsocurvex case shape leaves no doubt about that. But there's more to the Daniel Roth name than pure aesthetics – in fact, the significance of Roth in the contemporary landscape of independent watchmaking can not be understated. After working at Audemars Piguet and Breguet, Roth created his eponymous brand in 1987 and is now considered to be one of the earliest independent watchmakers of the modern era.

Daniel Roth Monopusher Chronograph

On the heels of the announcement of the revival of the Daniel Roth brand under the guidance of Jean Arnault and La Fabrique du Temps of LVMH, we're thrilled to offer a yellow gold monopusher chronograph from the brand that dates to the early 1990s. Using a 1930s Lemania ébauche, only 36 examples of this watch were produced in yellow gold – as indicated on the dial, this example is number nine.

Estimate: CHF 20,000 - 40,000

Lot 13: Urwerk UR-103.08 TialN

The UR-103 is likely the watch that comes to mind for most collectors when Urwerk comes up in conversation. 

The four orbiting satellite displays that indicate the passing hours are instantly recognizable as an Urwerk creation. This example is the rare UR-103.08 TiaIN, featuring a stainless steel case coated in titanium aluminum nitride, an alloy that's harder than DLC and more resilient to damage such as scratches. The coating also gives the watch a unique purple-brown coloration that stands out against the brand's typical black and grey designs. 

Urwerk UR-103.08 TialN

This watch also features a rare angled crystal, as opposed to the more rounded designs typically used by Urwerk in the UR-103 collection. According to Urwerk, the brand experimenting early on with this shape of crystal, but very few pieces were released due to its fabrication difficulties – in fact, less than 20 UR-103 models with this style of crystal are known. 

Estimate: CHF 25,000 - 50,000

Lot 23: Czapek Antarctique Roaring 40s Limited Edition

The first modern Czapek & Cie. watch to appear at a Phillips auction is a special one. It's a limited edition of the Geneva company's popular and sporty Antarctique collection. Produced in a run of just 40 pieces, the watch features a "Roaring Forties" dial with a charcoal grey color and an attractive "fliqué" texture. 

Czapek Antarctique Roaring Forties Limited Edition

Fitted with a 40.5mm stainless steel case, the Czapek Antarctique Roaring Forties Limited Edition has an integrated stainless steel bracelet, featuring a quick-change system that allows you to quickly swap it out with the accompanied OEM rubber strap. The movement inside the watch is Czapek's exclusive SHX5 caliber with micro-rotor that was developed in partnership with Chronode. 

Estimate: CHF 10,000 - 20,000

Lot 24: Ming 37.05 Moonphase 

Ming has quickly become a common presence in Phillips' catalogs. The Kuala Lumpur-based micro-brand is easily one of the most important new voices in watchmaking. Now in its sixth year, Ming successfully combines high-end Swiss watchmaking with contemporary, clean aesthetics. 

Ming 37.05 Moonphase 

Released in 2021, the Ming 37.05 Moonphase is the company's first watch to feature a lunar complication. The dial is divided into two layers; the lower one is a textured metal, in a midnight blue-to-black gradient, with an upper transparent sapphire dial that showcases the hour markers and hour ring – each is covered in a ceramic composite with luminous material. The movement inside the 38mm stainless steel case is a Sellita SW288 that's received extensive modification by Schwartz-Etienne.

Estimate: CHF 3,000 - 6,000

Lot 20: H. Moser & Cie. Pioneer Swiss Mad Red

H. Moser & Cie. positions its Pioneer series of sport watches as an entry point into the brand – and this "Swiss Mad Red" version is the one to get. The brilliant bright red fumé dial has a gradient sunburst pattern that starts out as burgundy in the center before gradually fading away to a darker shade. The subtlety of it all takes your breath away.

H. Moser & Cie. Pioneer Swiss Mad Red

This is a sport watch after all, so it does have a larger-and-in-charge 42mm stainless steel case with a screw-down crown and 120 meters of water resistance. It leaves a strong presence on the wrist without feeling overly bulky. Of course, you can't forget the self-winding manufacture caliber HMC 200 inside. The movement is fully visible through a sapphire crystal exhibition back that stretches from edge to edge of the case. The hairspring – which is crafted by Precision Engineering, a sister company of Moser – is held in place by a rock-solid V-shaped balance bridge. The movement decoration is also excellent for the price, featuring diamond polishing and Moser's so-called "double stripes," the company's take on traditional Côtes de Genève.

Estimate: CHF 7,000 - 14,000

Lot 12: M.A.D.1 Red

It's hard to believe MB&D's M.A.D 1 collection has already been with us for two whole years. Introduced in 2021 as an affordable alternative for members of MB&F's tribe – AKA, "friends and family" – only a few hundred pieces were initially made available and distributed to three groups: official suppliers who actually work on MB&F's watches, and then the owners of those very timepieces. When word of the M.A.D 1's existence broke out among the wider watch collecting world, they quickly demanded their own opportunity to purchase an example. They eventually received that opportunity in 2022. 

M.A.D.1 Red

Introduced last year, the M.A.D 1 Red was announced and offered to collectors via a raffle system. It also featured a slightly tweaked design from the original 2021 watch, with a slimmer bezel and a more practical round-shaped crown. Unlike conventional MB&F watches with Swiss-made, in-house developed movements, the M.A.D 1 utilizes an inverted and modified version of the affordable Miyota caliber 821A from Japan. 

Estimate: CHF 2,000 - 4,000

Lot 14: MCT Sequential One S110 EVO

Introduced in 2015 as a limited edition run of 25 pieces, MCT's Sequential S110 Evo features a cutting-edge way of indicating the time. The hours are indicated by four modules, each composed of five triangular prisms that form individual panels to showcase each hour numeral. The minutes are then indicated by a central minute hand that rotates on a 270-degree jumping minute-sector.

MCT Sequential One S110 EVO

The cushion-shaped case is crafted from grade 5 titanium with an unconventional design that utilizes semi-detached lugs. The movement is intricately decorated, with bridges and plates featuring a delicate Côte de Genève finish. This watch is number 7 out of the original 25 piece limited run.

Estimate: CHF 10,000 - 20,000

You can learn more, place a bid, and view the entire Geneva Sessions, Spring 2023, catalog here.

About Phillips In Association With Bacs & Russo

The team of specialists at PHILLIPS Watches is dedicated to an uncompromised approach to quality, transparency, and client service. Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo holds the world record for the most successful watch auction, with its Geneva Watch Auction: XIV having realized $74.5 million in 2021. Over the course of 2021 and 2022, the company sold 100% of the watches offered, a first in the industry, resulting in the highest annual total in history across all the auction houses at $227 million.

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About Logan Baker

Logan has spent the past decade reporting on every aspect of the watch business. He joined Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo at the start of 2023 as the department's Senior Editorial Manager. He splits his time between New York and Geneva.

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