A Timepiece Made with Volcanic Ash and More Daring Designs from Independent Watchmakers

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Independent watchmaking represents some of the most cutting-edge and innovative creations in the world of horology. Sotheby’s Watches Online sale is offering a dynamic selection of timepieces from independent firms, ranging from Ressence and Speake Marin to Romain Jerome and Audemars Piguet. Click ahead to view eight examples spanning the last three decades while also discovering more about the companies behind them.

A Timepiece Made with Volcanic Ash and More Daring Designs from Independent Watchmakers

  • Ressence, Type 1, A titanium automatic wristwatch with rotating dial and day of the week indication, circa 2010. Estimate $8,000–12,000.
    Founded in 2010, Ressence is an innovative firm with a keen eye for the watches of tomorrow. Designed in Belgium and crafted in Switzerland, the traditional hands of their timepieces are replaced by revolving discs. The main disc also revolves, which creates a visually stunning and ever-changing aesthetic.

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  • Audemars Piguet, Jules Audemars Equation du Temps Jerusalem, A white gold automatic perpetual calendar wristwatch with moon phases and equation of time, circa 2012. Estimate $20,000–30,000.
    Better known of the Independent Watchmakers, Audemars Piguet was originally founded in 1875. It acquired the name Audemars Piguet & Cie in 1881. The only luxury watchmaking firm still operated by its founding families, Audemars Piguet has continuously innovated with new materials and designs while staying true to its heritage.

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  • Audemars Piguet, Royal Oak Quantieme Perpetuel Automatic, Ref 25654, A stainless steel and yellow gold automatic perpetual calendar wristwatch with moon phases, circa 1990. Estimate $15,000–25,000.
    Audemars Piguet has dazzled the watch industry time and time again, but perhaps the firm’s most iconic design is the Royal Oak. Originally conceived by Gerald Genta with a stainless steel case, octagonal bezel, tapisserie dial and integrated bracelet, the Royal Oak has become an undeniable icon. The present lot features an attractive two-tone case and a perpetual calendar with moon phases.

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  • Romain Jerome, Eyjafjallajökull, A limited-edition PVD-coated stainless steel automatic wristwatch, circa 2010. Estimate $5,000–7,000.
    RJ, formerly known as Romain Jerome, specialized for many years in limited-edition timepieces. Every collection developed by RJ was made in a very small run and often featured unique and exciting themes. For example, lot 111 comes from the firm’s special DNA collection, which incorporated natural materials into the watch itself. The Eyjafjallajökull-DNA watch’s dial is designed with ash from the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland.

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  • Bell & Ross, Ref BRWW192-GUYNEMER, A limited edition PVD-coated stainless steel automatic center seconds wristwatch, circa 2014. Estimate $1,000–2,000.
    Bell & Ross was founded in 1993 with an emphasis on fine watchmaking inspired by aviation and military specifications. As a result, timepieces from the firm have an instantly recognizable shape, from their classic BR-01, which takes it shape from cockpit instruments, to heritage pieces inspired by pilot watches. This lot, the WWI GUYNEMER, pays tribute to the legendary pilot by the same name, Georges Guynemer. Guynemer was a top ace fighter pilot in the French Air Service from 1914 to 1917.

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  • Speake Marin, The Piccadilly "Serpent Calendar," A pink gold automatic wristwatch with date, circa 2010. Estimate $4,000–6,000.
    Speake-Marin is Swiss company founded in 2002 by English watchmaker, Peter Speake-Marin. The firm uses classic and time-honored horological methods to create modern, high-end pieces in limited quantities. Speake-Marin is home to exceptional watches, from elegant time-only pieces adorned with enamel dials, to highly complete ones including date, calendar, tourbillon, and minute repeating functions. The Piccadilly Serpent Calendar features an eccentric date complication in a robust case and attractive white enamel dial.

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  • Bremont, U2/DLC, A coated stainless steel automatic wristwatch with day and date, circa 2010. Estimate $1,200–2,400.
    Bremont is an aviation-inspired British watch company founded in 2002. They pride themselves on chronometer level timepieces that honor the history of aviation and its core values – precision, reliability and durability. With a matte black case and dial featuring crisp white indexes, the watch is extremely legible and striking.

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  • Linde Werdelin, Oktopus Double Date 3DTP Carbon, A carbon fiber and titanium automatic center seconds wristwatch with date, circa 2010. Estimate $5,000–7,000.
    Linde Werdelin was founded in 2002 with an emphasis on Swiss craftsmanship combined with Danish design and new materials. The high durability and feather-light qualities of these timepieces are born from the founders’ uncompromising drive to develop a quality tool watch that delivers style and function for athletes and adventurers, whether in the extreme terrain of the mountains or the dangerous depths of the ocean.

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