Timepieces From AP, Blancpain, JLC And Zenith Raise S$96,000 For Charity

Over the weekend four timepieces from Audemars Piguet, Blancpain, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Zenith were auctioned in Singapore. All sold for well above the retail prices, raising nearly S$100,000 for the Community Chest. 

On 30 November Singapore charity the Community Chest held its annual fundraising dinner (full disclosure: I was a member of the event’s organising committee), which included an auction of items donated for the event. Audemars Piguet, Blancpain, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Zenith generously contributed timepieces for the charity auction. The four timepieces raised S$96,000, with all selling at above the recommended retail prices. The top lot of the event was the Audemars Piguet Millenary 4101 in rose gold, one of the most distinctive models in the Millenary collection, featuring an open dial that reveals the wonderfully decorated movement. This hammered at S$54,000, above the tax free retail price of S$49,500.

That was followed by the Zenith El Primero 410 Singapore Edition. Inspired by the original El Primero 410 of the seventies, this is a limited edition of 45 pieces available only in Singapore. With a retail price of $14,800, it sold for S$20,000.

Also selling for S$20,000 was the Jaeger-LeCoultre Atmos Classique clock, the ingenious clock that runs on air and Swiss government’s gift of choice for foreign dignitaries. The hammer price was more than double the retail price of S$7860.

And finishing up the quartet was a Blancpain Fifty Fathoms wall clock, modelled on Blancpain’s signature diver’s watch. Typically only found in Blancpain boutiques and never offered for sale, the wall clock sold for S$2000.

The event raised S$2.8 million in total for Community Chest, a charity overseen by the Singapore government. As a member of the organising committee for the Community Chest Gala Dinner 2014 I would like to thank Audemars Piguet, Blancpain, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Zenith for the support.

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Pre-SIHH 2015: Piaget Introduces The Altiplano Chronograph – The Thinnest Chronograph On The Market (With Specs And Price)

Piaget continues to excel in creating ultra-thin movements with the new Altiplano Chronograph, equipped with a flyback as well as second time zone function. Standing just 8.24 mm high, case and all, the Altiplano Chronograph is the thinnest available.

For several years now Piaget has endeavoured to create one ultra-thin watch after another, last year’s Altiplano 900P is the thinnest watch on the market. Next year at SIHH 2015 Piaget will officially unveil the Altiplano Chronograph. Just 8.24 mm high – the movement inside is only 4.65 mm thick – the Altiplano Chronograph is the thinnest chronograph on the market. The dial is clean and concise in a style typical of the Altiplano line. Three registers occupy three, six and nine o’clock, but only two are for the chronograph. The counter at nine o’clock is actually a 24 hour display for the second time zone.

Hand-wound with a 50 hour power reserve, the calibre 883P inside has a flyback, or instantaneous reset, function. And like practically all modern chronograph movements, it features a column wheel and vertical clutch.

Judging by the architecture of the chronograph, Piaget had some help from its friends in developing the 883P. The movement architecture  is strikingly similar to the Jaeger-LeCoultre calibre 750/751, itself heavily inspired by the Frederic Piguet calibre 1180.  Developed in the mid-eighties, the Piguet 1180 was revolutionary for its time, and obviously still continues to inspire chronograph construction today. And the Piguet 1180 is just under 4 mm thick, making it slimmer than the 4.65 mm high Piaget 883P.

Cartier 9907 MC (based on JLC calibre 751) at left, and Piaget 883P on the right

What makes the 883P unique relative to other modern chronograph calibres is its slimness – each component has been thinned out as far as possible. The chronograph levers are just 0.06 mm high, while the column wheel is 0.95 mm. Even the balance cock has been reduced, as illustrated by the close-up image below.

The Altiplano Chronograph is available in two variants for now: rose gold or white gold with a diamond bezel, priced at 40,000 and 59,000 Singapore dollars respectively.

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