Now you probably know that we like a vintage watch here at Black Bough, well leafing through the forthcoming Sotheby’s Geneva Watch catalogue, where nice horological pieces can be picked up from the £2,000 to £1 million pound mark, we couldn’t help but be struck by a beautiful watch by Nicolas Lemaindre of Blois. Lemaindre was watch maker to Marie de Medici. Marie was the daughter of Francesco I, Grand Duke of Tuscany and later married Henry IV of France in October 1600. Not stuck for cash, her dowry was 600,000 crowns, so clearly the lady was in a position to buy the best. Made around 1630, the casing is silver and gilt and beautifully engraved; which was probably just as well since time keeping would have been a bit hit and miss made as it was before the introduction of the all important balance spring some 30 years or so later. It seems pretty extraordinary that something so beautifully made and historical can be such a, relative, snip at CHF 10,000- CHF 15,000 (£7,000-£11,000).
If ancient pocket watches of dubious timekeeping ability is not your thing but you’re in the market for a Rolex can I point you towards a Rolex Milgauss made around 1970, also in the Sotheby’s sale. Classically simple in design this is Rolex at its best, clean lines and sharp practical features – the fact it was made originally for scientists working in areas where exposure to very strong magnetic fields only adds to our admiration for its practicality. We all should have bought these 10 years ago when the opportunity arose and the model could have been snapped up for a mere fraction of the £13,000-£18,000 it is expected to make now. If these flights of fancy prove too much we also know of somewhere else you can find equally stylish vintage timepieces . . . . www.blackbough.co.uk