In June, Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo and Zenith presented a quite fascinating series of watches, made together with Voutilainen. Directly inspired by the golden age of observatory chronometry, powered by a competition movement inside, the 10-piece limited edition platinum Cal 135-O made quite some noise. Phillips will now offer an 11th yet unique example, with a striking salmon guilloché dial. And a case made in a metal that you might have never heard of before; Niobium. Offered in The Geneva Watch Auction: XVI on 5 November, all proceeds of the sale will go to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
If you want all the details about the 10-piece platinum version of the rather stunning Zenith x Voutilainen x Phillips Cal 135-O watch, we invite you to have a closer look at this article here. What matters is that all parties agreed to create a watch that was directly modelled after Observatoire timepieces of the 1950s and 1960s, when chronometry competitions were a major thing. Powered by the historic chronometer Calibre 135, brought back to life with one of the most respected and talented indie watchmakers, Kari Voutilainen. The original observatory-tested movements, belonging to the historical 1950-1954 serial winning years, have been restored for the modern limited edition and encased in a discreet, elegant platinum watch with a black guilloche dial.
But there’s the 11th movement… And that movement, still part of the batch of vintage calibres that participated in chronometry trials at various Observatories, is now presented in a unique piece made of one of the most unusual materials I’ve recently heard about, Niobium. A metal rarely if ever used in watchmaking, it has a hardness rating similar to pure titanium and has a light grey sheen. “Its name comes from Greek mythology: Niobe, daughter of Tantalus, the namesake of tantalum. The name reflects the great similarity between the two elements in their physical and chemical properties,” according to Wikipedia here. In this model, the movement has a pink gold finish (as opposed to the gilt finish of the limited-edition models).
In addition, the unique Nobium Zenith Cal 135-O features a salmon-coloured guilloche dial, specific to this edition that is meant to support the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, whose mission is to save lives by meeting the most critical needs in communities and investing in breakthrough research to prevent and cure breast cancer.
This unique Zenith x Voutilainen x Phillips Cal 135-O watch will be offered for sale on November 5, 2022 as part of the Geneva Watch Auction: XVI. Estimate CHF 100,000-200,000.
This post first appeared on Monochrome Watches - An online magazine dedicated to fine watches.