In 2006, a handful of the world’s leading independent watchmakers joined forces to ensure that the traditional craft of horology would not be lost. Leading the way were Greubel Forsey and Philippe Dufour, two qualified teachers if there ever were any. The group chose a Paris-based watchmaker named Michel Boulanger to act as apprentice and learn the art of watchmaking in a traditional sense â the project would be called “Le Garde Temps â Naissance D’Une Montre,” and would result in 11 timepieces to be sold to continue to fund the project. Today, in Hong Kong, the “school watch,” or prototype, sold at Christie’s â and it did so for over $1.46 million.
This watch is the working prototype where Mr. Boulanger first executed the traditional practices in which he was instructed by Mr. Dufour and those at Greubel Forsey. It is, for all intents and purposes, the watch that they hope to start a revolution in traditional watchmaking â one where a new generation of talent will be strive to learn how to do things the old fashioned way. The remaining 11 Naissance D’une Montre watches will be delivered over the next few years, with a price of around $420,000 (as of January this year). As for the $1.46 million made today? 100% of it will go back to the Le Garde Temps project, and Christie’s itself will donate the buyer’s premium back to the project as well â in hopes of bringing on another apprentice and furthering the education of young talent all over the world. You can read more about it, and see the lot information right here.