Dear Customers, partners and colleagues,
It is with great pleasure that we can say Ineichen Auctioneers ends the year on a strong footing – we have more than doubled our previous record results for 2021, with a total auction value of over CHF 22 million in 2022. Yes, it’s a business. But it’s also fun. We take tremendous joy from communicating with wonderful people and from the warm sense of belonging to the inspiring, creative and fascinating world of fine watchmaking. Thanks to you, your passion and your professionalism, we are inspired to move forward, to enhance and contribute to the popularization of watchmaking art – an art that makes our world even more beautiful. Let me express my hope that the coming year will live up to our expectations.
Artemy Lechbinsky, Ineichen Auctioneers CEO
The year 2022 has unquestionably been a successful one. Success rarely comes by itself, by magic, although magic is something that would be appropriate on New Year’s Eve. No, we can look for the secret of the success of our work in our openness to new methods and ways of working. While this is not a secret for anyone, 2022 does look like a breakthrough year. Ineichen Auctioneers had been a traditional auction house until recently, with two or three auctions a year, with carefully selected lots and all of the traditional range of timepieces represented – from vintage clocks and pocket watches to modern wristwatches. What changed? In 2021, we introduced themed auctions in order to better target the collector community. Their relationship with Ineichen Auctioneers received a new impetus, especially given the fact the perception of the themed auction is more emotionally charged. We supported this by the unveiling of our new in-house bidding system, which attracted more than 2,000 registered online bidders.
This year is coming to an end, and we have held 16 watch and clock auctions, three art auctions and two online auctions, where we invited bidders to become co-owners of a 33.5 percent stake in Ineichen Auctioneers. In addition to the emergence of new co-owners, which will undoubtedly bring a new dynamic to our work, the year has seen many other changes and experiments.
When announcing the auctioning of shares, we predicted an annual growth of 2.5x – from CHF 8 million in 2021 to CHF 22 million in 2022. We achieved this, confirming how well thought-out our decisions were. Surely this will strengthen investors’ confidence in the course we have chosen.
In terms of the more visible side of our business, we have introduced Timed Auctions, giving us an extra degree of freedom and allowing us to fill in the gaps between the main live and thematic auctions. We continued the series of thematic sales, our focus on which saw them become our main activity. Perhaps one of the most memorable and significant events of the year was the Royal 50 thematic auction dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watch, held on May 28, 2022. We listed exactly 50 of the best Royal Oaks we could find for you, including some of the rarest examples that seldom come up for auction. Drivers for this ‘white glove’ sale were a super rare, charismatic and previously unseen on the market limited-edition stainless steel Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon ‘Premier’ Limited Edition Ref. 26530ST, one of 10 pieces produced in 2021, which fetched CHF 575,000, and an utterly rare, hardly ever seen platinum Royal Oak Tourbillon Automatic Ref. 25902PT, one of 10 pieces of a limited-edition, launched in 1999, with a hammer price of CHF 540,000. It was an incredibly emotional moment for us too as the Royal Oak is only one year older than Ineichen Auctioneers. We’ll let you in on a secret – we are crazy about the Royal Oak, and working with this watch, researching and learning more about it is a real pleasure.
In 2022 we cancelled the buyer’s premium, meaning our clients now pay only the hammer price. The auctioning process has become more transparent, an innovation we hope is convenient for both bidders and sellers. Bidders may also enjoy a new powerful and convenient tool – we have launched our app for both iOS and Android. That’s why our clients can now monitor auctions constantly, with all the information they need on hand. This is of particular importance for our new Timed Auctions.
After the successful world-first sale of an NFT token created by an independent watchmaker in 2021, we have continued to support avant-garde projects involving independent watchmakers. At our first Timed Auction at the end of April 2022, we offered a project created by Konstantin Chaykin, the Russian independent watchmaker (a project for which he created the Joker XXX piece unique watch), Aleksandr Markovsky, a renowned automobile influencer, restorer and tuner from Russia (who contributed a Porsche 911 Joker car), and Olexander Nyezhnyk, a Ukrainian artist (who produced NFT artwork). Of the CHF 300,000 raised from this project, we donated five percent to UNICEF in support of the global initiative of the establishment of peace in Ukraine.
This auction is the result of united work between Russian and Ukrainian creators. Peace is what made this cooperation possible and is what we want to support with united efforts
Ineichen Auctioneers CEO Artemy Lechbinsky stressed in his interview for quillandpad.com
We don’t stop. For 2023, Ineichen Auctioneers plans to open offices in Dubai and Geneva. We also intend to hold auctions in the latter, a fundamentally important centre for the global watch auction trade.
In 2023, we also invite our clients to shape the themes of future auctions. Anyone will be able to vote for one of the offered themes or even propose their own! Each vote will be counted.
We also consider it very important to intensify efforts in presenting the work of independent watchmakers, since, in our opinion, this is one of the drivers of the modern watch auction market. Therefore, a special event with unique pieces is scheduled for 2023, which, we hope, will grow into an annual celebration of independent watchmaking.
Ineichen Auctioneers is the oldest watch-specialized auction house in Switzerland, founded in 1973 by Peter Ineichen. We are celebrating our 50th anniversary in 2023. Artemy Lechbinsky, Ineichen Auctioneers CEO, reflects on this:
Is half a century for an auction house a lot or a little? To be honest, the answer to this question is not important for us, as we prefer to make our anniversary year memorable, filled with emotions for our customers and connoisseurs of watchmaking art. Worldwide. Without borders.