A few weeks prior, a Philippe Dufour Simplicity “20th Anniversary” was the feature of the Phillips “ Retrospective 2000-2020 ” Geneva auction. The watch – checked 00/20 – pounded for over CHF 1.3 million. Truly, Philippe Dufour is perhaps the most regarded specialists of the business, and his watches are viewed as a definitive articulation of conventional hand-wrapping up. The story doesn’t end here, however. The presentation of the anniversary Simplicity watch was started with Claude Sfeir. One of the world’s first watch gatherers, a long-term companion and ally of Philippe Dufour, Claude Sfeir is currently his commercial accomplice. In all honesty, since the news broke Sfeir got more than 10,000 messages from potential purchasers keen on procuring one of the 20 restricted version anniversary Simplicity watches. Ten have been assigned as of now, and the leftover ten will be dispersed after a random draw (more data beneath). In the same way as other outstanding watch authorities, however, the soaring worth uncommon watches currently pull in is an auxiliary issue. Invest some energy with Claude Sfeir, and you’ll understand that his interest with watches and watchmaking runs truly profound…
Xavier Markl, MONOCHROME – What is your story, Claude?
Claude Sfeir – I began from nothing. My dad was a cabbie. At 15 years old, while concentrating in Lebanon, I worked throughout the late spring occasions as a goldsmith to pay for school. At that point, at 18, I began working in the old gold souk of Dubai, where we retailed gold and jewels. We at that point expanded to discount and made a huge company with various shops. I began to get guided into watches while going to Italy, Switzerland and New York for work. Prior to that, we were in any event, dismantling watches to sell gold by weight… But I before long comprehended the estimation of watches. At the point when I began purchasing watches during the 1980s, there was Rolex, Universal, Longines, Omega, to name those that previously come to mind. I had almost no information. I at that point started to purchase magazines, to peruse watch auction inventories, to visit galleries. I got energetic. I committed numerous errors; some auction houses were not actually fair in those days, for example, not giving the chronic number of the watches. It additionally turned out that some didn’t have the first dial. I truly comprehended that the emphasis ought to be on quality, not amount. I will in general zero in on top parts at auctions. Normally, I was unable to purchase everything. I missed a few watches. I was the underbidder for the Patek Philippe “Henry Graves” SuperComplication . I missed the stainless steel Patek Philippe 1518. There are a few watches I couldn’t accepting… however not excessively many. And then there are good cause like Children Action and Only Watch, and there I can’t miss watches. I’d love to continue to purchase at these foundation auctions.
I’m energetic and dependent on gathering. When you start, it is an endless story. You need to complete your assortment of chronographs, at that point rattrapante watches, at that point ceaseless schedules. I have been gathering for more than 40 years now.
What is the watch you would dream of owning?
In the past, I have been fixated on some particular watches. After such countless years gathering, it’s somewhat unique at this point. I generally follow autonomous watchmakers intently. As right on time as 1999, I began gathering F.P. Journe watches. I love their vintage style. I love Patek Philippe watches, the Chronograph 1518 specifically. I love all that is valuable, however not really valuable metal. I love steel watches. I purchased the Sky Moon in titanium, for example. You needn’t bother with a costly metal or a complicated development to have a valuable watch. A simple Calatrava with a dark lacquered dial is a marvelous watch.
That’s what occurred at the Phillips “Retrospective 2000-2020” auction. There were extraordinarily complex watches, tourbillons, minute repeaters, you name them… And the most exorbitant cost was accomplished by a period just watch, a Philippe Dufour Simplicity. Arriving at a particularly level for a simple watch is mind blowing.
When the news spread that we would sell 20 Simplicity watches, my inbox in a real sense detonated! I have gotten more than 10,000 messages in only a few of days. I simply don’t have a clue how to answer everyone. We chose to sell ten watches, the leftover ten will be dispensed after a random draw with the help of a bailiff. It is difficult to answer all solicitations; there are only 20 watches.
What material are these 20 watches made from?
In all out there will be 21 watches, remembering the one sold for Geneva. There will be seven pieces dressed in platinum with a glossy silk brushed case, a light blue dial and a 12 marker rather than the PD initials, Arabic numerals and Breguet hands. The seven white gold watches will have a cleaned case with a light-dim dial and dark lettering. For the pink gold watches, these will resemble the watch that was sold by Phillips without the PD initials. It will assume control more than two years to fabricate these 20 watches.
What is the fate of the “brand” Philippe Dufour?
Philippe is 72 years of age however has a youthful brain! In addition, his girl will go along with him. Philippe is incredibly demanding, yet she is extremely capable and enthusiastic. She is as of now encouraging him. And toward the finish of 2021, a watch co-made by Philippe and his girl will be introduced at Only Watch.
Philippe can likewise zero in additional on watch creation as I am causing him in different exercises. His better half is additionally assisting with communication exercises. It is more similar to collaboration. We have a significant venture that will be uncovered very soon, in a couple of months. We have been dealing with this for three or four years. It is an astounding task, something unprecedented.
You likewise have an extraordinary relationship with François-Paul Journe, right?
Indeed. I have been gathering Journe looks for quite a long time. François-Paul is an exceptionally solid character; he is a craftsman and we share a great deal. We have known each other for quite a long time. We even go to auction deals together. We purchase Rolex watches; this is an enslavement he got. We likewise work the FP Journe Boutique in the Middle East since 2014.
Last question, what might be your recommendation to collectors?
The best activity is to gather what you love. The cost doesn’t make any difference eventually. A CHF 1,000 watch is collectable. I have companions who gather only one sort of watches, similar to Italians gathering Daytonas solely. Essentially center around what you like.
Images of the Philippe Dufour Simplicity 20th Anniversary by Phillips Watches