Vintage appeal: Pre-owned watches from Xupes

Megan Young, watchmaker and head of service at Xupes, shares her top picks from the pre-owned specialist’s collections

Watches & Jewellery 31 Mar 2021

Megan Young, Watchmaker & Head of Service at Xupes

At Xupes we love talking watches and what makes them so special. This could sometimes be due to an icon wearing them, a limited production line, the history behind the watch, or just simply because they have remained current and become more loved over time. Personally, I enjoy learning about every watch’s backstory and history, with every day bringing something new to appreciate.

Cartier Gondole Paris ‘Jumbo’

Part of the Louis Cartier Collection, this limited edition was named after the maison’s founder Louis-Francois Cartier, celebrating the opening of its manufacture in Plan Les Ouates, Geneva. This stunning piece is fitted with a manual-wound movement, surrounded by an 18k gold case in the shape of a horizontal TV. These rare pieces are becoming more collectable each year and we hope to see them continue in the future. If you are lucky enough to find one with ‘Paris’ written on the dial at 6 o’clock (sold by their Paris boutique) then you have a real winner.

Another interesting fact is that Cartier still produces its ‘mineral crystals’ that protect its precious dials by hand in their manufacture, in the curvy and jazzy designs seen throughout their collections. This was and still is one of their signature specialities.


IWC Ingenieur ref. 1832

This exceptional and rare IWC Ingenieur Jumbo from 1983 is very desired amongst collectors. It comes complete with a full set of age correct parts, including the ‘fish’ crown, which is very rare because it is often replaced over the years. With a large, anti-magnetic 40mm case, it also goes by the nickname ‘tresor’, which translates to ‘safe’ or ‘strong room’ in German.

The Ingenieur was designed by Gérald Genta and is part of the “SL” (Stainless Steel/Sport Line) collection, introduced a few years after Genta designed the Royal Oak for Audemars Piguet.

The collection was launched in the quartz crisis that started in the early 1970’s, and as such this automatic watch was not very desired at the time, famously referred to as `the right watch at the wrong time’.

Only 500 watches were ever sold, with less than 1000 produced. However, it went on to become one of the most collectable IWC pieces due to its unique history and very limited production.


Heuer Autavia MK3 “Rindt” ref. 2446

Another very collectable and rare piece is the Heuer Autavia MK3 (ref. 2446), a collection that takes its name from the words ‘automobile’ and ‘aviation’. This model was famously worn by the German Heuer ambassador and Formula One driver Karl Jochen Rindt, who tragically passed away during a practice round for the Italian Grand Prix in 1970. The watch is fitted with a Valjoux 72 Chronograph movement, another factor that made it very desired and collectable.

In 2017 TAG Heuer held a public vote online to decide which Autavia model should be revived in their new collection, in which 50,000 voted for the “Rindt” model.


Audemars Piguet Perpetual Calendar with Tuscan dial

One of my favourite Audemars Piguet watches is the ‘Tuscan dial’ edition of the Royal Oak (ref. 25654BA). This special piece will only become more collectable over time. Produced in a very limited series of 800 pieces, only 422 of them were made in yellow gold and only a few of those were fitted with the rare ‘Tuscan dial’. This refers to a watch with a ‘Tuscan finish’, created with a two-step process that includes a contrasting combination of smooth and rough surfaces, making it the first edition with this specific finish.

As you can imagine, this piece is as limited as they come, rarely finding its way to the market, and is the only one available for purchase in the world right now.


Paul Newman Daytona 6239

A lot can be said about the ‘Paul Newman Daytona’, with the famed actor and race car driver making this piece one of the most collectable watches in history. He was often seen wearing these signature watches, including the 6239 that was gifted from his wife, who engraved it with the words, ‘DRIVE CAREFULLY – ME’.

In October 2017 this piece went on to be sold by the Phillips Auction House in NYC and achieved a sale price of $17.75M, making it the most expensive and iconic wristwatch ever sold.

We are very proud to have one of these beautiful exotic dials together with its sharp Daytona case and pump pushers, accompanied with a Valjoux 722 movement, currently in our Xupes collection. The piece is in a fabulous condition both inside and out, with no parts ever replaced or barely touched.