Starting in 2018, Ineichen began to work with prominent independent watchmakers to sell their pre-owned timepieces. The company experienced a fivefold sales growth in 2019, had their most successful auction in forty years in 2020, and eventually started an online store and online bidding platform in 2021. Sales have increased by 1,233 percent between 2017, when Lechbinsky bought Ineichen Auctioneers, and 2021.
The first Independents 2023 auction by the Ineichen Auctioneers is set to occur in Geneva this spring on May 9, 10 and 11th and includes preview and pre-auction sale on May 9th and 10th followed by a physical auction of the lots starting at 2 p.m. on May 11th. The auction will be hosted at the iconic 5-star Hotel du Président Wilson overlooking Lake Geneva and minutes from the parks and boutiques of the famous rue du Rhône and participants will be treated to a cocktail party on May 11th as a part of the event.
So, why there is a dedicated auction and website for independent brands and watchmakers? Ineichen Auctioneers explain, “Currently, we are seeing a significant increase in the interest of collectors in watches created by independent watchmakers and small creative brands. We intend to support this trend through our work – in searching for important and attractive timepieces, in making accurate assessments of their prospects, and in researching and providing information that we publish while presenting watches we have selected for auction. Watchmaking, and above all the works of independent watchmakers and small creative brands, needs explaining and a good amount of publicity. Without this, how else can one explain the value and difference between a timepiece produced by an independent watchmaker and an ordinary watch bought in a regular store?”
This first auction will be focused on some of the exciting independent watch brands that are driving creative and innovative approaches to watchmaking in the industry. Work of over 30 well known and regarded independent watchmakers are featured in this thematic auction, including F.P. Journe, Kari Voutilainen, Gerald Genta, Vianney Halter, Roger Dubuis, Alain Silberstein, Daniel Roth and De Bethune. We picked four interesting lots from the Ineichen Independents 2023 catalog: