Olivier SANTINI

Olivier SANTINI

In 2002, due to a fast-growing market, the creation and development of a department dedicated to Haute Horlogerie has been a real evidence. It has been assigned to Olivier Santini. Man of passions, Olivier Santini started to find interest in watches from an early age before having several positions in prestigious watch houses (such as Breguet). His multiples experiences have allowed him to get a considerable technical knowledge and to become an outstanding consultant. He is inexhaustible on the legendary watches and watch-making mechanisms.

Detailed and complete valuations

So as to guarantee the origin and authenticity of the watches, the estimate follows a process of several steps. Watch handling requires patience, due care, precision and skill. Don’t we say in French language “with a watchmaker’s precision”?

Pocket watches

  • First step : Observation of the whole condition of the watch : its chiseling, the condition of the box, the type of material used (14K or 18K gold ?)
  • Second step : Observation of the dial : is it glass or plastic made ? Does its enamel show signs of impact? The clock’s hands are they well kept? Are they Breguet or Louis XV style? The answer given to these elements allows yet to date the object.
  • Third step : In general, all the watches have the same basic functions : indication of the hours, of the minutes, of the seconds but what about their complications ? Chronographs, moon phases, months, dates, days, repetitions, presence of a clock movement?
  • Fourth step : Study of the mechanical part so as to examine the complexity of the movement : how is it ? Are there any signs of oxidation or rust on the bridges? What is its number? The box number? How was made the balance wheel?
  • Fifth step : Have these watches been restored, are they anonymous or made by a manufacturer ? Once the answers given to all these questions, a great work of researches and archives starts that allows at the end to attribute a value to the object.

Montres

Bracelet watches or wrist watches

In addition to the global analysis of the watch and its dials (similar to the pocket watches), we add the buckle: is it a folding clasp or an “ardillon”? How has it been kept ? Is it a signed watch or a watch from a famous manufacturer? As the authenticity bears on extremely precise and different details from one manufacturer to the other, it has to be established for sure: a CARTIER watch can be authentified in the basis of the number 7, a Breguet watch bears a matt signature on a shiny dial. After that, we take into account the reference numbers of the model, of its box and bracelet: their consistency leads to a precise dating, sign of reliability, in parallel to a work of the history of the model (archives, books of reference). It is thanks to the combination of all these elements that a value can be attributed to a wrist watch.

Expert answers :

Why do we wear watches on the left?

There are 2 main reasons: the position of the clock’s hands at 10.10 allows us to see the name of the brand, always located in the middle of the dial on the top, and it forms a “V” letter giving a positive and smiling image of the object.

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