Auction response

Paul Gerber The PuristS Retro-Twin Unique Piece fund raiser silent auction - consolidated
December 19, 2003


I had intended to make this a separate page, off the main forum, but we are so far into this, I decided to just leave the information here. Following is a consolidation of all pertinent information on this special piece.


Dear fellow PuristS,

Mr. Paul Gerber, a true mechanical genius and the principal watchmaker behind the current World's Most Complicated Wristwatch, owned by our well known Purist stalwart, Lord Arran, has produced, and through his US Agent, Mr. Michel Schmutz, Intro-Swiss, forwarded to me a special version of Mr. Gerber's Retro-Twin automatic, to be silent auctioned, the proceeds of which are to be contributed as part of ThePuristS' Patrons Program.

As you all know by now, we are so far a completely non-commercial site, founded and run by enthusiasts, for enthusiasts. So far, the hard dollar costs of running this site has been partially supported by the considerate generosity of PuristS' Patrons - click here for more info and shortages are picked up by me personally (at this time, still quite considerable.) No one affiliated with the site in an official capacity receive any referral fees, commissions, or other compensation for sales and referrals we make or sales we help generate, and we have so far not accepted advertisements.

Pictures and specifics will follow in the next post.

This is a rose gold retro-twin automatic with retrograde second (the working of the twin rotors is very intriguing) and guilloche dial and display back with a list price of just under $10,000 for the standard serially produced model.

The provenance of this particular piece is quite special and embodies the best of what ThePuristS' have come to represent.

Bidding will start at $1788 (plus shipping and insurance) with no reserve.

(Dec. 19 2003 7:45a CA time - bidding is currently at $7278.88)

Please email me with bids (I will start accepting bids upon the posting of this notice, and will post updates on the bidding activity as appropriate.)

Bidding will close at 7pm CA time Dec 22, Monday

Please send bids to

ThomasM @

(be sure to remove the spaces before and after the "@" sign)

Thank you for your interest and I look forward to your comments and bids.


If you want to put in a "proxy bid" up to a reserve that is quite a bit higher than the current bid level, just let me know. I will note that figure and just add $100 to the next highest bid until we reach your buyer's reserve bid.

The watch case is 36mm in diameter not including the crown. There is an extra gold etched rear display crystal provided, attached to the certificate of authenticity. The back and display crystal attached to the watch is the standard clear crystal.

The strap, push pins (x2) and buckle/tang/push pin are packaged separately, and included, as are a Paul Gerber polish cloth, box, and the certificate with extra etched display back which can replace the standard display back crystal.

Additional comments about this unique piece December 17 2003, 9:02 AM

As I spend more time with this very special piece, I find it more and more intriguing.

* Mr. Gerber made a very special effort for us on this piece - when one "breathes" on the rear display back crystal, our beloved community name and Mr. Gerber's signature magically appear. Otherwise, it is completely invisible. Talk about subtle and discreet! This is in fact already installed on the case, and in addition to the separate, second rear crystal with visible blue etching of the community name and Mr. Gerber's signature that is attached to the certificate.

* the hands and numerals are very, very unique (and I have to say, I have seen quite a few watch dials and hands in my day) - they are a very special blue - not a blued steel, like most blue watch hands, but rather a mineral like, shimmering translucent blue. I will try to find out what exactly the material is.

(additional comments -

The effect on the hands and numerals is lacquer-enamel like, though the final effect is unlike anything I have ever seen. It is VERY, very interesting. Again, it leaves a gemstone-like iridescence and translucence - it varies between blue and black from different angles, and from certain angles, appears almost transparent. How this is possible with a brass base is beyond me.

The compound is secret and proprietary.)

* the hand setting and stem/crown are very smooth, indicative of very nice finishing in the keyless works and gear train.

* winding efficiency and power train seems very well done - the movement starts up quite quickly and seems to wind very efficiently. From rest, almost the slightest movement will start the power train and with just a few winds of the rotors it seems to build up enough power reserve to run for several minutes. On the wrist, I am sure power reserve will not be a problem for even the most sedate owner.

Fascinating watch!

STILL trying to get some decent photos of this extremely difficult to capture beauty - crystal reflections are the main problem.

The movement has quite some depth and seems almost architectural in its design and layout; the case is well chosen and finished - this immediately was apparent even on first glance and close inspection bears this out. Elegant but not too fussy.


Please forgive the poor quality... under various lighting conditions -



Notice how much complexity and depth there is to the numerals - the font, the surfaces, the angles and thickness. These are not cheap flat, stamped numerals!

There is a nearly translucent quality to the hands, visible to the eye under magnification and proper lighting but which the camera lens does not seem to be able to pick up in all its glory.

Again, they seem more like gemstone / mineral based material than metal with treatment.

Apparently, the hands and numerals ARE metal based. Here's the story - Mr. Gerber had a vision of a specific color and chromatic quality in his mind (holy shades of being an artist, Batman!) but could not find conventional or traditional finishes and methods to achieve a satisfactory result.

So, being the innovator that he is, fearless of "thinking outside the box," Mr. Gerber approached a chemical company, who came up with a two element compound that, when applied to brass, yields this gorgeous result.

Paul cuts, shapes, and finishes the hands and numerals, then applies the secret compound, himself.

When I look at the results, "in the metal" as it were, all I can say is, "WOW!"


Some comments from fans of Paul Gerber and his watches December 19, 2003

This has been a favorite of mine...... December 18 2003

ever since I saw it a long time ago in a Wristwatch Annual. Of course, at the time, I had no idea what an accomplished watchmaker and all-around genius Mr. Gerber was (and is). The dial is exceptional with the intricate guilloche and the use of differently sized arabics. I think I would take almost more pleasure watching the fascinating twin rotors do their work. Retro has another meaning to me because this watch has a classic look about it that is almost of another era. I congratulate in advance whomever is lucky enough to win this worthy auction. The Retro twin is on my short list (short from lack of funds) of independantly made watches that in my mind compete with the big boys for elegance and quality.

I have handled one of these watches... December 18 2003

...and the pictures just can't get across the special attributes of the piece. As has been commented on, the hands are gorgeous, almost jewel-like. The dial design comes across even better when you see it on your wrist, and the way the decreasing size of the arabics draws your eye into the smooth motion of the retro-seconds display is brilliant. Also, the size of the retro-seconds display is perfect: not too big, not too small.

Around the back, the mechanical activity of the platinum micro-rotors is a delight, and their thickness adds a unique depth to the movement.

One of my very favorite things about the watch was the the sound and the feel of the micro-rotors winding. It gives you this subtle feel on your wrist of precision machinery working away flawlessly that brought a smile to my face every time I moved my arm.

This is a great watch...whoever wins it will be lucky indeed.

Dear all, I think it is an open secret that I am very close to Paul Gerber and having seen all your kind writings about him and his watch(es) gives to me a lot of pleasure and satisfaction.

He deserves all these good words you gave him. I have known him for the last 16 years or so and his great skills and his proverbial perfectionism allowed the results he had with all his watches, not least the super complication you all know about.

However, today's topic is his Retro Twin Retrograde. I have been graced by him go get this marvel of a jewel of watch making and I do not have to repeat all you have said about it above. I can only second all sayings.

The lucky one who gets this unique piece will be a happy man indeed and I shall address to him a very personal letter of congratulations.

I wonder who it will be. Had I not already possessed this exquisite piece of watch making I would deliver a devil of a fight now to get it.

My warm regards to all and please continue to bid in honour of Paul, for the benefit of the forum and for the fun of it all.

Lord Arran

Thanks! and what a wonderful validation of the desirability of Mr. Gerber's work - the actual watch makes the photos seem meager, and to have a basically bespoke piece by a Master such as Mr. Gerber, with so much actual hand work by the Master himself...Wonderful, wonderful!


Forum Owner
Thanks to some very kind PuristS' who know a great horological value when they see one!


Forum Owner
Thank you for your generosity and support! Bidding is now closed. December 22 2003, 7:38 PM

There are several last minute, reserve bids, and time stamps to process.

For those that participated, the entire community thanks you for your support!



I'm out.....$100 over my limit!
But not HTF's limit..mwahaha...but I suspect even that figure might be exceeded.

Consoled by an ordinary platinum Patek Philippe from Santa,
MTF (sniff sob sniff)


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