With vintage watches, we’ve all heard stories about absurdly rare references that were made in minute numbers, resulting in now outrageous values. The watch that specifically comes to mind is the Heuer 45 Dato “Shelby Cobra” from around 1970. Already an obscure reference, the “Shelby Cobra” version comprised a mere two dozen or so pieces that were given to Ford dealers at the New York Auto Show, or so the story goes. Watches like this, that were never available to the public and might have seemed like a novelty at the time, become mythical in the auction house down the line.
With modern watches, this stuff still happens, but is far less common. Sure, there are watches by haute brands that are made in runs of 2 – 10 pieces and cost hundreds of thousands at the get go, but despite the occasional limited edition piece, accessibly priced brands rarely due something that might encourage future value and are made in truly low numbers. Well, Autodromo did just that with a series of 14 watches called the Night Stage that were “fuoriserie” or “outside the series” and made available only to select customers, including the design directors of two major automakers, and not available to the public.
The Night Stage is part of the Group B Evoluzione line, which we reviewed here. A striking design that added an American-milled, light weight aluminum chassis to the Autodromo’s clever modular design, that has the distinct feature of visible tooling marks around the case. The Night Stages have the same general design but the aluminum has been PVD-coated black and the dials are black vis-a-vis the original Group Bs, giving them a distinct 80’s, Wraith-like vibe and even more aggressive attitude.
While never available for sale, Autodromo has now made one and only one available to the public through an auction for charity happening tomorrow, March 9th, 2017 at 1pm through Bonhams at their Amelia Island Auction. 100% of the proceeds will go to Micah’s Place, a shelter for victims of domestic violence located in northeast Florida. Not only is this a great opportunity to get your hands on the rarest Autodromo to date, a watch that might very well might command some high price at auction down the line (though no one would blame you for never selling it), but it’s also a nice way to give to a deserving charity.
The Nightstage that will be available will have white/light green markers, and will come with black perlon and nylon pass through straps, all within Autodromo’s custom aluminum box. So, be sure to mark your calendar if your interested as this will be your only chance to get a Nightstage of your own. Oh, and be sure to check out some of the other lots at this auction, such as this completely wild looking 1954 Arnolt Bristol Prototype Roadster.