WHO ARE YOU?
Osvaldo Patrizzi began his career in watches at thirteen when he worked for a watch and clock restorer in Milan. Sixteen years later, in 1974, he established an auction house devoted to watches, clocks, and objects of vertu. He quickly became a leading expert in watches, and from 1987 his firm Antiquorum became the leading auction house for timepieces.
Many famous people in the world of horology have been associated at one time or another with him. Patrizzi has an ever innovative approach to the art of watch auctions. He is without a doubt responsible for the development of wristwatch collecting — he was the first to introduce wristwatches at auctions in 1980 and the first to introduce thematic auctions in the field of horology starting with “The Art of Patek Philippe” in 1989.
Osvaldo Patrizzi also opened the watch collectors’ market in Asia by holding the first
auction in Hong Kong as early as 1979. He was also the first to have a website and online auctions, and the first to have developed a system of live interactive online bidding simultaneously with classic, live auctions. He is responsible for selling over 75% of all the watches ever sold for over one million dollars.
He has also created the “Grading System” which is the most reliable tool available today to help collectors evaluate the condition of the watch they are interested in, with just the catalogue in hand. Osvaldo has shared his passion for horology in numerous articles and is the author of many books on the world’s most prestigious watch brands which have become references for collectors and museums alike.
Back in the early Nineties, Osvaldo set a turning point in luxury watch auctions by naming the models rather than using the reference number, another innovation...!!
Patrizzi’s idea came to fruition in an auction in Basel on April 21st, 1990. He come up with the idea of calling Rolex Daytona reference 6239 "Paul Newman" after seeing a photograph of the American actor wearing that model. Another example of Patrizzi's communication skills was the choice to call references 4767, 6036 and 6236 by the name of the famous ski champion "Jean-Claude Killy", a great fan of Rolex watches who loved to wear this triple date, chronograph model.
A few years later, collectors would pay tribute to the great expert by calling a certain type of Rolex dial the 'Patrizzi dial'. Osvaldo discovered why certain Rolex Daytona chronograph dials tend to change color over time. The color change is due to the fact that the company used a very thin organic varnish, called Zapon, to protect the dial, however, with time and ultra-violet light, the dial to oxidizes. This reaction often creates interesting shades of color, making each watch a unique piece.
In 2000, he was named by American journalists to be amongst the twenty most influential personalities in the field of horology of the 20th century.