J.B Champion, Jr. was a lawyer, a family man, and an obsessive watch collector that had a special penchant for Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin – so much so that he operated in a space where unique pieces were possible and had his name on the dial. Know the Clapton-owned Patek 2499 that was auctioned in 2012? Well, it was the second-best lot at that sale as Christie’s also happened to have a one-of-one platinum 2458 that said “Made especially for J.B. Champion” on the dial (among many other superlatives). But that’s only one part of this fascinating story.
A remarkable man who would later be indicted for fraud by a grand jury, his story, and his watches, are profiled in this excellent Historical Perspective written by none other than Eric Wind. It’s a sad and complicated story that also happens to feature some truly incredible watches.