Sotheby’s Hong Kong Important Watches Autumn Sale 2 October 2018 – Highlights

Sotheby’s Hong Kong Important Watches Autumn Sale 2018 will take place on 2 October at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The sale will feature rare and fresh to the market vintage and contemporary models from renowned brands including Patek Philippe, Rolex and Cartier to independent watchmakers such as Roger Smith, Greubel Forsey and F.P. Journe. Other highlights include a selection of contemporary classics by Patek Phillipe, master works by Breguet, as well as Tutti Frutti by Cartier.

Major highlights of this auction are two exceptionally rare and highly important chronograph wristwatches, namely, a very fine and highly important platinum Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Zenith Caliber chronograph wristwatch with mother-of-pearl dial, Ref 16516, and a highly important and extremely rare Patek Philippe pink gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon phases, Ref 2499, retailed by Tiffany & Co.

Sale Highlights

Patek Philippe Ref 2499 [Highly Important and Extremely Rare Pink Gold Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Wristwatch with Moon Phases, Retailed by Tiffany & Co. Ref 2499, Mvt 869438, Case 2637713, Made In 1971, Estimate: HK$12,000,000 – 18,000,000 / US$1,530,000-2,300,000]

This exceptionally rare and highly important reference 2499 third series cased in pink gold and retailed by Tiffany & Co. is potentially the only one of its kind, manufactured in 1971 and sold in 1972. It first surfaced on the auction market in 2005 where it was consigned by the original owner, selling for over US$750,000, and has been in private hands ever since. There are only six known examples of the third series dressed in pink gold. The current example is in exceptionally well preserved condition with unpolished case and spectacular dial.

Rolex Ref 16516 [An Extremely Rare And Highly Important Platinum Chronograph Wristwatch With Mother-Of-Pearl Dial, Ref 16516, Case A712735, Cosmograph Daytona, Circa 1999, Estimate: HK$3,200,000 – 6,000,000 / US$420,000-767,000, Complete with Original Certificates and Accessories]

Manufactured by Rolex in 1999, the present reference 16516 is the first known platinum
Cosmograph Daytona powered by the Zenith caliber. It was discovered for the first time only recently and is fresh to the market.

Rolex Ref 6542 [Very Fine and Extremely Rare Stainless-Steel Dual Time Wristwatch with Date, Original Dial, Bakelite Bezel and Bracelet, Ref 6542 Case 112843 ‘Pink’ GMT-Master Circa 1956, Estimate: HK$1,200,000 – 3,000,000 / US$153,000-383,000]

A very important discovery, the watch sports a red signature of its model “GMT Master” on the dial and a noticeably longer Mercedes hour hand known as the ‘swan neck’. The aging of the calibrated bezel is very consistent with that of the lumes and hands, which have turned into a golden brown that still reacts to UV light and registers when processed by a Geiger machine. This appeal reflects the evolution of vintage watch collecting, which now favours original condition over servicing enhancements. The back of the case is stamped with a date indication of the 4th quarter of 1956. One of a mere handful of examples of GMT prototypes from 1955-1956 with Bakelite bezels, it is also accompanied by the original guarantee, presentation box and outer cardboard box.

Rolex Ref 6241 [Very Fine and Rare Stainless Steel Chronograph Wristwatch with Bracelet, Ref 6241 Case 2372607 Cosmograph Daytona ‘Paul Newman’ Circa 1970, Estimate: HK$1,600,000 – 2,400,000 / US$204,000-306,000]

Released in 1966, the Paul Newman reference 6241 remains one of the most sought-after vintage Daytonas till this day. While the lumes have all turned consistently to a golden orange, the dial itself is in attractive original condition, an “honest patina” which collectorshave been actively seeking in recent years. The numbers between the lugs are very crisp and easy to read without the aid of a loupe and the watch is still retains its original guarantee, manual and presentation box.

Roger Smith No 08 [Fine and Rare Pink Gold Wristwatch with Power Reserve Indication, Co-Axial Escapement and Engraved Dial, No 08 – C Series 2 Made In 2006, Estimate: HK$1,100,000-1,600,000 / US$141,000-204,000]

Roger Smith met Dr. George Daniels in 1987 while attending the Manchester School of Horology. He then became Daniels’ only apprentice, and spent years to master the all 32 trades of the British watchmaker. The encounter inspired Smith to embark on a horological career and he is now one of the greatest watchmakers dedicated to handcrafted watchmaking, producing only 10 watches each year. Smith’s partnership with Daniels went on for 20 years, until the latter’s death in 2011. Together they created The Millennium’ Series in 1998 to celebrate the acceptance of the Daniels Co-axial escapement by the Swiss watch industry. Smith established his own atelier in 2001 and created 4 series of collections and special collections such as the Daniels Anniversary, The Great Britain and the Open Dial. This lot is a Series 2 timepiece which took Roger Smith three years to develop. This watch features hour, minute, seconds and power-reserve indication with beautifully hand-engraved floral designed dial and a silvered chapter ring with Roman numerals. The watch is fresh to the market and in unused condition.

Patek Philippe Ref 982 [Extremely Fine and Unique Hand-Engraved White Gold Open-face Keyless Watch with Enamel Depicting a Japanese Cherry Tree and Beige Enamel Dial, Ref 982/159g Japanese Cherry Made in 2015, Estimate: HK$1,800,000 – 3,000,000 / US$230,000-383,000]

This unique open-face enamel pocket watch features a lacquered dial which depicts a Japanese Cherry Tree. The present watch was featured on the front cover of the ‘Rare Handcrafts’ Patek Philippe book published in 2015, which is a collection of artisanal timepieces showcased annually at Baselworld by Patek Philippe. The back of the case is embellished with hand-engraved branches that utilises high-relief techniques, and the pendant bow is also decorated with a hand engraved motif.

Cartier “Tutti-Frutti”
Christened the name ‘Tutti Frutti’ in 1970, the exuberant colours and sumptuous textures bear testament to one of Cartier’s most iconic collections of the Art Deco era. Cartier first forayed into Indian-inspired design in 1901, when Queen Alexandra commissioned Pierre Cartier to create a necklace to accompany her collection of Indian gowns. However, it was not until Jacques Cartier’s voyage to India in 1911 did the vibrancy and vitality of the exotic East translate itself into their designs, fostering an appreciation of Cartier jewels amongst Indian aristocracy.

Cartier [Fine and Very Rare Rock Crystal, Diamond and Multi Gem-Set Table Clock With 8 Day Movement and Mother-of-Pearl Dial, ‘Tutti Frutti’ Circa 1985, Estimate: HK$1,000,000-2,400,000 / US$128,000-300,000]

This clock consists of a mixture of rubies, emeralds, Tahitian mother-of-pearl and diamonds, set in the iconic style of craft-gem leaves, flowers and floral baskets. No sighting of any comparable contemporary clocks in auction has been recorded so far. The present clock is in excellent overall condition and complete with its original fitted presentation box.

Cartier [Very Rare and Exceptionally Made White Gold and Multi Gem-Set Bracelet Watch, ‘Tutti Frutti’ Circa 2003, Estimate: HK$800,000-1,200,000 / US$100,000-150,000]

This bracelet watch is set with over 45 carats of diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires. The precious stones are carved into leaves and berries, which are inspired aesthetics of the 1920s. Complete with original certificate and presentation box, the present watch is in virtual new condition.

Contemporary Classics by Patek Philippe

Watches from this session are consigned from a group of discerning wristwatch collectors. Considered as contemporary classics, these discontinued watches collectively represent significant milestones of Patek Philippe‘s eminent history. Each watch is original and in exceptional condition.

Patek Philippe Ref 5013

Patek Philippe Ref 5013: Exceptional and Rare Platinum Minute Repeating Perpetual Calendar Wristwatch with Retrograde Date, Moon Phases, Leap Year Indication and Black Dial. Ref 5013, Circa 2011, Estimate: HK$3,000,000-5,000,000 / US$380,000-650,000.

Patek Philippe Ref 5020

Patek Philippe Ref 5020: The Earliest Known Platinum 5020 and Possibly Unique Patek Philippe Early, Fine and Very Rare Platinum Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Wristwatch with Moonphases and Breguet Numerals. Ref 5020. Made in 1995, Estimate: HK$3,000,000-5,000,000 / US$383,000-640,000.

Patek Philippe Ref 3939

Patek Philippe Ref 3939: Very Rare And Important Platinum Minute Repeating Tourbillon Wristwatch With Enamel Dial And Breguet Numerals, Ref 3939, Circa 2007, Estimate: HK$2,200,000-3,200,000 / US$280,000-408,000.

Patek Philippe Ref 5029

Patek Philippe Ref 5029: Extremely Fine and Rare Limited Edition Platinum Minute Repeating Wristwatch, Made to Commemorate the Opening of Patek Philippe’s Watchmaking Center in Geneva in 1997, Ref 5029, Made in 1997, Estimate: HK$3,500,000-5,000,000 / US$446,000-640,000.

Patek Philippe Ref 5002

Patek Philippe Ref 5002: Very Rare And Highly Important Platinum Double Dial Wristwatch With Twelve Complications Including Tourbillon, Perpetual Calendar, Retrograde Date, Sky Chart, Moon-Phases, Orbit Display, Sidereal Time And Minute Repeating On Cathedral Gongs, Ref 5002 Skymoon Tourbillon, Circa 2013, Estimate: HK$7,500,000-12,000,000 / US$960,000-1,530,0006.

Works by Breguet

Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747-1823) is widely acknowledged for having set the standards by which all fine watchmaking has been judged. Breguet became the indispensable watchmaker to the finance, diplomatic and Royal elites of the period. His customers included some of the most influential members of society including Louis XVI and his Queen, Marie-Antoinette. In 1801 Breguet patented the tourbillon and conceived the world’s very first wristwatch in 1810 for Caroline Murat, Queen of Naples.

Breguet – Exceptional, Highly Important and Historical Pink Gold Open-face Quarter Repeating Clock Watch with Grande and Petite Sonnerie, Moon Phases and Eccentric Subsidiary Seconds, Number 4270, Case Number 288 Circa 1825 Sold to Mr. Suzanne de Bréanté for 3,500 Francs on the 9th of July 1825, formerly in the collection of Sir Lionel Salomons, accompanied by its original Breguet key and chain with gold tags numbered 77 and 88 indicating the Salomons’ inventory numbers, Estimate: HK$2,400,000-4,000,000 / US$300,000-500,000.

Sir David Lionel Salomons devoted his life to horology and is considered the leading authority in the world on works by Breguet. Over his lifetime, he amassed the largest private collection of watches and clocks made by Breguet, including the ‘Marie Antoinette’ no. 160 and the ‘Duc de Praslin’ no. 92. In 1921, Salomon published his work on Breguet’s life and career. This clock watch is of exceptional museum quality condition and is still repeating with a wonderful tone and clarity. The dial is reminiscent of Breguet’s work and features an eccentric subsidiary seconds and silvered chapter rings with engine-turned centre.

Breguet – Very Fine and Extremely Rare Gilt Brass 8-Day Going Carriage Clock with Half Quarter Repeating, Alarm, Subsidiary Seconds, Calendar with Date and Month, Original Key, Certificate and Original Tooled Red Leather Fitted Travelling Case, Number 46 Circa 1837, Sold to Count Fersen for 4,000 Francs on the 16th of June 1837, Estimate: HK$1,400,000-2,000,000 / US$180,000-250,000.

This carriage clock, also known as a traveling clock, was invented in the early 19th century by Abraham-Louis Breguet for the Emperor Napoleon. Breguet made many clocks of these types, none of which were identical. A unique feature of these carriage clocks is the platform escapement, which is visible from the glass panel at the top of the case. These travelling Breguet clocks with gilt movements are finished to an extremely high standard and attention to detail.

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