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Christie’s Hong Kong Watch Auction 22 May 2021: ‘The Legends of Time’ and ‘An Exceptional Season of Watches’

Christie’s has announced the key highlights of their upcoming Hong Kong Watch auction, which is scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 22nd, 2021 at the HK Convention and Exhibition Centre. The auction will have two parts: the first historic “Evening Watch Sale” hosted by Christie’s in HK (at 7pm) and ‘An Exceptional Season of Watches’ scheduled at 2pm.

The Evening Sale – The Legends of Time

On 22 May 2021 at 7:00PM, Christie’s Watches Department will be holding the first historic watch standalone evening sale in Hong Kong. From the 1800s to the modern era: The extraordinary selection of 18 timepieces curated under the theme ‘The Legends of Time’ is bound to astound the watch loving and collecting community – museums and collectors – with its rarity and outstanding quality.

These 18 lots have the potential to break the record for any watch sale ever held in Asia. The sale is a once in a lifetime opportunity to glimpse some of the most extraordinary creations in watchmaking history. The event will take place at the HK Convention and Exhibition Centre. Key highlights are:

Patek Philippe Ref. 3448J ‘Senza Luna’

Alan Banbery’s yellow gold Patek Philippe ref. 3448J ‘Senza Luna’ perpetual calendar wristwatch is one of the most famous wristwatches in the world.

Patek Philippe. A unique, exceptional and historically highly important 18k Gold Automatic Perpetual Calendar Wristwatch with English calendar, leap year indication and “no moon”, ref. 3448 “Alan Banbery”, specially modified by request of Henri and Philippe stern in 1975 as a unique piece for presentation to Alan Banbery, manufactured in 1970.

This exceptional and historically important 18K gold automatic perpetual calendar wristwatch with an English calendar, prototype leap year indication and ‘no moon’ was manufactured in 1970, and especially modified by request of Henri and Philippe Stern in 1975 as a unique piece for presentation to Alan Banbery. Estimate: HKD24.8 Million – 40 Million/ US$3.2 Million – 5.162 Million.

Patek Philippe ‘Gradowski’ Grande Complication

The Unique ‘Gradowski’ Grande Complication is Patek Philippe’s Earliest Grande Complication Watch. At the time it was made in 1890, this extraordinary horological masterpiece was the most complicated watch Patek Philippe had ever produced.

Patek Philippe. An exceptional and highly important, historic and unique 18k Pink Gold Openface Minute Repeating Two Train Grande And Petite Sonnerie Keyless Lever Clockwatch with Instantaneous Perpetual Calendar, Indications For Julian and Gregorian Calendars, Moon Phases And Chronograph with Central 60-Minute Recorder, Made For Jean De Gradowski, Manufactured In 1890.

It featured a unique minute repeater with two-train Grande et Petite Sonnerie movement, keyless lever, instantaneous perpetual calendar, indications for both the Julian and Gregorian calendars, moon phases and a chronograph with central 60-minute recorder. Of museum quality, this timepiece comes before Graves’s famous Grande Complication, making it even more historically important. Estimate: HKD4 Million – 12 Million/ US$517,000 – 1.549 Million.

Patek Philippe Ref. 1415 HU in 18K Pink Gold

The auction will also offer a selection of stunning enamel timepieces, including a rare Patek Philippe ref. 1415 HU in 18K pink gold.

Patek Philippe. A magnificent and important 18K Pink Gold World Time Wristwatch with Cloisonné Enamel Dial Depicting the Eastern Hemisphere, Ref. 1415, manufactured in 1949

This small (31mm) timepiece from the 1950s is only one of two models known to exist, and this one features a rare and unusual polychrome cloisonné enamel dial. Estimate: HKD 8 Million – 24 Million/ US$1.033 Million– 3.097 Million.

Patek Philippe ref. 2481J

The next highlight in the enamel watches is an extremely rare Patek Philippe ref. 2481J, manufactured 1954, with a unique lighthouse enamel design presented in 18K yellow gold. This centre-seconds timepiece depicts a cloisonné enamel scene depicted in exceptional and flamboyant colours.

Patek Philippe. An Exceptional 18k Gold Wristwatch with Sweep Centre Seconds and Cloisonné Enamel Dial “The Lighthouse” Ref. 2481, manufactured in 1954

The timepiece was crafted at a time when enamel paints were of the highest quality thanks to the inclusion of mercury, which is forbidden today. It would thus be impossible to recreate the same colourful scene using contemporary enamels. Estimate: HKD2 Million – 6 Million/ US$259,000 – 775,000.

Piguet & Capt. Musical Timekeeper with Automaton

As part of a pair, a magnificent and particularly rare musical timekeeper with automaton in 18K gold with pearls and enamel is also presented at the Christie’s Hong Kong evening auction.

Attributed To Piguet & Capt. A highly important and magnificent 18K Gold And Enamel, Pearl-Set Musical, Perfume and Automaton Amphora-Form Watch Made For The Chinese Market, Swiss, the enamel attributed to Jean-Louis Richter, Geneva, circa 1805

Attributed to Piguet & Capt. and made for the Chinese market, this horological treasure comes in the form of an amphora and is adorned with the most sublime miniature enamel -attributed to Jean-Louis Richter, renderings that take the object far beyond the art of fine watchmaking alone. The other timekeeper which completes the pair is currently displayed in the Patek Philippe Museum. Estimate: HKD8 Million – 40 Million/ US$1.033 Million – 5 Million.

Flintlock Pistol Style Perfume Spray with clock

Continuing along the same theme of horological objets d’art, on offer is a perfume spray that comes in the form of a Flintlock pistol featuring a clock in the grip made for the Chinese market.

Attributed to Moulinié, Bautte & Cie. Or J.B. Garrand, Geneva. An extremely rare, important and very fine gold enamel and pearl-set flintlock pistol-form perfume sprinkler with concealed watch, made for the Chinese market, Swiss, Geneva, circa 1805

Attributed to Moulinié, Bautte & Cie or J.B.Garrand, Geneva, and decorated to the highest level of hand craftsmanship in 18K gold with enamel and pearls, the pistol sprays perfume when pulling the trigger. Estimate: HKD800,000– 2.4 Million/ US$104,000 – 310,000.

Patek Philippe World Time Platinum Reference 1415 HU

A superstar in the upcoming auction is unique and extremely important platinum Patek Philippe World Time wristwatch manufactured in 1946. There is only one platinum reference 1415 HU in the world.

Patek Philiippe. A Unique and Very Important Platinum World Time Wristwatch, Ref. 1415 HU, manufactured in 1946

In 2002 it became the most expensive wristwatch ever sold at auction, realizing an astonishing 6,603,500 Swiss Francs, a record that remained unbroken for some years after. Estimate: HKD8 Million – 24 Million/ US$ 1.033 Million – 3.097 Million.

Patek Philippe Two-crown World Time Ref. 2523-1

The next highlight is an extremely rare Patek Philippe two-crown World Time wristwatch ref. 2523-1 from the 1950s. It is much larger than the other World Timers presented in this sale and thinner than the reference 2523 recognizable by its wide lugs.

Patek Philippe. An Exceptionally Rare and Important 18K Gold Two Crown World Time Wristwatch with 24 Hour Indication and Bracelet, ref. 2523/1, manufactured in 1965

This timepiece has a unique dial, as the hands and indexes are enhanced with luminescence. This watch comes with a unique, specially made gold bracelet that is detachable. Only 15 pieces of this reference 2523-1 were produced in 18K yellow gold. Estimate: HKD8 Million – 24 Million/ US$1.033 Million – 3.097 Million.

Patek Philippe Ref. 1579R

The auction will also feature several exciting one-of-a-kind timepieces, including this rare Patek Philippe ref. 1579R chronograph wristwatch in 18K pink gold.

Patek Philippe. A Unique and Highly Important 18k Pink Gold ‘Spider Lugs’ Chronograph Wristwatch with Tachymeter and Engraved Bezel, confirmed as the only example ever made, Ref. 1579, Retailed by Gobbi Milano, Manufactured in 1955

The tachymeter and spider lugs, and especially the unique bezel catch the eye. Manufactured in 1950, this elegant wristwatch has the double signature of Patek Philippe and its original retailer, Gobbi Milano. Estimate: HKD 3.2 Million – 6.5 Million/ US$ 413,000 – 839,000.

The Day Sale – An Exceptional Season Of Watches

The Day Sale offers 147 lots, including 56 Patek Philippe timepieces (vintage, modern and contemporary) as well as a captivating selection of 36 unusual and high-quality Rolexes, and a unique F. P. Journe Chronomètre Souverain made for none other than Master Watchmaker George Daniels.

Christie’s will present a remarkable selection of vintage and modern Rolexes, many of which have unique dials or cases that make them of particular interest to collectors. One of the most popular watches in the line-up is the new, and yet extremely hard-to-find, Rolex Daytona Rainbow ref.116595RBOW in pink gold (estimate: HKD 2.6 Million – 3.6 Million / US$336,000 – 465,000).

Rolex. An Impressive and Rare 18K Pink Gold, Diamond and Rainbow-Coloured Multi Gem-Set Automatic Chronograph Wristwatch with Bracelet, Daytona Rainbow Model, Ref. 116595RBOW, circa 2019

There will also be a rare Rolex Daytona ref. 16519 in white gold with salmon dial made in very small numbers and rare at auction (estimate: HKD 1.5 Million – 3 Million/ US$194,000 – 388,000).

Rolex. A Highly Attractive and Extremely Rare 18K White Gold Automatic Chronograph Wristwatch with Salmon Dial, Daytona Model, Ref. 16519, Circa 1997

Equally rare is the Rolex Daytona ref. 16528 in yellow gold with a blue dial from the 1990s, claimed to be made for the CEO and board of directors of Rolex (estimate: HKD 2 Million – 4 Million/ US$ 259,000 – 517,000).

Rolex. An Extremely Rare 18k Gold Automatic Chronograph Wristwatch with Bracelet and Blue Dial, Daytona Model, Ref. 16528, Circa 1991

Also in the sale, a Rolex Daytona ref. 6240 with a floating ‘Small Daytona’ that is separate from the other lines on the dial. This timepiece comes with all its original features, including the initial pushers and Mark I bezel. Estimate: HKD 1 Million – 2 Million/ US$ 130,000 – 259,000.

Rolex. A Rare Stainless Steel Chronograph Wristwatch with Bracelet, Cosmograph Model, “Floating Small Daytona”, Ref. 6240, circa 1966

A lesser-known model on offer is the Rolex Milgauss Mark I ref. 6541 that comes with the beautiful tropical dial. Estimate: HKD 2 Million – 3 Million/ US$ 259,000 – 388,000.

Rolex. A Very Rare Stainless Steel Automatic Wristwatch with Bracelet with “Tropical” Dial, Milgauss Model, Ref. 6541, Circa 1959

The Rolex Submariner ref. 5514 ‘Comex’ (estimate: HKD 1.3 Million – 2.3 Million/ US$ 168,000 – 297,000) was originally made for professional industrial divers working at Comex in the South of France. These pieces were never commercialized, making them highly collectible today. Prices have increased dramatically over the last few years.

Rolex. An Extremely Rare Stainless Steel Automatic Wristwatch with Bracelet Submariner “COMEX” Model, Ref. 5514, circa 1978

Another interesting Submariner on offer is the Rolex Submariner ref. 6538 (estimate: HKD 1 Million – 2 Million/ US$ 130,000 – 259,000). This timepiece has a big crown specially conceived to meet the needs of divers, with its dial showing various patinas and beautiful sweeping tropical patches.

Rolex. A Stainless Steel Automatic Wristwatch with Bracelet and “Tropical” Dial, Submariner Model, Ref. 6538 “BIG CROWN”, Circa 1959

Two rare manual-winding Rolex Daytonas will also be unveiled. The Rolex Daytona ref. 6239 ‘Solo’ from the 60s that only has the inscription ‘Rolex’ on the dial (estimate: HKD 900,000 – 1.8 Million/ US$ 117,000 – 233,000). This solo inscription was soon complemented by ‘Cosmograph’ and ‘Daytona,’ making this model quite remarkable.

Rolex. A Rare Stainless Steel Chronograph Wristwatch with Bracelet, Daytona “SOLO” Model, Ref. 6239, Circa 1965

The second piece is a Rolex Daytona ref. 6239 ‘Cherry’ featuring a big red ‘Daytona’ cherry-coloured logo at the six o’clock position (estimate: HKD 650,000– 1 Million/ US$ 84,000 – 130,000). These red logos were produced early on before being stopped and then reintroduced again in the 1970s, which makes them quite sought-after.

Rolex. A Rare Stainless Steel Chronograph Wristwatch with Bracelet, Daytona Model, Ref. 6239 “Cherry Dial”, Circa 1967

Christie’s Hong Kong has the very special honour and privilege of presenting a special F. P. Journe timepiece, which Journe made especially for George Daniels, who was his friend, muse, and mentor. During a dinner organized by John and William Asprey in London in 2010, Journe offered Daniels a unique Chronomètre Souverain in platinum that he had made for his friend. The balance wheel is inscribed with “FP to George Daniels, My Mentor 2010” (estimate: HKD 2 Million – 6 Million / US$259,000 – 775,000).

F.P. Journe. An Important Platinum Wristwatch with Power Reserve, Made And Presented To Pay Tribute to George Daniel, Chronometre Souverain Model, Circa 2010

A rare F.P.Journe Tourbillon Souverain is for sale in platinum (estimate: HKD 1.4 Million – 2.4 Million/ US$ 181,000 – 310,000).

F.P. Journe. A Rare Platinum Tourbillon Wristwatch with Power Reserve, Dead Beat Seconds and Bracelet, Tourbillon Souverain Model, Circa 2004

Other highlights include an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Limited Edition in platinum (estimate: HKD 1.4 Million – 2.4 Million/ US$ 181,000 – 310,000), joined by a rare Harry Winston Minute Repeater Limited Edition with the most beautiful chime (estimate: HKD 550,000 – 850,000 / US$ 71,000 – 110,000), and a Christophe Claret X-TREM Pinball Tourbillon, one of a very small series (estimate: HKD 500,000 – 1 Million/ US$ 65,000 – 130,000).

Audemars Piguet. An Extremely Rare Platinum Limited Edition Automatic Perpetual Calendar Wristwatch With Moon Phases, Leap Year Indication And Bracelet, Quantieme Perpetuel Model, Limited Edition Of 20 Pieces, Made To Commemorate The 20th Anniversary Of Indonesia’s Retailer THE TIME PLACE, circa 2019
Harry Winston. A Rare 18K White Gold Limited Edition Minute Repeating Wristwatch, Ref. MIDMMR42WW002, Circa 2013
Christophe Claret. An Unusual 18K White Gold And Titanium Limited Edition Semi-Skeletonised Tourbillon Wristwatch, X-TREM-1 Model, Circa 2012

On offer are two magnificent Haute Joaillerie pieces: a Piaget Aura with diamonds and rubies with a splendid bracelet made by the Maison’s artisans (estimate: HKD 650,000 – 1.2 Million / US$ 84,000 – 155,000) and a Chanel’s iconic J12 (estimate: HKD 800,000 – 1.6 Million/ US$ 104,000 – 207,000) dressed in black ceramic with baguette diamonds and rubies and a full pavé bracelet with baguette diamonds. Only five pieces were made with this design.

Piaget. An Impressive 18k Gold, Diamond and Ruby-Set Bracelet Watch, AURA model, Manufactured In 1989
Chanel. An Impressive and Extremely Rare 18K White Gold, Black Ceramic, Baguette-Cut Diamond and Ruby-Set Automatic Wristwatch with Sweep Centre Seconds

Auction Schedule

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