Christie’s Hong Kong’s Watches Auctions 27 November 2021 – Results

Christie’s Hong Kong’s Watches Day and Evening auctions held on 27 November 2021 achieved a combined total of HK$228,077,500/ US$29,388,699. It witnessed 4 world auction records for References across both sales including Patek Philippe References: 1436J, 2419J, 2497J, Richard Mille – Pink Sapphire Ref 07-02.

Christie’s Watches Department created another monumental chapter in horological world auction history, with the day auction An Exceptional Season of Watches including The Champion Collection (Part 1) and evening auction Timeless Marvels realising a combined total of HK$228,077,500/ US$29,388,699, pushing the category’s annual sale total in Asia to HK$559 Million/ US$72 Million for the unprecedented offerings, across four live and five online-only auctions.

The sales achieved a combined sale through rate of 87%, with almost 30% of lots sold via Christie’s LiveTM. The bustling saleroom invited bidding by an extensive collector base from 22 countries across 4 continents, as well as an contingent of millennial buyers who accounted for more than 40% of new buyers.

Sale Highlights – Timeless Marvels

The evening sale achieved HK$77,075,000/ US$9,931,422 and achieved an 82% sell-through rate by lot. In addition to the top lot, buyers showed a strong appetite for other vintage Patek Philippe wristwatches with exceptional provenance, highlighted by Ref. 1436 once owned by Henry Graves Jr., the legendary patron of the brand; as well as Ref. 2497 once acquired by Reginald H. Fullerton Jr., the grandson of Henry Graves Jr.. Both references set auction records.

Enamel creations, rare pocket watches, and dome clocks were also 100% sold, highlighted by the amphora-form watch attributed to Piguet & Capt and made for the Chinese market in the early 19th Century, and an openface keyless lever watch by Patek Philippe, made to celebrate the company’s 175th anniversary in 2014 .

Patek Philippe Minute repeater reference 2419, retailed by Cartier
Patek Philippe Minute repeater reference 2419, retailed by Cartier

The top lot of the sales was a unique Patek Philippe 18k gold minute repeating wristwatch with blackened hands and index, large subsidiary second dial, repeating slider and crown, ref. 2419, retailed by Cartier, manufactured in 1946. Lot 2508. Price realised: HK$23,050,000/ US$2,970,085.

Other top performers

  1. Lot 2509 – Patek Philippe. An extremely rare and historically important 18k gold split second chronograph wristwatch with Breguet numerals, Ref. 1436, Sold to Henry Graves Jr. In 1947, manufactured in 1946. Price realised: HK$13,450,000/ US$1,733,086.
  2. Lot 2510 – Patek Philippe. An 18k gold perpetual calendar wristwatch with sweep centre seconds and moon phases, Ref. 2497, manufactured in 1951. Price realised: HK$13,450,000/ US$1,733,086.
  3. Lot 2505 – Attributed to Piguet & Capt. An 18k gold and enamel, pearl-set musical, perfume flask and automaton amphora-form watch made for the Chinese market, Circa 1805. Price realised: HK$6,250,000/ US$805,338.
  4. Lot 2512 – Patek Philippe. A unique 18k white gold openface keyless lever watch with wood miniature and a unique associated 18k white gold, wood and ruby-set Patek Philippe watch stand, Ref. 982/181g-001, Made to celebrate the company’s 175th Anniversary in 2014. Property from The Champion Collection. Price realised: HK$3,000,000/ US$386,562.
  5. Lot 2515 – Patek Philippe. A very fine and rare limited edition stainless steel cushion-shaped single button split seconds chronograph wristwatch with rose gold sunburst dial and black breguet numerals, made in a limited series of 10 pieces. Ref. 5950/1A-011, circa 2014. Property from The Champion Collection. Price realised: HK$5,625,000/ US$724,804.
  6. Lot 2516 – Patek Philippe. A possibly unique and important 18k pink gold and diamond-set tonneau-shaped automatic minute repeating perpetual calendar wristwatch with retrograde date, moon phases, leap year indication and black dial with diamond-set indexes. Ref. 5013R-014, circa 2010. Property from The Champion Collection. Price realised: HK$4,000,000/ US$515,416.

Sale Highlights – An Exceptional Season of Watches including The Champion Collection (Part 1)

The sale totalled HK$151,002,500/ US$19,457,276, with sell-through rates of 87% by lot and 89% by value. Close to one-third of lots were sold via Christie’s LiveTM.

The top lot was lot 2294 – Richard Mille, a pink sapphire, 18k pink gold and diamond-set skeletonized lady’s automatic wristwatch with mother-of-pearl dial, Ref. RM 07-02, circa 2016, sold for HK$10,450,000/ US$1,346,524, setting a world auction record for the reference.

Patek Philippe modern complications fetched remarkable prices, particularly for minute-repeating wristwatches references 5074, 5207, and Nautilus model Ref. 5711. Rolex vintage pieces continued to command exceptional prices, led by Ref. 6238 which is one of only two known examples.

Timepieces by fast-rising brands and independent watchmakers are becoming increasingly desirable among buyers as the sale saw a 100% sell-through rate for F.P Journe, A. Lange & Söhne, Voutilainen, Parmigiani Fleurier, and Laurent Ferrier pieces.

Other top achievers

  1. Lot 2378 – Patek Philippe. A rare platinum automatic “cathedral” minute repeating perpetual calendar wristwatch with moon phases, 24 hour and leap year indication. Ref. 5074, circa 2012. Price realised: HK$6,850,000/ US$882,650.
  2. Lot 2379 – Patek Philippe. A rare 18k pink gold minute repeating instantaneous perpetual calendar tourbillon wristwatch with moon phases, day/night and leap year indication. Ref. 5207, circa 2013. Price realised: HK$5,625,000/ US$724,804.
  3. Lot 2355 – Patek Philippe. A very rare stainless steel automatic wristwatch with sweep centre seconds, date, bracelet and olive green dial. Nautilus model, ref. 5711, circa 2021. Price realised: HK$3,250,000/ US$418,776.
  4. Lot 2288 – Voutilainen. A unique platinum dual-time wristwatch with lacquered dial 28 gml center model, unique piece, circa 2015. Property from The Champion Collection. Price realised: HK$5,250,000/ US$676,484.
  5. Lot 2333 – Rolex. A very rare 14k chronograph wristwatch with bracelet, ref. 6238, circa 1967. Price realised: HK$5,000,000/ US$644,270.
  6. Lot 2205 – Rolex. A group of four 18k white gold automatic chronograph wristwatches with yellow mother-of-pearl, pink mother-of-pearl, turquoise chrysoprase and green chrysoprase dials. Daytona model, Ref. 116519, “beach”, circa 2000 to 2002. Price realised: HK$2,250,000/ US$289,922.
  7. Lot 2214 – F.P. Journe. An 18k pink gold and silver limited edition tourbillon wristwatch, made to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of F.P.Journe 30 year Anniversary tourbillon model, limited edition to 99 pieces, circa 2013. Property from The Champion Collection. Price realised: HK$3,250,000/ US$418,776.
  8. Lot 2217 – F.P. Journe. An early 18k pink gold dual time chronometer wristwatch with resonance-controlled twin independent gear-train movement and power reserve Chronomètre à résonance model, circa 2002. Property from The Champion Collection. Price realised: HK$3,000,000/ US$386,562.
  9. Lot 2248 – A. Lange & Söhne. An extremely rare 18k pink gold limited edition tourbillon wristwatch with chain fusée and power reserve. Pour le mérite model, Limited edition to 150 pieces, Ref. 701.011, circa 1999. Price realised: HK$3,250,000/ US$418,776.