Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo has announced highlights ahead of The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XIV, which will take place on 27 and 28 May at the JW Marriott in Hong Kong.
The auction follows Phillips Watches’ most successful year in Asia, which achieved an annual total of HK$422 million/ US$ 54 million in 2021 and the first white glove year in the region’s auction history.
Leading the sale is a possibly unique Patek Philippe Ref. 3974 in a yellow gold case made by the legendary casemaker Jean-Pierre Hagmann. The Ref. 3974 was launched in 1989 to celebrate the brand’s 150th anniversary.
A self-winding watch featuring a minute repeater, a perpetual calendar, 24-hour indication and phases of the moon, it was the world’s most complicated wristwatch when launched. One of the earliest produced, this truly stellar example features a striking black lacquer dial embellished with the prestigious symbol of excellence, the Calatrava Cross.
Other details that show extensive customization by Patek Philippe include the italicized font used for the calendar indications, and the applied gold Breguet numerals that are always a rare and desirable configuration for complicated Patek Philippe wristwatches matching beautifully with the hue of the case.
Exceptional modern timepieces by Patek Philippe will be offered in the sale. Highlights include a Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5723/112R-001, which features the rare and desirable baguette-cut ruby-set bezel and indexes totalling 4 carats.
Incredibly rare and fresh-to-the-market, this is the first example to appear to be stamped with the prestigious brand Tiffany & Co., complete with its full set of accessories with a Patek Philippe Certificate of Origin stamped by Tiffany & Co. New York, USA.
First launched in 2003, Ref. 5101 features a large yet elegant stepped platinum case reminiscent of Art Deco aesthetics. This reference is fitted with two complications that are very difficult to build within the confines of a rectangular movement and case, due to the lack of space.
The present watch, fitted with a classic salmon dial, featuring masculine touch of blackened Breguet numerals.
At Baselworld in 2010, Patek Philippe announced the Ref. 5950, a cushion-form, single button split-seconds chronograph with the incredible caliber CHR 27-525PS, which was first seen in 2005 in the 5959P, and it was the thinnest column-wheel chronograph caliber ever made when launched.
An “application piece” reserved for the brand’s best clients, the steel Ref. 5950 further impressed collectors with its raised, applied black gold Breguet numerals, black lacquer scroll detailing at the corners and on the buckle, and its lustrous opaline dial.
Vintage Rolexes have seen a significant increase in demand over the years. Phillips is presenting a great selection of vintage Rolex models this season with many fresh-to-the-market gems, to meet collectors’ ever-growing desire for vintage watches.
Offered at auction for the first time, the present Rolex Daytona Ref. 16528 with an “R83” serial from circa 1989 is an extremely rare sight. Featuring a MK1 200-unit bezel evolving from the Ref. 6265, it is fitted with a concept porcelain dial featuring an unusual four lines of texts “OYSTER COSMOGRAPH SUPERLATIVE CHRONOMETER OFFICIALLY CERTIFIED” below the coronet.
Furthermore, another interesting feature is its black “DAYTONA” inscription above the 6 o’clock instead of its usual cherry coloured signature, hence earning its nickname the “Ying Yang” as depicted in Pucci Papaleo’s Ultimate Rolex Daytona book.
With only a handful of examples known in the market to date, the Rolex Ref. 6263 features UAE Quraysh Hawk dial with the signature of the Ministry of Defense written in Arabic script was made specially for Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Released in 1965, the Ref. 6241 produced until approximately 1969 for a total of four years, and it is estimated by scholars and established connoisseurs that only 2,300 examples in stainless steel were produced.
The present Ref. 6241 “Paul Newman” with a 1.7 million serial from circa 1968 is of the later batch of the reference featuring an oval-shaped case and a correct Mk I bezel insert. Not only the present model is offered in excellent condition, but it also accompanied by all the accessories making this “Exotic” Ref. 6241 one of the few known in “full set” condition.
The present Submariner with the so-called Explorer dial Ref. 5512 is undoubtedly part of the earliest production recognisable by its exceptional details such as the attractive two-liner gilt dial with chapter ring and pointed crown guards.
Marked with the most desirable and important detail of all is the dot that sits at 6 o’clock which identified by collectors as the “exclamation mark” dial. Such dials were in production only for a very short period between 1961 until 1962 to designate the transition of luminous material with lower radiation count due to health hazards during the era. This extraordinary fresh-to-the-market gem is the earliest known Ref. 5512 with “exclamation mark” Explorer dial.
Metiers d’Art Watches from Patek Philippe
When it comes to the art of enamelling in timepieces, the first to be mentioned would often be Patek Philippe. This season, Phillips is delighted to present an array of watches feature Métiers d’Art techniques, from cloisonné enamelling, hand engraving to marquetry.
Created by acclaimed enameller Anita Porchet, the cloisonné enamelled Peacock Butterfly scene framed within the sinuous lines of the Calatrava case is simply one of a kind. It has been kept in the collection of the original owner for 13 years and never offered in auctions.
The Patek Philippe open face pocket watch Ref. 866/26 in yellow gold features an exquisite miniature enamel painting of “Retour du Verger” or “Return from the Orchard” by Spanish painter Francisco Ribera Gómez from the early 20th century, it was reinterpreted by master enameller Mrs. Hélène May-Mercier at Patek Philippe in 1974, who was an enamel miniature painter at Patek Philippe in Geneva from the 1970s until the 1990s.
Presented as part of the Rare Handcrafts collection as a unique piece, the Peregrine Falcon open-faced pocket watch Ref.982/147 exhibits the spectacular decoration of Marquetry, a technique consists of stacking sheets of veneer into black, followed by a cutting process to produce fine wood pieces that only a handful of marquetry makers can assemble into art pieces.
Unveiled in 2015 as part of the Rare Handcrafts collection, the cloisonné enameled Ref. 5089 produced in low numbers pays a thematic tribute to its great traditions.
Illustrated with the timeless, understated lines of the Calatrava cased in white gold sets an ample canvas for the world’s most beautiful and legendary alps, The Enchanted Mountains series.
The quartet of enamel-dialed Calatravas span across high altitude from the Matterhorn of Switzerland, Mont Blanc of France to the summits of Mount Everest Asia and last but not least, Mount Fuji the symbol of Japan.
A. Lange & Söhne
Taking the tourbillon to new heights, the Pour le Mérite was the first wristwatch to feature the most precious fusée-and-chain transmission. Exceedingly rare and important, the present Ref. 701.001 is numbered 49 of the 150 timepieces made in gold.
A complete work of art, the Tourbillon Pour le Mérite from circa 1995 is one of the earliest batches has aged with an attractive patina from oxidation throughout the whole case.
The Tourbograph Perpetual “Pour le Mérite” is a unique combination of a fusée-and-chain transmission with a tourbillon, chronograph, rattrapante and a perpetual calendar. These five complications were first united in this wristwatch in 2017, limited to 50 timepieces in platinum.
The present example in platinum numbered 37 from circa 2020 is the first example to appear at a Phillips auction.
Further highlights of the sale include watches from independent watchmakers such as Richard Mille, F.P. Journe, Lang & Heyne, Kari Voutilainen and Christophe Claret will be announced in due course.
Name of auction: The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XIV
Auction: 27 – 28 May, 2022
Preview: 24- 28 May, 2022
Location: JW Marriott Hong Kong, 88 Queensway, Admiralty