Christie’s Geneva Rare Watches Live Auction, 7 November 2022 – Highlights

Scheduled on 7th of November, the Rare Watches auction by Christie’s Geneva will offer a selection of the most coveted timepieces made by Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet and others.

Among these treasures, the Rolex Ref. 6298 which Swiss mountain guide, chemist and oxygen specialist Jürg Marmet wore on his successful ascent of the Mount Everest on 23 May 1956; and the No. 1 of Royal Oak reference 5420SA – the first ever stainless steel and gold Royal Oak produced in 1977.

Lot 128 – The ‘Pre-Explorer’ Rolex Jürg Marmet Ref. 6298

This watch was worn during two well documented and significant expeditions, including accompanying its then owner, the Swiss mountain guide, chemist and oxygen specialist Jürg Marmet on his successful ascent of Mount Everest as part of the official “Schweizerische Mount Everest-Expedition 1956”.

‘Pre-Explorer’ Rolex Jürg Marmet Ref. 6298

Jürg Marmet, wearing this very watch, was only the third human ever to reach the summit of Everest on that 23rd of May 1956. The Rolex Ref. 6298 Jürg Marmet is therefore of incalculable historic value. Treasured and cared for as a trusted companion by Jürg Marmet and subsequently his family, it has remained in wonderfully unrestored condition.

In 1956, Jürg Marmet was one of the team chosen to take part in the third Swiss attempt to conquer Everest. Naturally, the Rolex wristwatch that had been given to him for the earlier Baffin Island expedition would be his companion on this next and most challenging endeavour, too.

The Swiss expedition was a huge undertaking that lasted 6 months, the ascent and descent alone taking 40 days. Part of the route that the team chose to climb Everest that year enabled them to simultaneously conquer the world’s fourth-highest mountain, Lhotse, for the first time. The Swiss Everest team consisted of 11 members; Jürg Marmet, then aged 29 and Ernst Schmied, aged 32, were the third and fourth human beings respectively to stand on the summit of Everest.

‘Pre-Explorer’ Rolex Jürg Marmet Ref. 6298

Watch number 929’708 was issued to Jürg Marmet and the back of the case is engraved “Baffinland 1953 Jürg Marmet”.

Estimate: CHF20,000-40,000

Lot 110 – Audemars Piguet ‘Royal Oak’ Ref. 5402SA, circa 1977

The present watch is the No. 1 Royal Oak reference 5420SA – the first ever stainless steel and gold Royal Oak made in 1977.

Audemars Piguet ‘Royal Oak’ Ref. 5402SA

The Royal Oak 5402SA was made in fewer examples than the much-appreciated steel 5402 ‘A Series’ and is therewith much rarer. The design remained unchanged – with a slate grey dial and yellow gold hour markers – during the entire production run from 1977 to 1985. The timepieces of reference 5402SA were numbered from 1 to 951 of which 876 watches were sold.

Estimate: CHF200,000-400,000

Lot 69 – A Cartier ‘Paris Crash’ 1991 watch from the family of the original owner

Cartier ‘Paris Crash’ 1991 watch

Very few of Cartier’s 1991 Paris-made ‘Crash’ watches have ever appeared at auction, and this has been consigned by the family of the original owner. Produced in such small numbers, the Cartier Crash watch has from the outset been almost impossible to obtain, its quasi-mythical status as an instantly recognizable yet highly exclusive design icon assures its eternal appeal.

Estimate: CHF120,000-180,000