Christie’s Geneva Rare Watches Auction 7 November 2023, Highlights

Christie’s has unveiled the three most celebrated lots of the upcoming Rare Watches Live Auction at Geneva on 7 November 2023: Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 3700/31, Philippe Dufour Simplicity and F.P.Journe Sonnerie Souveraine.

A high-profile attraction of the Christie’s Geneva Rare Watches auction, the Patek Philippe Nautilus Jumbo Ref. 3700/31 features a platinum case set with diamonds. Fitted on a platinum bracelet made by Gay Frères, this timepiece was discovered circa 2015 and subsequently sold by Christie’s Geneva the following year.

Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 3700-31Christie’s Geneva Rare Watches Auction
Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 3700/31 Platinum

It is the only publicly known example of this reference, hence the most important Nautilus Ref.3700 in the world.

Moreover, the original Patek Philippe Certificate of Origin and sales invoice from Patek Philippe Geneva accompany the watch. This Haute Joaillerie Nautilus is one of the all-time great Patek Philippe wristwatches of the 20th century, so significant that it was given its own individual sub-reference ‘31’. Estimate: CHF 1,500,000-3,500,000.

Manufactured in 202, this unique 38mm Philippe Dufour Simplicity wristwatch in stainless steel comes with a royal blue dial. This is the first timepiece with a steel case by this independent watchmaker to be offered at auction.

Philippe Dufour Simplicity Christie’s Geneva Rare Watches Auction
Philippe Dufour Simplicity 38mm Steel

The Certificate of Origin is dated June 3, 2021, the day Philippe Dufour turned 73, while the case size is an unprecedented 38mm,with all other Simplicity models come in case sizes of 34mm or 37 mm.

Reflecting the original owner’s wish, the blue dial eschewed the subsidiary small seconds dial, the only such example known publicly. In addition, the dial features individually applied faceted baton indexes with a double index at 12 o’clock. Estimate: CHF 600,000-1,200,000.

The F.P.Journe Sonnerie Souveraine watch in steel houses a Grande and Petite Sonnerie minute repeater, a masterpiece very few watchmakers in the world are capable of producing. In recognition of F.P.Journe’s achievement, this timepiece won the accolade of First Prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in 2006.

F.P.Journe Sonnerie Souveraine Christie’s Geneva Rare Watches Auction
F.P.Journe Sonnerie Souveraine Steel

Produced from 2006 to 2018, all pieces were made in stainless steel, except 1 or 2 made in pink gold with special dials. Only four examples of this model were made each year, accounting for a total of less than 60 pieces.

The Grand Strike is the most complicated of all watchmaking functions. The F.P.Journe Grande Sonnerie incorporates 10 patents and took six years of research and development to make. Estimate: CHF 700,000-1,400,000.