Sotheby’s Important Watches Auction, Geneva 12 May 2019 – Highlights

Following the success of spring watch sales in Hong Kong and London, Sotheby’s is presenting its selection of fine timepieces to be offered in Geneva on 12 May.

The auction of Important Watches will be led by a group of very fine vintage Patek Philippe and Rolex wristwatches, following a series of exceptional results for this category at auction. The sale will also offer the opportunity for discerning collectors to acquire unique and important Swiss pocket watches from the 18th and 19th centuries.

The group of extraordinary Patek Philippe wristwatches is led by a superb example of the highly sought-after reference 2497 from the first series, featuring a rare case made by Emile Vichet. Seekers of exceptional Patek Philippe will also no doubt be drawn to rare limited-production and beautiful ‘double-signature’ wristwatches on offer. Highlights for collectors of rare Rolex include a superb reference 6239 (the “original” Rolex Daytona reference) as well as an original Sea-Dweller owned by deep-sea diving legend Theo Mavrostomos.

The launch of the reference 2497, with its very elegant proportions, heralded a historically significant development for Patek Philippe. Produced from 1951 onwards, this was the first perpetual calendar wristwatch with centre seconds in the world to be produced in series. A rare and sought-after reference, fewer than 200 pieces were produced. Even rarer are those made in pink gold: research suggests that only around 20 exist.

Lot 184, Patek Philippe Reference 2497, Pink Gold Perpetual Calendar Wristwatch with Centre Seconds, Moon Phases and Vichet Case, Made In 1953

Adding to the appeal and rarity of this watch, it was part of the first series of reference 2497’s production – having been made in 1953 and featuring a case made by Emile Vichet. Only the earliest 2497s were fitted with these cases, which are distinguished by their flat case back and longer, more prominent lugs, shaped like claws (Lot 184, estimate CHF 500,000 – 1,000,000 / $ 500,000 – 1,000,000).

Combining a sporty look with the elegance of officer’s watches, this example of Patek Philippe’s reference 130 embodies 1930s style. The 130 was the first chronograph made by the company to be given a specific reference number.

Lot 175, Patek Philippe Reference 130 – A Rare and Highly Attractive Stainless Steel Chronograph Wristwatch with Breguet Numerals, Made In 1940

This piece, made in steel, is one of only an estimated 270 produced in this material. Its appeal for collectors is heightened by its superb condition, which allows the beautiful features – including applied Breguet numerals and hard enamel tachymeter scale – to shine (Lot 175, estimate CHF 200,000 – 400,000 / $ 200,000 – 400,000).

Following the extraordinary sale last November of “The Asprey”, a stunning Patek Philippe reference 2499 bearing the signature of prestigious London boutique Asprey, the May sale in Geneva will offer a very fine example of the reference 3448, which also bears this highly sought-after signature.

Lot 76, Patek Philippe, Retailed By Asprey: Reference 3448, Yellow Gold Perpetual Calendar Wristwatch with Moon Phases, Made In 1976

Adding to its appeal, this particular reference from Patek Philippe represents a milestone in horology: it was the first automatic perpetual calendar wristwatch produced in series by any manufacture. A factor greatly appreciated by collectors, the watch has remained in its original condition and is accompanied by the original box and papers, detailing its coveted ‘double signature’ status (Patek Philippe and Asprey) and its sale in 1977 (Lot 76, estimate CHF 120,000 – 180,000 / $120,000 – 180,000).

Lot 88, Patek Philippe, Retailed By Guillermin: Reference 1518, Yellow Gold Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Wristwatch with Moon Phases, Made In 1950

The reference 6239 is the “original” Rolex Daytona, the watch which would go on to become the most sought-after and celebrated wristwatch ever produced. This piece, from around 1970, is made all the more desirable by the fact that it is made in yellow gold; this material makes up just 2.5% of all 6239s ever made.

Lot 21, Rolex Daytona, Reference 6239, Yellow Gold Chronograph Wristwatch with Bracelet, Circa 1970

Furthermore, it is enormously rare to find an example in superb original condition, from the pristine case back and dial to the strong and large lugs. Finally, the watch is fitted with an extremely rare gold bracelet which is a delight in its own right.

Complete with its original full set of guarantee, presentation case, box, booklet and invoice, the watch has remained within the family of its original owner: feared lost during a house move, it was recently rediscovered hidden in the cellar behind a collection of wines (Lot 21, estimate CHF 100,000 – 150,000 / $100,000 – 150,000).

Watches built to exacting specifications for a very targeted purpose can command impressive prices at auction. In the 1960s and 70s, developments in the extraction of oil and gas required highly skilled divers to access equipment deep underwater. This stimulated significant innovation among watch companies, including at Rolex who introduced the Sea-Dweller in 1967, building on the technology developed for the Submariner reference 5513.

Lot 53, Rolex Comex Sea-Dweller, Reference 16600 – A Stainless Steel Wristwatch with Date and Bracelet, Circa 1998, Property of Comex Diver Thèo Mavrostomos

Sea-Dwellers are rightly considered rare, and this year’s spring sale will offer a very special example of the reference 16600 from 1998. It was issued to Theo Mavrostomos, a legend among deep sea divers who worked with Comex – the Compagnie Maritime d’Expertise, a pioneer of deep sea industrial diving – for 20 years. He was also an ambassador for Rolex, appearing in their adverts for the Sea-Dweller (Lot 53, estimate CHF 80,000 – 120,000 / $ 80,000 – 120,000).

In 1921, when Cartier launched the ‘Tank Cintrée’ model, its elongated case (measuring nearly 46mm in length) would have been extremely avant-garde, as smaller watches were very much the norm. The timeless design proved to be a winning formula, and production continues to this day.

Lot 150, Cartier Tank Cintrée, Yellow Gold Manual Winding Wristwatch with Bracelet, Circa 1950

This very nice piece, made in 1950, is an exercise in effortless mid-century chic: in superb original condition, including the original yellow gold link bracelet and deployant clasp, it has to be one of the finest examples of this model to come to auction in recent years (Lot 150, estimate CHF 100,000 – 200,000 / $100,000 – 200,000).

The auction on 12 May will also include a very fine selection of rare and highly complicated Swiss pocket watches, which showcase the extraordinary talent of the watchmakers and enamellers behind this highly skilled art form. “The Tiger Hunt” is the name given to this beautiful gold, diamond-set and enamel two-train minute repeating automaton clock-watch which was made for the Indian market by Louis Elysse Piguet.

Lot 64 , ‘The Tiger Hunt’, Louis Elysse Piguet, No 2724, Gold, Diamond-Set And Enamel Two Train Minute Repeating Automaton Clock-Watch For The Indian Market, Circa 1890

Piguet was renowned for his work to improve chronographs and innovations in repeating mechanisms and keyless winding systems. The exquisite enamel work on the watch is attributed to P.-Amédéé Champod, who was celebrated for his depiction of dynamic Indian hunting scenes such as this one. He received a silver medal at the Paris World Exhibition in 1900 (Lot 64, estimate CHF 150,000 – 250,000 / $150,000 – 250,000).

Watches commissioned by royal households naturally include some of the very finest examples of horological art.

Lot 65, Swiss, No 2598, Gold, Enamel, And Diamond Set Hunting Cased Minute Repeating And Grande Sonnerie Clockwatch With Polychrome Enamel Portrait Of Maharao Keshri Singh Of Sirohi By John Graff For The Indian Market , Circa 1890

This unique Swiss pocket watch was specially made for His Majesty Maharao Keshri Singh of Sirohi – who ruled the city of Sirohi in Rajasthan, India, from 1875 to 1892 – and it exhibits every characteristic one would associate with a royal commission. Its case is finely engraved with foliate scrolls and a diamond-set monogram of the Maharao.

It also features beautiful enamel work depicting the ruler by the exceptionally skilled portrait enamellist John Graff. The highly complicated movement would also have required extraordinary skill to complete (Lot 65, estimate CHF 80,000 – 160,000 / $80,000 – 160,000).

Sotheby’s Launches Watch Auctions in the Middle East

To be held in Dubai on 19 November 2018, Sotheby’s first ever watch auction in the Middle East will be highlighted by rare vintage collectors’ timepieces and contemporary watches revolutionizing traditional watchmaking.

The Middle East is a major market for luxury watches since long time. Watch collecting has a long tradition in the Middle East, from the richly-enamelled pocket watches prized by the Ottoman Empire’s elites in the 18th and 19th centuries to the masterpieces of horology and bespoke timepieces commissioned by Middle Eastern collectors in the 20th century. Today, demand for rare vintage and modern pieces in the region is at an all-time high and Middle Eastern collectors have never been as active in Sotheby’s international watch sales as in recent years.

The sale, to take place in Sotheby’s Dubai premises on 19 November, has been carefully curated to feature a rich selection of fresh-to-the market contemporary and vintage timepieces from the world’s most renowned brands including Patek Philippe, Rolex, Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin.

Highly sought-after by savvy collectors around the world, independent watchmakers, such as Richard Mille, Kari Voutilainen, MB&F and HD3 also figure prominently, with cutting-edge timepieces which revolutionise traditional watchmaking. Further highlights include unique pieces, luxurious diamond-studded watches by Breguet and Chopard and pristine limited editions which are sure to captivate established and new collectors alike.

Rare Vintage Timepieces

In recent years, prices for high-end vintage timepieces have achieved unprecedented levels, especially for hard-to-find pieces by brands such as Rolex and Patek Philippe. Among such watches in the sale is a fresh-to-the market Rolex Daytona reference 6263 from circa 1973.

Coming from the family of its original owner – an Engineer who served with the British Armed Forces, this stainless steel chronograph is an outstanding example of one of the most sought-after references for a Rolex Daytona, the “vintage wristwatch par excellence” (est. US$ 35,000 – 55,000).

A tour de force of illusion, blending mind-boggling technology with the mastery of Cartier’s craftsmanship and design skills, “Mystery Clocks” have been coveted by collectors around the world for over a century. Time on these bejeweled art pieces appears to float magically in the air, indicated by two rotating crystal disks that suspend the hour hand and minute hand. From the perspective of the viewer, the clock mysteriously operates without any mechanical means.

Following the legendary Art Deco creations from the 1920s, Cartier revisited the iconic design and created modern masterpieces in the 1980s. Dating from circa 1990, the Mystery clock in the sale belongs to that later series. Possibly unique, this yellow gold, black obsidian, diamond, mother-of-pearl and crystal-set “Pendule Mystérieuse” is evocative of the timeless elegance of Eastern cultures (est. US$ 190,000 – 260,000).

Modern Complicated Watches

Modern complicated wristwatches also feature strongly in the sale. Among them is a unique Royal Oak Grande Complication from 2002 which has never been offered at auction before (est. US$400,000 – 600,000). Audemars Piguet is considered master of minute repeaters and grande complication watches and, since Gerald Genta created it in 1972, the Royal Oak has become emblematic of the brand.

Adorned with diamonds, blue sapphire and mother pearl throughout the case, dial and integrated bracelet, this Grande Complication is driven by a caliber 2885 which is comprised of 648 parts, all hand crafted in-house by Audemars Piguet’s master watchmakers.

Cutting-Edge Timepieces by Independent Watchmakers

In recent years, independent watchmakers have become the stars of the auction market, regularly breaking records with their hand-crafted watches, featuring innovative functionality, technology and groundbreaking materials.

Richard Mille who is credited for having single-handily reinvented watchmaking in the 21st century is represented in the sale by a group of three watches. Two of them are limited editions from 2015, made in honour of the Brazilian Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa and testament to Mille’s use of techniques and materials found in the most innovative sectors, such as F1 racing car development. The first, a RM0011 Felipe Massa China, is a pink gold and black ceramic semiskeletonized flyback chronograph wristwatch with calendar – an example of the most iconic reference created by Mille to this day (est. USD 90,000 – 160,000).

The second, a RM004 Felipe Massa is a titanium semi-skeletonized split-seconds chronograph, equipped with the caliber RM004-V2 especially designed for the intensive environments of Formula 1 racing (est. US$ 110,000 – 170,000).

The third watch by the Swiss watchmaker is a reference RM002 in white gold from 2007 which not only features a manual winding tourbillon movement with hours, minutes, power reserve, torque indicator and function selector but also incorporates technology such as modular time setting mechanism and carbon nanofiber baseplate to provide longevity and reliability for the watch (est. US$ 150,000 – 225,000).

The “Horological Machines” from the Swiss brand MB&F (Maximilian Busser and Friends), turn traditional watchmaking of the highest craftsmanship into futuristic, fiercely unconventional timekeeping machines: the elements of a traditional wristwatch are re-engineered in order to produce a new kind of time-telling device. As many of MB&F’s pieces, the HM6 limited edition in pink gold, circa 2016 in the sale celebrates children’s imagination: it was inspired by the 1980s Japanese cartoon Captain Future (est. US$100,000 – 200,000).

Please find more information, please visit Sothby’s Watch Auction Dubai 2018 page .

Sotheby’s to Auction “The Asprey”, a Unique and Historically Important Patek Philippe Wristwatch Reference 2499 Retailed by Asprey of London

The Sotheby’s upcoming Important Watches Auction in Geneva on 13th November 2018 offers an excellent opportunity for the collectors of fine watches to bid for a rare and historical Patek Philippe watch. Known simply as ‘The Asprey’, this Patek Philippe perpetual calendar chronograph reference 2499 is exceptional in every way.

Manufactured in 1952 and sold in 1956, this Patek Philippe 2499 1st series was last seen on the market at Sotheby’s in 2006 where it was sold for a staggering 2.2 million Swiss Francs, which not only made it the most expensive 1st series in gold but the highest price ever paid for a Twenty-Four Ninety Nine. Since then, the watch has become a legend amongst the market and collecting community. The watch has remained in the same private collection since first being discovered in 2006.

Retailed by Asprey of London in 1956, this is the most complicated Patek Philippe sold by the prestigious London jeweler. The dial is double signed by both the manufacture and Asprey, the case is stamped with London hallmarks and the date letter for 1956 and the inside case back too bears London import marks and the Asprey stamp.

This exceptional watch will lead Sotheby’s sale of Important Watches, to be held at Mandarin Oriental, Geneva on 13 November 2018. The piece is estimated between CHF 2,000,000 – 4,000,000 (USD 2,000,000 – 4,000,000).

This is the only known 2499 to be retailed by Asprey and is the most complicated Patek Philippe wristwatch to be sold by Asprey. The watch was sold to David Duggan watches in London by the original owner in 2005. The hands are also very interesting as they are luminous, which is also a very rare feature in itself.

Patek Philippe’s reference 2499 was manufactured between 1950 and 1985. Over the course of those 35 years, just 349 pieces were made – equating to an average of just 9 wristwatches a year. It is recognized as one of the most important perpetual calendar wristwatches made by the prestigious manufacture – indeed, when it was launched in 1950, Patek Philippe was the only watchmaker to make such a complication. The 2499 has been described as ‘the ultimate Patek’, for it is timelessly elegant yet highly wearable.

The first series of the 2499 is by far the rarest and research shows that there may have been no more than 40 pieces made in yellow gold. With its crisp flat rectangular pushers, the first series is immediately distinguishable from all later series, each of which has round chronograph pushers. This watch is currently the only known example of a reference 2499 First Series with the Asprey signature – in fact it may well be the only one from any of the 2499’s four series to bear this distinguishing feature.

During the Sotheby’s Hong Kong Autumn 2018 Important Watches Auction in the first week of October, a Patek Philippe Pink Gold Reference 2499 retailed by Tiffany & Co. (Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Wristwatch with Moon Phases) was sold for HK$23,520,000 (US$2,998,800) making it the most valuable wristwatch sold at auction in Asia with a world record price for a Pink Gold Reference 2499.

Other highlight of this auction Hong Kong Autumn 2018 Auction was a Rolex Platinum Ref 16516 Cosmograph Daytona Wristwatch with Mother-of-Pearl Dial that sold for HK$6,840,000 / US$872,100 with world record price for an Automatic Rolex Daytona. Also, a very fine and rare Rolex Stainless Steel Chronograph Wristwatch with Bracelet Ref 6241 Case 2372607 Cosmograph Daytona ‘Paul Newman’ circa 1970, was sold for HK$2,375,000 / US$302,813. Since its release in 1966, this watch has remained one of the most sought after vintage Daytonas on the market.

Other highlights

  • Roger Smith – A Fine and Rare Pink Gold Wristwatch with Power Reserve Indication, Co-Axial Escapement and Engraved Dial No 08 – C Series 2 Made in 2006, sold for HK$1,375,000 / US$175,313.
  • Richard Mille – Fine and Rare White Gold Skeletonized Dual Time Zone Tourbillon Wristwatch with Power Reserve and Torque Indicator Ref Rm003 Mvt 0020 Case 20 Circa 2011, sold for HK$1,750,000 / US$223,125.
  • Vianney Halter – A White Gold Wristwatch Case 58w.208.Cl Classic circa 2005, sold for HK$275,000 / US$35,063.
  • Vianney Halter – An Unusual Yellow Gold Perpetual Calendar Wristwatch Case 12y.36.A Time Machine Perpetual Antiqua circa 2007, sold for HK$562,500 / US$71,719.
  • PATEK PHILIPPE, Platinum Double Dial Wristwatch with Twelve Complications Ref 5002P-001 Sky Moon Tourbillon: HK$9,720,000 (1,239,300 USD)
  • ROLEX, Platinum Chronograph Wristwatch with Mother-Of-Pearl Dial Ref 16516 Case A712735 Cosmograph Daytona Circa 1999: HK$6,840,000 (872,100 USD)
  • PATEK PHILIPPE, Platinum Minute Repeating Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon Wristwatch, Ref 5216P-001: HK$4,320,000 (550,800 USD)
  • PATEK PHILIPPE, Platinum Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Wristwatch with Moon-Phases and Breguet Numerals Ref 5020: HK$3,960,000 (504,900 USD)
  • PATEK PHILIPPE. Platinum Automatic Minute Repeating Perpetual Calendar Wristwatch, Ref 5013P: HK$3,720,000 (474,300 USD)
  • PATEK PHILIPPE. A PLATINUM REFERENCE 5275 CHIMING JUMPING HOUR WRISTWATCH: HK$3,240,000 (413,100 USD)
  • PATEK PHILIPPE, Platinum Minute Repeating Tourbillon Wristwatch with Enamel Dial and Breguet Numerals, Ref 3939P: HK$3,240,000 (413,100 USD)
  • AUDEMARS PIGUET, Platinum Skeletonized Tourbillon Wristwatch Royal Oak Tourbilon 40th Anniversary, Ref 26511PT: HK$2,375,000 (302,812 USD)
  • ROLEX, A Stainless Steel Chronograph Wristwatch with Bracelet Cosmograph Daytona “Paul Newman”, Ref. 6241: HK$2,375,000 (302,812 USD)

Sotheby’s Hong Kong Important Watches Autumn Sale 2 October 2018 – Highlights

Sotheby’s Hong Kong Important Watches Autumn Sale 2018 will take place on 2 October at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The sale will feature rare and fresh to the market vintage and contemporary models from renowned brands including Patek Philippe, Rolex and Cartier to independent watchmakers such as Roger Smith, Greubel Forsey and F.P. Journe. Other highlights include a selection of contemporary classics by Patek Phillipe, master works by Breguet, as well as Tutti Frutti by Cartier.

Major highlights of this auction are two exceptionally rare and highly important chronograph wristwatches, namely, a very fine and highly important platinum Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Zenith Caliber chronograph wristwatch with mother-of-pearl dial, Ref 16516, and a highly important and extremely rare Patek Philippe pink gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon phases, Ref 2499, retailed by Tiffany & Co.

Sale Highlights

Patek Philippe Ref 2499 [Highly Important and Extremely Rare Pink Gold Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Wristwatch with Moon Phases, Retailed by Tiffany & Co. Ref 2499, Mvt 869438, Case 2637713, Made In 1971, Estimate: HK$12,000,000 – 18,000,000 / US$1,530,000-2,300,000]

This exceptionally rare and highly important reference 2499 third series cased in pink gold and retailed by Tiffany & Co. is potentially the only one of its kind, manufactured in 1971 and sold in 1972. It first surfaced on the auction market in 2005 where it was consigned by the original owner, selling for over US$750,000, and has been in private hands ever since. There are only six known examples of the third series dressed in pink gold. The current example is in exceptionally well preserved condition with unpolished case and spectacular dial.

Rolex Ref 16516 [An Extremely Rare And Highly Important Platinum Chronograph Wristwatch With Mother-Of-Pearl Dial, Ref 16516, Case A712735, Cosmograph Daytona, Circa 1999, Estimate: HK$3,200,000 – 6,000,000 / US$420,000-767,000, Complete with Original Certificates and Accessories]

Manufactured by Rolex in 1999, the present reference 16516 is the first known platinum
Cosmograph Daytona powered by the Zenith caliber. It was discovered for the first time only recently and is fresh to the market.

Rolex Ref 6542 [Very Fine and Extremely Rare Stainless-Steel Dual Time Wristwatch with Date, Original Dial, Bakelite Bezel and Bracelet, Ref 6542 Case 112843 ‘Pink’ GMT-Master Circa 1956, Estimate: HK$1,200,000 – 3,000,000 / US$153,000-383,000]

A very important discovery, the watch sports a red signature of its model “GMT Master” on the dial and a noticeably longer Mercedes hour hand known as the ‘swan neck’. The aging of the calibrated bezel is very consistent with that of the lumes and hands, which have turned into a golden brown that still reacts to UV light and registers when processed by a Geiger machine. This appeal reflects the evolution of vintage watch collecting, which now favours original condition over servicing enhancements. The back of the case is stamped with a date indication of the 4th quarter of 1956. One of a mere handful of examples of GMT prototypes from 1955-1956 with Bakelite bezels, it is also accompanied by the original guarantee, presentation box and outer cardboard box.

Rolex Ref 6241 [Very Fine and Rare Stainless Steel Chronograph Wristwatch with Bracelet, Ref 6241 Case 2372607 Cosmograph Daytona ‘Paul Newman’ Circa 1970, Estimate: HK$1,600,000 – 2,400,000 / US$204,000-306,000]

Released in 1966, the Paul Newman reference 6241 remains one of the most sought-after vintage Daytonas till this day. While the lumes have all turned consistently to a golden orange, the dial itself is in attractive original condition, an “honest patina” which collectorshave been actively seeking in recent years. The numbers between the lugs are very crisp and easy to read without the aid of a loupe and the watch is still retains its original guarantee, manual and presentation box.

Roger Smith No 08 [Fine and Rare Pink Gold Wristwatch with Power Reserve Indication, Co-Axial Escapement and Engraved Dial, No 08 – C Series 2 Made In 2006, Estimate: HK$1,100,000-1,600,000 / US$141,000-204,000]

Roger Smith met Dr. George Daniels in 1987 while attending the Manchester School of Horology. He then became Daniels’ only apprentice, and spent years to master the all 32 trades of the British watchmaker. The encounter inspired Smith to embark on a horological career and he is now one of the greatest watchmakers dedicated to handcrafted watchmaking, producing only 10 watches each year. Smith’s partnership with Daniels went on for 20 years, until the latter’s death in 2011. Together they created The Millennium’ Series in 1998 to celebrate the acceptance of the Daniels Co-axial escapement by the Swiss watch industry. Smith established his own atelier in 2001 and created 4 series of collections and special collections such as the Daniels Anniversary, The Great Britain and the Open Dial. This lot is a Series 2 timepiece which took Roger Smith three years to develop. This watch features hour, minute, seconds and power-reserve indication with beautifully hand-engraved floral designed dial and a silvered chapter ring with Roman numerals. The watch is fresh to the market and in unused condition.

Patek Philippe Ref 982 [Extremely Fine and Unique Hand-Engraved White Gold Open-face Keyless Watch with Enamel Depicting a Japanese Cherry Tree and Beige Enamel Dial, Ref 982/159g Japanese Cherry Made in 2015, Estimate: HK$1,800,000 – 3,000,000 / US$230,000-383,000]

This unique open-face enamel pocket watch features a lacquered dial which depicts a Japanese Cherry Tree. The present watch was featured on the front cover of the ‘Rare Handcrafts’ Patek Philippe book published in 2015, which is a collection of artisanal timepieces showcased annually at Baselworld by Patek Philippe. The back of the case is embellished with hand-engraved branches that utilises high-relief techniques, and the pendant bow is also decorated with a hand engraved motif.

Cartier “Tutti-Frutti”
Christened the name ‘Tutti Frutti’ in 1970, the exuberant colours and sumptuous textures bear testament to one of Cartier’s most iconic collections of the Art Deco era. Cartier first forayed into Indian-inspired design in 1901, when Queen Alexandra commissioned Pierre Cartier to create a necklace to accompany her collection of Indian gowns. However, it was not until Jacques Cartier’s voyage to India in 1911 did the vibrancy and vitality of the exotic East translate itself into their designs, fostering an appreciation of Cartier jewels amongst Indian aristocracy.

Cartier [Fine and Very Rare Rock Crystal, Diamond and Multi Gem-Set Table Clock With 8 Day Movement and Mother-of-Pearl Dial, ‘Tutti Frutti’ Circa 1985, Estimate: HK$1,000,000-2,400,000 / US$128,000-300,000]

This clock consists of a mixture of rubies, emeralds, Tahitian mother-of-pearl and diamonds, set in the iconic style of craft-gem leaves, flowers and floral baskets. No sighting of any comparable contemporary clocks in auction has been recorded so far. The present clock is in excellent overall condition and complete with its original fitted presentation box.

Cartier [Very Rare and Exceptionally Made White Gold and Multi Gem-Set Bracelet Watch, ‘Tutti Frutti’ Circa 2003, Estimate: HK$800,000-1,200,000 / US$100,000-150,000]

This bracelet watch is set with over 45 carats of diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires. The precious stones are carved into leaves and berries, which are inspired aesthetics of the 1920s. Complete with original certificate and presentation box, the present watch is in virtual new condition.

Contemporary Classics by Patek Philippe

Watches from this session are consigned from a group of discerning wristwatch collectors. Considered as contemporary classics, these discontinued watches collectively represent significant milestones of Patek Philippe‘s eminent history. Each watch is original and in exceptional condition.

Patek Philippe Ref 5013

Patek Philippe Ref 5013: Exceptional and Rare Platinum Minute Repeating Perpetual Calendar Wristwatch with Retrograde Date, Moon Phases, Leap Year Indication and Black Dial. Ref 5013, Circa 2011, Estimate: HK$3,000,000-5,000,000 / US$380,000-650,000.

Patek Philippe Ref 5020

Patek Philippe Ref 5020: The Earliest Known Platinum 5020 and Possibly Unique Patek Philippe Early, Fine and Very Rare Platinum Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Wristwatch with Moonphases and Breguet Numerals. Ref 5020. Made in 1995, Estimate: HK$3,000,000-5,000,000 / US$383,000-640,000.

Patek Philippe Ref 3939

Patek Philippe Ref 3939: Very Rare And Important Platinum Minute Repeating Tourbillon Wristwatch With Enamel Dial And Breguet Numerals, Ref 3939, Circa 2007, Estimate: HK$2,200,000-3,200,000 / US$280,000-408,000.

Patek Philippe Ref 5029

Patek Philippe Ref 5029: Extremely Fine and Rare Limited Edition Platinum Minute Repeating Wristwatch, Made to Commemorate the Opening of Patek Philippe’s Watchmaking Center in Geneva in 1997, Ref 5029, Made in 1997, Estimate: HK$3,500,000-5,000,000 / US$446,000-640,000.

Patek Philippe Ref 5002

Patek Philippe Ref 5002: Very Rare And Highly Important Platinum Double Dial Wristwatch With Twelve Complications Including Tourbillon, Perpetual Calendar, Retrograde Date, Sky Chart, Moon-Phases, Orbit Display, Sidereal Time And Minute Repeating On Cathedral Gongs, Ref 5002 Skymoon Tourbillon, Circa 2013, Estimate: HK$7,500,000-12,000,000 / US$960,000-1,530,0006.

Works by Breguet

Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747-1823) is widely acknowledged for having set the standards by which all fine watchmaking has been judged. Breguet became the indispensable watchmaker to the finance, diplomatic and Royal elites of the period. His customers included some of the most influential members of society including Louis XVI and his Queen, Marie-Antoinette. In 1801 Breguet patented the tourbillon and conceived the world’s very first wristwatch in 1810 for Caroline Murat, Queen of Naples.

Breguet – Exceptional, Highly Important and Historical Pink Gold Open-face Quarter Repeating Clock Watch with Grande and Petite Sonnerie, Moon Phases and Eccentric Subsidiary Seconds, Number 4270, Case Number 288 Circa 1825 Sold to Mr. Suzanne de Bréanté for 3,500 Francs on the 9th of July 1825, formerly in the collection of Sir Lionel Salomons, accompanied by its original Breguet key and chain with gold tags numbered 77 and 88 indicating the Salomons’ inventory numbers, Estimate: HK$2,400,000-4,000,000 / US$300,000-500,000.

Sir David Lionel Salomons devoted his life to horology and is considered the leading authority in the world on works by Breguet. Over his lifetime, he amassed the largest private collection of watches and clocks made by Breguet, including the ‘Marie Antoinette’ no. 160 and the ‘Duc de Praslin’ no. 92. In 1921, Salomon published his work on Breguet’s life and career. This clock watch is of exceptional museum quality condition and is still repeating with a wonderful tone and clarity. The dial is reminiscent of Breguet’s work and features an eccentric subsidiary seconds and silvered chapter rings with engine-turned centre.

Breguet – Very Fine and Extremely Rare Gilt Brass 8-Day Going Carriage Clock with Half Quarter Repeating, Alarm, Subsidiary Seconds, Calendar with Date and Month, Original Key, Certificate and Original Tooled Red Leather Fitted Travelling Case, Number 46 Circa 1837, Sold to Count Fersen for 4,000 Francs on the 16th of June 1837, Estimate: HK$1,400,000-2,000,000 / US$180,000-250,000.

This carriage clock, also known as a traveling clock, was invented in the early 19th century by Abraham-Louis Breguet for the Emperor Napoleon. Breguet made many clocks of these types, none of which were identical. A unique feature of these carriage clocks is the platform escapement, which is visible from the glass panel at the top of the case. These travelling Breguet clocks with gilt movements are finished to an extremely high standard and attention to detail.

Sotheby’s Sale of Important Watches in Geneva 13 May 2018 – Top Achievers

On 13 May 2018, in the Sotheby’s Sale of Important Watches in Geneva, an extraordinarily rare Rolex Daytona ‘Paul Newman’ wristwatch, reference 6239, made in 1969, with highly-coveted ‘tropical’ subsidiary dials was the star. The iconic wristwatch eclipsed the pre-sale estimate to sell for CHF 951,000 / 947,776 (estimate CHF 200,000 – 400,000 / $208,000-416,000).

Rolex’s ‘Paul Newman’ Daytonas are widely recognized as the most highly coveted vintage Rolex models on the market. The colour of this watch’s three subsidiary dials – originally black when the watch was made – has naturally faded to a beautiful rich toffee brown.

Combining watchmaking prowess with the savoir-faire of high jewellery, two watches signed by prestigious jewellery houses achieved among the highest prices in the auction.

A Superb Diamond-Set Skeletonised Tourbillon Wristwatch by Graff, made in 2013 and adorned with 188 diamonds sold for CHF 555,000 / $ 553,119 (lot 63, estimate CHF 150,000 – 250,000 / $156,000 – 260,000).

This watch is distinguished by its stunning fully skeletonised dial. The complete set by Graff includes a diamond ring, platinum and diamond cufflinks and pen.

A Rare Tourbillon Wristwatch in Rose Gold by Chopard, 2017 was sold for CHF 160,000 / $159,458 (lot 245, estimate CHF 80,000 – 120,000 / $83,500 – 125,000).

The manual winding wristwatch with perpetual calendar was part of a complete set including a diamond ring, diamond and onyx cufflinks and a pen.

Two rare pocket watches also stood out among the most highly-prized lots.

An Open-Faced Perpetual Calendar Pocket Watch with Moon-Phases by Patek Philippe produced in 1947 sold for CHF 157,500 / $ 156,966 (lot 140, estimate CHF 120,000 –220,000 / $125,000 – 229,000).

Featuring a highly complicated minute repeater movement of the finest quality, it is considered as one of only around 80 pieces produced.

A Very Rare and Early Pocket Watch by Patek, Czapek and Cie. soared to more than six times the estimate to achieve CHF 65,000 / $ 64,780 (lot 135, estimate CHF 7,000 – 10,000 / $7,300 – 10,400).

Made in 1842, this is one of the earliest watches which employed the stem-winding system and one of only 42 examples of its kind by Frantisek Czapek and Count Anton de Patek.

Sotheby’s Hong Kong Spring 2018 Important Watches Auction – Top Stars

Fueled by the strong demand for vintage and rare contemporary watches, Sotheby’s Hong Kong Spring 2018 Important Watches Auction on 02 Apr 2018 has achieved a record sale of HK$139 Million (US$17.7 Million), the highest total for a Sotheby’s Watches Sale in Asia since Spring 2015.

A very important, extremely rare and possibly unique Patek Philippe Stainless Steel Chronograph Wristwatch with Registers and Pulsation Dial Ref 1579 sold for HK$8,760,000 / US$1,116,199. One of only seven known in the word, this example is unique.

Ten Rolex Daytonas 100% sold for a combined total of HK$15,197,500 (USD$1,936,465) led by a very fine and extremely rare Rolex Yellow Gold Chronograph Wristwatch with Registers and Tropical Minute Track Ref 6264, notable for its ‘Lemon Dial’ sold for HK$5,760,000 / US$733,939 .

Exquisite group of 11 vintage Patek Philippe pocket watches from the Art Deco and Art Nouveau periods sold for a combined total of HK$1,766,250 / US$225,056 led by a Yellow Gold, Enamel and Gem-Set Open-Faced Pendant Watch made in 1898 which sold for HK$375,000 / US$47,782 .

The Ulysse Nardin Platinum Tourbillon Minute Repeating Westminster Chimes Wristwatch Ref 789-80, also known as the Genghis Khan, sold for HK$1,562,000 / US$199,094.

Highlights

Patek Philippe Ref 1579

Patek Philippe Ref 1579 – An important and extremely rare stainless steel chronograph wristwatch: HK$ 8,760,000 (1,116,199 USD).

Rolex Ref 6264 “Lemon Dial” Paul Newman

Rolex Ref 6264 “Lemon Dial” Paul Newman – A Rare and Important Yellow Gold Chronograph Wristwatch with Registers: HK$5,760,000 (733,939 USD).

Patek Phillipe Ref 5970

Patek Phillipe Ref 5970 – A Fine and Possibly Unique White Gold Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Wristwatch: HK$4,920,000 (626,906 USD).

Vacheron Constantin Kalla Duchesse

Vacheron Constantin Kalla Duchesse – A White Gold and Diamond-Set Bracelet Watch: HK$4,440,000 (565,745 USD).

Patek Philippe Ref 5020P

Patek Philippe Ref 5020P – A Platinum Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Wristwatch with Moon-Phases and Registers: HK$3,960,000 (504,583 USD).

Patek Philippe Ref 5101/100R-001

Patek Philippe Ref 5101/100R-001 – A Hand Engraved Pink Gold Rectangular Tourbillon Wristwatch with 10-Day Power Reserve: HK$3,240,000 (412,841 USD).

Rolex Ref 6265

Rolex Ref 6265 Cosmograph Daytona Paul Newman Dial – A Stainless Steel Chronograph Wristwatch with Registers and Bracelet, Cosmograph Daytona: HK$2,125,000 (270,768 USD).

Rolex Yellow Gold Diamond and Sapphire-Set Automatic Chronograph

Rolex Yellow Gold Diamond and Sapphire-Set Automatic Chronograph Wristwatch with Registers and Diamond-Set Indexes: HK$2,000,000 (254,840 USD).

Patek Philippe 5719/1G-001 Nautilus

Patek Philippe 5719/1G-001 Nautilus – A Fine White Gold and Diamond-Set Automatic Wristwatch with Date Bracelet: HK$2,000,000 (254,840 USD).

Piaget Aura

Piaget Aura – A Lady’s White Gold and Diamond-Set Bracelet Watch: HK$1,875,000 (238,912 USD).