HONG KONG.- Sothebys
Hong Kong Important Watches Autumn Sale 2011 will take place on 6 October at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Following the consecutive record-breaking sales in the past three seasons, the upcoming sale promises even greater treasures for watch collectors. With over 470 lots of watches dating from the 1800s to the present day, the sale is estimated to achieve a total of HK$72 101 million / US$9 - 13 million the largest of the category in the history of Sothebys Hong Kong.
Highlighting the sale is a small group of excellent vintage complicated wristwatches by Patek Philippe consigned by four discerning Asian private collectors, including a very rare Pink Gold Perpetual Calendar Chronograph wristwatch Ref. 1518. The offering of modern wristwatches is led by Patek Philippe timepieces including a superb Yellow Gold Minute Repeating Tourbillon example, Ref. 3939, as well as magnificent, decorative and highly complicated examples from all of the worlds leading watchmakers including two majestic Vacheron Constantin timepieces. The sale will also display an exquisite diversity of watchmaking with over 50 pocket watches spanning two centuries.
Vanessa Herrera, Head of Watches, Sothebys China and Southeast Asia, says, Following our record-breaking successes, this sale asserts the unparalleled growth of our Asian team and watch auction market. This sale will tantalise collectors with a feast of complicated vintage Patek Philippe wristwatches, led by the exceptionally rare Ref. 1518 in 18k pink gold, all sourced from discerning Asian collectors. Other highlights include modern rarities by world-revered horological masters, including the debut appearance of a truly bespoke hand-crafted timepiece by master watchmaker Daniel Roth at auction. Bejewelled complications as well as a meticulous selection of over 50 enamel and complicated pocket watches round out this indulgent sale of over 470 lots the largest in the company's history in Asia.
RARE VINTAGE PATEK PHILIPPE TIMEPIECES
*Property of an Asian Private Collector
Leading the sale is a vintage rarity, the PATEK PHILIPPE Ref. 1518, a historically important and extremely rare Pink Gold Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Wristwatch with Registers, Tachometer, Moon-Phases and Gay Frères Bracelet 1951 (Est. HK$3.2 4.8 million / US$410,000 - 610,000). The iconic Ref. 1518 was the first wristwatch ever serially produced by any watch manufacturer that combines the complication of a perpetual calendar, a chronograph and the phases of the moon. This design was an inspiration to later references, including the Ref. 2499, 3970, 5970 and now the 5170. Produced between 1941 and 1954, a total of 281 pieces of this reference were made and the present example is one of approximately 60 pieces made in pink gold, making it highly collectible and extremely rare. Adding to its exceptional rarity, this watch is one of only four known to the market bearing a Mile tachometer on the dial. Kept in a private collection for over 30 years, this timepiece is wellpreserved and further enhanced with a finely crafted 18k pink gold bracelet by renowned bracelet maker Gay Frères.
Property from an Important Asian Private Collection Produced between 1955 and the late 1960s, the PATEK PHILIPPE Ref. 2524/1, a fine and important Yellow Gold Minute Repeating Wristwatch circa 1954 Mvt 861498 Case 2613895 (Est. HK$2.3 4 million / US$290,000 510,000) was produced with a small quantity of only 12 to 15 pieces, making this an extremely rare and highly sought-after minute-repeating timepiece. Unlike the majority of Ref. 2524/1 with a subsidiary seconds dial, the present watch is one of only four known examples to bear a simple time-only dial without a seconds dial. A forerunner of the present watch, the Ref. 2524 introduced in 1952 later inspired the 1989 classic, the Ref. 3979.
*Property of the Original Owner
Another highly notable vintage watch preserved in impeccable condition is a PATEK PHILIPPE Ref. 1463, an extremely fine and rare 18k Pink Gold Chronograph Wristwatch with Register and Tachometer 1970 Mvt 869244 Case 2615216 (Est. HK$700,000 1 million / US$90,000 130,000).
Produced between 1940 and the late 1960s, the Ref. 1463 was manufactured in a quantity of less than 750 pieces, and was Patek Philippe's first water-resistant chronograph wristwatch. The watchmakers production of chronograph wristwatches ceased with the discontinuation of the Ref. 1463 and did not resume until the debut of Ref. 5070 in 1998. The case bears the makers mark of Taubert & Fils, one of the finest water-resistant case makers. Given to the present owner by his father, an ex-retailer of Patek Philippe, as a birthday gift when he turned 18, this treasured timepiece was never sold at retail and has been preserved in pristine condition with the original certificate and presentation box, and is destined for the most discriminating collector.
MODERN PATEK PHILIPPE COMPLICATIONS
*Property of a Private Collector
This seasons offering of modern PATEK PHILIPPE timepieces is led by a Ref. 3939J, a fine and very rare Yellow Gold Minute Repeating Tourbillon Wristwatch with Enamel Dial, circa 1992 Mvt 1903001 Case 2906857 (Est. HK$2.4 3.4 million / US$300,000 440,000). Housed in a classic Calatrava case under an elegant white enamel dial, the 336-part movement, caliber RTO 27 PS, incorporates two of the most coveted complications, the tourbillon and the minute repeater with an unparalleled resonance and exquisite tone. Numbered 1903001, the present watch was the first example of the Ref. 3939 ever produced and offered to the public, and was one of 70 pieces produced in yellow gold. The first, numbered 1903000, is kept in the Patek Philippe museum. Launched in 1992, the Ref. 3939 has recently been announced to be discontinued by end of 2011. The present watch is, therefore, an immensely rare and desirable example of this incredibly iconic timepiece.
Among other highly coveted PATEK PHILIPPE complications is the Ref. 5004R, a rare and important Pink Gold Perpetual Calendar Wristwatch with Registers, Moon-Phases and Leap Year Indication 1996 Mvt 879570 Case 2984920 (Est. HK$1.3 1.8 million / US$170,000 230,000) produced between 1995 and 2009. Comprising 407 miniscule parts with a calibre CHR 27-70Q housed in a classic 18k pink gold case, the Ref. 5004R was one of the most complicated models in Patek Philippe's line of chronographs.
After setting the world auction record for a Patek Philippe Ref. 5102G Celestial at HK$3.13 million / US$400,961 in April 2008, Sothebys Hong Kong is pleased to offer this season a PATEK PHILIPPE Ref. 5102PR Celestial, an extremely fine and rare Platinum and Pink Gold Automatic Astronomical Wristwatch with Sky Chart, Phases and Position of the Moon and Time of Meridian Passage of Sirius and the Moon, in Original Factory Seal circa 2010 Mvt 5512837 Case 4516826 (Est. HK$1.3 1.8 million / US$170,000 230,000) sculpted in platinum and 18k pink. The reference beautifully depicts the planisphere of the Geneva, while the Swiss-patented Sky Moon mechanism (Calibre 240 LU CL) reinforced Patek Philippe's unparalleled status in horological innovation.
Produced between 2003 and 2009, the PATEK PHILIPPE Ref. 5101P, a fine and rare Platinum Rectangular Tourbillon Wristwatch with 10-Day Power Reserve Indication circa 2006 (Est. HK$1.25 1.8 million / US$160,000 230,000) combines two rare complications, namely a tourbillon, meticulously situated on the bridge side and beautifully revealed through the sapphire crystal display back, and a 10- day power reserve equipped with a slipping bridle to prevent over-winding. It takes a Patek Philippe watchmaker up to three months to produce a Ref. 5101.
Apart from vintage complications the sale also highlights stunning bejewelled timepieces represented by the CARTIER Santos Triple 100 Tiger, a rare and impressive Limited Edition White Gold and Full Diamond-Set Wristwatch with Three Rotatable Dials circa 2008 No. 16/20 (Est. HK$1.2 1.8 million / US$150,000 - 230,000). Introduced in 2008 in a limited edition of only 20 pieces, this innovative timepiece incorporates a mechanism of rotating prisms that allows one to choose between three different elaborate dials a classic Cartier Roman numeral dial layout, a pavé diamond and sapphire-set chessboard style pattern and a meticulously hand-engraved tiger face dial. The heart of this Santos is the skeletonised manual winding movement calibre 9610MC, with a 72-hour power reserve, and adorned with a total of seven carats of brilliant-cut diamonds.
The tourbillon invented in 1795 by Abraham-Louis Breguet represents a milestone in watchmaking. The BREGUET Ref. 5359 Flying B, an impressive White Gold and Full Diamond-Set Tourbillon Wristwatch circa 2008 (Est. HK$1.2 1.8 million / US$150,000 230,000) elegantly combines its namesakes ingenious invention, a tourbillon, with haute joaillerie. Housed in a sculpted 18k white gold case and adorned with diamonds weighing approximately 10.87 carats, the tourbillon is admired through the circular window on the dial with the Flying B and the sapphire crystal display back.
Another exquisite bejewelled timepiece is the VACHERON CONSTANTIN Malte Openworked Tourbillon, an impressive Platinum and Full Diamond-Set Tonneau- Form Skeletonised Tourbillon Wristwatch with Power Reserve Indication and Date; 2004 (Est. HK$1 1.8 million / US$130,000 - 230,000), set with diamonds totalling more than six carats.
INNOVATIVE HAUTE HORLOGERIE
Designed and handmade by the master watchmaker Daniel Roth, this JEAN DANIEL NICOLAS 2-Minute Tourbillon, a very fine and rare Pink Gold Two-Minute Tourbillon Wristwatch with Power Reserve Indication circa 2010 (Est. HK$800,000 - 1 million / US$100,000 - 130,000), never offered before at auction, exemplifies the ultimate in truly bespoke independent craftsmanship. With a 60-hour power reserve, the balance beats within the two-minute tourbillon carriage, which rotates while indicating the seconds. The choice of using the slower balance beat of 18,000 vph enhances the longevity of the movement. With an extremely limited production of a maximum of three pieces per year, the present watch is a testament to the exclusivity and exquisite workmanship of the master watchmaker.
Other innovative timepieces offered include:
AUDEMARS PIGUET Royal Oak Carbon Concept No. 88, a fine and rare Forged Carbon and Ceramic Octagonal Tourbillon Chronograph Wristwatch with Register, Power Reserve Indication and Function Selector circa 2008 (Est. HK$900,000 1.5 million / US$120,000 190,000).
GIRARD-PERREGAUX Opera One, a fine and rare Platinum Skeletonised Minute Repeating Triple Bridge Tourbillon Wristwatch with Westminster Carillon Chimes circa 2004 (Est. HK$750,000 1.2 million / US$100,000 150,000).
*Estimates do not include buyers premium