Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues, Geneva
14 November 2011 – 9.30am & 2.30pm
Christie’s November sale of Important Watches in Geneva will showcase one of the most impressive roll-calls of Patek Philippe watches ever seen at auction. In fact some 130 watches by Patek Philippe are going to be offered, out of which 26 are vintage complicated wristwatches, possibly the largest number ever assembled in a various owners sale to date.
Christie’s catalogue will also feature an extraordinary array of more than 60 watches by Rolex alongside one of the most appealing selections of contemporary wristwatches, with over 100 lots offered without reserve. Standing out among the many highlights is the recently discovered and previously unknown pink gold Patek Philippe reference 3448, manufactured in 1968 in pink gold which is estimated at SFr.500,000-1,000,000. The sale will include more than 420 lots overall and is expected to realize a total in excess of SFr.15 million / $16 million.
Aurel Bacs, International Head of Christie’s Watch Department: “Christie’s November watch sale looks like one of the most beautiful and exciting my team and I ever managed to put together, both in terms of quality and variety. We are particularly proud to offer the pink gold Patek Philippe ref. 3448 wristwatch manufactured by the renowned Swiss makers in 1968, the most significant discovery in the world of vintage wristwatches done this year”.
THE PATEK PHILIPPE SECTION
On November 14, Christie’s Watch team will offer for sale one of the strongest, broadest and richest sections of vintage and contemporary complicated Patek Philippe wristwatches. The eyes of the world‟s most prominent watch collectors will be looking at Christie’s Geneva when the hitherto unknown pink gold version of Patek Philippe ref. 3448, will be auctioned for the first time ever .
It comes from a private gentleman and it has never been shown or publicly offered for sale. In fact, for the last 40 years, scholars, dealers and of course collectors speculated why the prestigious manufacturer Patek Philippe only made this model in yellow and white gold and two examples in platinum but never in pink gold. It was thanks to Christie’s Geneva watch specialists that this specimen has been rediscovered and is now becoming available in our upcoming auction. This example has magically survived in pristine conditions and comes still accompanied by its original certificate, a rarity in itself. This wonderful pink gold perpetual calendar wristwatch with moon phases, which was manufactured in 1968 (estimate: SFr.500,000- 1,000,000), has been sought after by the world‟s most refined collectors. Other grails for Patek Philippe aficionados include the ultra-rare chronograph ref. 1579 which is one of only three examples ever made in platinum (estimate: SFr.1,000,000- 1,500,000). Another trophy for the discerning collector is the ref. 3449, a large yellow gold perpetual calendar wristwatch which was part of a series of only three examples, one of which is now at the Patek Philippe museum in Geneva, making the present watch one of only two still in private hands (Estimate: SFr.1,000,000-1,500,000). Besides these 3 museum-quality watches just mentioned, this section showcases beautiful chronographs, very rare perpetual calendars, but also the historically important world-time wristwatch ref. 96 from the late 1930s.
A STUNNING SELECTION OF ROLEX WRISTWATCHES
We are delighted to present an extremely well-curated section of watches by Rolex which does not only display some of the most famous classics but possibly the most interesting and rarest niche-models created in the 1930s, 40s and 50s: from archetypal „Precision‟ models to ultra-rare chronographs, including a very special example that has never been seen on the auction block before.
The group of watches from this section of the sale is highlighted by a flawless Oyster chronograph, ref. 3525, manufactured by Rolex in 1945 in the rare pink gold variant. This example has survived in virtually untouched conditions and is probably to be considered the finest example available from this series (estimate: SFr.100,000-150,000).
THE RAREST ANTIQUE POCKET WATCHES
For the last few years no other auction house has celebrated as many successes and record results as Christie’s had, ranging from important automatons to ultra-complicated technical pocket watches. Once again Christie’s is honored to present a rich and very exclusive group of pocketwatches including early 19th century enamel watches created for the Chinese market, alongside other precious and decorative watches produced for the Turkish market, but also highly technical watches by the world‟s most distinguished makers such as Patek Philippe, Breguet, A. Lange & Söhne, Audemars Piguet, which set the benchmark in terms of both quality and complexity in the early 20th century. This category is led by the historically highly important platinum-cased tourbillion made for the prominent New York banker Henry Graves Jr., Patek Philippe‟s most thriving and demanding patron in the 1st half of the 20th century. Winner of the precision completion at Geneva‟s observatory in 1932, the unique platinum openface one minute tourbillon watch was manufactured in that same year by Patek Philippe for Henry Graves Jr. and is estimated at SFr.800,000-1,400,000.
Undoubtedly of superior museum-quality, it is one of only two publicly known watches made by Patek Philippe for Graves Jr who has remained in private hands. Other fantastic treasures from this section include an impressive pink gold perpetual calendar single button double chronograph e watch with minute repeating by A. Lange & Söhne dating from 1889, which comes directly from the family of the original owner and has remained in the same box for over 100 years (estimate: SFr. 300,000-500,000) A splendid Breuguet‟s tourbillon watch made for Jean Dollfus in 1926, the firm‟s most prominent client between the 1930s and 1960s will also be offered in the same section of Christie’s watch auction (estimate: SFr. 100,000-150,000).
The section dedicated to contemporary haute horlogerieis extremely impressive, including properties from several important private collections. This group of watches promises to be a feast to the aficionados of the best modern watches, where the most spectacular is not only the variety but the quality and quantity of the most sought-after models. From Patek Philippe to Rolex and Vacheron Constantin, Christie’s will offer fabulous pieces by established independent brands such as F.P. Journe, Jürgensen and Calabrese. In addition to that, Christie’s will offer a noticeable number of them without reserve. Among the highlights are superb examples from the celebrated Audemars Piguet „Royal Oak‟ series but also very attractive diver‟s wristwatches by Panerai, classic models by A. Lange & Söhne, as well as rare „Tank‟ models by Cartier and popular specimens by Patek Philippe.
NO RESERVE LOTS
It‟s interesting to note that over 100 out of the total 420 lots from Christie’s Geneva November auction of important watches will be offered without reserve, including fine examples by top makers such as Rolex, Patek Philippe, Cartier, IWC and Panerai.