'Extremely rare' $550k Patek to sell in time for Xmas



2015-06-26 11:45:49

'Extremely rare' $550k Patek to sell in time for Xmas

A unique $60k 'musical harp' watch will sell alongside the Patek Philippe Ref. 5016 in NY

Late 2009 has seen a series of blockbuster sales of fine and rare watches in Dubai, Geneva and Hong Kong. In the wake of these, Christie's New York will present a selection of over 380 fine and raretimepieces for auction on Tuesday, December 15.

Vintage and modern wristwatches from all of the major manufacturers are represented, as well as pocket watches, fine ladies watches, and rare signed clocks. Prices begin at $700 and range upwards to $350,000 for the most important signed timepieces. The total sale is expected to achieve in excess of $4m.

 Patek Philippe 'historically important' pocket watch ($75k-120k)

"As our recent sales have demonstrated, demand for high-quality timepieces continues to expand globally, as we welcome new collectors into this exciting field," said Sam Hines, Head of Watches at Christie's New York.

The final Christie's auction of Important Watches this seasonpromises a range ofexceptional items from the top manufacturers, including Patek Philippe, A. Lange & Shne, Audemars Piguet, Girard-Perregaux, Cartier, Rolex, and Franck Muller to name but a few.

"Opportunities to acquire investment-quality pieces abound, led by several rare and important examples not likely to be seen on the market again for some time," he said.

Among the top lots of the sale are a selection of superb Patek Philippe minute repeating wristwatches - a highly-coveted complication among devoted collectors of fine wristwatches.

Initially designed in the 17th century as a means of reading a watch without aid of light, minute repeaters contain a mechanism that chimes at varying pitches to indicate the hour, half and quarter hour, and minute.

The extremely rare and highly important Patek Philippe reference 5016, a platinum minute repeating tourbillon wristwatch, is the second most complicated wristwatch ever produced by the firm (estimated at $350,000-550,000). Manufactured in 1994, the watch also features a perpetual calendar, retrograde date, and moon phases.

 Patek Philippe Reference 5016 ($350k-550k)

Other great rarities among minute-repeating watches include the Patek Philippe reference 5074, a signed 18k gold minute repeating watch with an oversized face, perpetual calendar and moon phases, manufactured circa 2003 (estimated at $280,000-350,000), and the Patek Philippe Reference 5078, a signed platinum minute repeating watch with a handsome enamel dial.

Manufactured circa 2007, the watch comes with its original box and certificate and a spare back (estimated at $250,000-350,000). Also featured is an elegant 1927 wristwatch that was manufactured by Audemars Piguet but retailed by Cartier (estimated at $120,000-180,000).

This outstanding watch is one of only 35 minute repeating watches produced by the venerable house between 1906 and the late 1920s, and has remained in the same private collection for the last 18 years.

Leading the broad selection of over 200 modern signed watches from top houses is a sleek platinum Girard-Perregaux reference 9971 from circa 2005, a fine and rare oversized tourbillon hour striking watch with a pink golden bridge visible through the aperture (estimated at $100,000-150,000), anda curved tonneau shaped Richard Mille reference RM002 from circa 2002, a 18k pink gold tourbillon watch with a skeletonised dial (estimated at $80,000-120,000).

Avery rare Franck Muller reference RM QP CR, the "Consquistador" model in 18k white gold with multiple complications, including minute repeating mechanism, perpetual calendar, split seconds, moon phases, and subsidiary dials for day, date, pulsation and telemeter scales, will also sell with estimate of$80,000-120,000.

 Cartier 18k Gold, Rock, Crystal and Onyx 'Mystery Clock' ($60k-80k)

Reflecting the continued demand for top-quality wristwatches by Patek Philippe, the auction will offer a Patek Philippe reference 3970 with the rare and highly sought-after black dial and white gold baton numerals (estimated at $80,000-120,000).

Manufactured in 2002, this magnificent watch is presented in the original presentation box with spare case back and with two certificates confirming the originality of the black dial.

 Swiss 'musical harp' watch from 1810 ($40k-60k)

Pocket watches continue to fascinate connoisseurs who appreciate this pleasing form as an emblem of horological craftsmanship.

Over 50 pocket watches are included in the upcoming sale, including the 18k pink gold Patek Philippe pocket watch originally owned by the late Alfred G. Stein, a board member and head of Patek Philippe's New York branch until 1934.

The engraved watch with multiple complications (estimated at $75,000-120,000) was manufactured in 1895 and gifted to Mr. Stein in celebration of the company's change in status to a joint stock company in 1901 - a legendary moment in the company's long history.

One of the earliest and most historically significant examples of the pocket watch form in the sale is a silver pair case verge watch from circa 1699 signed by Thomas Tompion (1639-1713), an innovative and highly accomplished watchmaker known as the "Father of English Clock Making" (estimated at $4,000-6,000).

Never before offered at auction, this exceedingly rare example was previously owned by the prominent watch collector and late Sears, Roebuck & Co. executive Leopold Metzenburg and has been featured in the collection of the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, Illinois.

Other rare and important timepieces consigned by the museum include antique pocket watches signed by the 19th century English watchmakers John Torbock, Edward Prior, and William Ilbury (estimated at $4,000-12,000) and an unusual Swiss timepiece in the form of a musical harp from circa 1810 that is accented with gold, pearls, diamonds and enameled decorative motifs (estimated at $40,000-60,000).

Just in time for gift-giving season, the sale will showcase an arrayof ladies luxury watches from Cartier, Chopard, Graff, and Harry Winston, among others. Leading the group is an impressive signed wristwatch by De Grisogono from circa 2006 that is accented with a silvered dial and diamond encrusted frame, dial, and hinges (estimated at $35,000-55,000).

 Patek Philippe Ref. 3970 ($80k-120k)

Among the fine bracelet watches for women is a stunning 18K white gold and diamond watch by Graff made circa 2000, with a dial and bracelet set entirely in diamond baguettes and highlighted by clusters of heart-shaped diamonds (estimated at $20,000-30,000).

Inthe vintage items is an elegant ladies Cartier wristwatch from 1925 that features a slim rectangular case and black cord bracelet accented with diamonds (estimated at $15,000-20,000).

One ofthe many items in the sale well-suited for lavish gift-giving is an exquisite 18k gold, diamond, rock crystal, and onyx "Mystery Clock" by Cartier - the ultimate in design and innovation. The clock is powered by gears that are ingeniously hidden in the frame of the case, so that its diamond set hands appear to "float" with no apparent anchor (estimated at $60,000-80,000).

A signed Breitling limited-edition "Orbiter 3" watch is a perfect gift for pilots, off-piste skiers, and adventurers because it is equipped with a transmitter to help locate the wearer in an emergency.

Introduced in 1999 to commemorate the new world record set for a non-stop, around the world balloon flight by Bertrand Piccards and Brian Jones, this model in 18k white gold is number 8 of only 20 produced by Breitling (estimated at $15,000-20,000).

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Images: Christie's

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