Christie's celebrates 40 years of the Patek Philippe Nautilus wristwatch
Christie's has announced a series of special sales dedicated to one of the world's most iconic wristwatches – the Patek Philippe Nautilus.
A carefully-curated selection of 40 timepieces will be offered across four auctions in Dubai, Geneva, Hong Kong and New York, in celebration of the watch's 40th anniversary.
Each of these sales will feature ten watches, many of them completely fresh-to-the-merket, ranging from the earliest vintage examples to the most recent limited-edition models including those with rare variant dials.
Launched in 1976, and designed by Gérald Genta to resemble the shape of a ship's porthole, the Nautilus was Patek Philippe's first sports watch and remains in production to this day.
GentaI recalled his initial inspiration in a 2009 interview: "I was at the restaurant of a hotel and some people from Patek were sitting in one corner of the dining hall, while I was sitting alone in the other corner. I told the head-waiter: 'Bring me a piece of paper and a pencil, I want to design something' and I designed the Nautilus while observing the people from Patek eating! It was a sketch that I completed in 5 minutes."
The first edition of the watch, Ref. 3700/1 made in steel, is regarded as one of the most sought-after timepieces at auction for collectors, and top examples can fetch tens of thousands of dollars.
The current world record price for a Patek Philippe Nautilus was set in May 2015, when a previously unknown, and probably unique platinum version of the watch set with diamonds (see image above) sold at Christie's for $909,319 – far beyond its original estimate of $220,000 - $420,000.
The first auction in the series takes place in Dubai on October 19, followed by further sales in Geneva on November 14; Hong Kong on November 28; and finally New York on December 6.
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