Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.
A CONNOISSEUR'S VISION PART II
14 MASTER PIECES FROM ONE OF THE WORLD'S MOST SIGNIFICANT PRIVATE COLLECTIONS OF VINTAGE PATEK PHILIPPE WATCHES
IN NOVEMBER 2009, CHRISTIE'S GENEVA HAD THE PRIVILEGE TO OFFER "PART ONE" OF THIS FAMOUS COLLECTION: TEN COMPLICATED WRISTWATCHES - OF WHICH NOT ONLY ALL OF THEM SOLD, BUT ALSO SOME OF THEM BROKE NEW WORLD RECORDS IN THEIR RESPECTIVE CATEGORIES. NOVICE AND SEASONED COLLECTORS FROM VIRTUALLY 5 CONTINENTS WERE COMPETING AGAINST MUSEUMS AND DISTINGUISHED MEMBERS OF THE TRADE OVER THIS FIRST SELECTION. IT IS NOW, FOR A SECOND TIME, AN IMMENSE PRIVILEGE FOR CHRISTIE'S TO HAVE BEEN CHOSEN WITH THE SALE OF THIS GROUP OF HISTORICAL AND VALUABLE WATCHES. MOST IMPORTANTLY, AN OCCASION OF LONG AWAITED IMPORTANCE, IS THE FIRST APPEARANCE OF THE WORLD FAMOUS REFERENCE 1527 IN OVER 20 YEARS - DOUBTLESSLY ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT COLLECTOR'S WRISTWATCHES TO HAVE REMAINED IN PRIVATE HANDS.
In 1992, together with another private collector, the present collector brought out the first book dedicated to complicated Patek Philippe wristwatches. At the time, the only other publication dedicated to wristwatches by this distinguished Geneva manufacturer was the official book edited by Patek Philippe. Shortly after its publication, I discovered Complicated Patek Philippe Wristwatches. Throughout my career as a specialist this book has repeatedly served as a valuable source of scholarship and of inspiration. This reference book is now considered a collector's piece in its own right.
In 2008, when I visited the collector for the first time, I learned how it all started. In the mid 1970s he discovered an appealing Rolex Prince in the Portobello Market. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs with a great sensitivity for good engineering, he appreciated the perfect harmony of technical complexity and superb design. The initial Rolex rapidly grew into a collection. One day around 1979, the collector held a vintage perpetual calendar wristwatch by Patek Philippe in his hands for the first time. He recalls very well that at that moment he knew that this was going to be the passion for which he would want to sacrifice his existing collection.
During the 1970s there were no reference books available on vintage wristwatches, no museums exhibited wristwatches as they do today, and international watch auctions did not include wristwatches. All information was down to personal research, exchange with other collectors and manual study at home. It certainly took passion, connoisseurship, perseverance and vision to pursue this new field of collecting.
Shortly after, auction houses started to accept vintage wristwatches for their established auctions of pocket watches and clocks. Not only did this allow collectors to compare their watches with the pieces on offer, but they were able to discover new models and exchange information in New York, London or Geneva with similarly minded collectors. Throughout the 1980s, the collector enlarged and improved his collection. Gradually, he put together what today is known to be one of the finest groups of ultra-rare complicated Patek Philippe watches in the world.
By means of offering this collection at auction, it is a pleasure to offer new generations of collectors the possibility of travelling back in time; a time in which they were not yet active as collectors. For time, which is the essence of watch making, gives us a second opportunity to discover, study and bid on treasures which were one man's vision and his passion for over 30 years.
The present watch is prominently described and illustrated in Patek Philippe Complicated Wrist Watches by Giampiero Negretti & Paolo de Vecchi, pp. 152 & 153.