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 GENTLEMAN'S PURSUIT FOR EXCELLENCE, PART I
When one becomes active as collector in a field which is new then logically literature is not available, museums do not exists and international auction houses do not yet offer this type of object in their auction. So, an "ice breaker" has the advantage of being first to what may become later a world-wide market with a huge audience. However, there are disadvantages too: all is down to one's personal research, study at home, instinct and, in many instances, vision and courage. And given the lacking scholarship, errors may occur too, hopefully not too often though
When a collector enters a well-established collecting field, he has the advantage that scholarship is at an advanced level, market prices are established, information is more easily available, and one can benefit from all the knowledge which has been built during several decades. The disadvantages are that there is international and often fierce competition for the best objects, and the true trophies become rarer and rarer. As a consequence, prices for the best quality masterpieces may be rising constantly due to the increasing demand of new collectors.
The collector of the present collection, "A Gentleman's pursuit of Excellence" belongs to the latter group, having discovered his passion for rare vintage watches only after the millennium.
From the very first day his main selecting criteria was that only vintage complicated wristwatches and pocket watches by Patek Philippe should qualify for the collection. The focus should lie on the firm's greatest classics, ranging from the 1930's to 1980's production. The pocket watches should feature functions which do not per se exist in wristwatches of this very period in order to be complementary. Most importantly, originality and condition were never to be compromised and only the best preserved examples were ever considered for this collection. Ideally, watches which meet all of the above requirements should also retain original boxes and certificates and a particular attention was paid to rare dial versions.
The following typologies and functions are represented: chronographs, including single-button and split-seconds, perpetual calendars, perpetual calendars with chronographs, minute repeaters, world time and travel time to name the most important.
For the pocket watch selection, the main focus was to feature the most prominent representatives made after 1930's and it goes without saying that the same parameters set for the wristwatches were also applicable for this category.
The result is a compact, but highly intense collection of the world's most beautiful and rare Patek Philippe wristwatches, composed of only the finest examples of each type and reference. Christie's is honored to have been entrusted with the sale of this superb "triple AAA" collection.
Please note that Part II and Part III of this collection will be auctioned at Christie's Geneva in May and November 2013.