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  • Press release
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  • Geneva
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  • For immediate release
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  • 20 September 2022

Legendary

and

Unique Watches

The collection of a lifetime

Live auction in Geneva on 6 November 2022

112 timepieces: one-off creations, personalised dials, prototypes and the No.1 of limited editions – many watches will represent a unique opportunity for collectors around the globe.
It will be Christie’s most important single owner watch collection auction ever in Geneva.

From the stunning private collection of 112 watches: (fltr) the sapphire and titanium Richard Mille RM56-01; the 18K gold Rolex “Daytona”, ref. 6241, with champagne Paul Newman dial; and the one-off Vacheron Constantin “Mercator” ref. 43050 with “Ferrari Enzo” cloisonné dial.

Geneva, 20 September 2022 – Christie’s Watches is delighted to announce Legendary and Unique Watches: The Collection of a Lifetime, presenting 112 timepieces considered rare treasures by astute collectors. Not one of these watches has ever been offered at auction and many carry the most coveted and desirable specifications. One-off creations, personalised dials, prototypes and the No.1 of limited editions – many watches will represent a unique opportunity for collectors around the globe.
Following a month-long world preview that begins in New York on 1 October 2022 and will take a carefully curated selection of timepieces to Hong Kong, Dubai, London, Jakarta and Los Angeles "Legendary and Unique Watches: The Collection of a Lifetime” will arrive in Geneva on 2 November 2022. For your calendar: the auction will be held on Sunday, 6 November 2022 at 5.00pm in Geneva at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues.
This collection spans four decades of passion and includes some of the earliest examples by renowned independent watchmakers, including very rare references by Patek Philippe, Rolex and others. Together they form the most important single owner collection ever to be offered in Geneva, with a portion of the proceeds going to philanthropy. The auction is expected to fetch in the region of CHF 20 million.

Richard Mille, Limited Edition, REF. RM56-01 AN SAPHIR/PR00, NO. 011, 2013

To the best of our knowledge, this magnificent timepiece is the first example ever to be offered at international auction. One of Richard Mille’s most extraordinary and ambitious creations, the RM56-01 is about maximum transparency; the case alone is crafted from single blocks of transparent, incredibly difficult to machine sapphire crystal that took an incredible 40 days, 24-hours per day to create, followed by a further 350 hours to polish. The tourbillon shines in the lower part of the transparent dial with titanium minute ring and luminous hour indexes. At 1 o’clock, the torque sector display  shows the mainspring tension. A symmetrical sector display for the power-reserve is placed opposite.  A push-button in the crown allows for three options – W (winding), N (neutral) or H (hands) – which are displayed by a small indicator at 4 o’clock (estimate: CHF2,500,000-4,500,000).

Rolex ref. 6241 “Daytona”, 18K gold, champagne “Paul Newman” dial, ca. 1968

In the world of Rolex Daytona collecting and appreciation at the very highest level, extreme rarity is measured by small degrees. This exceptional 18k gold Cosmograph Daytona ref. 6241 (case no. 1’757’900) with champagne “Paul Newman” dial and bracelet is an extremely rare chronograph that fulfils these criteria and more.

The 6241 was produced only between 1966 and 1969 and is therefore a rare reference in its own right. 2250 pieces were made in stainless steel, 300 in 18K gold and 450 in 14K gold. It was fitted with “non-Oyster” or “non-screw-down” chronograph buttons and a bezel with black plastic insert, the tachymeter scale was printed in white. The dials featured “Rolex Cosmograph” but not always “Daytona” (estimate: CHF600,000-1,000,000).

Vacheron Constantin ref. 43050 “Mercator”, special request platinum automatic wristwatch with a Métiers d’Art “Ferrari Enzo” cloisonné enamel dial.

First released in 1994 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the passing of the 16th century cartographer Gerardus Mercator, Vacheron Constantin’s distinctive “Mercator” was a revelation: it displayed time via a double retrograde mechanism with hands in the form of a cartographer’s proportional divider. Upon reaching 12, the hour hand ‘flies’ back to its starting position; the same occurs when the minute hand reaches 60. The present creation by the world’s oldest watchmaking Manufacture is a “Mercator” made by special request in platinum; its hand-made cloisonné dial representing a “Ferrari Enzo” is a testament to Vacheron Constantin’s peerless Métiers d’Art department. Fitted with a special 21K skeletonized gold rotor, the movement is just as unique (estimate: CHF100,000-200,000).

About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).

Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, 2017), for a 20th century artwork (Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, 2022) and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019). Christie's is also recognised as a reference for prestigious single owner collections, having auctioned 8 of the 10 most important collections in history.

Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace.

Recent innovations at Christie’s include the groundbreaking sale of the first NFT for a digital work of art ever offered at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), with the unprecedented acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including use of hologram technology to tour life-size 3D objects around the world, and the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. 

Christie’s is dedicated to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide, including achieving sustainability through net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and actively using its platform in the art world to amplify under-represented voices and support positive change.

Browse, bid, discover, and join us for the best of art and luxury at: www.christies.com or by downloading Christie’s apps. The COVID-related re-opening status of our global locations is available here.