RELEASE: IMPORTANT WATCHES including A GENTLEMAN’S PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE PART II, Geneva, 13 May 2013

Geneva

On 13 May 2013 Christie’s Geneva will present its Spring auction of Important Watches, including ‘A Gentleman’s Pursuit Of Excellence Part II’, which will feature an exceptional selection of some 360 historical, rare and highly attractive timepieces. The sale is expected to achieve in excess of US$15 million.

Christie’s is particularly proud to announce the highlight of the sale: a newly rediscovered, historically important and probably unique, white gold, perpetual calendar wristwatch with moon phases and leap-year, ref. 3448, manufactured by Patek Philippe in 1981, which carries a pre-sale estimate of SFr.800,000-1,400,000 (US$850,000-1,500,000/ €670,000-1,200,000; illustrated above).

Christie’s is particularly proud to announce the highlight of the sale: a newly rediscovered, historically important and probably unique, white gold, perpetual calendar wristwatch with moon phases and leap-year, ref. 3448, manufactured by Patek Philippe in 1981, which carries a pre-sale estimate of SFr.800,000-1,400,000 (US$850,000-1,500,000/ €670,000-1,200,000; illustrated above).

The rich and varied catalogue will also include the most valuable and historically important selection of vintage Rolex wristwatches ever to be offered in a Christie’s auction, highlighted by an extraordinarily rare, oversized stainless steel split seconds chronograph wristwatch, ref. 4113, manufactured in 1942 (estimate: SFr.700,000-1,200,000 / US$740,000-1,300,000/ €590,000-1,000,000; illustrated on page 3). Christie's is international market leader in the field of vintage Rolex wristwatches.

Aurel Bacs, International Director of Christie's Watch Department: The upcoming Geneva sale is a treat for scholars, historians and collectors, but most importantly for all those with a passion for the highest quality collector's watches. I can hardly remember an auction featuring over 100 Patek Philippe watches and, simultaneously, also offering over 100 of the world's finest and rarest Rolex timepieces. These two celebrated Geneva names are the most recognized in the field of wristwatch collecting and for the market this auction promises to be the main event in Europe this coming season. Our team of specialists has applied unforgivingly rigid standards when hand-selecting the finest watches from the world's most important private collections. We are also very proud to offer numerous significant watches, never before shown or offered publicly, directly from the original owner's families. With estimates ranging from SFr.1,000 to over SFr.1,000,000, the only common denominator of all the 360 watches is their uncompromised quality.’

Patek Philippe : A Rediscovery

Christie’s is proud to announce the exciting discovery of a historically important and probably unique, white gold perpetual calendar wristwatch with moon phases and leap-year, ref. 3448, manufactured by Patek Philippe in 1981 (estimate: SFr.800,000-1,400,000 / US$850,000-1,500,000/ €670,000-1,200,000; illustrated left). This extraordinary example is most likely the first ever wristwatch by Patek Philippe featuring a leap year indication, besides prototypes. Perpetual calendar wristwatches manufactured by the maker did not include such an indication until 1982, with the introduction of reference 3450. Therefore, the present watch, indicating 1, 2, 3 and a red dot (for the leap year) during the 4 year cycle, constitutes a spectacular discovery to the world of watch collectors and scholars alike. Presented in mint condition, it also benefits from an ultra-rare white gold case enhancing the beauty of the celebrated “padellone” design. Coming from the property of the family of its original owner and previously unknown to the public, this watch has never been offered on the market before. Amongst the highlights on offer is another Patek Philippe gem: an important and extremely rare platinum dress watch with perpetual calendar and moon phases, ref. 725/2, movement no. 930710, manufactured in 1947. (estimate: SFr.250,000-350,000 / US$270,000-370,000/ €210,000-290,000; illustrated right). Considered to be one of the world's most beautiful complicated pocket watches of post-war production, this example is offered in virtually mint, unworn and unpolished condition.

A Gentleman’s Pursuit for Excellence Part II

A superb private collection of complicated Patek Philippe wristwatches and pocket watches

Following the success of Part I of A Gentleman’s Pursuit For Excellence, which was offered at Christie's Geneva in November 2012, we are delighted to announce the sale of the second part of this superb private collection of complicated Patek Philippe wristwatches and pocket watches. Equally sophisticated, Part II displays a great selection of some of the most beautiful and rare wristwatches ever manufactured by Patek Philippe. One of the most precious pieces from this section of the sale is a very rare gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon phases, ref. 2499/100, manufactured in 1981 by Patek Philippe (estimate: SFr.250,000-350,000 / US$ 270,000-370,000 / €210,000-290,000; illustrated right). Widely considered by collectors as the last, true vintage complicated wristwatch ever created by Patek Philippe, the production of reference 2499 started in the early 1950s.

Further highlighting Part II is a probably unique gold open face two-train trip minute repeating pocket watch by Patek Philippe, ref. 841, its movement manufactured in 1909 and encased in 1963 (estimate: SFr.100,000-150,000 / US$110,000-160,000/ €85,000-120,000; illustrated left). This watch features the rare and desirable tandem wound two-train movement, one for the going and one for the repeating work. Traditionally, the repeating mechanism of a watch is activated by pushing a slide in the case band, thus winding and releasing it at the same time. The train of a trip repeater is wound in conjunction with the going train and released at will through a button in the crown. The advantages of this system are the clean lines of the case, the enhanced dust resistance and most importantly, permitting the owner the activation of the repeat train many times at will from only one winding.

The Most Important Selection of Rolex Vintage Wristwatches

Ever offered in a Christie's Auction

An extraordinarily rare, oversized stainless steel split seconds chronograph wristwatch, ref. 4113, manufactured in 1942 (estimate: SFr.700,000-1,200,000; US$ 740,000-1,300,000/ € 590,000-1,000,000; illustrated left), is the highlight of the richest selection of Rolex vintage watches ever offered in a Christie's auction, including some 115 Rolex timepieces overall. Being the firm’s one and only ever produced split seconds chronograph wristwatch model, reference 4113 is considered the rarest and most exclusive Rolex ever created. Impressing with its unique case shape and size, it has a substantial diameter of 44 mm which surpasses all other Rolex chronographs by at least half a centimeter in size. Furthermore, its case design is unique in the family of Rolex chronographs with a bezel as thin as technically possible, allowing a dial size nearly as big as the entire case, resulting in an impressive level of legibility. The history of reference 4113 has always been the subject of speculation and legends, although all of these speculations have led to the world of car racing. The vast majority of reference 4113, which have returned to the market during the last thirty years was linked to Sicily, home of the famous "Giro Automobilistico di Sicilia", with its 11,000 bands, at the time the longest closed circuit race in Europe.

The roll call of impressive vintage Rolex wristwatches continues with an extremely fine and probably unique gold chronograph Daytona wristwatch, Paul Newman model, ref. 6241, manufactured in 1968 and retailed by Hermès (estimate: SFr.200,000-300,000 / US$ 220,000-420,000/ €170,000-330,000; illustrated right). The rarity of this lot is marked by the stamp of the Hermès brand on the back of the watch, to date the only Rolex Daytona known to exist retailed by Hermès Paris: a pairing of the world's most mythical names. This fact is confirmed by the Hermès archives and the watch is prominently published in key literature.

Further highlights include one of the historically most important watches ever made by Rolex, the Zerographe reference 3346. Considered a crossover between a Rolex bubble back watch and Rolex chronograph, Zerographe reference 3462 marks a turning point in Rolex history. Probably never made beyond a small number of prototypes, this reference is the foundation of Rolex's future developments. Notably, it launched the success story of Oyster chronographs, culminating with the Daytona, but also sports watches with revolving bezels, later to become the world-famous Turnograph and Submariner families. Zerographe reference 3346 was the first Oyster chronograph model produced by Rolex and furthermore the first to be powered by an in-house movement. What made the movement so special was the addition of a return-to-zero or fly-back mechanism. The present Zerographe is preserved in award-winning condition and fascinates by virtue of its sharp outlines, the very crisp milling on the bezel rim and back, the perfectly sharp writing on the back and the well-preserved markings on the bezel. (estimate: SFr.250,000-350,000 /US$ 270,000-370,000/ €210,000-290,000;

The Palladio Collection Part I

Complementing the sale, Christie’s is pleased to offer Part I of a Private Collection of stainless steel Rolex Chronographs, composed of 10 timepieces dating from the late 1920s to the 1960s. The top lot of the collection is a rare stainless steel triple calendar chronograph wristwatch with luminous numerals and hands, ref. 4767, manufactured circa 1948 by Rolex (estimate: SFr.120,000-180,000 / US$130,000/190,000 / €100,000-150,000; illustrated right). The present watch is an outstanding example of this reference, the first Oyster-series triple calendar chronograph model ever presented by Geneva's "crowned" watch manufacturer. Known to have been made in an exceedingly limited series, original and unspoilt examples of this landmark model are extremely rare. In fact, the present reference 4767 is distinguished by its beautiful original dial, and enhanced by the rarity of the luminous numerals and hands.

Contemporary Timepieces

Christie's will also offer a very strong selection of limited contemporary collector's watches from the most important manufacturers. This section of the sale is highlighted by an extremely rare stainless steel wristwatch with oversized date and power reserve Lange 1, which is one of only three examples of this model known in stainless steel by A. Lange & Söhne (estimate: SFr.50,000-100,000 / US$53,000-110,000/ €42,000-83,000; illustrated left). Introduced in 1994, Lange 1 is the first Lange watch of the new era and represents a culmination of what connoisseurs of fine watches associate with the legendary "A. Lange & Söhne" heritage. The present stainless steel version is especially appreciated by watch purists as the simplicity of the case material enhances the beauty of the movement. The stainless steel version of this model was never available to the public.

Sold For The Benefit of Children Action

Christie's is honored to have been chosen to auction a superb selection of ten contemporary Patek Philippe wristwatches. An anonymous gentleman collector has consigned these watches from his personal collection and will donate the proceeds to benefit Children Action, a Swiss Foundation aiming to bring help to children in need, regardless of their nationality, race, or religion. All the timepieces from this collection will be offered without reserve, with the global estimate ranging from SFr.450,000 to SFr.700,000. The highlight from this section of the sale is a fine, white gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon phases, leap year and day and night indication, ref. 5270, manufactured by Patek Philippe circa 2011 (estimate: SFr.100,000-150,000 / US$110,000-160,000/ €85,000-120,000; illustrated right). Considered as the "top of the line" of Patek Philippe production, reference 5270 can only be obtained after considerable delay due to a long waiting list. As a "perpetual calendar chronograph", this is the legitimate successor of Patek Philippe's famous family including reference 1518, 2449, 3970 and 5970.

 

All the watches from this collection will be offered without reserve and are listed below here:

An 

Lot 186

Patek Philippe

A white gold Ref.5270

circa 2011

Estimate:

SFr.100,000-1500,000

Lot 180

Patek Philippe

A pink gold Ref.6000

circa 2011

Estimate:

SFr.8,000-12,000

Lot 187

Patek Philippe

A platinum Ref.5130

circa 2007

Estimate:

SFr.20,000-30,000

Lot 182

Patek Philippe

A yellow gold Ref.5170

circa 2012

Estimate:

SFr.40,000-60,000

Lot 188

Patek Philippe

A platinum Ref.5960

circa 2006

Estimate:

SFr.40,000-60,000

 

 

 

 

 

Lot 181

Patek Philippe

A pink gold Ref.5960

circa 2012

Estimate:

SFr.35,000-45,000

Lot 185

Patek Philippe

A platinum Ref.3800

manufactured in 1984

Estimate:

SFr.25,000-35,000

Lot 184

Patek Philippe

A white gold Ref.5712

circa 2009

Estimate:

SFr.20,000-30,000

Lot 189

Patek Philippe

A white gold Ref. 5102 circa 2006

Estimate:

SFr.150,000-250,000

Lot 183

Patek Philippe

A stainless steel Ref.5980

circa 2006

Estimate:

SFr.20,000-30,000

  

 

 

 

 

CHILDREN ACTION

 Established in February of 1994, Children Action is a Swiss foundation which aims to bring tangible help to children in need, regardless of their nationality, race, or religion.

Children Action’s running costs are covered entirely by its Founder. This ensures that 100% of donations go directly to a project with real impact. Active today in 7 countries (Argentina, Cameroon, France, Peru, Romania, Switzerland, and Vietnam) the Foundation is leading 10 projects. Measuring impact, intervening in the most efficient manner, reflecting on ethical issues and monitoring the quality of the support provided are among the main drivers of Children Action. To do so, the Foundation benefits from the competences and skills of its Board of Trustees, its Ethics Commission, along with the involvement of some of the world’s finest medical specialists. Over the last 19 years, the Foundation has conducted projects aiming to treat, support, and train, all with one universal goal: bringing concrete change - from short to long term - to the lives of the children it serves. Since 1994 we have changed the lives of approx 45’000 recipients mostly within the realms of medical/surgical care, psycho-social and educational supports.

It is an honour for Children Action today to benefit from the generosity of an extraordinary collector of Patek Philippe watches. This brand represents the ultimate level of quality, combining leading-edge technology, precision and beauty with ancestral watch making know-how: a precious heirloom one day to be handed down to the next generation.

At Children Action we share many of the same values. The Foundation relies on the pro bono involvement of world class doctors, surgeons, psychiatrists and health professionals. This unique pool of expertise enables us to deliver the best care and to ensure the quality of our projects.

When you buy or receive a Patek Philippe watch, you are never the same. For many of the 45’000 recipients who have crossed Children Action’s path, their lives have been changed, improved, saved in the long run.

Today 100% of the proceeds of this fabulous auction will go to the various projects of the Foundation.

 

 

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