New York

New York – Following a sensational Fall auction season of watches that has seen unprecedented totals achieved across Geneva and Hong Kong salerooms, Christie’s New York is delighted to present a selection of over 370 fine and rare timepieces for auction on Tuesday, December 17. The auction of Important Watches is highlighted by the legendary Patek Philippe Reference 2499, a Rolex Reference 8171 “Padellone”, and a Patek Philippe “Forêt Vierge” Reference 2481 – this present example never before offered at auction. Prices begin at $800 and range upwards to $750,000 for the most important signed timepiece. The two-session sale to be held at Christie’s flagship Rockefeller Center saleroom is expected to achieve in excess of $10 million.

John Reardon, Head of Watches for Christie’s New York, commented: “It has been an unparalleled year for watches globally at Christie’s. The highest total ever achieved for a series of watches in Geneva and record prices realized for Rolex from the Day-Date Collection in Hong Kong all lead to what will be an incredible finale to the fall Watches season here in New York. Vintage and modern wristwatches from all of the major manufacturers, as well as pocket watches, fine ladies watches, and rare signed clocks will all be represented in our upcoming auction. I am thrilled to have joined the global Watches team at Christie’s this year and look forward to a fruitful first auction on December 17.”


Reflecting the continued demand for top-quality wristwatches by Patek Philippe, the Reference 2499 third series (pictured page one, center), is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s greatest complicated watch models ever created. Manufactured in 1960, with a pre-sale estimate of $550,000 – 750,000, this example features round chronograph buttons, applied baton numerals, and outer second divisions and tachometer scale. Never before offered at auction, the present example Reference 2481 (pictured page one, right), was recently discovered by the original family in a suitcase once belonging to their deceased father safely tucked within its original Patek Philippe box from the 1950s. This watch is one of eight known “Forêt Vierge” cloisonné dial 2481’s to exist, two examples of which are currently on display at the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva. The dial, designed by celebrated Stern Freres artist Marguerite Koch, is part of the celebrated Tahitian dial series by Patek Philippe. Offered as Lot 228 in the afternoon session of Important Watches is a watch that was a part of the one of the most significant days in American history: the Patek Philippe Reference 1463 Dr. Kemp Clark. A rare 18K gold chronograph wristwatch with pulsemeter and original certificate that belonged to Dr. Kemp Clark, the attending Neurosurgeon who was responsible for calling the time of death of President John F. Kennedy at 1:00pm on November 22, 1963. Engraved Kemp Clark on back and manufactured in 1948, the watch has a pre-sale estimate of $100,000 – 150,000.    


Following the prestigious single-themed evening auction Rolex Daytona "Lesson One" on November 10 at Christie’s Geneva, which established 50 new world auction records out of 50 lots offered for sale and quadrupled the pre-sale estimate to achieve a total of $13.2 million – Christie’s New York will continue with exceptional Rolex offerings on December 17. Highlighted by the Reference 8171 “Padellone (pictured left; estimate: $250,000 – 350,000) this extremely rare stainless steel and diamond-set automatic triple calendar wristwatch with moon phases marks a real treat for Rolex collectors and watch aficionado’s alike. The Reference 6239 (pictured page one, left; estimate: $60,000 – 80,000), the very first model of the celebrated Daytona series, features the famed Paul Newman dial, a crisp bezel, desirable red outer fifth-seconds ring with original bracelet and guarantee.


Christie’s New York is delighted to present fourteen top-quality offerings from the renowned maker A. Lange & Söhne as part of its Important Watches auction. This selection is highlighted by a Reference 722.050 (pictured right) very rare 18K honey-colored gold limited edition tourbillion wristwatch with power reserve, date, and hack feature. Set with a pre-sale estimate of $100,000 – 150,000, this watch carries a special provenance as this Lange 1 Tourbillon “Homage to F.A Lange,” was produced in 2010 in a limited series of 150 pieces to commemorate the 165th anniversary of the brand. Additional highlights include an 18K pink gold hunter case minute repeating keyless lever pocket watch, circa 1901 (estimate: $15,000 – 20,000) and a rare platinum perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch , circa 2008 (estimate: $40,000 – 60,000).

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. Christie’s has sold 8 of the 10 most important single-owner collections in history, including the Paul G. Allen Collection—the most valuable collection ever offered at auction (November 2022). 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 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.

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