• Press release
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  • New York
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  • For immediate release
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  • 25 November 2019

RELEASE | Christie's Announces Important Watches & American Icons and Watches Online x The Webster | December 2019

(From left to right) PATEK PHILIPPE, Platinum Perpetual Calendar Minute Repeating Tourbillon Wristwatch with Breguet Numerals, Retrograde Date, and Moon Phases, Manufactured in 2007, Ref. 5016P, $400,000 - 600,000; RICHARD MILLE, Platinum Tonneau-shaped Tourbillon Spilt-Seconds Chronograph Wristwatch with Power Reserve and Torque Indication, circa 2008, RM008 AF PT / 27, $250,000 - 450,000; BREGUET, Unique Stainless Steel, Chrome and Glass 30 Days Desk Clock, Manufactured in 1934, NO. 3142, NO. 416859, NO. 142508, $200,000 - 400,000; ROLEX, A Very Fine and Extremely Rare Stainless Steel Chronograph Wristwatch, circa 1940, Ref. 3330, $100,000 - 200,000

New York – Christie’s New York announces Important Watches and American Icons to take place on Thursday, December 12th. The auction offers a carefully curated selection of over 150 distinct lots, all highly sought-after for their historical notoriety, fresh-to-market condition, and extreme rarity, with estimates up to $600,000. Highlights include modern, vintage and sport watches from Rolex, Patek Phillipe, F. P. Journe, Omega, Richard Mille and more.


The sale proudly presents a dedicated section titled American Icons, which offers a curated selection of timepieces with important provenance.  Featured is a paired lot that includes an L. Leroy & Cie. pocket watch that belonged to Ernest Hemingway, sold alongside a Vacheron Constantin pocket watch owned by Charles C. Ritz ($15,000-25,000). This paired lot symbolized their friendship and Hemingway’s affinity for the grand hotel, which would later result in a bar named after him. Other American Icons include two Patek Philippe timepieces formerly belonging to the 41st President of the United States, George H. W. Bush; a one-of-a-kind Patek Philippe gold, enamel, and platinum watch in the form of a backpack, dated 1876 ($50,000-100,000), created for Elbert E. Farman, the Consul-General to Cairo, Egypt, famous for bringing ‘Cleopatra’s Needle’ to New York; a Breitling owned by astronaut Wally M. Shirra ($10,000-15,000); and an Omega Seamaster 300, belonging to LTC George Aikman Finter, which is sold alongside a treasure trove of documents ($12,000-18,000).

Highlighting the sale are important vintage and modern timepieces comprising an impressive array of Patek Philippe wristwatches, including an exceptionally rare reference 3450, retailed by Tiffany & Co. ($250,000-500,000), as well as the highly-complicated and exceptional reference 5016P ($400,000-600,000). Other highlights include a sought-after early stainless steel Rolex chronograph wristwatch, reference 3330 ($100,000-200,000), and a very attractive and unique skeletonized Breguet desk clock, manufactured at the height of the Art Deco period ($200,000 – 400,000).

Taking place concurrently is the Christie’s Watches Online: A Horological Holiday (November 26 – December 10), which presents over 200 watches ranging from vintage to contemporary timepieces. In collaboration with The Webster, Christie’s Watches Online is proud to feature a curated selection of holiday looks that exemplify the highest quality of designer clothing and timepieces combined. Professionally crafted by The Webster’s lead stylist, Linda Addouana, for the first-time, Christie’s will showcase expertly selected pairings of clothing and watches for both men and women, perfectly suitable for any holiday occasion. Further highlights and details are included below. Public preview of both sales includes a full exhibition at Christie’s 20 Rockefeller Center Galleries December 6 - 11.



Important Watches and American Icons

12 Dec

20 Rockefeller Center, New York, NY, 10020

  • Auction

    12 Dec, 10am (Lots 1 - 150)

  • Viewing

    New York

    6 Dec, 10am - 6pm

    7 Dec, 10am - 6pm

    8 Dec, 10am - 6pm

    9 Dec, 10am - 6pm

    10 Dec, 10am - 5pm

    11 Dec, 10am - 5pm

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 Salvador Mundi, 2017), for a single collection sale (the Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller, 2018), 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 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: or by downloading Christie’s apps. The COVID-related re-opening status of our global locations is available here.