A unique, exceptional and historically highly important 18K gold automatic perpetual calendar wristwatch with English calendar, leap year indication and ‘no moon phase’, Ref. 3448J, manufactured in 1970
Estimate: HK$24.8 Million – 40 Million/ US$3.1 Million – 5 Million
Hong Kong – Christie’s is honoured to debut [A Patek Philippe Icon] at auction in Asia – Alan Banbery’s Unique Patek Philippe Reference 3448J ‘No Moon Phase’ with Prototype Leap Year Indication (estimate: HK$24.8 Million – 40 Million/ US$3.1 Million – 5 Million). This work of art was presented by Henri and Philippe Stern to Alan Banbery in 1975, is now one of the most legendary wristwatches associated with Patek Philippe, and is poised to set a world auction record for the reference when offered this May.
Alexandre Bigler, Vice President and Head of Watches, Christie’s Asia Pacific, commented, “Following the phenomenal success of the sale of Patek Philippe [l’Heure Bleue] Ref. 2523 in Autumn 2019 and ‘The Titanium and Ruby Collections’ last year in Hong Kong, we are proud to present Alan Banbery’s iconic yellow gold 3448 perpetual calendar wristwatch to lead our watches live auction this May. To the true connoisseur of important vintage wristwatches, the mere mention of the name ‘Banbery’ brings the unmistakable and instantly recognisable minimalist aesthetic of this unique reference 3448 immediately to mind. This sale will undoubtedly provide the world’s most discerning collectors with a rare opportunity to acquire a timepiece of almost mythical status, demonstrating Christie’s continued market leadership in offering the most valuable Patek Philippe timepieces at auction.”
What Makes Alan Banbery’s Reference 3448 So Unique and Important?
Exceptional Provenance: A legend in his own lifetime, Alan Banbery was, apart from the family-run Patek Philippe company’s owners – the great Henri and Philippe Stern, perhaps the most influential figure at Patek Philippe in the second half of the 20th Century. He joined the company as Director of Sales for English-speaking territories in 1965, and throughout his almost 40-year illustrious journey with the brand, helped the Stern family preserve and collect historic Patek Philippe watches and other horological masterpieces. With his guidance in making acquisitions, the collection became so outstanding that it culminated in the opening of the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva in 2001, after which Alan Banbery retired.
In celebration of his 10th anniversary with Patek Philippe and as a token of appreciation for his achievements and devotion to the firm, Henri and Philippe Stern directly gifted the present reference 3448 to Alan Banbery in 1975, which he kept personally for almost 25 years.
Documented Uniqueness: The reference 3448 automatic perpetual calendar with moon phase indication is one of the most desirable Patek Philippe classic models from the 1960s - 1970s. This Alan Banbery wristwatch is a stand-alone watch among all reference 3448s, for it is the only fully provenanced, fully documented, specially commissioned example of ‘No Moon Phase’ with a leap year indication on the dial. The unique mechanical conversion work of removing the moon phase disk to permit the display of a leap-year indication with a special set of small hands, is recorded as having been done by Patek Philippe’s master watchmaker Max Berney, with the centre of the case back engraved with the famous ‘AB’ monogram for Alan Banbery.
Extraordinary Craftsmanship: Reference 3448, introduced to the market in 1962, was at the time the first self-winding perpetual calendar wristwatch. It was fitted with the celebrated caliber 27-460, among the most sophisticated and lavish automatic movements ever made. According to literature, a total of only 586 pieces were made over two decades of production that ceased in the late 1980s, with the majority in yellow gold cases. Only around 130 were cased in white gold, 2 in platinum and 1 in pink gold are known to exist to date.
Notes To Editors
Public Preview (by appointment - firstname.lastname@example.org):
Hong Kong | 3 – 8 May 2021, 10am – 5:30pm | 22/ F, Alexandra House, 18 Chater Road Central
*More details on touring will be announced later.
Hong Kong | 22 May 2021 | Convention Hall, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, No.1 Harbour Road, Wanchai, HK
More information on Christies.com:
What are the 10 most desirable Patek Philippe references?
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