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Event Date24 May 02:00 PM HKT | Live auction 21425

The Champion Collection Part III: The Artistry of Complications

The Champion Collection Part III: The Artistry of Complications

Sale Overview

The single-owner “Champion Collection”, which Christie’s is extremely proud to offer in a series of themed sales over the 2022 auction season, is almost unrivalled in its wide variety of brands and wristwatch models of the highest calibre. This auction, entitled “The Artistry of Complications”, is incredibly exciting in that it offers not only many of the world’s most complicated watches by the greatest watch brands and independent makers, but it is also unique in including models that have never been seen before at auction, and in some cases, their existence was virtually unknown to collectors. A significant number of these incredible pieces, in particular by Patek Philippe, were produced in minute quantities and were only available to trusted clients by personal invitation.

Many of the complications we see in contemporary wristwatches today were in fact, invented centuries ago. Pocket watches with complications can be traced back to at least the 16thcentury when, although accurate timekeeping itself was not essential, early watchmakers nevertheless included functions such as moon phases, calendars, seasons, and zodiac amongst other astronomical indications, that were of more practical use to the scientists and astronomers of the time. A wristwatch such as Patek Philippe’s “Sky Moon Tourbillon” reference 5002R in this auction, can be seen to represent the culmination and ultimate realisation of over 400 years of watchmaking knowledge, perfectly capturing the enduring relationship between humans, the Earth, and the Universe.

In terms of wristwatches, the complications that have become classics and which have serious practical uses and advantages even today, are the perpetual calendar, the chronograph, minute repeating, and the tourbillon. All invented in the 18th and 19th centuries, these complications, either separately or together in one wristwatch, are true horology. The great achievement of the best wristwatch manufacturers has been to continually strive to overcome the difficulties of reducing the sizes of these highly complex mechanisms, to fit within the confines of the wristwatch and to invent new manufacturing methods to improve existing complications, whilst at the same time always bearing in mind the design and beauty of their pieces.

The “Champion Collection” is an incredible treasure trove of the world’s most complicated contemporary wristwatches and includes examples of almost every great horological complication.

Such an important collection of exceptional complicated watches is almost never seen together in a single moment, and thus, the “Champion Collection” offers collectors a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to admire some of the greatest achievements of the watchmaker’s art.

Auction times
24 May 02:00 PM (HKT) Lots 2201-2273

Brought to you by

Alexandre Bigler

Alexandre Bigler

Vice President, Head of Watches, Asia Pacific | Watches & Wristwatches

Based in Hong Kong, Alexandre Bigler is Vice President and Head of Watches for Asia-Pacific since June 2019. Alexandre Bigler brings over 15 years of experience in Auctions. He started his career at Sotheby’s in 2005 and worked respectively in Geneva and London. Alexandre joined Christie’s in 2010, in Hong Kong, where he held the position of Associate Vice President & Specialist from 2010 until 2013. He then moved to Bangkok in 2014 to establish himself as a Consultant for the South-East Asian market until 2019. Alexandre Bigler has been instrumental in securing major consignments resulting in world records, such as the Patek Philippe ref. 2499J 4th series selling for USD 875,000, the Patek Philippe ref. 1463R formerly in the Eric Clapton collection and selling for USD 711,000, a unique Patek Philippe ref. 1491J selling for USD 591,000 and a rare Rolex ref. 6062 in 18k gold with star dial, named “the Dark Star”, for USD 1,500,000. More recently, under Alexandre’s leadership, Christie’s Watches Hong Kong pioneered the first Masterpiece Auction in November 2019, in partnership with the Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art Department - a first for any international auction house - to stage the exceptional and unique Patek Philippe ref. 2523R retailed by Gobbi, named “L’Heure Bleue”, which achieved a record of HKD 70,175,000/USD 9,013,623 for the most expensive wristwatch ever auctioned in Asia. The methodically curated Hong Kong Watches Sale in November 2019 achieved the highest sale total ever realised at Christie’s in Asia, with a new record at HKD 207,340,000/USD 26,620,207 and with a sell-through rate of 87% by lot and 95% by value. Alexandre Bigler was born in Switzerland and speaks French and English.

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