When Andy Warhol wasn’t in his New York City studio advancing the visual arts and creating iconic pop artworks, he was known to be a collector of many things, including fine watches. Quite astonishingly, it’s believed that the artist once owned in excess of 300 timepieces, many of which were rare and desirable wristwatches by Patek Philippe.
This rectangular Ref. 2503, circa 1952, from Warhol’s personal collection is surely no exception. With a range of elegant details and ample documentation to accompany the watch, this is a terrific piece for art enthusiasts and Patek Philippe aficionados alike.
A watch with a story
As collectors of vintage watches will know, corroborating the history of a specific watch can be rather difficult. This is why pieces accompanied by extensive documentation that tell the watch’s story are so highly coveted.
Given the Warhol provenance that goes along with this watch, its previous custodians made sure to hold onto a few noteworthy associated articles, including a hang-tag and sticker from the auction house which it was last sold at in 1988, and a Patek Philippe ‘Extract from the Archives’.
Furthermore, it’s been said that Warhol had been known to keep his most prized watches at centre of the canopy that hung over his bed. This is just another fascinating story that adds to the intriguing nature of this piece, and the mystique that surrounds Warhol.
Upon first seeing the rare Ref. 2503, collectors will immediately notice the ‘bunny ear lugs’ on the sharp, 18K yellow gold Markowsky case, which give this reference somewhat of a whimsical yet highly refined look when secured to the wrist by the original black lizard strap.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that the watch has a distinct depth to it when on the wrist, thanks to the domed crystal that follows the curvature of the case. All of this is tied together beautifully by the clean aesthetic of the dial, with its applied numerals and slender leaf-shaped hands that are sure to excite for generations to come.
A classic caliber
Inside the Ref. 2503, beats Patek Philippe’s manually wound Cal. 9-90 — a movement which is reserved exclusively for the brand’s square and rectangular shaped offerings, and is commonly regarded as one of the manufacture’s classic calibers. This gorgeous 18 jewel movement beats at 19,800 vibrations per hour, and is finished in traditional Patek Philippe style, with Côtes de Genève adorning the bridges, and perlage covering some of the movement’s internal plates.
Christie’s and Warhol
Along with his acclaimed and celebrated artworks, Christie’s has had the pleasure of auctioning off other watches associated with Andy Warhol in the past, including a Patek Philippe Ref. 2526 Calatrava with Breguet numerals from his personal collection, and a Patek Philippe pocket watch that featured a Tiffany & Co. dial, which was given by Warhol as a gift. These lots further speak to his sophisticated horological tastes, and his fondness for all things Patek Philippe.
Discover this Patek Philippe and other fine vintage watches from Rolex, Longines, Cartier and more in the Christie’s Watches Online: Time for Spring auction now through 5 April, 2016.