Where else but in New York: Christie’s Watches captures the spirit of independence and the mystique of icon status in watchmaking.
Preparing for a strong finale, Christie’s Fine Watchmaking: Important Timepieces and the Independent Collection Online Auction will delight those who appreciate unique creations, iconic designs, timeless craftsmanship, inventive engineering, and centuries of heritage. The fabulous and just as desirable Greubel Forsey Tourbillon ‘Invention Piece 3’ in white gold 18k, No. 9 of a limited edition of only 11 pieces is one of the amazing rarities to be brought to auction by Christie’s.
Amongst the other highlights of this sale: a highly sought-after Rolex, the famous Ref. 6202 Turn-O-Graph in steel formerly owned by Eric Clapton; an early brass movement F.P. Journe Octa in rose gold; the Patek Philippe Celestial Ref. 5102G as well as a Rolex Ref. 8171 ‘Padellone’ and a Rolex ‘Big Red’ Daytona Ref. 6263 in stainless steel.
Exceptional pieces from Patek Philippe, Breguet, A. Lange & Söhne, and Rolex will be presented alongside a curated collection of works by independent watchmakers such as FP Journe, MB&F, Urwerk, Richard Mille, and others.
New York Fine Watchmaking: Important Timepieces | 24 November – 10 December
Lot 219 – F.P. Journe, Réserve de Marche Octa, in 18k pink gold, with 120-hour power reserve. Introduced in 2001, the Réserve de Marche Octa was the first automatic movement to deliver precision timekeeping with a power reserve of 120 hours.
The earliest examples, such as this one, were made with rhodium-plated brass movements. In 2004, as the brand quickly matured and took manufacturing to the next level, brass made way for 18K gold.
As only the earliest watches house brass movements, across all lines, pieces such as the present watch are extremely desirable – and are further notable for having straight Côtes de Genève finishes (Est. USD 100,000-140,000| EUR 87,000-120,000).
Lot 22 – Rolex ‘Padellone’, 18k yellow gold, triple calendar, Ref. 8171. Padellone is Italian for ‘large frying pan’ in Italian. Indeed, if the case size is appropriately modern at 38mm, it was quite definitely an avant-garde outlier when it came out in the early 1950s. The Padellone is one of only two vintage Rolex models with moon phase, making it both aesthetically fascinating and highly collectible.
It is estimated that no more than 1,500 pcs were produced in total, with approximately only 25% of the total inventory in yellow gold. The automatic movement is housed in an extraordinary case made by none other than Favre-Perret in La-Chaux-de-Fonds. Fresh to the market, this Rolex 8171 comes from the family of the original owner.
(Est. USD 40,000-50,000 | EUR 35,000-43,000)
Lot 109 – Patek Philippe Celestial with Sky Chart, 18k white gold, self-winding mechanical movement, Ref. 5102. A milestone in Patek Philippe’s grand tradition of astronomical watches, the Celestial devotes its dial to a rotating chart of the heavenly bodies.
The owner may admire the exact configuration of the nocturnal sky in the northern hemisphere, with the apparent movement of the stars and the phases and orbit of the moon.
Two skeletonized hands point to the hours and minutes of mean solar time.
An ellipse, deposited on the underside of the sapphire glass, frames the portion of the sky visible from Geneva and all other cities located at the same latitude.
(Est. USD 120,000-180,000 | EUR 110,000-160,000)
Lot 20 – Rolex ‘Big Red’ Daytona Ref. 6263, in stainless steel. This exceptionally well preserved, iconic, and thus highly collectible ‘Big Red’ Daytona is from 1984. Instantly recognizable as the legend it has become, this ‘Big Red’ features a flawless black dial with warm and equally flawless chronograph registers.
The fully intact domed lume plots have developed a beautiful patina, matching the hands perfectly. The razor-sharp case exhibits its proper and original factory proportions in original and untouched condition.
This highly sought-after exemplar of one of the most desirable Rolex references is fresh to market and from the family of the original owner.
(Est. USD 60,000-80,000 | EUR 53,000-70,000)