|Patek Philippe 1923 Officier|
The Patek Philippe earliest known single-button split-seconds chronograph wristwatch sold for nearly $3 million Tuesday at Sotheby’s New York. It was part of a private collection of 12 Patek watches, including five bespoke titanium timepieces, which sold for a total of $7.1 million.
Sotheby’s described the Patek Officier chronograph as “a piece of watchmaking history.” It was started in 1903 and completed and sold on October 13, 1923, according to the auction house. The yellow gold watch is the only split-seconds chronograph by Patek Philippe with a white enamel dial. It sold at auction to a Swiss museum for $2.965 million—more than double its $1.2 million high estimate. The price matches Sotheby’s top result for any wristwatch, achieved by The Henry Graves, Jr. Yellow Gold Minute Repeating Wristwatch by Patek Philippe, which sold in 2012.
The $7.1 million price for the 12 Patek Philippe watches, which the auction house called “The Titanium Collection,” well exceeded its $4.9 million high estimate. In addition to the five titanium watches and the historic Patek split-seconds chronograph, the 12 watches placed on auction Tuesday included additional references by Patek that have remained unknown to collectors, as well as unique pieces incorporating rare materials and designs beyond titanium.
|Patek Philippe Ref 5001T Sky Moon Tourbillon|
The titanium collection was led by the previously-unknown Ref. 5001T Sky Moon Tourbillon that fetched more than $1.3 million. The double dialed wristwatch has 12 complications including tourbillon, perpetual calendar, retrograde date, sky chart, moon-phases, orbit display, sidereal time and minute repeating on cathedral gongs, made circa 2002. In addition to the lightweight metal, the watch is further distinguished by its basket weave motif, repeated on the bezel and the dial where the standard Sky Moon Tourbillon normally features the firm’s signature Calatrava crosses, as well as unabbreviated cardinal points on the star chart.
Other commissioned pieces in the collection include the previously unknown Platinum Ref. 5103P, which sold for $773,000 and the Flawless Officer Ref. 3928, which achieved $737,000—an auction record for a contemporary time-only watch by Patek Philippe and well above its $500,000 high estimate. The case back of the Flawless Officer is set with a 9.44 carat, D color, internally flawless diamond that provides a window to the movement.
Sotheby’s Important Watches Auction totaled $11.7 Million, the highest total for an auction of timepieces from various watch owners at Sotheby’s New York. Other highlights included:
* A gold, hardstone, enamel and gem-set desk timepiece in the form of a tortoise, circa 1928, sold for $875,000, well above its $500,000 high estimate. The dial and movement are concealed within the tortoise shell that opens.
* A white gold and diamond-set bracelet watch, Ref 40011 by Piaget carrying a total diamond weight of approximately 57 carats fetched $398,000, above its $300,000 high estimate.
* The Hublot Key of Time MB-02 and the Jaeger-LeCoultre Duometre a Spherotourbillon, each brought in $185,000.
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