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Friday, March 11, 2011

Patek Philippe Timepieces to Lead Offerings at Sotheby’s Hong Kong Watch Auction

Patek Philippe Platinum Minute Repeating Retrograde Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon Wristwatch Ref. 5016P

Several Patek Philippe timepieces with custom-made dials, extremely limited editions of creations by renowned independent watchmakers, and a selection of 50 enamel and complicated pocket watches spanning the late 18th to early 20th centuries are among the items that will be placed on auction at Sotheby’s Hong Kong Important Watches Spring Sale 2011, April 7 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. More than 300 lots are estimated to bring in about $6 million. (All figures are in U.S. dollars and does not include buyer’s premium.)

Leading the sale are two Patek Philippe complications, each bearing the personal imprint of their respective collectors. The Patek Philippe platinum minute repeating perpetual calendar tourbillon wristwatch with retrograde date and moon-phases (top photo) is accompanied by three additional dials, Circa 2004, Ref. 5016P (auction estimate, $460,000 – 700,000). With more than 500 minuscule parts, the watch held the title of the most complicated Patek Philippe wristwatch ever produced. 

Being offered at auction for the first time, a Patek Philippe platinum and diamond-set perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with register, moon-phases and leap year indication, Circa 1996, Ref. 3990P (estimate, $210,000 - 250,000). It is one of four Ref. 3990 in platinum to appear in public to date. The watch is accompanied by an extract from the archives of Patek Philippe confirming its production in 1996 with ardoise or slate grey dial, diamond indexes and 40 baguette-cut diamonds weighing approximately 2.97 cts. and its sale on Dec. 17, 1996.

Also available is a Patek Philippe platinum split seconds chronograph perpetual calendar wristwatch with register, moon-phases and leap year indication, Circa 2003, Ref. 5004P (Est. $190,000 – 250,000) It was introduced in 1995 and contains 407 individual parts.


Another Patek Philippe timepiece is the platinum and pink gold automatic astronomical wristwatch with sky chart, phases and position of the moon and time of meridian passage of Sirius and the moon, Circa 2010, Ref. 5102PR Celestial (Est. $220,000-280,000).


 Recently discontinued, the Patek Philippe platinum and diamond-set perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with register, moon-phases and leap year indication, Circa 2010, Ref. 5971P, is expected to fetch an estimated $210,000 - 250,000.
Another highlight of the sale is a Breguet white gold and diamond-set skeletonised tourbillon wristwatch, Circa 2002, Ref. 3356 (Est. $170,000 - 230,000). It boasts a hand-engraved manual winding tourbillon movement in full skeletonisation.
Launched at the turn of the millennium by German watchmaker A. Lange & Söhne, is the limited edition pink gold tourbillon wristwatch with oversized date and power reserve indication, Circa 2000, Lange 1 Tourbillon No. 74/250 (Est. $70,000 – 100,000).
 F. P. Journe’s Tourbillon Souverain, debuted at BaselWorld 1999, was discontinued in 2003, despite its immediate success, to maintain exclusivity. In this sale Sotheby’s is offering a more sophisticated version of this iconic timepiece—the F. P. Journe limited edition titanium and pink gold tourbillon dead beat seconds wristwatch with power reserve indication, Circa 2007, Tourbillon Souverain (Est. $100,000 - 140,000). It was awarded the esteemed Aiguille d’Or at the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix in 2004. The present lot was produced in a special limited edition of only five pieces for the first anniversary of the F. P. Journe Hong Kong boutique in 2007 and is numbered 1.

Also on sale is the Franck Muller yellow gold tourbillon perpetual calendar split seconds chronograph wristwatch with register and leap year indication, Circa 1992, No. 1 World Premier (Est.$40,000 - 60,000). It was created entirely by hand by Franck Muller himself, taking him more than 14 months.


Catering to Asian collectors, this season Sotheby’s will present a selection of pocket watches, highlighted by a Patek Philippe yellow gold open-faced minute repeating perpetual calendar keyless chronometre watch with moon-phases, 24-hour indication and earnshaw-type spring detent escapement, retailed by Beyer, Circa 1990, Ref. 961 (Est. $100,000 – 150,000). Introduced in 1989, it is one of the most complex movements created by Patek Philippe for a modern pocket watch. Very few pieces of the Ref. 961 are believed to exist and only three are currently known to the public.

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