Christie's Important Watches Auction

Collector’s alert: The auction of the Year is coming!

by Olivier Müller

All the watch nerds already call it the « Sale of the Year ». It will take place on November 11 and will be held by Chritie’s, in Geneva – and anywhere else in the world with a phone and a computer, remotely.

The famous auction house didn’t miss the point when it called this amazing auction « Icons of watchmaking ». It will gather some of the most prestigious models of sought-after brands, such as Rolex and Patek Philippe.

On that very special day at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues in Geneva, unique pieces and rare vintages will be the stars of the show. It will feature the rarest examples in exceptional condition to appeal to international connoisseurs : chronographs, perpetual calendars, minute- repeaters, travel-time, etc., many of which being offered from the families of their original owners and come to the market for the first time ever.

Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues in Geneva

Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues in Geneva

Christie’s Important Watches Auction: Want some examples ?

Comprising 350 lots overall, the sale is led by an exceptionally rare pink gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon phases, ref. 2499, manufactured by Patek Philippe in 1957. Once again, the manufacture’s piece will probably go over the million dollars, with an estimate between 1,000,000 and 1,500,000 SFr. / US$.

Patek Philippe - (ref-2499) 1957

Patek Philippe – (ref-2499) 1957

Constituting approximately one third of the sale, Patek’s models include perpetual calendar wristwatches with chronograph (references 1518 and 2499), perpetual calendars (references 1526, 2497, 2438/1 and 3448), chronographs (references 130, 530 and 1463), split-seconds chronographs (references 1436 and 1563), a travel time ref. 2597, and a minute repeater ref. 2524/1.

Patek Philippe - (ref-1563)

Patek Philippe – (ref-1563)

Rolex is in the house

To follow on the highly anticipated evening auction « Rolex Daytona – Lesson ONE », which will be held on November 10 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Daytona, a further selection of more than 100 Rolex vintage wristwatches will be offered for sale the same November 11th.

Christie’s made the wise choice to divide the lots into two categories : sports / military Rolex, and civilian ones. The first category will display vintage models such as Submariner, Sea-Dweller, GMT-Master, Milgauss and Explorer.

The ‘civilian’ selection is led by two examples of Rolex’s most coveted reference: the 6062 – the only Oyster model ever made by Rolex featuring a full calendar and phases of the moon. A 1952 yellow gold example displaying a star dial alongside an extremely rare vintage gold bracelet, widely illustrated and described in the most prominent Rolex literature, comes from a private collector (estimate : SFr. / US$ 250,000 – 400,000).

Rolex - (ref-6062) 1952

Rolex – (ref-6062) 1952

Never seen on the auction market before and offered in unrestored, original conditions, a 1953 stainless version of the same model comes from an important European collection (estimate: SFr. / US$ : 220,000 – 320,000).

Rolex - (ref-6062) 1953 Stainless Version

Rolex – (ref-6062) 1953

A. Lange & Söhne, Voutilainen : other collectibles for the watch enthusiasts

A good auction is a place where the most experts detect which brands will stand as the « next big thing », brands that can set the trend, such as Patek Philippe and Rolex nowadays.

At that game, the A. Lange & Söhne manufacture already stands as a major player. Christie’s auction will offer for sale a most likely unique example of double split seconds flyback chronograph cased in stainless steel, ref. 404.035X. This watch was never offered at auction before and was a special order granted only once. Estimated at SFr. / US$ : 120,000-180,000, it is considered as one of the ultimate A. Lange & Söhne collector’s models.

A. Lange & Söhne - Ref 404.035X

A. Lange & Söhne – Ref 404.035X

Another treat for the lovers of contemporary horology will be the platinum Vingt-8 by the independent watchmaker Kari Voutilainen (estimate : SFr. / US$ : 40,000 – 60,000). It is only the second time a watch made by Voutilainen comes to the auction block, the first having been sold at Christie’s Honk Kong last May.

Voutilainen Vingt-8

Voutilainen Vingt-8

More resources about Christie’s Important Watches Auction on Official Christie’s Website
You can also click-here to download the Official Press Release of this Auction in .PDF and E-Catalogue.

    Author Bio

    Articles by Olivier Müller


    Olivier Müller is a professional journalist specialising in horology. He divides his time between Geneva and Paris, covering horology-related topics for a dozen or so magazines and specialist websites in Europe. He is also a regular speaker at various events. In 2008, Olivier Müller set up Delos Communications to manage the writing side of his business, spanning five European countries. Delos Communications also provides consultancy services for horological communication, helping brands as they define and implement their strategy in terms of positioning, messages and audience. In addition to the world’s two largest watchmaking groups, Delos Communications’ clients include a broad range of emerging independent brands, as well as public-sector bodies keen to promote their local watchmaking heritage. Five people work for the agency, including a journalist, a photographer, a community manager and a translator, all with expertise in the world of watchmaking.