Christies Hong Kong Sets The Stage For The Auction Of The Decade In Asia

After setting a historic record for online sales worldwide with the Dubai auction 15 days ago (US$ +14 million for a 100% online watch auction) and with the makings of one in Hong Kong on May 22nd, Christie’s is on its way to a championship season in the watchmaking field.

“May 22, 2021 will be a date that will go down in the annals of watch auctions around the world” says Alexandre Bigler, Vice President and Head of Watches, Christie’s Asia Pacific.  “Asia is poised to witness a new record for the watch market in the region. The evening sale, with 18 fabulous lots that are true ‘Legends of Time,’ will be the auction event of the decade, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see some of the most remarkable watchmaking creations ever.  Complemented by a Day Sale on the same day and our online sales, Christies’ Asian watch auction season is one for the record books and will go down in history.”

Scheduled at 14.00 hrs. HKT (Hong Kong Time) on 22nd May 2021, the auction is curated around the theme of ‘An Exceptional Season of Watches’, a “Day Sale” will precede the evening event. This second sale includes 147 lots with a selection of highly desirable vintage & modern watches, including 56 Patek Philippe & 36 Rolex watches bound to attract watch lovers and keen collectors the world over. Est. HKD 80,801,000 – 147,107,000 / US$ 10.4 million – 18.9 million).

The Day Sale offers 147 lots, including 56 Patek Philippe timepieces (vintage, modern and contemporary) as well as a captivating selection of 36 unusual and high-quality Rolexes, and a unique F. P.  Journe Chronomètre Souverain made for none other than Master Watchmaker George Daniels.

Our top picks from the Day Sale

Christie’s will present a remarkable selection of vintage and modern Rolexes, many of which have unique dials or cases that make them of particular interest to collectors, of which we are quite excited about  a rare Rolex Daytona ref. 16519 in white gold with salmon dial made in very small numbers and rare at auction (estimate: HKD 1.5 Million – 3 Million / US$ 194,000 – 388,000). 

A highlight from an independent will be a special F. P. Journe timepiece, which Journe made especially for George Daniels, who was his friend, muse, and mentor. During a dinner organized by John and William Asprey in London in 2010, Journe offered Daniels a unique Chronomètre Souverain in platinum that he had made for his friend. The balance wheel is inscribed with “FP to George Daniels, My Mentor 2010” (estimate: HKD 2 Million – 6 Million / US$ 259,000 – 775,000).

The Evening Sale

On the same day, for the evening Gala, an extraordinary selection of 18 timepieces curated under the theme ‘The Legends of Time’ is bound to astound the watch loving and collecting community – museums and collectors – with its rarity and outstanding quality. Key highlights below:

Our top picks from the Evening Sale

Alan Banbery’s yellow gold Patek Philippe ref. 3448J ‘Senza Luna’ perpetual calendar wristwatch can be described, without exaggeration, as one of the most famous wristwatches in the world. This exceptional and historically important 18K gold automatic perpetual calendar wristwatch with an English calendar, prototype leap year indication and ‘no moon’ manufactured in 1970, especially modified by request of Henri and Philippe Stern in 1975 as a unique piece for presentation to Alan Banbery, is an icon. Of immense historical and horological significance, the piece is surely one of the most legendary wristwatches associated with Patek Philippe and it is offered here with the same sense of excitement that accompanies the appearance of any world-class work of art at auction (estimate: HKD 24.8 Million – 40 Million / US$ 3.2 Million – 5.162 Million please click here for details).

Collectors will also discover a selection of stunning enamel timepieces, including a rare Patek Philippe ref. 1415 HU in 18K pink gold. This small (31mm) timepiece from the 1950s is only one of two models known to exist, and this one features a rare and unusual polychrome cloisonné enamel dial. Very few enamel dials of this quality exist today, making this timepiece a highly sought-after collector’s piece (estimate: HKD 8 Million – 24 Million / US$ 1.033 Million – 3.097 Million).

As part of a pair, a magnificent and particularly rare musical timekeeper with automaton in 18K gold with pearls and enamel is also presented at Christie’s Hong Kong evening auction. Attributed to Piguet & Capt. and made for the Chinese market, this horological treasure comes in the form of an amphora and is adorned with the most sublime miniature enamel – attributed to Jean-Louis Richter, renderings that take the object far beyond the art of fine watchmaking alone. The other timekeeper which completes the pair is currently displayed in the Patek Philippe Museum (estimate: HKD 8 Million – 40 Million / US$ 1.033 Million – 5 Million).  

A superstar watch returns to auction. A unique and extremely important platinum Patek Philippe World Time wristwatch manufactured in 1946. There is only one platinum reference 1415 HU in the world. It needs almost no introduction, in 2002 it caused a sensation when it became the most expensive wristwatch ever sold at auction, realizing an astonishing 6,603,500 Swiss Francs, a record that remained unbroken for some years after. Unseen in public since that momentous day in 2002, in the intervening almost two decades, it has gained something approaching mythical status (estimate: HKD 8 Million – 24 Million / US$ 1.033 Million – 3.097 Million).

After setting a historic record for online sales worldwide with the Dubai auction about 15 days ago (US$ +14 million for a 100% online watch auction) and with the makings of one in HK on May 22nd, Christie’s is on its way to a championship season in the watchmaking field.

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