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Sotheby's Hong Kong to Hold Important Watches Autumn Sale 2010
Greubel Forsey platinum double tourbillon wristwatch with 72-hour power reserve and mother-of-pearl dial, circa 2004, Double Tourbillon 30º Vision No. 2 (Est. HK$1.6 - 2.4 million / US$200,000 – 300,000). Photo: Sotheby´s.

HONG KONG.- Sotheby’s Hong Kong Important Watches Autumn Sale 2010 will be held on 6 October at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. This season’s sale will offer a total of 300 lots estimated over HK$43 million / US$5.5 million. Highlighting a notable private collection of highly complicated creations by renowned independent watchmakers, as well as important classic timepieces and dazzling jewellery watches in excellent condition, the sale embodies the pinnacle of the past and future of watchmaking.

Vanessa Herrera, Head of Watches, Sotheby’s China and Southeast Asia, says, “Following the success of last season’s sale, which achieved the highest total of its kind at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, our Autumn 2010 sale will offer a wider selection of high-end timepieces, enhancing the value and quality of the sale. We are thrilled to present Tapestry of Time, interweaving avant-garde highlights from Property of an Important Private Collector, with complicated and bejewelled masterpieces by traditional watchmakers. These three distinct strands – tradition, innovation and artistry – are forever entwined, creating the vibrant fabric of modern horology.”

Property of an Important Private Collector
This season Sotheby’s is honoured to offer an unrivalled selection of rare and innovative timepieces from the Property of an Important Private Collector. This exceptional group represents the future of haute horlogerie by pioneering independent watchmakers and brands, including Greubel Forsey, Richard Mille, Audemars Piguet and Urwerk.

Leading the sale is a Greubel Forsey platinum double tourbillon wristwatch with 72 hour power reserve and mother-of-pearl dial, circa 2004, Double Tourbillon 30º Vision No. 2 (Est. HK$1.6 - 2.4 million / US$200,000 – 300,000). This remarkable timepiece is the result of four years of combined effort of renowned independent watchmakers Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey. The patented double tourbillon system is a decisive technical advance and milestone in watchmaking history, which defies gravity and tradition by incorporating two cages separated by a 30-degree angle to optimise performance and oscillation of the balance wheel. A mark of its sophistication is that the two cages, comprising 128 elements, altogether weigh a mere 1.17 grammes. The upper part of the dial made of mother-of-pearl is well complimented by the skeletonised design of the lower part, which reveals the technical marvel of the double tourbillon. A wondrous creation, this complicated timepieces is set to stir intense bidding.

Another notable timepiece from this collection is an Audemars Piguet titanium, carbon and ceramic octagonal tourbillon chronograph wristwatch with power reserve indication, circa 2008, Royal Oak Carbon Concept (Est. HK$1 – 1.6 million / US$130,000 – 200,000). The Audemars Piguet Carbon Concept was the first timepiece to feature a forged carbon case and movement, which gives the watch remarkable strength and lightness, weighing only 90 grammes. The 384-part calibre 2895 is a technological powerhouse, incorporating a tourbillon and chronograph and providing an approximate 237-hour power reserve. The linear chronograph minute counter breaks with the traditional chronograph register, instead presenting an open-worked bridge with double vertical scale. A ground breaking creation, this watch is sure to attract connoisseurs of innovative timepieces.

Other Highlights of the Sale
Also among the mechanical wonders offered in the sale is a Richard Mille platinum split seconds chronograph tourbillon wristwatch with power reserve and torque indication, circa 2006, RM 008 (Est. HK$1.6 – 2.4 million / US$200,000 – 300,000). Inspired by the technological excellence in Formula One racing, Richard Mille is known for his high-performance creations of remarkable reliability, lightness and strength. With split seconds chronograph and created to withstand all kinds of shocks and vibrations, RM 008 is the embodiment of the watchmaker’s enthusiasm for Formula One racing and its technological feats. Comprising 500 parts, it is known as the most complicated creation by Richard Mille. Produced in a limited quantity of 10 pieces per year, the RM 008 is a rare treasure sought after by collectors.

Apart from the horlogerie of the future, Sotheby’s is also delighted to offer luxurious and stunning jewellery watches, such as the present magnificent Piaget white gold and diamond-set oval bracelet watch, total diamond weight approximately 84 carats, circa 1994, KANTHARA (Est. HK$3.2 – 3.8 million / US$410,000 – 490,000). Instead of the quartz movement commonly found in jewellery watches, the Kanthara features a mechanical calibre 40P. Embellished with 83.89 carats of emerald-cut diamonds, all meticulously selected, hand-cut and positioned by Piaget’s master craftsmen, this is a dazzling piece of haute joaillerie as well as a fine timepiece.

Highly sought-after among sophisticated watch collectors, Patek Philippe’s classic timepieces figures prominently among the highlights of the sale. Among them is a Patek Philippe platinum and diamond-set perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon-phases and leap-year indication, circa 2009, REF 5971P (Estimate: HK$1.3 – 1.8 million / US$170,000 – 230,000). The REF 5971P beats with the highly-coveted Nouvelle Lémania movement exclusively made for Patek Philippe, the legendary calibre CH 27-70 Q, which is highly regarded as the most beautiful classic manually-wound column-wheel chronograph mechanism ever made. With the masculine black dial luxuriously embellished by 4.39 carats of baguette diamonds, the REF 5971P is the only haute joaillerie timepiece in Patek Philippe’s impressive arena of men’s complicated watches and will therefore hold a special place in any watch collection.

Another highlight is a Patek Philippe platinum minute repeating wristwatch with enamel dial, circa 2008, REF 5078P (Est. HK$2.2 – 2.8 million / US$280,000 – 360,000). Production of REF 5078 began in 2005, as the successor of REF 3979, the “150th Anniversary Minute Repeater” manufactured from 1989 to 1998. With a white enamel dial in a chiselled 38mm platinum case, this timepiece is an epitome of classic and simple elegance. The movement, composed of 342 parts, measures only 5.05mm thick. The minute repeater boasts an exceptionally pure and resonant chime, a true delight for connoisseurs of this definitive complication.

Another tribute to the classics of watchmaking is a Patek Philippe platinum rectangular tourbillon wristwatch with 10-day power reserve indication, circa 2006, REF 5101P (Est. : HK$1.3 – 1.8 million / US$170,000 – 230,000). The REF 5101 was launched in 2003, in a limited quantity of 10 to 15 pieces per year, as a tribute to a rectangular tourbillon wristwatch, a classic design produced from 1956 to 1957. Featuring an impressive triple-stepped case and a tourbillon at the back of the watch, another detail based on the classic design, the REF 5101P is an embodiment of Patek Philippe’s legendary Art Deco style and marvellous complications.

The sale also highlights a Limited Edition A. Lange & Söhne pink gold tourbillon wristwatch with power reserve indication, chain and fusée and bracelet, Tourbillon “Pour Le Mérite” circa 1996, 107/150 (Est. HK$900,000 – 1.2 million / US$120,000 – 150,000) - a watch with remarkable significance in German watchmaking history. One of the first models created upon the prestigious watchmaker’s relaunch in 1994, this exquisite watch was only produced until 1998, in a very limited quantity with only 50 pieces in platinum, 120 pieces in yellow gold, 15 pieces in white gold and 15 pieces in pink gold with black dial such as the present example. The present watch, numbered 107/150, is, therefore, exceptionally rare. Furthermore, the Tourbillon “Pour Le Mérite” is arguably one of the highest quality tourbillons ever produced, featuring a complicated chain-andfusée mechanism that equalises the power of the mainspring. This technical marvel is acclaimed with the prestigious German accolade “Pour Le Mérite” presented by the German government for achievements in science and arts. A rare treasure combining technical complication and German horological tradition, this watch is highly prized by sophisticated collectors.

Apart from important watches, this season Sotheby’s is also pleased to offer a Cartier diamond-set jadeite, coral, onyx, mother-of-pearl and rock crystal mystery clock, circa 1980 (Est. HK$1.4-1.8 million / US$180,000 – 230,000). The first Cartier Mystery clock was created in 1913, the work of the brilliant watch and clock maker Maurice Coüet. This mechanically and aesthetically remarkable design was the basis for some of Cartier's most impressive clocks of the 1920s and beyond. The time is indicated by two rotating crystal disks on which the hands are located. The overall effect on the viewer is that the clock operates without mechanical means, hence its description as a Mystery clock. Embellished with jadeite, coral, onyx and mother-of-pearl, the present model is undoubtedly a precious work of art.

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