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Sotheby's Important Watches Spring Sale led by highly complicated minute repeaters by Patek Philippe
Patek Philippe Ref 5207R. Est. HK$4 – 6 million / US$520,000 – 770,000. Photo: Sotheby's.

HONG KONG.- Sotheby’s Hong Kong Important Watches Spring Sale 2015 will take place on 7 April at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Apart from A Private Single-Owner Collection of Important Wines and Watches led by prestigious sports watches reflecting a bold and masculine aesthetic, the Important Watches sale brings together a rare assembly of the finest timepieces from esteemed makers such as Patek Philippe and Girard-Perregaux and world-renowned independent watchmakers. A coveted collection of timepieces from highly complicated minute repeaters to quirky futuristic creations by independent watchmakers will be offered, making this auction an untraditional one. Also noteworthy is Swatch & Art from the Dunkel Collection, one of the largest known Swatch collections in private hands. Embodying the finest craftsmanship of watchmaking, Sotheby’s offerings this Spring are sure to fulfil discerning collectors’ appreciation for technological innovation and aesthetic design. Altogether the two Watches sales will offer around 450 lots with a total estimate in excess of HK$100 million / US$13 million.

Sharon Chan, Head of Watches, Sotheby’s Asia, said, “To celebrate the highest global auction total for watches achieved last year, Sotheby’s Hong Kong kick-starts year 2015 with an unconventional auction, bringing the fascinating diversity of watchmaking to the collector’s world. Showcasing top-notch minute repeaters, split-second chronographs and perpetual calendar Grand Complications by prominent Swiss manufacturers as well as technical marvels with innovative materials and avant-garde designs by independent makers, our carefully curated sale this spring exemplifies the mechanical aesthetics and exquisite craftsmanship of haute horology. On the other hand we proudly present Swatch & Art from the Dunkel Collection. Comprising more than 5,800 Swatches and related art objects, the Collection documents the mind-blowing artistic and creative possibilities introduced by the quartz revolution into the watchmaking industry in the 1970s, showing that watch collecting can be fun and affordable, and art objects can be admired on one’s wrist.”

Minute Repeating Complications by Renowned Watchmakers Patek Philippe, A Pink Gold Minute Repeating Instantaneous Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon Wristwatch with Leap Year and Day/Night Indication, Ref 5207R Circa 2013 (Lot 2042) Est. HK$4 – 6 million / US$520,000 – 770,000

Introduced at BaselWorld in 2008 after five years of research and development, the Patek Philippe Ref 5207 features minute repeater, tourbillon and instantaneous perpetual calendar functions, ranking as the brand’s third most complicated watch. Debuting at auction in pink gold and in mint condition, the Ref 5207 offered represents an excellent acquisition opportunity for discerning collectors.

Comprising 549 parts, the Ref 5207’s movement is an advanced version of the popular calibre R TO 27 PS housed in the Ref 3939, with all displays of the perpetual calendar advancing instantaneously and synchronously at midnight. This is an extremely challenging additional complication that relies on the flawless interaction of 212 parts, for which two patent applications were filed. The sonority of the minute repeater and the accuracy of the tourbillon are also highly revered by connoisseurs. With only a handful manufactured per year and sold only to the most loyal and faithful customers of the brand, this “Grand Complication” is extremely exclusive. A platinum version achieved an impressive HK$6.76 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in April 2014, highlighting the heirloom statues of this extraordinary timepiece.

Patek Philippe, a Platinum and Pink Gold Automatic Minute Repeating SemiSkeletonised Perpetual Calendar Wristwatch with Retrograde Date, Moon Phases and Leap Year Indication Ref 5104P Circa 2010 (Lot 2300) Est. HK$3.5 – 4.5 million / US$450,000 – 590,000
Launched in 2006, the Ref 5104 is the brand’s first skeletonised Grand Complication and the only one available until the launch of the Ref 5304 in 2014. Featuring the same 43mm-diameter large case as Patek Philippe’s flagship model Ref 5002, the Ref 5104 sports a more daring and imposing design deviating from the brand’s signature subtle aesthetics, which made a strong impression on the collecting community at its inception. The sapphire crystal dial, fused to the steel frame with patented technology, offers a blank canvas for the various function at play and reveals the complexity of the skeletonised movement, offering a fresh and impactful visual experience. The colour contrast of the pink gold movement and platinum case heightens the depth of the skeletonised movement to an interesting visual effect, while the skeletonised structure and large case enable a stronger resonance and result in a louder and clearer repeater chime.

Patek Philippe, a Yellow Gold Automatic Minute Repeating Wristwatch Ref 3979J Circa 1989 (Lot 2185) Est. HK$1.8 – 2.4 million / US$230,000 – 310,000
The Ref 3979 was launched in 1989 along with the Calibre 89 Ultra-Complication, Refs 3974, 3969 and 3960 to celebrate Patek Philippe’s 150th anniversary. A replacement of the highly coveted Ref 2524/1, the Ref 3979 was made and designed following the tradition of pocket watches. Composed of 342 parts, its calibre R 27 PS movement features a minute repeater mechanism with two gongs and a 22K gold microrotor. The impeccable case was crafted by the master casemaker Jean-Pierre Hagmann of Geneva, with his hallmark “JPH” stamped on the solid caseback which highlights its prestigious status.

Girard-Perregaux, a Pink Gold Perpetual Calendar Minute Repeating Tourbillon Wristwatch with Westminster Carillon Chimes and Leap Year Indication, Haute Horlogerie Opera Two Circa 2003 (Lot 2056) Est. HK$950,000 – 1.5 million / US$120,000 – 190,000
The Girard-Perregaux “Opera Two” is created based on “Opera One” with a perpetual calendar added to the other two highly coveted complications, namely minute repeater with carillon (Westminster Chime) and tourbillon, both of which are made visible through an aperture at six o’clock position, whereas the perpetual calendar is indicated by three subsidiary dials. The Westminster chime marks the hours, quarters and minutes with a delightful tune of four distinct notes struck by four hammers, referred to as the “Cambridge chime after the Church of St. Mary the Great in Cambridge.

Innovative Timepieces by Independent Masters
Richard Mille, a Limited Edition Carbon Composite Tonneau-Form Skeletonised Tourbillon Wristwatch RM027 Rafael Nadal (Lot 2266) Est. HK$2.4 – 3.2 million / US$310,000 – 410,000

Created specifically for tennis champion Rafael Nadal, RM027 is hailed as one of the world’s lightest watches. With a case of polymer carbon, an extremely light and strong revolutionary material, a tourbillon mechanism of titanium and LITAL®, combined with a Velcro strap, the watch is designed to minimise hindrance to the tennis player’s performance. The movement, which alone weighs only 3.83 grams, was factory-tested to withstand repeated 400G-force shocks in order to ensure its reliability in tennis games. This particular example offered is customised with a sapphire crystal top that replaces the original Grilamid material, which affords a clearer view of the depth and dimension of the highly complicated movement. Unveiled on the wrist of Nadal at Roland Garros in 2010, RM027 captured the world’s attention as the first watch worn by a top-rank tennis player in a public competition. The arrangement for Nadal to wear the watch in a public competition is a strong vote of confidence in the watch from both the player and the brand, which proved well deserved. Destined to be one of the most iconic and revolutionary sports watches ever made, only 50 were ever produced.

MB&F, an Extremely Fine and Impressive Limited Edition Pink Gold and Titanium Aerodynamic Wristwatch with Power Reserve Indication No 10/18 HM4 Thunderbolt RT Circa 2013 (Lot 2264) Est. HK$780,000 - 1 million / US$100,000 - 130,000
An abbreviation for “Maximillian Büsser & Friends”, MB&F is known for creating unconventional and original horological masterpieces. Launched in 2010, Horological Machine No 4 Thunderbolt (HM4) struck the watch world as one of the most visually spectacular and ingenious wristwatches it had ever seen. Despite its futuristic appearance, the HM4 was inspired by WWII aircrafts. The aerodynamic case and turbine-like pods resemble the sleek form and engines of a military plane. The marvellously three-dimensional movement consisting of 311 parts took three years to develop. In spite of its complex appearance, the HM4 is nevertheless highly practical with separate dials for time and power reserve display. Available in only 18 pieces in pink gold and titanium, none of them has ever appeared at auction.

Swatch & Art from the Dunkel Collection (Lot 2189) Estimate upon request
One of the largest known Swatch collections in private hands, this superlot comprises over 5,800 elements, featuring exclusive prototypes, limited and special edition Swatch watches from 1983 to 2007, along with collected artwork relating to Swatch designs, including the James Bond Villains Set.

Charity Lot
Panerai, a Special Edition DLC-Coated Stainless Steel Cushion-Form Wristwatch with 8-Day Power Reserve PAM00599 No 0/50 Luminor Marina 8 Days Made In 2014 (Lot 2140) Suggested Retail Price HK$82,000 / US$10,450

In 2006, Sotheby’s held a special Panerai sale which garnered tremendous attention in the watch collecting world and placed Panerai among the ranks of the top watch manufacturers from Switzerland. This season Sotheby’s is honoured to present the Panerai PAM00599 Luminor Marina 8-Day wristwatch created to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Revolution magazine – one of the most reputable publications in haute horology. The commemorative watch is offered by Panerai in the name of Mr Alan Bloore, an ardent collector of Panerai watches well known by his moniker “Hammer” on, a well-known forum where watch lovers share their passion for Panerai watches. The proceeds will benefit Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association, a non-profit organisation for sport, recreation and fitness for people with a physical disability or vision impairment in the Australian state of Queensland. All the elements involved in Panerai’s success today can be found in the PAM00599, which features the most iconic Luminor Marina case in black DLC-coating, as well as the in-house calibre P.5000 with two barrels supporting an 8-day power reserve. Launched in a limited edition of 50 pieces the current example is numbered 00/50.

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