upcoming auction of Important Watches in Geneva will bring together a particularly attractive selection of fine and rare timepieces to suit every collecting style. Highlights from the sale, to be held on Sunday, 12 November at Mandarin Oriental, Geneva, include a very fine selection of vintage and modern watches from the most prominent brands, including Patek Philippe, Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin, F.P. Journe and Richard Mille. Furthermore, Sotheby's will present a highly interesting collection of Urban Jürgensen watches which will be auctioed for the first time.
Standout wristwatches by Patek Philippe include a 1974 example of the reference 3448 - the first automatic perpetual calendar ever made in series a highly attractive reference 2526 in pink gold with enamel dial and a spectacular Astronomical watch, the reference 5102G, featuring a dynamic celestial chart of the Northern Hemisphere.
For the upcoming sale in November, we have carefully assembled a wide range of fine and rare watches to suit every collector, from the connoisseur searching for an exceptional piece, to watch lovers seeking to build on to their collection or enhance their personal style. This autumn selection includes prestigious watchmakers Patek Philippe, Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin and Cartier, as well as a remarkable collection of watches and pocket watches by Urban Jürgensen. --Mikael Wallhagen, Head of Sothebys Watch Department, Geneva
PATEK PHILIPPE CELESTIAL
Launched in 2002, Patek Philippes Celestial (reference 5102) is one of the most important horological complications ever developed. Its introduction allowed the remarkable rendition of the Northern Hemispheres celestial chart to be fitted dynamically upon the wrist for the first time. This Astronomical wristwatch in white gold is a spectacular example (Lot 338, Estimate CHF 120,000 180.000 / US$ 124,000 185,000).
When Patek Philippes wristwatch reference 3448 was first introduced in 1962, it was not only the first automatic perpetual calendar made in series by Patek Philippe, but the first by any company. With its pared-back, more angular design and linear display of the day and month, the reference represented a departure from the classic rounded cases and lugs of previous models (Lot 337, Estimate CHF 120,000 180,000 / US$ 124,000 185,000).
Also standing out in the selection of vintage wristwatches on offer is a rare Patek Philippe reference 2526. The case, bezel and link bracelet in 18-carat pink gold beautifully complement this references stunning and rich enamel dial. Together with the superlative 12-600 AT calibre the manufactures very first self-winding movement this example from 1955 offers collectors the opportunity to own one of this prestigious brands finest time-only watches made in series (Lot 175, Estimate CHF 15,000 25,000 / US$ 15,500 25,700).
Audemars Piguets Royal Oak was a revolutionary new design launched in 1972, a sporty yet elegant timepiece in steel. This is an early example of the watch created by Gerald Genta which, with its daring octagonal bezel and tapisserie dial, took the world by storm following its launch at the Basel Swiss Watch Fair that very year (Lot 282, Estimate CHF 15,000 30,000 / US$ 15,500 30,900).
Tudor, a sister company of Rolex, was founded in the late 1940s and their watches have since become collectors items thanks to their extreme durability and appealing looks. The chronograph version was introduced in 1970, featuring bold shapes, impressive cases, graphic lines and bright colours. This model, nicknamed Monte Carlo by collectors, demonstrates the references strong visual identity and uncompromising quality (Lot 127, Estimate CHF 12,000 18,000 / US$ 12,400 18,500).
This year marks 100 years since Louis Cartier designed the brands iconic Tank watch: the effortlessly elegant wristwatch which defied the conventional distinctions between mens and ladies watches with its rigorously linear shape. In November, Sotheby's will offer a fine selection of Cartier Tank watches, led by this timeless reversible model in yellow gold from around 1950 (Lot 241, Estimate CHF 5,000 7,000 / US$ 5,140 7,200).
The auction on 12 November will include a collection of 8 watches by Urban Jürgensen, whose horological genius built on the impressive legacy of his watchmaking father, Jürgen Jürgensen. The dynastys rich history was later further enriched in the 20th century by the collaboration between talented Swiss watchmaker Peter Baumgartner and Englishman Derek Pratt, one of the most brilliant watchmakers of the 20th and 21st centuries. Together, they developed a new tourbillon with one-second remontoire and twin mainspring barrels, taking the tradition to a new level. The leading watch in this collection which features this rarest and most sophisticated version of Derek Pratts invention - is an outstanding example of the collaboration which marked a masterful chapter in the companys illustrious history (Lot 273, Estimate CHF 60,000 100,000 / US$ 62,000 103,000).
The selection of timepieces in the sale by watchmaking reference Patek Philippe also includes a superb bespoke enameled pocket watch illustrated with The Burton Hunt, a legendary fox hunt. The exquisite enamel work for this unique piece was carried out by G. Menni, one of the most reputable enamellers in the field in the late 20th century, who painted some 50 miniatures for Patek Philippe. The flawless miniaturized painting featured on the case back of this piece was inspired by a work by English painter John E. Ferneley (1782 1860) (Lot 334, Estimate CHF 200,000 300,000 / US$ 206,000 309,000).
VACHERON CONSTANTIN MÉTIERS DART: Les Masques
The sale in November will offer a unique opportunity for collectors to acquire a collection of four watches from Vacheron Constantins famed « Les Masques » series, which was originally launched in 2007. The then-CEO, Juan-Carlos Torres, found inspiration for these stunning visual creations by visiting the globally-renowned Barbier-Mueller museum in Geneva, which houses a world-class collection of works of art from tribal and classical antiquity. Just as the art which inspired them, these beautiful watches whose dials are adorned with striking three-dimensional masks bring together aesthetics and functionality in a celebration of Vacheron Constantins creativity and craftsmanship (Lot 142, Estimate CHF 260,000 430,000 / US$ 268,000 442,000).
Showcasing the most advanced movements in Cartier Fine Watchmaking, the famous Rotonde collection will be represented in the autumn sale by a limited-edition Nobium-Titanium automatic wristwatch featuring the incredibly innovative in-house calibre 9800MC, the crowning feature of which is the remarkable Astroregulateur complication, devised by Cartiers master watchmaker as an alternative to the standard tourbillon. The watch is exquisitely finished with generous but harmonius proportions: quintessentially Cartier (Lot 231, Estimate CHF 80,000 120,000 / US$ 82,500 124,000).
RICHARD MILLE: Rafael Nadal
Innovative independent watchmaker Richard Mille is renowned for taking sports watches to a whole new level. In 2010, they launched the first of a series of ultra-light wristwatches inspired by the sporting prowess and stamina of tennis legend, Rafael Nadal. This manual winding watch from the RM-35-01 range features a tourbillon one of the most delicate complications in watchmaking but the exceptionally resilient design of this series, along with the incredibly light materials used, allows the Spaniard to wear the watches even during his most competitive matches (Lot 228, CHF 50,000 80,000 / US$ 51,500 82,500).