NEW YORK, NY.- Sothebys
announced highlights from the upcoming Important Watches auction on 11 December, which features an exceptional collection of vintage and modern timepieces from Patek Philippe, Rolex, Jaeger-LeCoultre and more. The full selection of more than 270 pieces on offer will open for public exhibition in Sothebys New York galleries beginning 5 December.
VINTAGE PATEK PHILIPPE WRISTWATCHES
The December auction is distinguished by an exceptional selection of vintage Patek Philippe wristwatches, highlighted by the Ref 1518 First Series, Enamel Hour Markers, An Extremely Rare and Highly Attractive Pink Gold Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Wristwatch with Moon Phases, made in 1946 (estimate $300/500,000). Introduced in 1941, the Ref 1518 is an important part of Patek Philippes history as the firms first perpetual chronograph wristwatch made in series, influencing the perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatches that followed. Of the 281 examples that were made, scholarship suggests that only 34 examples were encased in pink gold. The present example is an extremely rare variant of this reference with its silvered dial featuring hard enamel Arabic hour markers. With roughly only 20 watches produced per year, the highly sought after and rare Ref 1518 has become a staple piece within vintage connoisseurs' collections.
Other vintage highlights include the Ref 130, A Stainless Steel Chronograph Wristwatch, made in 1947 (estimate $100/200,000); and the Ref 3448, A Yellow Gold Perpetual Calendar Wristwatch with Moon Phases Hard Enamel Signature and Pearl Minute Markers, made in 1970 a highly popular reference representing the very first automatic perpetual calendar produced in a series (estimate $150/250,000).
COMPLICATED MODERN PATEK PHILIPPE WRISTWATCHES
A Ref 5021, An Exceptionally Rare and Fine Platinum and Diamond-Set Cushion-Shaped Automatic Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Wristwatch with Moon Phases 24 Hour and Leap Year Indication, made in 1997 leads an exceptional selection of Patek Philippe minute repeaters (estimate $400/600,000). An exceedingly rare variant of the reference 5020, only two examples of the Ref 5021 in platinum including of the present watch have appeared at auction. Made with pavé-set diamond bezel and lugs, black lacquer dials and chaton-set diamond marker, the Ref 5021s unusual case design houses the legendary Lemania based Cal M.27-70/155 with Geneva Seal.
A selection of modern Patek Philippe wristwatches with possibly unique dials are highlighted by the Ref 5020G Luminous Grey Dial, A Possibly Unique White Gold Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Wristwatch with Moon Phases and Leap Year Indication, made in 2009 (estimate $350/550,000). Launched in 1994, the 5020 also known as the TV screen due to its cushion-shaped case design is an extremely rare variant of Patek Philippe's most important series, the perpetual calendar chronograph. The reference was only in production for about eight years and fewer than 800 pieces were made in total, with only 100 pieces housed in white gold. Appearing at auction for the first time, the rare example features a special-order grey dial featuring Breguet 12, tachymeter scale and six luminous numerals and hands.
The offering of modern Patek Philippes is further highlighted by the Ref 3970/2, A Possibly Unique Yellow Gold Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Wristwatch with Bracelet and Moon Phases, made in 2008 (estimate $150/250,000). The present watch features a black dial with a tachymeter scale and an applied Breguet numeral at 12 o'clock and applied dot hour markers. Only a handful of examples in yellow gold of the extremely rare reference are known to date. Appearing at auction for the first time, the watch is offered in its original Patek Philippe single-factory seal.
IMPORTANT PATEK PHILIPPE MINUTE REPEATING WRISTWATCHES
An exceptional selection of Patek Philippe minute repeaters are led by the Ref 5033, A Platinum Automatic Annual Calendar Minute Repeating Wristwatch, introduced in 2002, and according to scholarship, produced in a series of fewer than 80 pieces for the reference were produced (estimate $230/350,000); Ref 5013, A Pink Gold Minute Repeating Perpetual Calendar Wristwatch with Retrograde Date Moon Phases and Leap Year Indication, made in 2000 the firms most complicated wristwatch made in a series and the first wristwatch to combine an automatic movement with minute repeater, retrograde date and perpetual calendar (estimate $250/350,000); and Ref 5079J, A Yellow Gold Minute Repeating Wristwatch with Enamel Dial, made in 2001 (estimate $200/300,000). Only about 70 known examples were made within a five-year period before the reference was retired.
A CELEBRATION OF THE PATEK PHILIPPE NAUTILUS
Patek Philippes Ref 5723 Nautilus, A Pink Gold and Diamond-Set Bracelet Watch with Date and Pink Dial, circa 2014 highlights a selection of 15 Nautilus wristwatches (estimate $200/300,000). The Ref 5723 represents the firms desire to create highly exclusive models further embellished with precious stones. Appearing at auction for the first time, the iconic sports watch is rendered with baguette diamonds, diamond indexes and a rare pink dial. The offering of Nautilus wristwatches are further highlighted by the Ref 5711/1P Nautilus, A Platinum Automatic Wristwatch with Date and Bracelet Made to Commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the Nautilus circa 2016 (estimate $150/300,000). To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Nautilus in 2016, the firm produced a limited edition of 700 watches enhanced with an embossed logo at 6 o'clock reading "40 1976-2016", and diamond-set hour markers.
TIMEPIECES WITH OUTSTANDING PROVENANCE
The sale offers a number of watches with exceptional provenance, including a Mellerio Pink Gold Rectangular Wristwatch, circa 1975, previously in the collection of actress Carrie Fisher, most famous for her role as Princess Leia in Star Wars, among other iconic turns (estimate $10/15,000); a Patek Philippe Ref 2508, A Stainless Steel Center Seconds Wristwatch, made in 1955, on offer from the collection of classical guitarist Angel Romero (estimate $70/90,000); and a Rolex Ref 1675 GMT-Master, A Stainless Steel Automatic Dual Time Wristwatch with Date and Bracelet, circa 1972, on offer from photographer Michael Ginsburg, who worked as a photojournalist for renowned publications such as New York Magazine, Life, and Newsweek, and as a stills photographer on the sets of major motion pictures (estimate $12/18,000). Wearing his Rolex GMT-Master, he immortalized iconic scenes from films such as Ghostbusters (1984), The Big Chill (1983), and The Warriors (1979), among many others.
VINTAGE ROLEX WRISTWATCHES
Vintage wristwatches by Rolex are highlighted by a Ref 5508 Submariner Small Crown, A Stainless Steel Automatic Center Seconds Wristwatch with Bracelet, circa 1958 (estimate $120/220,000). Manufactured between 1958 and 1962, the reference 5508 was the last Submariner to be made without crown guards and carry a depth rating of 100m. Part of the James Bond family of Submariners, reference 5508 is distinguished from the 6538 by its smaller crown.
Also on offer is the Ref 6036, A Stainless Steel Triple Calendar Chronograph Wristwatch, circa 1952 (estimate $150/250,000). Associated with the legendary French Olympic gold medal winning skier, Rolex Ambassador and board member Jean-Claude Killy, the watch housed a Valjoux 72C movement, considered one of the most sophisticated and complex movements ever to be used by Rolex. The present example descended through the family of the original owner, and has never appeared at auction.
Produced for a limited time between 1965 and 1969, the Ref 6240 Paul Newman Daytona, A Stainless Steel Chronograph Wristwatch with Bracelet, circa 1967 was the first water resistant Cosmograph Daytona (estimate $200/300,000). The present watch retains its original screw-down pushers, and retains its highly attractive Paul Newman exotic dial.
IMPRESSIVE COMPLICATED WRISTWATCHES
The sale is rounded out by impressive complicated watches, highlighted by the Cartier Ref 3367 Calibre de Cartier Grand Complication, A Platinum Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Single-Button Chronograph Wristwatch with Eight Day Power Reserve circa 2011, belonging to a limited run of 25 pieces (estimate $80/120,000); A Jaeger-LeCoultre Duometre Spherotourbillon, A Limited Edition Platinum Dual Time Zone Tourbillon Wristwatch with Date and Flyback Seconds circa 2012 (estimate $80/120,000); and an Audemars Piguet Ref 26470PT.00.1000PT.01 Royal Oak Offshore, A Very Heavy Limited Edition Platinum and Ceramic Chronograph Bracelet Watch with Date, circa 2017 (estimate $70/90,000). Released in 2017 at SIHH in Geneva, the rare watch is one of only 50 pieces made.