Christie's presents a sale of extraordinary watches on May 24 in Hong Kong
24 May at Christie’s Watches Hong Kong: Presenting many of the world’s most complicated watches, alongside unique models that have never been seen before at auction.
The Champion Collection, Part III: The Artistry of Complications
Live Sale - Single Owner | 24 May 2022 | 73 lots
Total low estimate: HK$80,000,000 – CHF 9.7 MILLIONS – EUR 9.5 MILLIONS
Important Watches and The Rise of the Independent Watchmakers, featuring The Kairos Collection Part II
Live Sale - Various Owners | 24 May 2022 | 143 lots
Total low estimate: HK$93,990,000 – CHF 11.4 MILLIONS - EUR 11.1 MILLIONS
Following “The Champion Collection, Part II: Sport Elegance”, held in early April, Christie’s Hong Kong is thrilled to announce The Champion Collection journey with Part III: The Artistry of Complications, a single owner live sale which will be held on 24 May, showcasing rare treasures such as the Patek Philippe Ref. 5002 along with several references with special-coloured dials, for instance, a Ref. 5970R, Ref. 5020J, Ref. 5050J and Ref. 5059G. Other examples of Haute Horlogerie will be presented from Vacheron Constantin, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Greubel Forsey and Audemars Piguet.
The same day, 24 May, Christie’s Hong Kong will be holding a second live sale, The Important Watches Sale, which will feature selected pieces from The Kairos Collection, the finest collection of Patek Philippe contemporary timepieces ever to appear at auction. The selection presented under the Important Watches comprises 30 lots, including the Grandes Complications Ref. 5951P-012 and Ref. 5078R-001.
Among the other most extraordinary timepieces to be presented during this sale: a Patek Philippe Ref. 605HU and a Ref. 1415J, two Lange & Söhne 20th Anniversary Sets, a collection of 10 stunning timepieces by F.P. Journe, as well as limited editions by Maximilian Büsser & Friends LM.
Alexandre Bigler, Vice-President & Head of Watches Christie’s Asia Pacific, shared: “Christie’s Watches Hong Kong is privileged to bring these two blockbuster collections across two live sales. Part III of The Champion Collection is incredibly exciting and unique in including models that have never been seen before at auction, and in some cases, their existence was virtually unknown to collectors. As for the 30 lots consisting of Part II of The Kairos Collection, each watch in the collection is in fantastic condition. Rarely do collections arise with such an extreme focus on contemporary timepieces and pristine condition.”
The Champion Collection Part III: The Artistry of Complications
Comprising almost 450 modern and contemporary significant and iconic timepieces by all the major watch brands, this marvellous collection was formed over nearly 20 years by a prominent private collector whose discernment, excellent taste and deep appreciation of the highest level of horology can now be shared with collectors worldwide. The marques represented in The Champion Collection include Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Rolex, Panerai, IWC and Vacheron Constantin.
Christie’s Hong Kong, working closely with the collector, curated the vast array of exceptional timepieces into 6 thematically distinct sales over a period of 12 months. The cycle was off to a flying start last November with The Champion Collection, Part I achieving HK$121 million. Part II: Sport Elegance opened the 2022 season in Hong Kong with a stunning collection of iconic ‘sport chic’ watches, 120 lots that realised a total of HK$26 million (EUR 3 Millions). The upcoming Part III: The Artistry of Complications will bookend the first half of the year on 24 May 2022, with 73 lots and a total low estimate set at HK$80 million ((EUR 9.5 Millions).
The epic watch sale series will continue to unfold in the second half of 2022, with The Champion Collection, Part IV: The Panerai Encyclopedia – Chapter I comprising 85 Panerai timepieces, and The Champion Collection, Part V: The Panerai Encyclopedia – Final Chapter with a further 83 highly sought-after Panerais coming to auction online.
Concluding the year will be a single owner live sale presenting the series finale, The Champion Collection, Part VI: The Finest Watchmaking, led by 83 timepieces, among which stunning Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin enamel watches.
The top of The Artistry of Complications
Lot 2273 - Patek Philippe Ref. 5002. Sky Moon Tourbillon. Only 7 pieces of this magnificent and highly complicated 18k pink gold double-dial wristwatch are known to exist. With two dials and twelve complications, including a cathédrale minute repeater, tourbillon, perpetual calendar with retrograde date, moon age and angular motion, sidereal time and sky chart.
Christie’s is delighted to offer this exceptional rose gold reference 5002R, one of the rarest versions as a total of only 25 pieces were made – in comparison with 40 pieces each in yellow gold and platinum. To date, only five other examples of the rose gold Sky Moon Tourbillon have returned to the market. Produced between 2001 and 2012 (the rose gold version was introduced in 2002), its technical complexity and brilliance caused a sensation. This ultra-exclusive Patek Philippe Grande Complication is presented in superlative condition with a full set of accessories and the impeccable provenance of The Champion Collection, one of the world’s greatest.
The term ‘masterpiece’ is used quite deservedly for all of Patek Philippe’s complicated watches. However, the reference 5002 Sky Moon Tourbillon holds a very special place amongst Patek Philippe’s greatest horological achievements. It was the most complicated wristwatch ever made by the Maison at the time, and available only by invitation and interview to Patek Philippe’s most important clients. Naturally, as one of the world’s most respected collectors and connoisseurs, the owner of The Champion Collection was among the chosen few.
Inspired by the famous ‘Star Calibre 2000’, a double-dialled pocket watch made to commemorate the new Millennium, the Sky Moon Tourbillon has two dials. The first displaying mean solar time, retrograde perpetual calendar and phases of the moon. The other side features the sky chart, a map of the night sky in the Northern Hemisphere.
(Est: HK$10,000,000-20,000,000 – EUR 1.18 Million – CHF 1.22 Million)
Rare Patek Philippe wristwatches with special-coloured dials
Lot 2258 - Patek Philippe Ref. 5970R with black dial. The only known, possibly unique 18k pink gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon phases, 24-hour and leap year indication with black dial.
Unique versions of arguably Patek Philippe’s most important and symbolic of complications, the perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch, are one of the ultimate ownership goals of collectors worldwide. The present watch is one such elevated timepiece, being the only publicly known reference 5970R-019 – rose gold with a black dial, fully confirmed by the original Certificate of Origin.
The rose gold version of the 5970 is usually fitted with a silvered dial, so that the unexpected black dial of this watch with rose gold numerals gives it a dramatic new aesthetic. Furthermore, production of the rose (and white) gold 5970s ceased in 2007 and production of the reference ceased entirely in 2010.
The present watch, sold at the Patek Philippe salon in Geneva to its current owner in 2016, almost a decade after the pink gold version was discontinued, is one of the most significant watches of the reference in private hands.
As Patek Philippe’s unique complicated watches were only ever created for the company’s best clients, the owner of The Champion Collection was favoured with special pieces of the highest exclusivity. The privileged ownership of this superb one-off reference 5970R can now pass to another fortunate collector.
Lot 2256 - Patek Philippe Ref. 5020J with brown dial. The only known and possibly unique exemplar of the 18k gold cushion-shaped perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon phases, 24 hour, leap year indication and brown dial with Breguet numerals.
One of the stand-out Patek Philippe special-order watches that are the jewels in the crown of The Champion Collection, this probably unique reference 5020 with stunning confirmed brown dial and the great exclusivity of its own reference number (5020J-016), can be considered one of the most important examples of the already extremely rare reference 5020 cushion-shaped perpetual calendar chronograph. Almost certainly made by special request as an ‘out of series’ piece with its unique brown dial, the highly individual aesthetic of the watch places it among the most desirable of Patek Philippe’s 21st century perpetual calendar chronographs.
The standard production 5020 – manual winding perpetual calendar with chronograph – was introduced in 1994 and discontinued in 2002. The case of the present watch dates from 1994 and its movement, calibre 27 70 Q dates from 2010. Therefore, the case is from the first year of production, but the movement was made almost 8 years after production of the 5020 ended. Such ‘out of series’ watches were created using pristine old stock cases with movements that are unrelated in date. They were usually made on the specific instructions of Mr. Stern for very special clients, such as the owner of The Champion Collection. The probably unique brown dial and the fact that this watch was provided with a specific individual reference number confirm its legitimacy as a fully formed model in its own right and as such, an extreme rarity and prize catch for the Patek Philippe collector. Reference 5020 was available in yellow, pink, and white gold, as well as platinum. It is believed that only 750 examples of this reference were ever made in total.
Lot 2247 - Patek Philippe Ref. 5050J with slate grey dial. An extremely rare 18k gold automatic perpetual calendar wristwatch with retrograde date, leap year indication, moon phases and slate grey dial with Breguet numerals.
With highly appealing and very unusual, grey-coloured dial, this yellow gold reference 5050J-023 is one of the ultra-exclusive ‘London Edition’ series that were created in 2015 at the request of Philippe Stern using new old stock cases and movements. It is thought that a maximum of five pieces were made with a grey dial and were only available to those collectors who were personally known to Mr. Stern. To the best of our knowledge, the present watch is only the third example known publicly. Furthermore, it is preserved in like-new condition and is accompanied by the full set of accessories.
Such "out of series" late production watches are fascinating to collectors and are among the rarest pieces of the reference. The standard production 5050 – automatic perpetual calendar with retrograde date, was introduced in 1993 and discontinued in 2002. The case of the present watch dates from 1994 and its movement, calibre 315-136 dates from 2004. Therefore, the case is from the first two years of reference 5050 production and the movement from towards the end of the 5050s successor reference 5059s production (which used the same calibre) and was discontinued in 2006.
Lot 2251 - Patek Philippe Ref. 5059G with salmon dial. A possibly unique and only known 18k white gold automatic perpetual calendar wristwatch with sweep centre seconds, retrograde date, moon phases, leap year indication and rose dial.
This extraordinary salmon dial reference 5059G-018 is the first example ever to be offered at auction and can be considered one of the most important individual watches of the reference 5059. It is exceptional not only for its incredibly rare and rich salmon-coloured dial with raised gold Roman numerals, but also as the only known example of any reference 5059 in which the movement bears Patek Philippe’s ‘PP’ certification of excellence mark on its movement instead of the traditional ‘Geneva seal’ found on all other known examples.
According to the foremost Patek Philippe scholars, the present watch is the only known example of reference 5059 with its movement bearing the Patek Philippe of ‘PP’ seal of excellence instead of the earlier ‘Geneva Seal’ stamp. The Geneva Seal, or Poinçon de Genève, has for many decades been considered the ultimate standard in watchmaking. However, it only controlled the standard of finishing and decoration of the watch movement. Testing for precision was an optional part of achieving the Geneva Seal. Thus in 2009, Patek Philippe decided to create their own ‘PP Seal’ standard of excellence which covered almost every aspect of the watch, up to and including, the ownership experience. In 2012, the criteria for the Geneva Seal were upgraded in response.
Introduced in 1998, it was the first serially produced perpetual calendar wristwatch with retrograde date to be made by Patek Philippe. It was also the first model since the legendary reference 2497 and 2438-1 to have a sweep centre seconds on a perpetual calendar watch. The model is distinctive for its officier style case with elongated lugs with screwed bars and hinged back and display cuvette. The movement is the automatic calibre 315 with 21K gold rotor, the fascinating retrograde date function is part of the perpetual calendar mechanism whereby at the end of each month the date hand instantly ‘flies’ back to 1.
Marvels of Haute Horlogerie
Lot 2212 – Vacheron Constantin. An extremely rare and exceptional limited edition platinum skeletonised minute repeating wristwatch. Limited to 15 pieces, this is No.1. Circa 2006.
Lot 2216 – A very rare and impressive Jaeger-LeCoultre platinum semi-skeletonised spherical tourbillon wristwatch with 24 hour display and power reserve, and Reverso Gyrotourbillon 2 model. Limited to 75 pieces, this example is from circa 2008.
Lot 2218 – An impressive, highly complicated and very rare Jules Audemars Grande Complication model, Ref. 25866PT, platinum automatic minute repeating perpetual calendar split seconds chronograph wristwatch with leap year indication, number of week and moon phases. Circa 2004.
Lot 2219 – Greubel Forsey Invention Piece 2 Model. An extremely rare and magnificent platinum limited edition asymmetrical wristwatch with differential quadruple tourbillon and power reserve. Limited to 11 pieces, this example is No. 1/11. Circa 2010.
Lot 2265 – A Patek Philippe Ref. 5004A is an extremely rare and important stainless steel perpetual calendar split seconds chronograph wristwatch with moon phases, 24 hour and leap year indication. Possibly 60 pieces made, 9 known and fresh to the market, this example is from circa 2012.
Lot 2270 – Patek Philippe Ref. 5275P is an exceptional and very rare platinum limited edition hour striking wristwatch with jumping hour, minute and second, made for the 175th Anniversary of Patek Philippe in 2014. 175 pieces were made.
Important Watches and The Rise of the Independent Watchmakers, featuring The Kairos Collection Part II
Patek Philippe World Times masterpieces from the 1940s
Lot 2443 - Patek Philippe Ref. 605HU. The present yellow gold Ref. 605 HU is a superb and extremely well-preserved example of Patek Philippe’s world time watches with cloisonné enamel dial. Patek Philippe's reference 605 HU (Heure Universelle) World Time dress watches with cloisonné enamel dial are among the most beautiful horological masterpieces of the marque’s 20th century production.
Manufactured in 1948, and sold in 1954, this magnificent exemplar of Haute Horlogerie, one of the earliest to avail itself of Louis Cottier’s world time system, and created under Cottier’s direct supervision, is presented for the first time at auction. Among the 95 pieces produced by Louis Cottier and Patek Philippe from 1939 to 1964, only 3 examples in yellow gold, with an enamel map depicting the entire globe, are known to have survived. One is displayed at the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva, one in a private collection and this one, which is being presented at auction for the first time at Christie’s in Hong Kong.
Lot 2442 - This exceptional and very rare 18k gold world time wristwatch Ref. 1415J, manufactured in 1949, is for the first time at auction.
Surviving for over 70 years in astoundingly crisp and original condition, it gives collectors and those who search for objects of unsurpassed quality, the opportunity to possess a previously unknown reference 1415J, one of Patek Philippe’s most sought after ‘golden age’ classic references. Carefully preserved over the years as part of a private collection, its exclusivity and desirability is greatly enhanced by its excellent original condition.
A further layer of rarity is bestowed upon the present watch as one of the small number known publicly with both the post-1948 ‘short’ Patek Philippe signature and the names of the world cities in English. From a total of 115 reference 1415 made, 82 were in a yellow gold case and around 65 of those have a silvered dial. Of those watches, fewer than twenty bear a fully applied hour marker dial with ‘short’ signature and “Lys” shape hands. Furthermore, less than half-a-dozen have been identified in such incredible original condition.
The Lange & Söhne 20th Anniversary Sets
Lots 2351, 2352 - Lange & Söhne. Lange 1 20th Anniversary Set. Fresh to the market, this superb white gold pair of ‘His & Hers’ Lange 1 20th Anniversary wristwatches are, to the best of our knowledge, the first set in white gold to be presented at auction.
This special pairing of the legendary ‘Lange 1’ and ‘Little Lange 1’ was made to celebrate ‘togetherness’ for the 20th Anniversary of the now iconic Lange 1 model that was launched in 1994 and re-established the reputation of the historic brand for the modern era. Debuted at the Hong Kong Watches & Wonders fair in 2014, A. Lange & Söhne introduced five different pairings of the Lange 1 20th Anniversary sets, a limited edition of 20 pieces being made of each type. These highly exclusive sets of two watches comprise a Lange 1 (38.5 mm.) and a Little Lange 1 (36.1 mm).
Lot 2351-Ref.811.063 The Little Lange 1
18k white gold and diamond-set limited edition wristwatch with date and power reserve.
Lot 2352-Ref.101.063 The Lange 1
18k white gold limited edition wristwatch with date and power reserve.
Lots 2347, 2348, 2349 - Lange & Söhne. The Hourglass 20th Anniversary Set. Never before seen at auction, Christie’s is very proud to present for the first time, this exceptional and important set of three baguette diamond-set platinum Lange & Söhne wristwatches produced exclusively as a special edition for the 20th Anniversary of the Japan boutiques of the highly prestigious retailer ‘Hourglass’ which was founded in 1996.
Only available to buy in the full set of three and offered to select VIP clients of Hourglass, each watch is a very special example of one of Lange & Söhne’s iconic and most revered models. Further underlining the importance of the edition, each model made for the set was given its own new reference number to distinguish it as a special series, standing apart from regular production watches.
Lot 2347-Ref. 405.836 Datograph Up/Down – platinum, set with 36 Top Wesselton, IF-VVS quality baguette cut diamonds on the bezel weighing a total of 4.5 carats. Movement Lange calibre 951.6.
Lot 2348-Ref. 310.836 Langematik Perpetual - platinum, set with 36 Top Wesselton, IF-VVS quality baguette cut diamonds on the bezel weighing a total of 3.1 carats. Movement Lange calibre 922.1.
Lot 2349-Ref. 320.836 Lange 1 Daymatic - platinum, set with 36 Top Wesselton, IF-VVS quality baguette cut diamonds on the bezel weighing a total of 2.5 carats. Movement Lange calibre 021.1.
A journey across the F.P. Journe universe in 10 timepieces
Lot 2382 - F.P. Journe T10 Anniversary Tourbillon model No. 01/10-T10. An extremely rare platinum limited edition Tourbillon wristwatch, celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the first F.P. Journe boutique in Tokyo.
Of all F.P. Journe rarities, the T-10 Anniversary Tourbillon is probably the ultimate, so rare that it has gained an almost mythical quality. Christie’s is therefore extremely excited to be able to offer for the first time at auction an example of the platinum 10 Year Anniversary Tourbillon of which only 10 pieces exist in the world. Very few people have ever been fortunate enough to have ever seen this ultra-exclusive watch in reality, even fewer have possessed it. The present watch offers collectors of F.P. Journe and those who pursue the rarest statement timepieces an exceptional and unheard-of opportunity to acquire a T-10 Tourbillon at auction.
Lot 2383 - F.P. Journe Sonnerie Souveraine. An important and very rare stainless steel Grand Sonnerie, Petite Sonnerie and Minute Repeating wristwatch with power reserve and function selector.
F.P. Journe’s steel cased minute repeater with a Grande and Petite Sonnerie is a masterpiece that very few watchmakers in the world are capable of producing. In recognition of F.P. Journe’s incredible achievement, the Sonnerie Souveraine won the tremendous accolade of First Prize in the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève in 2006. Only four pieces of this extremely exclusive model were made each year; consequently, it is very rarely offered at international auction. Presented in superb and pristine condition, the present watch, ‘baptised’ with the original owner’s name, is accompanied by the original steel full bracelet, Certificate and full set of original accessories.
Lot 2380 - F.P. Journe Resonance Ruthenium model. A rare platinum limited edition Dual Time chronometer wristwatch with Resonance-controlled Twin Independent Gear-Train movement and power reserve.
This limited edition Ruthenium Chronomètre à Résonance is number 93 of only 99 pieces made between 2001 and 2003. This special series in platinum was produced at the end of the period when F.P. Journe was using brass movements. From 2004 onwards, Journe’s movements have famously been made from 18K gold. With the tremendous and continually growing interest in François-Paul Journe’s work, collectors have focused their attention on the early production and pre-production watches with brass movements. Consequently these watches which are an important part of F.P. Journe history have become extremely sought after and very difficult to obtain. The Chronomètre à Résonance model, so closely associated with François-Paul Journe, is particularly desirable. Furthermore, the brass movements of this edition are coated with ruthenium as are the solid 18K gold dials which are regarded as perhaps the most beautiful of all early Journe dials.
Limited editions from Maximilian Büsser & Friends
Lot 2370 – Maximilian Büsser & Friends Legacy Machine Perpetual model. A rare 18k pink gold limited edition semi-skeletonised perpetual calendar wristwatch with leap year indication.
The stunning Legacy Machine Perpetual is a horological masterpiece that in true MB&F style presents an entirely new concept for one of the most traditional watch complications, the perpetual calendar. A collaboration between MB&F and independent watchmaker Stephen McDonnell, together they rethought the perpetual calendar complication from the ground up in order to develop a system that is both more user friendly and more reliable in operation. The result is not only highly impressive in appearance, but it also seamlessly integrates the new perpetual calendar system into MB&F’s Legacy Machine family as a creation of breathtaking three-dimensional beauty. Furthermore, because this new system is constructed in an entirely different way to a conventional perpetual calendar mechanism, it provided the opportunity for MB&F to construct a movement with an aesthetic that was not technically possible before.
The present 18K red gold version is number 14 of a limited edition of 25 pieces, it is offered in extremely fine condition together with the full set of accessories.
Lot 2369 – Maximilian Büsser & Friends Legacy Machine No.1, “LM1” XIA HANG. The first of a very rare 18k rose gold limited edition of 12 wristwatches with independent dual time and vertical power reserve.
Illustrating MB&F’s commitment to collaborative watchmaking and the creation of watches as sculptural works of art for the wrist, the LM1 Xia Hang was conceived as a ‘Performance Art’ piece and a treat for the eyes. This special Legacy Machine 1 was made as a limited edition in collaboration between MB&F and the talented young Chinese artist Xia Hang.
Inspired by 19th century pocket watches, Legacy Machine 1 has three distinct characteristics; a unique flying balance wheel; independent dual time zones and most intriguing of all, a vertical power reserve indicator. It is with this vertical power reserve indicator, a first for watchmaking, that Xia Hang has performed his artistic alchemy: the power reserve arm has been replaced by a miniature, highly-polished articulated creature, one of Xia Hang’s so-called ‘comma men’. These miniature masterpieces are reductions of the artist’s full-size sculptures. When the power is low, the ‘comma man’ bends his back and slumps down. Upon winding, the little figure lifts his head and straightens his back to show that the power reserve is restored. The dual time zones where the hours and the minutes are displayed on each of the two sub dials can be set completely independently of each other with the two crowns.
Curated from The Kairos Collection
The Christie’s Hong Kong Important Watches Sale on 24 May will also feature selected pieces from The Kairos Collection – the finest collection of Patek Philippe contemporary timepieces ever to appear at auction. Curated by a private collector with a discerning eye for excellence and the ability to acquire the rarest watches, The Kairos Collection is the fruit of years of dedicated focus and a passion for the most prestigious of provenances, with every single timepiece in absolutely pristine condition.
30 timepieces will be presented in Geneva on 9 May, 30 pieces in Hong Kong on 24 May, and 68 pieces for the finale in New York on 8 June. Among the 30 pieces offered in Hong Kong, highlights include fabled Grande Complications, such as the following Ref. 5951P-012 and Ref. 5078R-001.
Lot 2412 - Patek Philippe Ref. 5951P-012, a rare platinum cushion-shaped Perpetual Calendar split seconds chronograph wristwatch with moon phases, Day/Night, leap year indication and lacquered white dial with black Breguet numerals. This Grande Complication wristwatch is the perfect representation of why Patek Philippe’s position as the world’s premier watch brand remains unassailable. A magnificent and highly exclusive tour-de-force of haute horology, it is the first example of a reference 5951P-012 ever to be offered at international auction. Christie’s is therefore extremely honoured to present this full-set example of the highly important platinum ‘Coussin Tortue’ perpetual calendar with split-seconds chronograph and white lacquered dial with black Breguet numerals, a model that was in production for only one year.
Lot 2413 – Patek Philippe 5078R-001 18k pink gold automatic Minute Repeating wristwatch with enamel dial. One of the most elegant and pure models of Patek Philippe’s extraordinary minute repeating wristwatches, this pink gold automatic reference 5078R-001 is also one of the rarest. The reference 5078 is so cherished by those fortunate enough to possess it that in the 14 years since launch, only 13 examples in all metals have ever returned to the market. The present watch is, to the best of our knowledge, only the second example in pink gold ever to be presented at auction.
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