T he highly anticipated Important Watches sale (11 July, Hong Kong) features 313 lots, offering a superb selection of chronometers from Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Rolex, Philippe Dufour and more. Within this abundance of spectacular watches, Sotheby’s watch specialists choose and share the timepieces that have caught their eyes. John Chan discusses the singular aesthetics and features of unique Rolex watches, Joey Luk introduces luxurious watches that showcase enameling of the highest level, and Bryan Li selects alternative timepieces of idiosyncratic design.
The Rolex Allure
John Chan discusses the singular aesthetics and features of unique Rolex watches. Scroll through the selection below to discover fascinating history behind these watches.
Rolex Platinum Zenith Caliber Daytona
Rolex Daytona with UAE Quraysh Hawk Dial
Rolex Submariner "Explorer Dial"
Rolex Daytona with Test Dial
Rolex Daytona with Citrus Dial
Rolex “Comex” Sea-Dweller
“Double Red” Sea-Dweller
Bryan Li selects alternative timepieces of idiosyncratic design, which deliver innovative and often futuristic visions of horology. Click on the slideshow below to see the timepieces that take watch design to the next level.
Enamel Works of Art
Joey Luk highlights timepieces that display enamel work of the highest craftsmanship, paintings in miniature that elevate these watches to veritable works of art. Browse the examples below to see works of stunning beauty.
Vacheron Constantin Le Cabinotiers with Champlevé Enamel Dial Depicting Koi Fish
Master Enamelist Laurent from Vacheron Constantin designed the dial, drawing inspiration from katanas and tsuba engravings from Edo period Japan. The champlevé enameling technique used here is masterfully executed, with vibrant colors of autumn leaves, delicate engraving that details fine fish scales, and an sense of translucence that make the koi appear as if they were underwater. The result is absolutely stunning.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso À Eclipse with Enamel Dial Depicting the Port of Singapore
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso was first introduced in the 1930s and has become an iconic model for the brand. The watch pays homage to Singapore and is numbered one of five pieces only. Often with enameling technique, the enamelists will create a miniature of an existing painting. In this case, this is an original panoramic scene depicting the Port of Singapore from the harbor. The wearer can also close the shutter as if the watch were a window, and hide from view this beautiful scene under gold panels.
Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso "Four Seasons"
Patek Philippe World Time Wristwatches
Patek Philippe "Les Faisans" Gilt Brass Yable Clock
Patek Philippe dome clocks are one of the most collectible creations of the Patek Philippe universe. Characterized by their cylindrical form, spherical top and often found finely decorated with traditional artisanal techniques such as cloisonné enamels. The enamelist A. M. Secretan finely displays Patek Philippe’s strength in merging fine art with watchmaking. Patek Philippe would often create scenery from different themes such as horses or other animals. Here the theme is pheasants or “Les Faisans,” with cloisonné enamel panels decorated with marvelously colored pheasants amid the background of a hazy morning in a summer forest.
Patek Philippe Platinum Watch with Cloisonné Dial Depicting Tropical Fish
Jaquet Droz Minute Repeating Wristwatch with Automation Birds
The limited-edition Bird Repeater watch depicts a family of hand-painted Blue Tits nesting over the scenic valley of the Jura region in Switzerland. When activated the eggs will crack open, and the birds will feed the little chicks. Other animated elements include a moving waterfall made of mother-of-pearl water, representing the second wheel. It is a fun piece.