otheby’s is pleased to present an exciting Important Watches sale out of New York. Live sale highlights include beautifully crafted minute repeaters, retailer signed dials, tool watches and perpetual calendar chronographs. There is a wonderful mix of brands – featuring Patek Philippe, Rolex, Audemars Piguet. Illustrated below is a very special and highly collectible Patek Philippe Reference 2499, retailed by the prestigious American-based brand, Tiffany and Co.
I ra Lipman, the founder of Guardsmark, one of the world’s premier private security companies, had a rich personal life dedicated to exploring new subjects and collecting significant works of art by boundary-breaking makers such as Chaim Soutine and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. His passion for collecting spanned many areas ranging from printed and manuscripts Americana to timepieces. His desire to collect the best of the best extended to his watch collection where he heavily focused on pieces by Patek Philippe. We are pleased to present several exciting timepieces in our December sale, including Patek Philippe’s iconic Reference 2499.
An Iconic Patek Philippe Watch with A Rare Double Signature
More Important Watches from the Collection of Barbara and Ira Lipman
Tiffany & Co. was founded by Charles Lewis Tiffany in 1837 and is known for selling luxurious items such as jewelry, sterling silver, crystal, accessories and watches. The US-based company is headquartered in New York City, and is unmistakably identifiable by its teal blue box and white ribbon. Tiffany and Patek Philippe have one of the longest relationships in the world of horology, dating back to 1851. However, there was a period that Tiffany also retailed other brands, most notably Rolex. Collectors around the world seek out the highly desirable Tiffany & Co. signature on Patek Philippe and Rolex wristwatches.
Audemars Piguet, an Incredible Royal Oak Grand Complication Watch with Salmon Dial
REFERENCE 25865BC.OO.1105BC.01 ROYAL OAK GRAND COMPLICATION CIRCA 2004
The pinnacle of complicated watch making combined with the most desirable, visually appealing dial color, all cased in the most luxurious and 18k white gold. Here we have the Royal Oak Grande Complication with a combination of minute repeating, perpetual calendar with moon-phases, numbers of the week and a split-seconds chronograph, all painstakingly hand-crafted by a single master watchmaker.
The minute repeating mechanism has been one of the most functional and innovative creations in horological history, dating back to the late 1600s. Watchmakers and brands have since sought out to create the most magnificent chimes and resonance by using a wide array of metals and materials. From start to finish, the process takes hours of work to create the perfect melody and are often hand crafted by the top watchmakers in the world. The Sotheby’s Important Watches sale highlights some of the most extraordinary pieces from Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, and IWC.
- Patek Philippe | REFERENCE 5074R-012
The automatic cal. R 27 Q that powers the watch features 39 jewels and is constructed from 467 individual parts.
Patek Philippe created the "Cathedral" gongs for the minute repeating mechanism in the Ref. 5074, which are longer and encircle the movement nearly twice instead of just once and distinguished by a chime of exceptional sound quality.
The perpetual calendar of this model will run without adjustment until 28 February 2100, as the Gregorian calendar does not include 29 February in that year.
The 5074 is a masculine, bold and almost sporty 42mm with stepped bezel, similar to the chronograph reference 5070, while incorporating elegant downturned fluted lugs. The pink gold model was available for just under 10 years and with two dial types, either silvered of black.
- Rolex | REFERENCE 6241 DAYTONA
Less than 3000 reference 6241’s are thought to have been made, with 10% thought to have been made in either 14k or 18k yellow gold.
This is known as a ‘Nero Dial with Jumbo Logo’ a reference to the enlarged DAYTONA logo on the 3rd line of text. These were only produced in very early examples of the 6241 in 14k with serial numbers in the 1.53 range. Nero/Jumbo watches are exceptionally rare to the market.
Reference 6241’s are defined by their non-Oyster case design, pump pushers for the chronograph and their black acrylic bezel inserts. The were in production between 1965 and 1969.
The case of the watch is constructed from 14K yellow gold, not 18k. This was a practical solution to the tax implications of importing 18k into the USA. In addition, the balance bridge is stamped ROW, Rolexes impost stamp.
- Patek Philippe | REFERENCE 2499/100 'FOURTH SERIES'
The Ref 2499 was made in 4 series between 1950 and 1985. This is a 4th series watch from 1981 and is cased in yellow gold. It is estimated that 120 examples of the 4th series were produced in 18K yellow, pink, white gold and platinum and they featured practical upgrades such as a sapphire crystal.
The relationship between Patek Philippe and Tiffany & Co dates back to circa 1851. The current watch, retailed by Tiffany and with their logo stamped to the sub dial at 6 o’clock is only the second ever such example to come to market.
The perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch was introduced by Patek Philippe with the Ref 1518. The Ref 2499 has become known by collectors of Patek Philippe and vintage watch enthusiasts as one of the most perfect wristwatches ever made.
This example, made in 1981 is consigned form the family of the original owner who purchased it new in Tiffany & Co in New York and has never been offered been offered to the market before
Patek Philippe introduced the first ever perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch made in series in 1941. The model inspired its successors – references 2499, 3970, 5970 and 5270. Every milestone was an important step in watchmaking innovation, and has made these early pieces highly collectible trophy timepieces.
Cartier, New York
PENDULE ECRAN | AN IMPORTANT AND RARE ROCK CRYSTAL, ONYX, ENAMEL, CORAL, YELLOW GOLD, AND DIAMOND-SET MYSTERY DESK TIMEPIECE, CIRCA 1926
From 1919 to 1936, Cartier created some of the world's most beguiling clocks. The period marked a heightened interest in exotic motifs from the East, and Cartier married this Asian influence effortlessly with the West's strong Art Deco style. The title of the present lot derives from the mystery in the hands, which appear to float in space without any connection to the movement, when, in fact, they are each fixed onto a separate crystal disc.
Prior to the inception of Rolex’s beloved Daytona model, the firm created several chronograph wristwatches throughout history. To date, the Daytona is arguably the most recognizable line the brand ever created and is still in production today. The first Cosmograph Daytona, reference 6239, was created in 1963 – featuring a 9m serial. Since then, there have been a number of reference to come out featuring pump pushers and screw down pushers, as well as different dial configurations. The most sought after throughout the collector community is the “Paul Newman” exotic dial, which rose in popularity after Paul Newman was seen wearing one on his wrist. The sporty, yet elegant wristwatch has gone through a number of transformations throughout the last six decades, but have always remained true to its original design.
Charles Frodsham & Co. Ltd.
Charles Frodsham, London
AN IMPRESSIVE AND EXCEPTIONAL LARGE YELLOW GOLD OPEN-FACED MINUTE REPEATING SPLIT-SECOND CHRONOGRAPH WATCH WITH ONE MINUTE TOURBILLON AND 60-MINUTE REGISTER, 1931, SOLD TO J.P. MORGAN JR. IN 1933
ESTIMATE $125,000 – 225,000
THE MORGAN FAMILY FRODSHAM TOURBILLON, NO. 010’330
The present lot is a well-preserved example of a Charles Frodsham/J.P. Morgan caliber tourbillon watch. No. 010’330 is one of a series of watches with identical complications produced by Frodsham’s for J.P. Morgan Jr., from 1898-1934. Unlike the other Morgan watches, which were given as gifts to incoming directors to the bank, No. 010.330 was retained by the Morgan family until offered for the first time at auction here.
According to the family legend, the watch was discovered upon J.P. Morgan Jr's passing and inherited by his son Henry Sturges Morgan. It was later gifted to Rear Admiral Henry Sturges Morgan Jr, whose name is engraved on the cuvette.
This is particularly interesting, as the majority of these commissioned timepieces presented as gifts to colleagues, and bore engravings with their names, but the Henry Sturges Morgan Jr. inscription denotes that unlike most Morgan Frodshams seen on the market, the present lot was specifically commissioned to stay in the family.