Expected to Achieve in Excess of HK$34m/ US$4.4m
Additional Sale Highlights Include :
Nautilus Doubled Signed by Tiffany & Co.
including References 5711, 5726 and 5980
Examples by Today’s Most Sought-After Independent Watchmakers
Philippe Dufour | F.P. Journe | Richard Mille
And Rare and Complicated Masterpieces by Patek Philippe and Rolex
Sotheby’s auction of Important Watches on 5 October 2022 will offer a remarkable collection of twenty-five timepieces from an Important Private Asian Collection, the star highlight of which is Patek Philippe’s coveted Sky Moon Tourbillon 5002 -- widely recognized as one of the most important watches to be manufactured in modern history (est. HK$10m – 20m / US$1.3m – 2.6m). The auction, encompassing over 200 timepieces, will also feature a selection of Nautilus’ retailed by Tiffany & Co., innovative creations from the most sought-after independent watchmakers, extraordinary Patek Philippe minute repeaters and modern dress watches, as well as rare examples of Rolex sport watches and many more.
Following our record-breaking sale series for Sotheby’s Watches back in April, we are thrilled to kick-start the autumn auction season here in Hong Kong with some of the finest and rarest timepieces one could ever find in the market. The offering in this sale encompasses all the wonders of horology, curated not only for seasoned collectors, but catering to the demands of young watch lovers – particularly those aged forty and under -- whom accounted for 67% of total bidders in our April sale.
Property from an Important Asian Collector
Sotheby’s is honoured to present 25 exceptional timepieces from an Important Private Asian Collection, carrying a combined estimate in excess of HK$34m/ US$4.4m. The connoisseur started building their collection in 2018, with important acquisitions of minute repeaters, limited editions and double signed pieces of the prominent models from the most distinguished brands.
Widely accepted as the most important wristwatch manufactured this century, the Sky Moon Tourbillon Ref.5002 was Patek Philippe’s most complicated wristwatch at launch and is the brand’s first creation that features a double dial.
Bearing twelve complications on two dials, this mechanical wonder was inspired by the Star Calibre 2000 pocket watch featuring a complex sky-chart, which Patek Philippe miniaturized it to fit into a wristwatch. Such is the complexity of the 686-part movement, including a tourbillon adjusted to run within a high precision rate of -2/+1 seconds maximum daily variation. With astronomical indications including a retrograde perpetual calendar, quarter moon phases, the meridian passage of Sirius (the brightest star in the sky), the age and angular motion of the moon plus sidereal time and a celestial chart of the northern hemisphere and a horizon ellipse, the 5002 exemplifies the impact astronomy has made on the advancement of human civilization.
The piece is further distinguished by its rarity, with only two examples manufactured each year – making it prized amongst collectors as a trophy timepiece.
Considered by collectors to be one of the last classic complicated wristwatches by Patek Philippe, the reference 5016 was the brand's most complicated watch ever produced, until surpassed by the Sky Moon Tourbillon in 2001. It inherits a similar case design from the reference 2499, and within a case of only 36 mm, it incorporates three complications, namely the tourbillon, perpetual calendar and minute repeater. The watch also features an additional fan-shaped retrograde date.
During the substantial production run of the reference 5016 from 1994 to 2010, flavourful varieties can be found for the reference. The present example is configurated with a platinum case and a silvered dial set with Breguet numerals, preserved in wonderful condition.
RM002 is the world’s first tourbillon built on a titanium baseplate with a function selecting mechanism for time setting and winding, reminiscent of the gear box in a sports car.
Limited to only 30 pieces, the present RM002-V2 was the second evolution of the model and is a part of the “All Grey” series launched in 2009. The movement baseplate was upgraded to a composite carbon nanofiber with grey PVD coating, enabling greater mechanical, physical and chemical stability even in extreme conditions.
Patek Philippe Nautilus Double Signed by Tiffany & Co.
The iconic reference 5711 that launched in 2006, commemorated the 30th anniversary of the original Nautilus reference 3700. This reference in luxurious pink gold, made its debut later at Baselworld 2015, complimenting the case with a rich chocolate brown dial. Following the reference 5711’s discontinuation at the beginning of 2021, this double stamped Nautilus is a rare and extremely coveted collectors’ watch.
The stainless-steel reference 5726 model joined the Nautilus family in 2010, making it the first annual calendar complication of the collection, requiring calibration only once a year. The calendar functions are beautifully illustrated on a smoky grey, horizontally embossed dial, and is further stamped with the prestigious logo of Tiffany & Co.
At its launch in 2006, the reference 5980 was the first watch of the Nautilus family to feature the chronograph complication. In a luxurious upgrade in 2013, the reference was presented entirely in hefty pink gold as seen in the present example. Powered by an entirely Patek Philippe in-house movement, the additional flyback chronograph feature means the wearer can reset the chronograph without ever stopping it in the first place.
Specifically developed for optimum comfort and dynamic lines, the watch is made in a combination of ultra-special materials that weighs a mind-blowing 32 grams, being the lightest automatic watch of the brand. This edition of the RM 67-02 is made for South African sprinter Wayde van Niekerk who is an uncontested 400-metre Olympic champion and world record holder in 2016. The bezel and caseback having a remarkable damascene appearance are made in yellow and green Quartz TPT and the band is made in green Carbon TPT. Together with the hand-painted bridges, the watch resembles the colours of the South African flag and will be making its auction debut in the Important Watches sale.
Introduced in 2000, the Simplicity was made to cater to legendary watchmaker Philippe Dufour’s large and devoted following in Japan. The present watch features a vintage looking 34 mm white gold case that surrounds a silvered sunburst finished dial with mesmerizing guilloché detailing. With approximately 12 watches made per year, Dufour is focused on ensuring the exceptional quality of each watch. To date, under 250 Simplicity watches have been made in total, with the present lot being number 167.
The present lot features the Tourbillon Remontoir d’Egalite, one of F.P. Journe’s signature complications, and manifests as the first ever tourbillon wristwatch featuring a remontoire mechanism – enhancing accuracy by exerting a constant and equal amount of energy to the tourbillon. Its rarity is further highlighted by its ruthenium dial, which is limited to five models, each limited to a scarce production of 99 watches. What differentiates the present model from other first-generation Tourbillon Remontoir d’ Egalite watches is the 40 mm case diameter and ruthenium finishing towards the dial and movement.
Introduced in 2010 at Baselworld, reference 5951, powered by calibre 27-525, manifests as the thinnest perpetual calendar split seconds chronograph ever crafted by the brand. It features only a single button instead of the conventional two pushers, further increasing the complexity in watchmaking. During the 5-year production span, only approximately 150 pieces were produced.
The reference 3970 has always been the transition from vintage and modern and hence gained the popularity among Patek Philippe aficionados, featuring a 36 mm case, stepped lugs which play perfectly with the depth of the concave bezel, and a triple register display that carries over from the 2499. The reference was discontinued in 2004 and replaced by reference 5970 after having a 19-year production span.
To commemorate the company’s 175th anniversary, some historic references were revived and presented in unique style in the Watch Art Grand Exhibition London in 2015. Including the present lot known as the “London Edition”, it was one of five pieces produced for the 3970 in elegant pink gold case. Patek Philippe departed from the traditional aesthetic by adding in a tachymeter scale to the black dial, whilst also opting for a single Breguet numeral at 12 o’clock and the rest of the markers are applied dots instead of baton indexes.
Reference 16599SA is one of the glamorous examples made by Rolex, featuring 18k white gold case with a 36 baguette sapphire set bezel, pave diamond dial and end links. Powered by the celebrated Zenith caliber and complete with its original guarantee, the present lot is attractive in all ways.