What: Important Watches — Featuring The Triazza Collection Part I
When: 27 November 2022, 1pm (HKT)
There aren’t many ways to end the year on a sweeter note than by acquiring something rare and precious. Christie’s upcoming “Important Watches — Featuring The Triazza Collection Part I” auction to be held on 27 November offers a very broad haul of over 200 modern and vintage timepieces — at a combined low estimate of US$14 million — that promises heirloom gems for many types of collectors.
From Patek Philippe alone, notables include sealed watches, rare pocket watches including a unique Observatory Contest Prize-winning tourbillon pocket watch, and bespoke commissions by prominent collectors. For grail watch hunters, you can take your pick from the likes of Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin, A. Lange & Söhne, Breguet, Jaeger-LeCoultre and F.P. Journe.
At 57mm, this large-sized pocket watch made in 1924 is in exceptional condition; it is also especially rare for retaining both its original 18K gold case and white enamel dial, as well as its original antimagnetic stainless steel case and silver sector dial used for the Observatory Contest. To the best of Christie’s knowledge, this is the only Patek Philippe observatory chronometer in private hands with both cases and both dials surviving intact. According to the Geneva Observatory records, the present manual-wind movement was awarded First Prize at the Timing Contest of 1931, with 782 points out of a possible 1,000. As per common practice for all Patek Philippe movements made for observatory testing, the movement number is engraved twice on the watch. “Extra” inscribed on the bridge of the movement refers to the very high finishing of all the parts of the movement. The tourbillon carriage was made by James Pellaton, and the movement regulated by Patek Philippe’s most famous régleurs Jules Golay-Audemars.
Estimate: HK$5,500,000–11,000,000; US$700,000–1,400,000
Produced from 1994 to 2012, the Ref. 5004 was Patek Philippe’s first serially produced split seconds chronograph perpetual calendar wristwatch, a marvel of mechanical artistry for implementing some of the most challenging complications in an 18K gold case measuring just 36mm. This present example made as a bespoke commission for American collector Michael Steven Ovitz is in pristine condition, with all four hallmarks crisp and clearly visible on the underside of the lugs; it is also possibly unique — the black dial is unusual for this reference, as well as the use of luminous indexes and hands. Also very rare for this reference is the inclusion of a tachymeter scale. The dial features Ovitz’s initials as a monogram at six o’clock. Made in 2011, the watch includes a Certificate of Origin that authenticates these unique features, and is delivered with additional solid caseback, setting pin, product literature, leather portfolio, presentation box and outer packaging.
Estimate: HK$5,000,000–10,000,000; US$625,000–1,250,000
François-Paul Journe produced the Historical Anniversary Tourbillon “T30” from 2013 in a limited edition of 99 pieces to mark 30 years since the completion of his first timepiece, a pocket watch with a tourbillon. Measuring 40mm across with a height of 10mm, the T30 features a rose gold bezel on a silver case, with guilloché on the caseband and back.
Made in 1950, this watch’s first owner was American collector Esmond Bradley Martin, who bought it from Tiffany & Co. in New York in December 1957. Some 95 pieces of the Ref. 605 were produced from 1939 to 1964, with 68 pieces in 44mm yellow gold and 27 pieces in pink gold, fitted with either plain metal dial or cloisonné enamel. The reference is one of the earliest to utilize Louis Cottier’s system to depict world time, and each watch was made under Cottier’s direct supervision to ensure that the world-time mechanism worked flawlessly even after it was cased. Today, there are only around 12 known surviving examples of the Ref. 605HU with cloisonné enamel dials, of which only four feature the map of North America, including the present watch. In exceptional condition, with Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives.
Estimate: HK$7,000,000–14,000,000; US$875,000–1,750,000
At just 31mm, this is a rare example of the Ref. 1415HU to feature a ‘short’ Patek Philippe signature. Of the 115 pieces of this reference made, 82 pieces were cased in yellow gold, around 65 of which featured silvered dials. Of these, less than 20 feature full applied hour markers with the post-1948 ‘short’ signature, making this present offering a very rare example. Added to this rarity is the condition that this watch is in, with both hallmarks on the caseband and under the lug being clearly visible, and the dial only lightly cleaned. The case (No. 655’707), made by Édouard Wenger, is in very good condition with clear hallmarks, and the bezel engraved with 41 cities in English retains its original enamel infill. With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives and presentation box.
Estimate: HK$1,500,000–3,000,000; US$187,500–375,000