More than 500 highly collectible high-end watches, including masterpieces from every top watchmaker will be auctioned at the Spring 2012 Important Watches Auction, in Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Estimated on US$ 16 million, this sale to be organized by Christie’s on May 30 will offer important private collections, including brands never auctioned before, as well as the most impressive range of Harry Winston Opus Collection, amazing high jewellery timepieces, a series of historic and contemporary, highly complicated wristwatches, and finally, a rare selection of heritage pocket watches.
Christie’s will present two exceptional private collections of the contemporary haute horology that show the collector’s great knowledge and passion for horological masterpieces. The first one consists of 20 high-end wristwatches, including the works of the world’s most renowned watchmakers, such as Breguet, Audemars Piguet, and Patek Philippe; highly innovative timepieces, created by Franck Muller, Richard Mille and A. Lange and Sohne; as well as the most sought after pieces from Christophe Claret, Maitres du Temps and HD3.
The absolute highlight of the collection is the most complicated timepiece in the world and one of the most important wristwatches ever made. It is a Franck Muller Aetertnitas Mega 4 watch that will be auctioned for the first time since its production. As a matter of fact, this piece of art that comprises 1,483 components and features 36 functions has never before been on the open market. This dream for every watch collector is estimated from US$600,000 – 1,200,000.
Another highly valuable timepiece from the collection is the one-of-a-kind Christophe Claret’s model from 2010. Also being auctioned for the first time, the breathtaking DualTow NightEagle watch that commemorates the brand’s 20th anniversary is estimated from US$ 120,000 to 180,000. One more leader of the collection is the HD3 watch, inspired by the fantasy world of Jules Verne. Being the second watch created by Fabrice Gonet for HD3, this Vulcania Bi-Axial Tourbillon limited titanium edition from 2008 has the starting price from $ 100,000 to 150,000.
The second private collection to be offered at the Spring 2012 Important Watches Auction includes a set of eight, extremely rare timepieces from the Harry Winston Opus Collection. This will be the largest collection of the famous Opus Collection, ever appeared at an auction.
One of central pieces in the amazing collection is the Opus 6 (lot 5122) watch, created by Harry Winston and the French-English watchmaking duo Greubel Forsey. Its extraordinary value is determined by the special architecture of its double tourbillon that is built of a one-minute tourbillon inclined at 30° inside a four-minute tourbillon. Created in the Limited Edition of just 6 pieces, this model from 2006 has the estimated price from US$ 320,000 to 500,000.
Created by HW and the third generation Swiss watchmaker Felix Baumgartner, in 2005, the Opus 5 (lot 5033) watch was the last model in the Opus series, created under the management of Maximilian Büsser, the founder of the MB&F brand. This precious watch ($ 150,000 – 250,000) that uses the principle of the satellite indication to display hours, as well as a retrograde hand to show minutes at the 120 degree counter, will definitely be one of the most sought after items at the auction.
Timeless Patek Philippe Watches
Since 2005, Asiahas been the biggest collector’s market for modern Patek Philippe watches. However, this May, watch aficionados in Hong Kongwill also get the opportunity to see one of the largest collections of Patek Philippe’s vintage models, including the extremely rare, ‘Lighthouse’ pink gold watch, (Reference 2481) with center seconds and cloisonné enamel dial. Known as one of the largest pieces ever crafted, it is estimated on $ 200,000 – 300,000.
Another highlight in the Patek Philippe’s range, highly valuable among collectors worldwide, is the world’s first perpetual calendar model crafted in series (the Reference 1526). This extremely rare piece from 1941, crafted in pink gold, is distinctive by its masculine, Calatrava-style case (the estimated price: $150,000–250,000).
Besides these beautiful vintage models, Christie’s will auction some extraordinary modern wristwatches. The most precious among them is Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon watch (Reference 5002). This white gold, double dialed wristwatch is the Swiss brand’s most complicated piece. Built of 686 parts, it features 12 consequential horological complications, such as a tourbillon, a perpetual calendar, a leap year cycle, a fly back, minute repeater, a sky chart and a moon phases and orbit display. It is estimated from $900,000 to $ 1,500,000.
Combining horological perfection with high quality diamonds, Rolex and Vacheron Constantin produced beautiful watches that will definitely be among the most attractive pieces at the auction. At the first place, I am talking about a Vacheron Constantin 18K gold rectangular bracelet watch Lord Kalla, circa 1989, which is set with approximately 309 rectangular cut diamonds, with the total weight of roughly 55 karats. The price for this beauty goes from $150,000 to 250,000.
Always in top of Christie’s sales, Rolex is going to amaze collectors inHong Kongonce again. This spring, the central piece will be a rare 18 karat white gold diamond-set GMT MASTER II “ICE” which is most probably the only one of a kind to appear in public to date. Its estimated price goes from $80,000 to $120,000.