The upcoming Sotheby’s annual spring auction in New York, scheduled for June 14, offers an impressive selection of amazing timepieces which is considered to be among the best that the renowned auction house has ever presented in the Big Apple. It will include rare and usual wristwatches, clocks and other types of timekeepers. As expected, the watch with the highest estimated price is made by Patek Philippe, with the reference number 5033P-010, and it is one of the rarest timepieces with a minute repeater complication, topping the list. The other highlights of the Important Watches & Clocks auction by Sotheby are the excellently preserved model 530 by the same Swiss watchmaker and automata made by Vichy.
Probably the most interesting piece in the line-up of the Sotheby’s spring bidding is Patek Philippe 5033P-010 timepiece. It is a part of the very limited edition that consists of only 11 watches, and it was created by request of a Middle Eastern royal family. The series consisting of ten platinum watches (just like the one that is being auctioned) and one made of titanium, was originally made in 2002, and presented at the Baselworld fair four years later. Patek Philippe 5033P-010 has a tonneau-shaped case and is equipped with an automatic mechanical movement with 44 jewels that includes a minute repeater and annual calendar complications. It is, without any doubt, an extremely refine product that has a silvered dial with guilloche engravings, a small seconds counter and dauphine-styled hands. The estimated price of this extremely rare minute repeater is between $380,000 and $480,000.
The spring sales of watches by the renowned auction house, include more very interesting timekeepers that originated from the workshops of Patek Philippe. The first one of them is the 18K yellow gold chronograph with the reference number 1518. This product is made with a hand-wound mechanical movement caliber 13 with 23 jewels. It has a silvered dial that utilizes applied gold Arabic numerals and feuille-styled hands, and includes a small seconds counter, a 30-minute chrono sub-dial, as well as apertures for month and day at the top, and a moon-phase display that also shows the date at the bottom part. It is estimated that this chronograph with register, moon-phases and tachometric scale will reach the price of somewhere between $250,000 and $300,000.
Another great timepiece from the Swiss watchmaker is the watch with the reference number 5101R, a lovely looking watch with one minute tourbillon that executed in the distinctive Art Deco style. The watch is fitted into a special rectangular housing with triple-stepped sides and chamfered ends. Inside the complex 18K pink gold case beats the hand-wound mechanical caliber TO 28-20 REC 10J PS with 29 jewels which consists of 231 components. The nickel lever tourbillon movement with free-sprung Gyromax balance is supplied with twin mainspring barrels which enable it to have an admirable power reserve of ten days. Speaking of the dial, it is executed in pink champagne color and includes small seconds and power reserve indications. Sotheby’s connoisseurs have appraised that the minimal value is $220,000, and the maximal price is $280,000.
The next Patek Philippe that will be featured at the Sotheby’s Important Watch & Clock Auction is an oversized chronograph 530 from 1949. This timepiece has been owned by the same family ever since 1950 and is among the top unrestored and unpolished Patek Philipes 530 that ever appeared on the market. The timekeeper with hand-winding caliber 13 movement is estimated to $200,000-$300,000.
The scheduled spring auction of valuable timepieces will also include very exciting Cartier products that originate from a private collection, with the Billiken clock leading the group of 14 products. It is certainly a piece that one does not see every day. This extraordinary desk timepiece is made from rock crystal, gold, onyx and diamonds, and includes an enamel dial. It is made around 1925 and includes the “Billiken”, a symbol of good luck, made of carved rock crystal and with diamond set eyes. The featured statue is named after the U.S. President William Howard Taft (whose nickname was Billy). The decorative masterpiece of watchmaking runs on a key-wound caliber with 10 jewels and with a power reserve of eight days. It is expected that the Billiken timepiece will be sold in the price range between two and three hundred thousand dollars.
As it is announced, the sale will also offer an awesome timekeeper by Audemars Piguet. It is the limited edition of an oversized Millenary Tradition d’Excellence 5 wristwatch that is interesting for several reasons. The main one is the fact that this watch was also the premiere of the AP 2899 movement which transmits energy from the escapement to the balance in a direct manner, thus eliminating the necessity of the use of lubrication. It is a nickel caliber with two balance springs which are placed perpendicularly to each other, and it includes a double barrel and offers an opulent power reserve that lasts for an entire week. Audemars Piguet timepiece has an eye-catching silver eccentric skeletonized dial that reveals the caliber’s balance and has the estimated price in range of $100,000 to $150,000. The other valuable watches that will be featured at the auction include rare Patek Philippes with exotic Calatrava dials, as well as products made by Urwerk, Roger Dubois and Rolex.
One of the highlights of the sale will take place at the very beginning of the auction, since it is decided that three musical automata (a singular form of the word is automaton), the masterpieces of mechanics crafted by the renowned French artist Gustave Vichy who lived and worked at the end of the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th century. These life-like creations feature figurines that move due to the activation of very complicated mechanisms. Such creations are once again in the spotlight, ever since the release of the Martin Scorcese’s film Hugo which is a story about a boy that is trying to restore the automaton that was created by his late father. At this year’s edition of the spring Sotheby’s auction of valuable timekeepers in New York, it will be possible to bid for three automata created by Vichy; those are “The Drunkard” (estimated price $30,000-$40,000),”The Peasant and the Piglet” ($30,000-$40,000 ) and “La Japonaise” ($25,000-$35,000).
Speaking of timepieces with historical values that will be available for sale, the most notable is Patek Philippe 2526. According to the research of the auction house, this watch was given by the President Lyndon B. Johnsson to his close collaborator, Congressman Alber Richard Thomas in 1954. The timepiece with the inscriptions that says “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is the same model that was worn by the president, and which is exhibited at the LBJ Museum in Austin, Texas.