This fall’s watch auction season is shaping up to be a particularly strong one — Marlon Brandon’s Rolex GMT Master ref. 1675 is hitting the auction block, as well as a collection of incredible retailer-signed watches. But don’t think that Phillips is having all the fun, as Christie’s November 11th Rare Watches has some astounding pieces on offer — 214 pieces, to be specific. We can’t concentrate on every one of them here, but the rare Patek Philippe offerings should be of particular interest to the vintage watch enthusiast:
Henry Graves Jr.’s Gold Minute Repeater
Notably, there’s the star lot, a pièce unique made in 1927 for noted American finance Henry Graves Jr, and the first minute repeater wristwatch ever made by Patek. Graves, famous outside of American business circles for his watch collection, was the commissioner and owner of the so-called “Graves Super-Complication,” which for decades was the most complicated watch ever made. His 1920s minute repeater has an estimate of $3M to $5M.
Ref. 2523 World Timer with Blue Enamel Dial
Just as significant is the ref. 2523 with a translucent blue enamel dial. Made in 1953 and retailed in 1957, the 2523 is notable for being a dual-crown world timer cased in pink gold. One of five known examples manufactured in that metal and one of only two with a translucent blue central enamel dial, the 2523 is in impeccable condition and has an estimate of $7M to $14M.
Ref. 533 Chronograph with Pulsations Scale
On the (admittedly only slightly) more conventional side, there’s also a reference 533 dual-register chronograph. Though this may seem like an ordinary chrono, this particular 533 features a sector dial with a pulsometer ring. (Sometimes referred to as a “doctor’s dial,” these can be used to calculate a patient’s pulse, and were often marketed to medical professionals). Christie’s estimates that this may be the earliest example of this reference with such as a dial, and it has an estimate of $200,000 to $400,000.
Montre á Tact Pocket Watch
Lastly, there’s a beautiful pocket watch that has been dubbed the “montre á tact,” or the “tactful watch.” This piece was made in 1856 and features both a standard dial and a single hand on the outside of the case. Conceived by none other than Abraham Louis Breguet (famed watchmaker and inventor of the tourbillon) in the 1790s, this mechanism allowed the user to discreetly “read” the time without having to remove the watch from his pocket. It has an estimate of $30,000-$50,000.
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