Geneva, 8 June 2023 – It is a rare event when a timepiece by Philippe Dufour is brought to market. He produces so few that to discerning collectors the possibility of fulfilling a long-held dream is a unique moment. Coinciding with the celebrations for Philippe Dufour’s 75th birthday with his family and friends from all over the world last week, Christie’s Geneva has the honour of presenting a striking, unique Simplicity watch with the certificate dated of June 3rd, 2021 (Philippe Dufour’s 73rd birthday).
The personification of independence and audacity, recognised with the most prestigious prizes in watchmaking, Philippe Dufour is the living Master of Haute Horlogerie. He was the first to put a Grande and Petite Sonnerie in a wristwatch, and the first to do the same with a double-balance wheel. Yet it is his Simplicity that would elevate him to primus inter pares, first among peers.
“This is true simplicity,” said the master craftsman-watchmaker Philippe Dufour when handing over the precious timepiece to his client. With a stunning and extremely attractive royal blue dial and singular hour markers along with an inimitable rendering Côtes de Genève, this is the very first Philippe Dufour wristwatch with a steel case offered publicly. Its size, an unprecedented 38mm sets it apart of the other models made in 34 and 37mm cases. What makes this timepiece even more special, following the wishes of the client there is no small second hand. The combination of all these elements makes this watch truly unparalleled.
We look forward to confirming details of the Christie’s Geneva view and auction later this summer, in addition to the other locations the watch can be seen.
Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).
auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. Christie’s has sold 8 of the 10 most important single-owner collections in history, including the Paul G. Allen Collection—the most valuable collection ever offered at auction (November 2022). In recent years, Christie’s also achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, 2017), for a 20th century artwork (Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, 2022) and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019). Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace.
Following the groundbreaking 2021 sale of the first digital art NFT ever offered by a global auction house (Beeple’s Everydays), Christie’s recently launched the first fully on-chain auction platform dedicated to exceptional NFT art. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including the use of hologram technology to tour life-size 3D objects around the world, and the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats.
Christie’s is dedicated to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide, including achieving sustainability through net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and actively using its platform in the art world to amplify under-represented voices and support positive change.
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* Please note when quoting estimates above that other fees will apply in addition to the hammer price – see Section D of the Conditions of Sale at the back of the sale catalogue.
*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium.