Christie’s – Historic Performance for The Auction of the Decade in Asia

Christie's
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May 22nd, 2021
Christie’s Hong Kong Watches Spring Auctions
Continues to build on a world-record-setting year for Christie’s Watches globally
Day & Evening sales combined totalled
HK$269,277,500 / US$34,850,855 / EUR 28,440,551

Record-breaking: Best results ever for watch auctions in Asia.
The Highest Ever Total for a Various-Owner Watches Sale at Christie’s

Combined Sell-Through Rate of 85%
139% hammer over pre-sale low estimate
43% of lots surpassed pre-sale high estimate

100% sold for The Legends of Time
First Evening Auction dedicated to Watches at Christie’s Asia
Smashed Original Estimates

10 World Auction Records For References
8 World records for Patek Philippe: Ref. 3448J made for Alan Banbery & references 1579R, 2526R, 3450J (any Yellow Gold), 1436J, 1415R, 2481, 2584. Rolex – Ref. 6036
F.P. Journe – Chronometre Souverain Model made especially for George Daniels

Christie’s confirms #1 position in Asia for Watches
Taking the lead as the premier platform in offering the most valuable
Patek Philippe timepieces and Watches at auction

Private Asian buyers contributed 80% of the total sales value
Exceptionally strong global participation from 14 countries

TOP LOT of The Legends of Time – EVENING AUCTION
Auction record for the reference
PATEK PHILIPPE
A unique, exceptional and historically highly important 18K gold automatic perpetual calendar wristwatch with English calendar, leap year indication and “no moon”, Ref. 3448 “Alan Banbery”, speciallly modified by request of Henri and Philippe Stern in 1975 as a unique piece for presentation to Alan Banbery, manufactured in 1970.
Price Realised: HK$29,050,000 / US$3,759,755 / EUR 3,068,203

Hong Kong – On 22 May 2021, Watches Department marked a milestone moment when it achieved the highest ever total for a various-owner sale for the category at Christie, realising HK$269,277,500 / US$34,850,855 / EUR 28,440,551, with a combined sell-through rate of 85%, and 139% hammer above low estimate. The historic occasion was led by the inaugural evening sale “The Legends of Time”, which was 100% sold,  totalling HK$144,435,000 / US$18,693,293 / EUR15,254,936, and 152% hammer above low estimate; the day sale “An Exceptional Season of Watches realised HK$124,842,500 / US$16,157,562 / EUR 13,185,615 with sell-through rates of 83% by lot and 88% by value, and 126% hammer above low estimate. The sales attracted intense bidding from watch enthusiasts across 14 countries and 4 continents,  driving exceptional prices for Patek Philippe, Rolex and F.P. Journe.

Leading the sales was Patek Philippe – a unique, exceptional and historically highly important 18k gold automatic perpetual calendar wristwatch with English calendar, leap year indication and “no moon”, ref. 3448 “Alan Banbery”, specially modified by request of Henri and Philippe Stern in 1975, as a unique piece for presentation to Alan Banbery, manufactured in 1970, HK$29,050,000 / US$3,759,755 / EUR 3,068,203, setting a new auction record for the reference.

Alexandre Bigler, Vice President and Head of Watches, Christie’s Asia Pacific, commented: “Today marked a monumental chapter in watch auction history as our two live sales combined fetched the highest ever sale total for a various-owner Watches auction at Christie’s worldwide, setting a new benchmark for the category. Over 50,000 viewers tuned into our auction pre-show conversation with historian, author and watch expert Nick Foulkes, followed by The Legends of Time. Our inaugural Watches evening sale was the first white glove auction of the Spring season and its historic result cements Christie’s Asia as the preferred platform for watch collectors and connoisseurs to acquire and offer the very finest horological treasures from across the globe. We are also thrilled to continue Christie’s market leadership in offering the most valuable and finest Patek Philippe timepieces at auction and look forward to extending the strong buying momentum in our upcoming online sale: Watches Online: From 1800 to 2010” (23 May – 3 June).”

Key takeaways:

All 18 lots offered in the evening sale “The Legends of Time” found buyers. On top of the record-breaking star lot – Alan Banbery’s yellow gold Patek Philippe ref. 3448J – some exciting highlights in the evening include:

PATEK PHILIPPE
A magnificent and important 18K pink gold World Time wristwatch with cloisonné enamel dial depicting the eastern hemisphere.
Ref. 1415, manufactured in 1949
Auction World Record for the Reference
Price Realised: HK$17,650,000 / US$2,284,326
More than double its low estimate of HK$8,000,000 / US$1,035,389

 

 

PATEK PHILIPPE
An extremely fine, unique and important 18K gold two crown World Time wristwatch with 24 hours indication, guilloché silvered dial, luminous hands and gold bracelet.
Ref. 2523/1, manufactured in 1965
Price Realised: HK$15,850,000 / US$2,051,364
Almost double its low estimate of HK$8,000,000 / US$1,035,389

 

 

PATEK PHILIPPE
An exceptional and highly important, historic and unique 18k pink gold openface minute repeating two train grande and petite sonnerie keyless lever clockwatch with instantaneous perpetual calendar, indications for julian and gregorian calendars, moon phases and chronograph with central 60-minute recorder, made for Jean de Gradowski, manufactured in 1890
Price Realised: HK$14,050,000/ US$1,818,401
3.5 times over low estimate of HK$4,000,000 / US$517,694

 

PATEK PHILIPPEAn exceptional 18k gold wristwatch with sweep centre seconds and cloisonné enamel dial, “The Lighthouse”,
Ref. 2481, manufactured in 1954
Auction World Record for the Reference
Price Realised: HK$7,810,000 / US$1,010,798
Almost 4 times over the low estimate of HK$2,000,000/ US$258,847

 

 

PATEK PHILIPPE
A unique and highly important 18k pink gold ‘spider lugs’ chronograph wristwatch with tachymeter and engraved bezel,
Ref. 1579, retailed by Gobbi Milano, manufatured in 1955
Auction World Record for the Reference
Price Realised: HK$5,500,000 / US$711,830

 

 

PATEK PHILIPPE
A magnificent and very rare 18k gold automatic perpetual calendar wristwatch with moon plases and leap year indication
Ref. 3450, retailed by Gübelin, manufactured in 1985
Auction World Record for the Reference
Price Realised: HK$4,375,000 / US$556,228

 

 

PATEK PHILIPPE
An extremley rare and impressive 18k pink gold automatic wristwatch with black enamel dial
Ref. 2526, manufactured in 1957
Auction World Record for the Reference
Price Realised: HK$5,250,000 / US$679.474
More than double its high estimate of HK$2,200,000/ US$284,732

 

 

PIGUET & MEYLAN
A magnificent and highly important quarter repeating 18k gold, painted enamel, pearl and turquoise set musical and automaton centre seconds watch, made for the chinese market, signed Piguet et Meylan, the case by frères oltramare, no. 6173/5792, the enamel attributed Jean Abraham Lissignol or Jacques-Marc Henry, circa 1815
Price Realised: HK$4,250,000 / US$550,050
More than 5 times over its low estimate of HK$800,000/ US$103,539

 

 

The day sale “An Exceptional Season of Watchesoffered extremely rare vintage and modern timepieces from legendary and emerging brands, with almost half of the lots sold above high estimates. Close to a third of the timepieces were hammered to online buyers via Christie’s LiveTM. The top lot of this sale was an important Patek Philippe, the only known 18k gold split seconds chronograph wristwatch retailed by Gübelin, ref. 1436, manufactured in 1965, which was acquired for HK$ 5,500,000 / US$711,830, more than double its low estimate of HK$ 2,400,000 / US$310,617 and set a new auction record for the reference (shown left), and a record for the reference was set by F.P. Journe – an important platinum wristwatch with power reserve, made and presented to pay tribute to George Daniel, Chronomètre Souverain model, circa 2010, realised HK$3,250,000 / US$420,627.
The selection of Rolex timepieces attracted passionate bidding, led by the extremely rare stainless steel chronograph triple calendar wristwatch, ref. 6036, “Jean Claude Killy” Model with “Red Depth”, circa 1953, which sold for HK$5,250,000 / US$679,474, more than double its high estimate of HK$2,400,000 / US$310,617. An impressive and rare 18k pink gold, diamond and rainbow-coloured multi gem-set automatic chronograph wristwatch with bracelet, Daytona Rainbow Model, ref. 116595rbow, circa 2019, which realised HK$3,500,000 / US$452,982, topped the curation of modern timepieces.

Top top-performing brands in the day sale include:

PATEK PHILIPPE
An 18k white gold automatic wristwatch
Ref. 2584, manufactured in 1958
Auction World Record for the Reference
Price Realised: HK$875,000/ US$113,246

 

ROLEX
An extremely rare stainless steel chronograph triple calendar wristwatch
Ref. 6036, “Jean Claude Killy” model with “red depth”, circa 1953
Auction World Record for the Reference
Price Realised: HK$5,250,000/ US$679,474
More than double its high estimate of HK$2,400,000/ US$310,617

 

 

ROLEX
An impressive and rare 18k pink gold, diamond and rainbow-coloured multi gem-set automatic chronograph wristwatch with bracelet, daytona rainbow model, Ref. 116595rbow, circa 2019
Price Realised: HK$3,500,000/ US$452,982

 

 

 

F.P. JOURNE
An important platinum wristwatch with power reserve, made and presented to pay tribute to George Daniel chronometre souverain model, circa 2010
Auction World Record for the Model
Price Realised: HK$3,250,000/ US$420,627

 

 

 

IWC
A rare and highly complicated 18k white gold and baguette-cut  diamond-set limited edition minute repeating wristwatch with perpetual calendar, split seconds chronograph, tourbillon, moon phases and bracelet el destriero scafusia model, circa 1995
Price Realised: HK$3,250,000/ US$420,627
4 times above its high estimate of HK$800,000/ US$103,539

 

BREGUET
A very rare stainless steel single button chronograph wristwatch circa 1948
Price Realised: HK$2,000,000/ US$258,847
5 times above its high estimate of HK$400,000/ US$51,769.

 

 

 

Audemars Piguet
An extremely rare platinum limited edition automatic perpetual calendar wristwatch with moon phases, leap year indication and bracelet, quantieme perpetuel model, limited edition of 20 pieces, made to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of Indonesia’s retailer
The Time Place, circa 2019
Price Realised: HK$1,875,000/ US$242,669

 

 

Full results of the Evening Auction: The Legends of Time
Full results of the Day Auction: An Exceptional Season of Watches

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