Hong Kong, 12 October 2021 – Two historical rarities will be offered in Christie’s Hong Kong Important Watches auction on 27 November: an extremely historically important Patek Philippe split-second chronograph Ref. 1436 in 18K yellow gold from 1946, ordered by and sold to Henry Graves Jr. (estimate: HK$11,500,000-23,500,000/ US$ 1,500,000-3,000,000), alongside an 18k gold and enamel, pearl-set musical, perfume flask and automaton amphora-form watch attributed to Piguet & Capt, a magnificent piece presented for the first time at auction (estimate: HK$ 2,400,000-7,200,000/ US$ 300,000-900,000).
Henry Graves Jr.’s marvel
Estimate: HK$11,500,000-23,500,000/ US$ 1,500,000-3,000,000
Henry Graves Jr., the legendary patron of Patek Philippe, ordered this 18k gold split-second chronograph wristwatch with Breguet numerals in 1946 and acquired it in 1947.
Immensely mechanically complex, the split-seconds chronograph is considered one of the three most challenging complications in the art of watchmaking.
Ref.1436 holds a cherished position in the eyes of collectors as Patek Philippe‘s first split-seconds chronograph wristwatch produced in series. The first generation, of which this watch is a part, was made until the late 1940s. Since its introduction to the market in 1938 and discontinued in 1971, only 140 examples are made during the 33 years production period.
As one of the finest examples to ever appear on the market, the present example features applied gold Breguet numerals, often considered the most attractive dial variation. It is also thought to be the least commonly made dial for this reference, with most examples featuring baton or a combination of baton and Arabic numerals. To date, just over a dozen of Ref. 1436 models have surfaced featuring such a dial.
This extremely rare and historical timepiece is a true rarity as it last appeared at auction about ten years ago.
One twin marvel
Estimate: HK$ 2,400,000-7,200,000/ US$ 300,000-900,000
Attributed to Piguet & Capt., this 18k gold and enamel, pearl-set musical, perfume flask and automaton amphora-form watch is believed to be made for the Chinese imperial family, in circa 1805. It is known that its twin is stored and exhibited in the Patek Philippe museum.
In very good condition for its age, this marvel of rarity is absolutely fresh to the market and is been presented for the first time at auction. A truly magical object that reveals a splendour of mechanics and craftsmanship and continues to capture the imagination of collectors.
The last amphora-form watch seen at auction was May 2021 at Christie’s Hong Kong; attributed to Jean-François-Adam Hess, it was sold for HK$ 12,250,000/ US$ 1,584,735.