Top Lots From Christie’s Important Watches Auction

Top Lots From Christie’s Important Watches Auction

Adrienne Faurote
By Adrienne Faurote June 11, 2014

Auction season is in full swing! Hot on the heels of yesterday’s highlights from Sotheby’s auction, today we’re bringing you the top lots from today’s Important Watches sale at Christie’s.

From a diamond and ruby-set Harry Winston Opus 9 to a stunning skeletonized Malte Tourbillon from Vacheron Constantin, here are our favorites:

Vacheron Constantin Malte Tourbillon (Lot 45)
This rare 18K pink gold skeletonized tourbillon wristwatch was produced in 2002. Housed in a tonneau-shaped case, it is powered by a Cal. 1790SQ, a mechanical movement that is showcased between two sapphire crystals, highlighting the beauty of its finely engraved bridges and plates, and its 27 jewels. Functions include hours, minutes and constant seconds, as well as small seconds on the tourbillon carriage at 6 o’clock, a power reserve indicator at 10 o’clock, and a date indicator at 2 o’clock. It is expected to fetch between $80,000 – $120,000.
Rolex Reference 6263 (Lot 81)
This Daytona chronograph was produced as part of a limited edition of Reference 6263 and 6265 models which Rolex made exclusively for the North American market. Produced circa 1972, it features a 37.5mm case in 14K gold and a Cal. 727 movement certified with the COSC official chronometer certification (an unusual feature for a chronograph of that period). As a result, its dial bears the designation “Chronometer” at 12 o’clock, in addition to the “Cosmograph” designation at 6 o’clock. The gold dial also features applied gold baton numerals and three engine-turned subsidiary dials for 12 hour, 30 minute and constant seconds counters. It is expected to fetch between $40,000 – $60,000.
Patek Philippe Ref. 5004 (Lot 365)
This perpetual calendar begins with a 36.5mm platinum case, a silvered matte dial and applied white gold Arabic numerals. Manufactured in 1998, it boasts a number of functions, including a central split-seconds chronograph, a 30-minute counter and leap year indicator at 3 o’clock, the date and moonphase at 6 o’clock, and small seconds combined with a 24-hour indicator at 9 o’clock. There are also two apertures for day and month in German at 12 o’clock. It is expected to fetch between $200,000 – $300,000.
Rolex Reference 6538 Gilt Four-Line (Lot 88)
Seen for the first time on the market, this circa 1953 stainless steel wristwatch came to auction directly from the great-grandson of the original owner, William “Bumpy” Graham Bell. A distant relative of Alexander Graham Bell, Bumpy was an adventurer whose company Bumpy Productions created underwater films for Disney and ABC. An ideal diving watch for such an explorer, this 37mm timepiece features an 8mm screw-down crown without crown guards, a depth rating of 200 meters, luminous Mercedes-style hands, outer gilt minute divisions, center seconds, and a revolving black bezel calibrated for 60 units. It also boasts another claim to fame; the Reference 6538 became an icon when it was worn by James Bond in the movie Dr. No. It is expected to fetch between $80,000 – $120,000.
Audemars Piguet Edward Piguet Tourbillon Grande Date (Lot 215)
This circa 2006 model features a rectangular 18K pink gold case, a brushed silvered dial with an engine-turned outer plate, a central guilloché ring and copper-colored Roman numerals. The highlight of the dial is the large aperture for date and the tourbillon visible at 6 o’clock, which features a one-minute blued steel arm on its carriage. The sapphire crystal caseback showcases the Cal. 2886 mechanical movement, which boasts some 20 jewels. It is expected to fetch between $70,000 – $100,000.
Harry Winston Opus 9 (Lot 307)
This limited edition 18K white gold timepiece, the ninth model in Harry Winston’s experimental Opus series, was produced in collaboration with independent watchmakers Jean-Marc Wiederrecht and Eric Giroud. Instead of traditional hands, the hours and minutes are indicated by two parallel chains of 33 baguette-cut diamonds with rubies to indicate the exact time. After it was unveiled in 2009, this model won the prize for Best Design Watch of the Year by the Jury of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie in Geneva. This piece is No. 042/100. It is expected to fetch between $70,000 – $120,000.
Rolex Reference 6262 Pulsation (Lot 352)
This circa 1970 stainless steel chronograph features a rare pulsation dial. Housed in a 36.75mm case, the silvered brushed dial features applied baton numerals with luminous accents, as well as luminous hands, outer fifths of a second divisions and a scale calibrated for 15 pulsations. It also features three black engine-turned subsidiary dials for 12 hour, 30 minute and constant seconds counters. The bezel is calibrated for 200 units. It is expected to fetch between $150,000 – $250,000.
Patek Philippe Amagnetic Ref. 3417 (Lot 356)
This 35mm stainless steel wristwatch is the first anti-magnetic model produced in series by Patek Philippe. At its heart is a Cal. 27-AM400 mechanical movement, stamped twice with the Geneva Seal, and featuring a soft-iron protective cap. The Ref. 3417 features a silvered matte dial with white gold baton, Arabic numerals and a large subsidiary dial for constant seconds. This piece was purchased by A.F. Swirk, a retired Chief Warrant Officer of the US Navy in 1961, and Mr. Swirk kept not only the watch’s original box, but also the original catalogue and all of his correspondence with Patek Philippe regarding servicing of this piece. It is expected to fetch between $25,000 – $35,000.
Vacheron Constantin Minute Repeating (Lot 46)
This timepiece showcases one of the most coveted striking complications: the minute repeater. At its heart is a Cal. 1755 SQ mechanical jeweled movement, showcased between two sapphire crystals, which provide a view of the minute repeating complication on two hammers onto two gongs. An outer black ring features silver Roman and baton numerals, with pink gold hands for the hours and minutes. The 37mm 18K pink gold case features teardrop lugs and a repeating slide in the band. It is estimated to fetch between $150,000 – $250,000.

For more information on the Important Watches auction, please visit the Christie’s website. Photo credit: Haute Time.