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Legendary and Unique Watches: The Collection of a Lifetime

112 timepieces: one-off creations, personalised dials, prototypes and the No.1 of limited editions – many watches will represent a unique opportunity for collectors around the globe.

It will be Christie’s most important single owner watch collection auction ever in Geneva.

From the stunning private collection of 112 watches: (fltr) the sapphire and titanium Richard Mille RM56-01; the 18K gold Rolex “Daytona”, ref. 6241, with champagne Paul Newman dial; and the one-off Vacheron Constantin “Mercator” ref. 43050 with “Ferrari Enzo” cloisonné dial.

Geneva, 20 September 2022 – Christie’s Watche announces live auction Legendary and Unique Watches: The Collection of a Lifetime, presenting 112 timepieces considered rare treasures by astute collectors. Not one of these watches has ever been offered at auction and many carry the most coveted and desirable specifications. One-off creations, personalised dials, prototypes and the No.1 of limited editions – many watches will represent a unique opportunity for collectors around the globe.

Following a month-long world preview that begins in New York on 1 October 2022 and will take a carefully curated selection of timepieces to Hong Kong, Dubai, London, Jakarta and Los Angeles "Legendary and Unique Watches: The Collection of a Lifetime” will arrive in Geneva on 2 November 2022. For your calendar: the auction will be held on Sunday, 6 November 2022 at 5.00pm in Geneva at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues.

This collection spans four decades of passion and includes some of the earliest examples by renowned independent watchmakers, including very rare references by Patek Philippe, Rolex and others. Together they form the most important single owner collection ever to be offered in Geneva, with a portion of the proceeds going to philanthropy. The auction is expected to fetch in the region of CHF 20 million.

Richard Mille, Limited Edition, REF. RM56-01 AN SAPHIR/PR00, NO. 011, 2013

To the best of our knowledge, this magnificent timepiece is the first example ever to be offered at international auction. One of Richard Mille’s most extraordinary and ambitious creations, the RM56-01 is about maximum transparency; the case alone is crafted from single blocks of transparent, incredibly difficult to machine sapphire crystal that took an incredible 40 days, 24-hours per day to create, followed by a further 350 hours to polish. The tourbillon shines in the lower part of the transparent dial with titanium minute ring and luminous hour indexes. At 1 o’clock, the torque sector display shows the mainspring tension. A symmetrical sector display for the power-reserve is placed opposite. A push-button in the crown allows for three options – W (winding), N (neutral) or H (hands) – which are displayed by a small indicator at 4 o’clock (estimate: CHF2,500,000-4,500,000).

Rolex ref. 6241 “Daytona”, 18K gold, champagne “Paul Newman” dial, ca. 1968

In the world of Rolex Daytona collecting and appreciation at the very highest level, extreme rarity is measured by small degrees. This exceptional 18k gold Cosmograph Daytona ref. 6241 (case no. 1’757’900) with champagne “Paul Newman” dial and bracelet is an extremely rare chronograph that fulfils these criteria and more.

The 6241 was produced only between 1966 and 1969 and is therefore a rare reference in its own right. 2250 pieces were made in stainless steel, 300 in 18K gold and 450 in 14K gold. It was fitted with “non-Oyster” or “non-screw-down” chronograph buttons and a bezel with black plastic insert, the tachymeter scale was printed in white. The dials featured “Rolex Cosmograph” but not always “Daytona” (estimate: CHF600,000-1,000,000).

Vacheron Constantin ref. 43050 “Mercator”, special request platinum automatic wristwatch with a Métiers d’Art “Ferrari Enzo” cloisonné enamel dial.

First released in 1994 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the passing of the 16th century cartographer Gerardus Mercator, Vacheron Constantin’s distinctive “Mercator” was a revelation: it displayed time via a double retrograde mechanism with hands in the form of a cartographer’s proportional divider. Upon reaching 12, the hour hand ‘flies’ back to its starting position; the same occurs when the minute hand reaches 60. The present creation by the world’s oldest watchmaking Manufacture is a “Mercator” made by special request in platinum; its hand-made cloisonné dial representing a “Ferrari Enzo” is a testament to Vacheron Constantin’s peerless Métiers d’Art department. Fitted with a special 21K skeletonized gold rotor, the movement is just as unique (estimate: CHF100,000-200,000).

The international preview tour and auction calendar

01-05 October New York Christie’s Rockefeller Center

04-07 October Hong Kong Christie’s

12-14 October Dubai Christie’s

15-19 October London Christie’s

19-21 October Jakarta Christie’s

26-27 October Los Angeles Christie’s

02-06 November Geneva Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues

6 November, 5.00pm Geneva Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues

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