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New York Important Watches - auction at Christie’s

Timepieces with stories to tell at Christie’s, Live Auction on 6 June 2023 | 86 lots | Low Estimate US$ 4.5 Million.


New York Important Watches - auction at Christie’s

Right: A Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 3700/1; it developed a remarkable tropical patina over years under the South American sun. Retailed by Gübelin. Circa 1977. Left: one of the earliest known examples of the Ref. 5554/25554ST Royal Oak to be publicly offered – the thinnest Audemars Piguet Royal Oak ‘Quantième Perpétuel’ ever. Numbered 21. Circa 1983.

After the successful auctions of last year, Christie’s New York Spring/Summer season promises to maintain the momentum with an Online sale from 30 May to 9 June, together with a Live sale to be held on 6 June.

Among the Live auction’s show stoppers, two spectacular, fresh-to-market timepieces from the same carefully curated family collection: a Patek Philippe Nautilus model Ref. 3700/1 o to a World War II Italian hero in recognition for his valiant resistance against Mussolini's regime before he became a successful businessman in the leather business – set at US$100,000-200,000; and (still) the thinnest Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Quantième Perpétuel ever, one of the earliest known examples of the Ref. 5554/25554ST Royal Oak to be brought to auction – its production number is 21 and it is estimated at US$150,000-250,000.

Rebecca Ross, Specialist, Head of Sale, shared: “There is no doubt that New York will delight the most discerning collectors this season with our edited selection of vintage and modern must-haves. We are proud to be trusted by family owners with timepieces, completely fresh to market, that are of great history.”

Lot 44 – (Top image left) Fresh to market and from the family of the original owner, this Patek Philippe Nautilus model Ref. 3700/1, belonged to a successful businessman, dedicated philanthropist, and a true hero to his family. Born in Italy in the early 1920s, the original owner of this piece grew up in a quiet town in Sardinia. When the Second World War broke out, like many young men of his generation, he joined the fight against Mussolini's regime in the Alps. Following the war, having lost most of his family, he decided to study industrial design and left Europe to embark for South America. There he joined a company in the leather business, and having spent many years designing and consulting for different tanneries, he was gifted this Patek Philippe in recognition of his dedication and loyalty. Proudly enjoyed over the subsequent decades, this watch developed a distinctive ‘tropical’ patina under the South American sun. Parts of the silvered blue dial have become golden and sparkle in the light, further evoking the timepiece’s nautical quintessence, as the sun’s rays reflect off the ocean. The dial is also signed by famed retailer Gübelin, adding to the incredible rarity and desirability of this complete-set wristwatch. (Est: US$ 100,000-200,000)

Lot 40 – (Top image right) Also fresh to market and from the family of the original owner, this Audemars Piguet is one of the earliest known Ref. 5554/25554ST Royal Oaks to be publicly offered. Its number: 21. The ‘Extract from the Archives’ confirms the watch was purchased on the 6th of June, 1984. With a case measuring 39mm in a diameter, it is incredibly slim at just 7.5mm, which makes this watch the thinnest Royal Oak Quantième Perpétuel produced to this day. Being the first of its kind, the silver dial on this model eschews a leap year indicator, providing a balanced, uniform aesthetic complementing the beguiling, multi-faceted case. Powering the timepiece is the Audemars Piguet ultra-thin calibre 2120/2800, often regarded as one of the most innovative and impressive movements ever created. The present lot is a wonderful opportunity to own a legendary timepiece that reimagined and revitalised the world of luxury watches. (Est: US$ 150,000-250,000)All pieces included in the Live sale will be displayed for public viewing during Christie’s Luxury Marquee week at the Rockefeller Center between June 2nd and June 5th.

Watches Online: The New York Edit Online Auction | 30 May – 9 June 2023 | 118 lots | Low Estimate US$ 1 Million

Clockwise, from left to right: Rolex Ref. 3759 Cellini, Rolex Ref. 16528 Daytona “Zenith”, Rolex Ref. 116610LV Submariner “Hulk”, Patek Philippe Ref. 5396/1G-001, Hermès Ref. AR1.890F Arceau L’Heure De La Lune, Rolex Ref. 277200 Oyster Perpetual.

Christie’s New York Online Watches auction will be going live for bidding from 30 May to 9 June, and will offer esteemed timepieces by Rolex, Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, Breguet and many more.


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