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featured 21, May 2021 04:41pm
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'Legends of Time': Christie's 'Auction of the Decade in Asia'

As the watch industry gears up for the “Auction of the Decade in Asia”, we bring you a quick round-up of the major timepieces you need to know about

When the world witnessed the historic record sale of more than US$ 14 million at the Watches Online Dubai Edit a few weeks ago, little did many people know that there would be something bigger hitting the market soon. Christie's auction coming up this weekend, which the house is calling the “auction of the decade in Asia”, features 18 lots with the potential to break all records for any watch sale in Asia and will have renowned museums and collectors from all across the globe in attendance. 

The auction is divided into two parts - a 'Day Sale' curated around the theme of 'An Exceptional Season of Watches' at 2:00 pm (11:30 am IST), and the historic 'Evening Watch Sale', curated around the theme of 'The Legends of Time' at 7:00 pm (4:30 pm IST). The former includes 147 lots with a sales potential of an estimated US$ 10.4 million – 18.9 million. With the two auctions combined, the estimate of the total sales is set to break  the all-time record for an Asian auction surpassing the bar of US$ 19,700,125 – 43,263,375.

"May 22, 2021 will be a date that will go down in the annals of watch auctions around the world. Asia is poised to witness a new record for the watch market in the region. The evening sale, with 18 fabulous lots that are true ‘Legends of Time,’ will be the auction event of the decade, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see some of the most remarkable watchmaking creations ever," say Alexandre Bigler, Vice President and Head of Watches, Christie’s Asia Pacific.

We took a deep dive into the lots and came up with those that we can count amongst favourites from the Christie's 'auction of the decade in Asia' Hong Kong Sale:

Alan Banbery's Patek Philippe (Ref No. 3448J) 'Senza Luna Perpetual Calendar - Estimated: US$ 3.2 Million – 5.162 Million

This is probably one of the most famous wristwatches in the world and expectedly, the most important watch of the auction. Carrying an immense amount of historical clout, the watch is an 18K gold automatic perpetual calendar with an English calendar. 

It also features a prototype leap year indication replacing the normal moonphase indicator. Manufactured in 1970, the watch was modified at the request of Henri and Philippe Stern in 1975, and presented to Patek Philippe's former Head of Sales, Alan Banbery.

Patek Philippe Gradowski Grande Complication – Estimated: US$ 517,000 – 1.549 Million

There is always something about a pocket watch that is hard to ignore especially at an auction of this stature. Seeking interest among the watch enthusiasts is Patek Philippe's earliest Grande Complication watch – the 'Gradowski' Grande Complication. Made in 1890 on request for Jean de Gradowski, a Polish collector, the Patek Philippe Gradowski Grande Complication pocket watch was one of the most complicated watches of its time. It featured a unique minute repeater with two-train Grande et Petitte Sonnerie movement, keyless lever, instantaneous perpetual calendar, indications for both the Julian and Gregorian calendars, moon phases, and a chronograph with a central 60-minute recorder. What makes this timepiece even more special is its historical significance - the timepiece came before the Holy Grail, the Henry Graves Grande complication watch. Neat, right?

Patek Philippe Wordltimer Ref. 1415 HU – Estimated: US$ 1.033 Million – 3.097 Million

As the only platinum reference 1415 HU in the world, it comes as no surprise that this particular timepiece is not just generating a lot of interest in the watch industry but will definitely be causing a sensation like it did last time.

This is the same Patek Philippe Wordltimer Ref. 1415 HU that caused a stir as it became the most expensive wristwatch ever sold at an auction at an astonishing CHF 6,603,500 back in 2002. And now it is back to hopefully create another storm of banging gavels.

Automaton Amphora Form and Perfume Spray in Flintlock Pistol Form Horological Objets d’art – Estimate: US$ 1.033 Million – 5 Million (Amphora), and US$ 104,000 – 310,000 (Flintlock Pistol)

The pair of Horological Objets d’art – the automaton Amphora and the perfume spray in Flintlock Pistol form - are also presented at the Christie's Hong Kong evening auction. Made for the Chinese market, both offer exceptional artisanal imagination and technical watchmaking expertise. Attributed to Piguet & Capt. the automaton Amphora comes in an 18K gold structure that is studded with pearls and decorated with sublime miniature enamels done by Jean-Louis Richter.

The perfume spray that comes in the form of a Flintlock pistol is attributed to Moulinié, Bautte & Cie or J.B.Garrand, Geneva, and features a hidden clock in the grip. The overall object d'art is then decorated in 18K gold with enamel and pearls. Like a pistol, the pulling of the trigger sprays perfume which showcases the marvelous realm of automated precious objects.

F. P. Journe Chronomètre Souverain in Platinum – Estimated: US$ 259,000 – 775,000

Among the independents, the Christie's Hong Kong sale edition is presenting a special F.P. Journe timepiece - the Journe Chronomètre Souverain in Platinum. The watch was made especially for George Daniels who was Journe's friend, muse, and mentor. The watch was offered to Daniels by Journe at a dinner organised by John and William Asprey in London in 2012. What makes this watch special is the heartfelt inscription on the balance wheel that reads, “FP to George Daniels, My Mentor 2010"

The Christie's 'Legend of Time' sale will begin at 7:00 pm HKT (4:30 pm IST) and the 'An Exceptional Season of Watches' will go live at 2:00 pm HKT (11:30 am IST) on Saturday, May 22nd. To see the catalogue, visit here.

For more, visit Christie's.

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