We’re leaving the typographical Submariner hunt for another day, this preview has more frivolous aims, if only to take the edge off the grimer contest being played out on Hong Kong’s streets. That said, we also skipped the pudgy nudes adorning cigarette cases and cabinet miniatures, and skirted the Masonic watches that can creep out even adults. So, take a seat, fire up a browser or pick up a phone this weekend and buy something nice. When we got Antiquorum’s catalogue in the mail, the following are some of the curios that caught our eye from a jolly jaunt through 300+ full-colour pages.

*Estimates in USD.

Lot 10, 14: Horological School Watches

Political Science students don’t need to start political parties or stage revolutions to earn their degrees; on the other hand, watchmaking school students have to fabricate their own watch to graduate. Not that we’re pushing revolutions, we just like watches, especially when they don’t come off a regular production line, are relatively unique to each student, without the bruising pricing attached to the masterful handiwork of superstar independants.

Lot 10: Technicum Cantonal, Ecole D'Horlogerie/Uhrmacherschule, Bienne/Biel Horological School with Chronograph and Minute Recorder; Stanless Steel
Lot 10: Technicum Cantonal, Ecole D'Horlogerie/Uhrmacherschule, Bienne/Biel Horological School with Chronograph and Minute Recorder; Stanless Steel

Lot 10 from the Biel Horological School dates back to the 1930s. Neatly sterile and wonderfully clear in its markings including 5-minute marks in bold, like an instrument one would pick from a laboratory; a monopusher chronograph pocket watch with blued hands and large-ish 17-ligne manual-wind Omega movement. Do we really need a wristwatch?

• Year: Circa 1930-40
• Movement: 17’’’ lever escapement based on 39 CHRO ebauche by Omega
• Case size: 47.9mm stainless steel
• Estimate: $1,550 – $1,850

Lot 14: Ecole D'Horlogerie, Geneva Electric Horological School with Centre-seconds; Gold Plated and Stainless Steel

Lot 14 is a nice gold(-plated) watch in a modest 35mm water resistant case hailing from 1963. Pre-quartz, yet not a mechanical, it’s an electric watch, from the Geneva Electric Horological School. The Landeron 4750 within is Switzerland’s first electric watch movement, which relies on electrical impulses to drive the balance wheel.

• Year: Circa 1963-64
• Movement: ESA 4750 electric movement by Ebauches S.A.
• Case: 35.4mm gold-plated stainless steel
• Estimate: $850 – $1,050

Lot 39: OMEGA Ref. 166.072 Seamaster Memomatic
Lot 39: Omega Ref. 166.072 (Second Generation), Self-winding, Centre-seconds, Date, Alarm; "Seamaster, Memomatic"; Strainless Steel

Brave (loud) 1970s coloring in a delightful tonneau with twin crowns, it’s pretty much all the watch one needs, except for the ability to record elapsed timings at will. Instead, one gets an alarm capable of sounding to the minute, which is arguably a much more useful complication than a chronograph.

• Year: Circa 1974-76
• Movement: Cal. 980 automatic with date and alarm
• Case: 43 x 40 mm stainless steel
• Estimate: $1,850 – $2,350

Lot 43: Waltham Watch Company “Crystal Plate”
Lot 43: American Waltham Watch Co. "Crystal Plate" Movement; White Metal
Lot 43: American Waltham Watch Co. "Crystal Plate" Movement; White Metal

It doesn’t have haute horlogerie pedigree and isn’t finished to within a micro millimeter of its life but whatever it’s got, this Waltham pocket watch bares it, courtesy of good ’ol American ingenuity. Rather than skeletonising the movement, Waltham opted to use rock crystal for its movement plates, revealing the wheel works as if suspended in perpetual motion. For engineering enthusiasts, the watch comes with copies of the invention patents awarded in its fabrication.

• Year: circa 1900
• Movement: 19-ligne, non-magnetic escapement, cylindrical hairspring
• Case: 51.2 mm
• Estimate: $4,000 – $5,000

Lot 255: Rolex Ref. 116598 Daytona Leopard
Lot 255: Rolex Ref. 116598, Daytona Leopard 18K Yellow Gold, Diamond and Cognac Sapphire Bezel

While its milspec brothers are all about stealth and being ruggedly handsome, the Leopard spares nothing in grabbing attention. It is the horological equivalent of a hydrogen bomb; or neon pink lycra with electric blue stripes.

• Year: circa 2005 – 2006
• Movement: cal. 4130 automatic chronograph
• Case: 40mm yellow gold, diamond markers, cognac sapphire bezel
• Estimate: $31,850 – $38,250

Lot 451 and Lot 457: Feelin’ Blue

Blue is the colour of many things we like enough that space out while staring: the restless sea, the boundless sky, and Facebook. It is no less hypnotic on watch dials, at least where some watches are concerned.

Lot 451: Patek Philippe Ref. 3580, Centre-seconds, Blue Dial, Hammered Bezel and Bracelet; Stainless Steel

Just the elliptical shape of the Patek Philippe Ref. 3580 (Lot 451) is magnetic enough, like a pill we’d be happy to swallow; then Patek Philippe sweetens it further by hammering case and bracelet to dimpled perfection. N o crown to mar its silhouette eigher, either, it winds from the back.

• Year: circa 1974
• Movement: cal. 350, self-winding with peripheral rotor, Geneva Hallmark
• Case: 40.3 x 35.4 mm stainless steel
• Estimate: $ 6,400 – $10,200

Lot 457: Patek Philippe Ref. 3566-1, Blue Structured Dial; 18K White Gold

The seamless texture flowing from bracelet through dial of the Patek Philippe Ref. 3566-1 (Lot 457) is simply exquisite; that shade of grey in the blue – magical, with white gold case and bracelet.

• Year: circa 1970-1975
• Movement: cal. 175, manual-wind, Geneva Hallmark
• Case: 28.3 x 28.2 mm white gold case, and bracelet
• Estimate: $3,300 – $4,150

Lot 334: Rolex Ref. 19028 Oysterquartz Day-date
Lot 334: Rolex Ref. 19028; "Oysterquartz Day-Date"; 18K Yellow Gold

Rolex didn’t become a cult brand by being fancy; it achieved that partly by scoring the gold standard on many fundamental metrics. This is embodied we think in the ref. 19028 Oysterquartz with case and integrated bracelet in yellow gold. Clous de Paris running through the center links and around the bezel adds majestic sparkle to a 30-year-old that shows nothing of its age.

• Year: circa 1985
• Movement: cal. 5055 quartz
• Case: 42 x 35.7 mm yellow gold case and integrated bracelet
• Estimate: $8,200 – $10,200

Lot 159: Heuer Ref. 11010 “Silverstone”
Lot 159: HEUER Ref. 11010; "Silverstone"; Stainless Steel

There can’t be many complaints about using a tiny subdial to count the elapsed minutes – we wouldn’t otherwise see this implemented in roughly nine out of every ten chronographs on the market. But only Clint should squint; we prefer having having a centrally-mounted hand to tell the elapsed minutes over the span of the whole dial, as offered by chronographs driven by the Lemania 5100. We’re also rooting for orange to make a comeback.

• Year: circa 1980-1985
• Movement: self-winding Lemania 5100 with centrally mounted chronograph minutes
• Case: 44.6 x 40.2 mm stainless steel
• Estimate: $3,200 – $5,100

Auction Details
Antiquorum Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces
27 October, 2019
Mandarin Oriental
Hong Kong

For more information about other lots and to place bids, go to Antiquorum here.