While devotees of Patek Philippe’s Nautilus await with bated breath, the inevitable anniversary releases that will mark the watch’s 40th birthday, Christie’s has anticipated the furore that surely will accompany the celebrations with a series of Nautilus-themed mini-auctions. Having curated the thematic auction for the 175th anniversary of Patek Philippe in November 2014, Christie’s was the obvious choice to organise the Nautilus-only sales.

Hard-core Nautilus collectors can expect phone and online bidding to play a key part in the auction, as it will be divided into four sales, one each in Dubai, Geneva, Hong Kong and New York. They will take place between October and December 2016. Each sale will be allocated “10 exceptional Nautilus models” to be identified in the catalogues in a special section entitled “Patek Philippe Nautilus 40”.

To represent Nautilus production, the 40 lots have been chosen from the first model to the most recent. Christie’s promises that many will be “superlative, rare and fresh-to-market examples of this beloved watch design.” If the Nautilus rings your bell, mark the following venues and dates in your diary:

DUBAI – Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel, 19 October 2016, at 7.00pm

HONG KONG – Convention Center, 28 November 2016

GENEVA – The Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues, 14 November 2016, at 10.30am and 2.00pm

NEW YORK – Rockefeller Center, 6 December 2016