Last spring saw Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo achieve another successful season, marked most notably by the first 100 per cent sold white-glove sale for the auction house in Asia, with the Phillips & Blackbird: SPORTS Thematic sale. Combined with The Hong Kong Watch Auction: EIGHT the spring auctions marked a 47% increase from Spring 2018.
Now Phillips is back at it again and taking over the JW Marriott Hotel in Hong Kong for The Hong Kong Watch Auction: NINE. Split into two sessions from 25–26 November 2019, Phillips has titled their 25 November evening session ‘FIRST’ which will feature over 50 fresh-to-market lots coming directly from their original owners.
Here’s a few that caught our eye but make sure to check Phillips’ website for the full catalog.
Lot 809 — F.P. Journe Chronomètre Bleu
The F.P. Journe Chronometre Bleu is a timepiece that has reached icon status among collectors and is as unattainable as any of the highly sought after watches from larger brands or independent watchmakers. Though very simple looking, the watch is anything but, and this is where the appeal of the timepiece rests.
The metallic chrome blue dial changes tones from a completely black hue to a bright blue depending on how the light hits it. It turns out that it’s also the part of the timepiece that is the most complicated to produce. The superb blue dial is achieved from several layers of lacquer, each applied by hand and mirror polished before the next one is applied. Needless to say that only the perfect dials are kept and many will end up being destroyed.
Paired with this incredible dial is a case in tantalum, one of the hardest metals to machine, and a gorgeous pink gold movement which can be admired through the caseback.
This example sold in 2012 in Hong Kong comes with its full set of accessories and with an estimate of HKD 120,000-200,000.
Lot 824 — Richard Mille RM011-FM
It’s hard to believe that the RM011 was launched 12 years ago but this reference has now acquired a cult following and is one of the most important timepiece the brand has created.
Developed in collaboration with F1 driver Felipe Massa, the watch takes cues from the high-tech engineering present in Formula 1 cars and was fitted a titanium movement affixed to a superstiff case with silent-blocks. The RMAC1 calibre is an automatic chronograph equipped with a variable-geometry rotor and the flyback chronograph function can reset without stopping and offers a countdown function. It also features an annual calendar with oversize date.
This example in 18K pink gold is one of the many technical explorations of materials that Richard Mille has done and gives any lovers of F1 Grand Prix a perfect sporty and elegant watch to wear to a track day. Estimate is HKD 620,000-1,100,000.
Lot 840 — Patek Philippe 5970J-001
It’s always a treat to see a Patek Philippe ref. 5970. After all it is one of the most coveted perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatches, a modern classic, and any collector would consider owning a ref. 5970 in any variation a holy grail.
Remember we were lucky enough to capture on camera all four versions of the ref. 5970 in our video with watch collector @Conkers1971, which you can watch again here.
First released in 2004, the ref. 5970 featured a 40mm diameter case with a larger dial which not only made readability easier, it also gave the final watch a cleaner look, with a perfect symmetry between all the parts on the dial. The rectangular chronograph pushers evoke the ref. 1518 as well as the first series ref. 2499, and the watch retains another link to the past with the use of the legendary Lemania 2310 base movement.
In production for only seven years, from 2004 to 2011, the ref. 5970 also has the shortest production time of any Patek Philippe perpetual chronograph, making it quite a rare find. Among the four metals produced, only about 100-300 of them are in yellow gold, like the present lot, making it the rarest of them all.
The beauty of seeing single-sealed watches appear at auction is that the next owner get to purchase a watch in new condition and create its own history with the timepiece. This particular lot is accompanied by Patek Philippe Certificate of Origin and an archival extract certifying that the watch was produced and sold in 2008. Estimate for this lot is HKD 700,000-1,000,000.
Lot 845 — Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon
It’s not surprising to see the Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon ref. 5002 show up at auction, yet you can’t help but be amazed by the level of craftsmanship found in this wristwatch everytime you lay eyes on it. Just look at the relief engraved sides of the watch that display the Patek Philippe Calatrava Cross. A design that is also found on the dial.
Inspired by the Star Caliber 2000 pocket watch, Patek Philippe created this timepiece to feature a double dial with cathedral gong minute repeating mechanism and a tourbillon. The front facing side displays the time along with the perpetual calendar with retrograde date and age of the moon. The reverse face showcases a celestial chart including horizon ellipse, meridian passage of Sirius, age and angular motion of the moon and sidereal time.
This present lot features a special dial with red Roman hour markers and is accompanied by Patek Philippe Certificate of Origin, Bulletin de Marche, large leather book with instructions, product literature in leather wallet and massive wooden fitted presentation box. Estimate is HKD 6,200,000-11,000,000.
As a reminder, Phillips sold another Sky Moon Tourbillon in the Spring for HKD 8,550,000.
Lot 853 — Rolex 6265 “Paul Newman”
We get to the top lot of the ‘FIRST’ evening sale which is none other than a Rolex Cosmograph Daytona “Paul Newman” ref. 6265.
Now we’ve seen our fair share of “Paul Newman” Daytonas coming up at auctions but the Panda dial variation remains one of the most popular, arguably because it is also the most elegant. This present example stands out by having a so called chocolate “tropical” outer minute track.
To describe how special this present lot is, look at the outstanding condition of the dial which retains all its luminous material. The overall condition of the case is also something to gush over but the rarity of a “tropical” Panda dial is what brings it all home.
According to the auction house, only three “tropical” Panda dials have been sold before over the entire lifespan of the Phillips Watches department. Those three vintage timepieces were all ref. 6263. This present lot is the first instance of a “tropical” Panda dial fitted onto a ref. 6265 which was worn by its owner during his gardening activities.
Estimate for this timepiece is HKD 2,200,000-4,000,000.