After a successful weekend in Geneva earlier in May, Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo heads to Hong Kong for two days of sales. One of them is a thematic evening sale in partnership with Blackbird, which we covered here. The second is the Hong Kong Watch Auction: EIGHT day sale.
297 lots will be up for grabs with all the usual suspects. Since Rolex and Patek Philippe are the two brands that always perform exceptionally well, we have selected three watches from each brand for you to take a look at.
Lot 1104 – Patek Philippe Ref. 5013R
The Patek Philippe ref. 5013 was first released in 1992 and discontinued in 2010. It is a repeating perpetual calendar moonphase with a retrograde date. The manufacture is known for creating the most historically important perpetual calendar watches, usually paired with a chronograph function, but this example with a minute repeater builds on the tradition that Patek Philippe has had with manufacturing repeating perpetual calendar timepieces in pocket watches reaching back more than 100 years.
Lot 1104 exploits that tradition inside a contemporary design with a tonneau-shaped case and an automatic movement. The rarity of this particular example is further enhanced when knowing that only nine examples of the reference are known in pink gold with three, including this watch, with black dials. The Extract from the Archives also confirms the production of this timepiece with its black dial and Breguet numerals.
Although the dial doesn’t sport the double signature, this watch was sold in New York at the Patek Philippe salon in the famed Tiffany & Co. boutique in 2008, the first year that the salon opened.
HK$2,100,000 – 3,000,000
Lot 1066 – Patek Philippe Ref. 5002G Skymoon Tourbillon
The Patek Philippe ref. 5002, more widely known as the Skymoon Tourbillon, is a legend on its own. Launched in 2001, the watch follows the long and illustrious history of the brand producing iconic grand complication timepieces and follows the footsteps of the Henry Graves supercomplication pocket watch, Patek Philippe’s Caliber 89, and the Star Caliber 2000.
The Skymoon Tourbillon miniaturized the Star Caliber 2000 and added a cathedral minute repeating mechanism with a new steel alloy developed by the manufacture to produce longer and more harmonious sounds. In all the wristwatch—yes it is still incredible to think that this is still a wearable 43mm white gold wristwatch—carries twelve complications including cathedral minute repetition, tourbillon, perpetual calendar with retrograde date hand, leap year cycle, moon age, angular motion of the moon, sidereal time, moonphases and orbit, and sky chart orbit display.
Only important clients from Patek Philippe are offered this watch so here is a rare chance for collectors to own an incredible piece of the brand’s history.
“Tasti Tondi” in Italian refers to the round pushers found on the Patek Philippe ref. 1463, the only vintage chronograph wristwatch to be fitted with a water-resistant case, screw-down caseback and the aforementioned round chronograph pushers with engraved ends.
Launched in the year of 1940, the Patek Philippe ref. 1463 was ahead of its time with the sportier robust case proportions, fine aesthetics and water-resistant feature. This example from 1942 shows design elements seen on earlier production examples such as shorter and thinner lugs and a stepped bezel.
The provenance is interesting as well since this watch comes from the family of the original owner who was an officer in the U.S. Army Air Corps who participated in the Normandy invasion during World War II.
HK$1,500,000 – 2,500,000
Lot 1040 – Rolex Explorer “Inverted 6”
Here is something fairly unusual in the form of this Rolex Explorer ref. 14270—which replaced the iconic ref. 1016 in 1989.
You’ll notice immediately that instead of the standard 3-6-9 numeral configuration, we read here 3-9-9. That’s right, the number “6” is inverted at the bottom of the dial. It is believed that the watch left the Rolex manufacture in this state, making this watch a very rare dial configuration and a true collector’s find.
HK$40,000 – 80,000
Lot 1152 – Rolex Ref. 6238 with Tiffany dial
The relationship between Rolex and Tiffany & Co. lasted from the late 1950’s to the early 1990’s making the double-signed Rolex watches quite desirable from a collecting standpoint as no more Tiffany stamped Rolex watches have been produced since that time.
Here we have the Rolex ref. 6238 “Pre-Daytona”, which marked the adoption of the clean dial design that would be the foundation of the modern Rolex Daytona aesthetics, from circa 1964 and signed by Tiffany & Co. making it one of the early Rolex timepieces stamped by the famed American jeweller.
With a total production number estimated at 2,000 to 2,500 examples (in all its dial and precious metal configurations), the Rolex ref. 6238 is already a rare bird, and the Tiffany dial is just the icing on the cake.
HK$310,000 – 625,000
Lot 1153 – Rolex Daytona “Floating Cosmograph” with Tiffany dial
If the previous lot gathered your attention but your preferences veer towards the modern form of Rolex chronographs, look no further than lot 1153; a Rolex Daytona ref. 16520 with a “floating Cosmograph” dial and stamped by Tiffany & Co.
Introduced in 1988, this reference replaces the ref. 6265 and earlier generations of this watch were fitted with what is called a “floating” dial where the word “Cosmograph” is detached from the other lines of text. Another aspect of these earlier examples were the inverted “6” in the bottom chronograph subdial. We are already two-for-two here in terms of rare details but let’s bring it home with the third rarity which is the Tiffany & Co. stamp right below the floating “Cosmograph”. It doesn’t get any better and the combination of all these factors makes this present example extremely desirable.