Over the last two days (26-27 Feb) Christie’s held a preview of the watches that would be going under the hammer in its upcoming Important Watches auction in Dubai, to be held on 22 March. Their in-house watch experts Alex Bigler, Bob Xue and Remy Julia were on hand to answer queries about the pieces on show, and Christie’s also got independent Patek Philippe expert Eric Tortella to give a series of talks on collecting Patek Philippe. Tortella has spent nearly 40 years in the business of knowing Patek Philippe and Rolex very intimately, researching and compiling numerous volumes of information about countless references – his phonebook-sized “Blue” (for Patek Philippe) and “Green” (for Rolex) books that collectors pay 1,000 euros each for exhaustive information including model variants, numbers, history, and production figures.

Our interviews with Bigler and Tortella will follow shortly. To access the online catalog and bid on the watches, go to Christie’s Dubai auction page here.

In the mean time, here are some auction highlight pieces shot by Revolution’s photographer:

Lot 88: Patek Philippe ref. 1463R

Lot 88: Patek Philippe ref. 1463R (Image © Revolution)
Lot 88: Patek Philippe ref. 1463R (Image © Revolution)

Patek Philippe made around 740 pieces of the very svelte ref. 1463, in yellow gold, pink gold and stainless steel. The pink gold version is the rarest, accounting for 55 known examples. Of these, only three with with Roman-and-dots dial are known to exist. There are just seven ref. 1463’s signed by Serpico y Laino of Caracas, the one offered here is the only one of this dial type. Oh, it was also, at one time, part of Eric Clapton’s collection.

Year of manufacture: 1950
Movement: cal. 13-130
Dial: Hand-made by Stern Frères, enamel on silver
Case: 35mm pink gold
Estimated price: US$550k – US$850k

Lot 82: Patek Philippe ref. 2499J (third series)

Lot 82: Patek Philippe ref. 2499J (Image © Revolution)

The reference that replaced ref. 1518, the world’s first wristwatch perpetual calendar with chronograph, ref. 2499 was in production from 1951 to 1985, with only 349 ever made. The third series, made from 1960 to 1978, features round pushers, applied baton markers, sans tachymeter scale.

Year of manufacture: 1976
Movement: manual-wind cal. 13
Dial: silvered
Case: 37.8mm case in 18K yellow gold
Estimated price: US$450k – US$550k

Lot 100: Rolex ref. 6241 Cosmograph Daytona “Cherry Logo”

Lot 100: Rolex ref. 6241 Cosmograph Daytona “Cherry Logo” (Image © Revolution)

Gold Daytonas are not commonplace, they mostly come in 18k gold; a smaller number were made in 14k gold, made for the USA market. This particular example is rarer still, with gold-on-black dial and “Daytona” in cherry red instead of gilt.

Year of manufacture: 1960s
Movement: manual-wind cal. 722-1
Dial: black with “Daytona” lettering in red
Case: 36.5mm case in 14k gold and bracelet
Estimated price: US$380k – US$580k

Lot 96: Rolex ref. 3525

Lot 96: Rolex ref. 3525 (Image © Revolution)

One of Rolex’s earliest Oyster-cased chronographs, nicknamed “monoblocco” by Italian collectors for the fact that the entire case including bezel and lugs (but excepting the caseback) is one single block. As for the dial markings – people should age so well.

Year of manufacture: produced between 1939-1945
Movement: manual-wind cal. 13
Dial: salmon dial with black tachymeter and blue telemeter scales
Case: 35mm stainless steel
Estimated price: US$70k – US$120k