Today May 12, 2014 in Geneva, Christie's will be presenting one of its most exceptional sales ever with 440 watches including a wide array of exceptional, rare and sought-after timepieces, certain to attract a large international audience. Collector’s pieces signed by the world’s most famous watchmakers, including some with Royal provenance such as His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said of Oman or from the family of Hélène Duchesse d’Orléans, as well as a highly appealing selection of pocket watches including three pieces dating from the 17th century, this sale offers watch enthusiasts a large and diversified range of fresh to the market pieces often consigned by the family of the first owner.
Over 350 years of development in the watch making will be demonstrated with an array of vintage and contemporary pieces, alongside two important private collections proving the unquestionable passion for the field. The lots will be divided in two sections with the first one —lots 1 thru 207— taking place at 10:00am Geneva Time and the second one starting at 2:30pm —lots 208 thru 440.
The Sale will take place at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues in Geneva and later today we will bring you the results and a summary of what we think will be another record breaking auction, like the one at the end of last year.
To make this sale even more interesting, it is important to mention that Christie’s has been entrusted with the sale of an exceptional collection of watches from an Important European Collection. It is this collector’s dream to impart his pursuit for excellence with the market in three continents allowing others to join in his mission which started over 30 years ago. The story of this collector began in the 1970s when this collector received an alarm clock manufactured by Le Coultre from his father. The presentation box protecting the clock was inscribed with a statement; a statement which would govern this young man and be the philosophy behind his ever-growing love for horology. “Think about the time”. The man grew up studying mechanical engineering which proved to be the catalyst to better understand complex mechanical movements and car engines. The passion developed from a hobby to a lifelong quest to amass one of the most concise and well thought out collections offered in recent years. The selection can be described in many ways as of great quality, rare, important and unique. Every detail has been considered and a careful selection process applied so that only the most treasured and studied watches could ft into this Important European Collection.
In addition to this amazing important European collection, Christie’s is also delighted to offer 15 watches which represent some of the rarest, hottest and most sought-after wristwatches on the market today property of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said. Over the years, the desire to own a “Khanjar”or “Qaboos” has grown making it a very important piece for any serious collector of vintage Rolex watches to complete their collection. Born in 1940 in Salalah, Dhofar, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said is the only son of Sultan Said bin Taimur and Princess Mazoon al-Mashani. His Majesty ascended to the throne on July 23rd, 1970. As monarch he proved himself a very successful ruler, using the revenues obtained from oil to modernize his country. His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said is well known for his formidable watch collection and his habit of having watches personalized and then giving them as gifts to loyal servants and foreign dignitaries. “Khanjar” or “Qaboos” watches are highly desired by collectors around the world as very few pieces ever find their way to the international market. These watches are identified by either the national emblem of Oman —the Khanjar dagger in a sheathe superimposed upon two crossed swords surmounted by a crown on the dial— or with His Majesty’s signature applied to the dial. A man of undeniably exquisite taste and also a watch enthusiast, His Majesty owned and offered as gifts innumerable timepieces. Some of these, blessed with never-before-seen personalizations of the dial, have made modern horological history as symbols of the ultimate level of watch collecting.
Additionally, this important watches auction will feature some amazing Patek Philippe references including several perpetual calendars, chronographs, early Nautilus, a Sky Moon Tourbillon and the iconic Henry Graves Jr. cushion-shaped Patek Philippe platinum minute repeater. In addition to the vast selection of Patek Philippe timepieces, the auction includes several masterpieces from the workshop of Abraham-Louis Breguet, numerous rare Rolex references including several Comex Submariners and Comex Sea-Dwellers, a Polizia di Stato 'Sommozzatori' Sea-Dweller, Bakelite GMT Masters, underline dial GMT Masters, underline dial Daytonas, several Paul Newman Daytonas, Daytona 'Big Eyes', several Milgauss, a MilSub Submariner, several highly rare Submariners ref. 6538s and ref. 6536s, 'floating dial' Daytonas, a ref. 6236 Jean-Claude Killy, several unique piece A. Lange & Söhne timepieces including one in stainless steel, an exceptional Audemars Piguet 'Grande Sonnerie Carillon', a Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic from 1958, several pre-vendome Panerais including two Mare Nostrum and an ultra rare Panerai ref. 3646 with Rolex movement amongst many, many other fascinating timepieces.
While there are 117 lots that we are really interested in following, here are fifty that no matter what, you just can't miss and that we recommend following closely, as we are confident that most of these will be fetching some serious money. Just click on the gallery below to read about each of these lots. Frankly, this auction is a collector's dream come true. Stay tuned for the results later today and tomorrow.
For more info on Christie's click here.