Chrisite’s to auction the most complicated wristwatch in its important watches auction
If you are a watch enthusiast then Hong Kong is the place to head for this summer. As Christie’s gears up for a once-in-a lifetime event where more than 500 timepieces from the stable of the best and most trusted go on auction, watch lovers cannot help but wait with baited breath. The gale is scheduled to bang on 30th May at the Hong Kong convention and exhibition center. Estimated to sell for $16 million, the collection includes a range of interesting items bordering on the complicated and the artistic. While on one hand the auction showcases an extraordinary selection of Patek Philippe or Harry Winston Opus pieces, the most complicated wrist watch in history- a Frank Muller Aetertnitas- is expected to lead the pack. An exquisite time amidst rare, vintage timepieces- the Christie’s Spring auction of Important watches packs it all, in one bag. That Christie’s registered their highest in global sales for watches in 2011 proved to be the main inspiration behind the event. Take a look at the four most spectacular and expensive pieces to go under the hammer this May at Hong Kong.
The Frank Muller Aetertnitas Mega 4
Estimated Price: $600,000-$1,200,000
The Frank Muller Aetertnitas Mega 4 is already being expected to be the most the “watched” watch at the auctions. Facing an auction crowd for the first time, the piece, according to Christie’s sources, is the most complicated wrist watch ever made. 1483 parts were combined to create 36 functions, making it a collector’s delight. As the watch prepares for its maiden appearance in public, critics and scholars have already granted the Aetertnitas a place amongst the most exclusive wristwatches ever manufactured. And we have earlier seen the Franck Muller Giga Tourbillon 8889 T G SQT, which features the world’s largest tourbillon ever incorporated in a watch.
Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon Reference 5002
Estimated Price: $900,000-$1,500,000
The tradition of creating pocket watches bearing astronomical indications dates back to the 16th century. Breathing life into those ideas, Patek Philippe manufactured the Sky Moon Tourbillon Reference 5002. The piece, created in 2006, features 686 parts presented in conjugation with 12 horological complications like the perpetual calendar, the tourbillion, sky chart, fly back, leap year cycle, orbit display and moon phases. Flaunting double dials, the wristwatch is said to be the first example of a white gold dialed watch displayed at an auction. Patek Philippe, insider sources reveal, manufactures only two of these spectacular pieces every year for its top notch clients. We have earlier told you about the most expensive Patek Philippe watches, which reaffirms the belief in vintage Patek Phillipe watches.
Patek Philippe Reference 5207
The Reference 5207, is believed to have entered the auction markets for the first time. The perfect embodiment of Patek’s horological manufacturing style in recent times, the master piece was created over, well, five years. Dubbed as the second most complicated wristwatch by Patek Philippe, the Reference 5207 is, without an iota of doubt, a brilliant piece.
Estimated Price: $320,000-$500,000
Price wise it comes appears subsequent to the Frank Muller Aetertnitas Mega 4 or the Patel Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon. However, judging by the features, Harry Winston Opus 6 deserves to be ranked at par with both the beauties described above. Featuring a Double Tourbillon 30° and considered to be the brain-child of Greubel Forsey, the piece was manufactured in 2006. In what can be described as a brilliant specimen of horological complication, the Double Tourbillon 30° packs onto itself a one minute tourbillon and a four-minute tourbillon.
While the above watches may certainly lead the pack in being the most expensive of all, the collection, all the same, remains crowded with other timeless pieces as well. The HD3 Vulcania Bi-Axial Tourbillon is a case in point.The watch is designed around Jule Verne’s fantasy world. The perfect embodiment of an era gone by, Opus V, another spectacular piece from the auction, was the last collection of the Opus series under Maximilian Büsser’s management. Released in a limited 100 watch edition, a majority of the Opus V beauties were made of platinum or rose gold.
The Patek Philippe range remains a major highlight of the auction. The Christie’s May sale is reportedly the biggest ever collection of vintage Patek Philippe watches to go under the hammer in Asia. Topping the list is a Reference 2481 “The Lighthouse‟ -one of the biggest wristwatches ever created. The Reference 1526 in pink gold is what drives the value further. Designed to perfection, the piece is a part of the very first perpetual calendar wristwatch series made in the world. Born in 1941, the Reference 1526 is synonymous with all things vintage. And from past let us come back to the present, the Patel Phillips collection at Christie’s will also include a series of contemporary designs.
Horological complications and auction debuts aside, the Christie’s auction is marked by a series of bejeweled sparkling attractions as well- the jewelry watches. From Rolex to Vacheron Constantin, the list includes a range of names, whose breath taking time pieces have combined horological know how and jewelry design in the most innovative package possible. The spotlight on this category of watches remains undoubtedly on the Vacheron Constantin rectangular bracelet watch-Lord Kalla. Shiny and attractive, the piece is set with 309 diamonds, weighing 55 carats (approx) in total. Rolex, which has featured prime in a majority of Christie’s auctions back through time, brings the next dazzling jeweled watch. Called GMT MASTER II “ICE”, the watch, according to Christie’s sources, is in excellent shape. The Spring sale marks the item’s debut before an auction crowd. Estimated to sell for $80,000-$120,000, the Rolex beauty brings back fond memories of most expensive Rolex watches sold at auctions.
Aside from the important watches section, the Christie’s Hong Kong Spring Sale 2012 will feature works of valuable art. Coming back to watches, the leading auction house, let us inform you, has enjoyed unprecedented leadership in the category for eight long years. And when it comes to Asian markets, Christie’s has always been particularly lucky. They have featured prominent in the list of gale bangers for the most expensive items sold at Asian auctions. Asia, on the other hand, is being seen as home to a new breed of rich and intelligent collectors with a penchant for all things classy and elegant. All aspects considered, the important watches sale can sure be expected to lead the way for more such events in future.