DALLAS – They’re the most elite and desired names in watchmaking: Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, Richard Mille, Rolex and Louis Vuitton. And some of their most prized – and hardest-to-find – models will be offered in Heritage Auctions’ Timepieces Auction June 9. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.
“This auction has an extraordinary selection of some of the pinnacle models of some of the finest watchmakers in the world,” Heritage Auctions Watches & Fine Timepieces Director Jim Wolf said. “This event brings together many of the pinnacle models in each brand, watches with nearly every timekeeping complication that a serious collector would want in a selection of the best timepieces.”
The sale includes 21 Audemars Piguet lots, 20 of which are timepieces and one of which is a set of cufflinks.
The Swiss watch manufacturer has a longstanding relationship with Michael Schumacher, one of the greatest racecar drivers of all time. The company made a limited-edition Schumacher Offshore watch that was well-received – and sold out at racetrack speeds. The racing legend was involved in a serious skiing accident a year later, after which some sponsors sought other endorsers. But Audemars Piguet stood by Schumacher, strengthening their relationship.
Eight of the top 10 lots are by Audemars Piguet, including an Audemars Piguet, Royal Oak Concept Laptimer Michael Schumacher, carbon and titanium, limited edition 219/221, circa 2016 (above), which carries an opening bid of $100,000. Housed in a carbon and titanium three-body case, it features an openwork black dial with a 30-minute counter at the “3” and a minutes/seconds scale on the periphery, with white gold hands. The manual-wind movement includes 34 jewels, a triple column wheel, a lap timer flyback and chronograph function. AP is signed on the case, dial and movement.
“Chronographs are extremely complicated to make,” Wolf said. “In some cases, it is the chronograph that largely defines the quality of a particular watch. Audemars Piguet has produced a number of exceptional chronographs over the years, but had gotten away from that a little in recent years. This watch really brought made top-end chronographs a company priority again.”
An Audemars Piguet, Royal Oak Concept, Chronograph and self-winding peripheral rotor, titanium, circa 2019 (opening bid: $94,000) is housed in a 44mm titanium three-body case, with the caseback attached by screws. The openwork dial features a black 30-minute counter dial and a minute track on the periphery, along with luminous white gold hands. The self-winding movement includes a peripheral rotor, chronograph and 34 jewels. Signed “AP” on the case, dial and movement, it is accompanied by its inner and outer presentation boxes, a hang tag, instruction booklet, certificate card and an additional AP-signed rubber strap.
An Audemars Piguet, rare Royal Oak, Skeleton Tourbillon Chronograph, 18K rose gold, limited edition of 25, circa 2017 (opening bid: $75,000) is a beautiful timepiece with a 44mm three-body case in 18K rose gold. The openwork dial boasts applied luminous hour markers, subsidiary dials for minute counter and running seconds, and luminous gold baton hands. The manual-winding movement includes an openwork dial, a Tourbillon regulator, a column wheel-actuated chronograph and 28 jewels. AP is signed on the case, dial and movement of this timepiece.
The auction includes 23 Patek Phillipe lots, including a highly important and rare platinum and diamond lady’s Ref. 3266/130, 44.94 carat round and baguette diamonds, circa 1961 (opening bid: $75,000) an exceptional example of “l’art horologer et Joaillier.” With its innovative and unconventional shape, form and design, this timepiece likely is a representation of the creativity of Swiss designer Gilbert Albert, who was Patek Philippe’s head of design for seven years. The 15mm watch case is housed inside a 27mm diamond-covered platinum hinged dial cover set with round and baguette diamonds, topped by an upper mobile four-strand “spray” set, also with baguette diamonds. The silvered dial includes white gold baton indexes and white gold hands, while the manual-winding movement includes 20 jewels and is adjusted to accommodate heat, cold, isochronism and five positions. The three-strand upper portion of the platinum is adorned with round diamonds, while the four-strand lower portion is encrusted with baguette diamonds.
A Patek Philippe very fine and historically important minute repeating split-seconds chronograph with register presented by the citizens of San Francisco to Surgeon General Rupert Blue, circa 1908, (opening bid: $30,000) is housed in an 18K four-body case with an invisible hinge. The white enamel dial features Arabic numerals, gold Louis XV hands, a 30-minute register at 12, a subsidiary seconds track with red numerals, and outer fifth-second marks and red five-second numerals. The case is signed with Patek Philippe hallmarks, the movement is signed by Patek Philippe & Cie and Shreve & Co., and the dial signed Shreve & Co. The dust cover of this important timepiece is engraved “To Rupert Blue P.A. Surgeon, U.S.P.H. and M.H.S. from the citizens of San Francisco. In grateful recognition of services rendered the city while in command of the Sanitation Campaign of 1908.” Blue served with the Marine Hospital Service Regular Corps, which later became the Public Health Service. He received honors for his work to eradicate the Bubonic plague in San Francisco in 1905 and in the eradication of yellow fever in New Orleans in 1907, and guided the United States through the Spanish influenza pandemic in 1918.
Among the 58 Rolex lots in the auction is a Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 116506, Platinum and Ceramic, Automatic Chronograph, Circa 2014 (opening bid: $22,500) with a 40mm platinum three-body case. The ice blue dial features brown ringed subsidiary dials for the seconds, 30-minute and 12-hour registers, luminous indexes and luminous baton wands.
A Rare Ref. 6542 NCG GMT-Master, 18K gold, circa 1959 (opening bid: $20,000) with a 38mm 18K yellow gold three-body case with a screw-down back and crown, bronze bezel with gold 24-hour numerals. The brown/bronze dial features gilt lettering and minute marks, luminous gold triangle, baton and “nipple” markers, luminous gold alpha hands and a small arrow 24-hour hand.
An Oyster Cosmograph Ref. 6265, Sigma dial, stainless steel, circa 1973 (opening bid: $25,000) with a 36mm stainless steel three-body case. The silver dial, with applied white gold silver hour markers features black/gray subsidiary dials for seconds, hours and minute counters, as well as luminous baton wands.
View top auction results on LiveAuctioneers here: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/pages/recent-auction-sales/