Rolex, Patek Philippe and Cartier rarities counting the minutes till June 1 Heritage sale
DALLAS — A gorgeous circa-2017 Patek Philippe watch, designed to look as if the hands revolve around the earth’s axis, will have the most serious of collectors counting the minutes until Heritage Auctions‘ Watches & Fine Timepieces Signature® Auction on Thursday, June 1. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
The Patek Philippe, a World Time wristwatch with a cloisonne enamel dial, Ref. 5131/1P-001, full set, features an enamel cloisonne dial in a 39-1/2 mm platinum case, and carries an estimate of $60,000-$1 million.
“This is a very important watch, with craftsmanship that is difficult to match,” said Heritage Auctions Director of Watches & Fine Timepieces Jim Wolf. “The image of the world carries across the face. The entire watch mechanism is centered on the North Pole, but then instead of the traditional 12 numbers, it has 24 numerals showing nocturnal and daytime hours, all surrounded by the names of 24 cities in different time zones. It really is like having a portion of a globe on your wrist.”
Another watch making a dazzling splash in the auction is a circa-2005 Rolex Daytona, Ref. M116598SARO, consigned by its original owner and estimated at $70,000-$1 million. The 40 mm case is in 18K rose gold and features a pave diamond dial with ruby hour markers. But what really sets this watch apart is its rarity. These gem-set Daytonas were offered in very low quantity, and reportedly only to the most important of international dealers. This particular example, reference 116598 SARO, is a far rarer variant than the typical reference 116598 SACO Leopard model, and instead features 36 baguette-cut pink sapphires on the bezel to compliment the pave style diamond and ruby dial. There have been four reference 116598 SARO examples offered publicly, two of which were sold at auction.
Enormously popular among collectors is one of the scarcest Vacheron Constantin timepieces to appear publicly: a circa-1919 Vacheron & Constantin American 1921 watch. It is one of just six made in 1919 on special request for the American market, and of the remaining examples, most went back to Vacheron and are at its museum in Geneva. This piece, which is estimated at $11,500-$1 million, immediately grabs attention because of its alignment: the display is turned 45 degrees to one side. There are two series of the 1921 model; in addition to the rotated display, the one offered in this auction is an example of the 1919 series characterized by luminous Arabic numerals and luminous cathedral-style hands.
From one of the premier European makers of watches and clocks comes a Cartier nephrite jade, gold and silver mantle clock, made circa 1915 by the European Watch & Clock Co. of France. Estimated at $62,500-$1 million, it commands attention as much for its size — it stands 10-1/4in high — as for its appearance and mechanics. From the collection of New York restauranteur John Perona, it features a sterling silver and 18K gold case with a large gold plaque depicting an equestrian steeplechase scene between a nephrite jade top and bottom. The silver dial includes radial black enameled Roman numerals, an inner minute track, a sunburst guilloche pattern at the center, a stylized gold and black enamel beetle and poker hands.
A circa-1960 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer 1 watch in the sale, Ref: 1016 and estimated at $2,700-$1 million, is made even more desirable by the documentation that comes with it. The winning bidder will end up with an exceptional timepiece and also 47 pages of correspondence, service receipts and customs forms that were archived by a demanding and meticulous owner. The papers trace and detail the fascinating and entertaining process that can be called the “de-evolution” of the watch, a paper trail that stretches across nearly four decades.
A circa-2012 A. Lange & Sohne platinum datograph flyback, ref: 403.035 (First Series), full set, is considered by many watchmakers and collectors to be the greatest chronograph of this century. Legendary watchmaker Philippe Dufour takes his praise a step further, calling it “the best chronograph movement ever made.” This extraordinary marriage of elite design and manufacturing boasts a 39 mm platinum case, a black dial with white and silver accents and luminous alpha hands, and A. Lange manual-wind 40-jewel movement. Its estimate is $30,000-$1 million.
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