Auction season concludes in New York with watches of fascinating provenance and horological significance going under the hammer


New York’s watch auction season can feel a little like an anti-climax after the Fall sales in Geneva, but this year has seen unprecedented demand driving up prices, and there have been some watches of fascinating provenance and horological significance going under the hammer.

Christie’s Important Watches and American Icons auctions were no exception as they generated combined sales of $7,726,875 this week.

The top lot of the live sale was a Patek Philippe reference 5016P, that sold for $471,000.


Other notable results included a rare Patek Philippe reference 3450, retailed by Tiffany & Co., which sold for $350,000, a highly sought-after stainless Rolex reference 6264, ”Musketeer Paul Newman”, which went for $200,000.

Among the timepieces in the American Icons section were a pair of pocket watches belonging to Ernest Hemingway and Charles C. Ritz, that sold for more than double the estimate achieving $43,750; and two Patek Philippe timepieces formerly belonging to the 41st President of the United States, George H. W. Bush, with the Ref. 3940 selling for $81,250 and the Ref. 3445 realizing $62,500.

A one-of-a-kind Patek Philippe gold, enamel, and platinum watch in the form of a backpack, dated 1876, created for Elbert E. Farman, sold for $62,500.

Top lots at the Important Watches and American Icons auctions:

(described by Christie's)


PATEK PHILIPPE Platinum Perpetual Calendar Minute Repeating Tourbillon Wristwatch with Breguet Numerals, Retrograde Date, and Moon Phases, Manufactured in 2007, Ref. 5016P. Price Realized: $471,000.


RICHARD MILLE Platinum Tonneau-shaped Tourbillon Spilt- Seconds Chronograph Wristwatch with Power Reserve and Torque Indication, Circa 2008, RM008 AF PT / 27. Price Realized: $325,000.


PATEK PHILIPPE 18k Gold Automatic Perpetual Calendar Wristwatch with Moon Phases and Leap Year Indication, Manufactured in 1983 Ref. 3450. Price Realized: $350,000.


A LOT OF TWO 18K GOLD OPENFACE POCKET WATCHES OWNED BY ERNEST HEMINGWAY AND CHARLES C. RITZ. The First: Vacheron Constantin, 1914, Formerly Belonging to French Hotelier, Charles C. Ritz.
The Second: L. Leroy & Cie. A Split Seconds Chronograph, circa 1920, Formerly Belonging to American Novelist Ernest Hemingway. Price Realized: $43,750.


ELBERT E. FARMAN, CONSUL-GENERAL TO CAIRO, EGYPT was given this PATEK PHILIPPE 18k Gold, Enamel and Platinum Watch in the Form of a Backpack, 1875, Formerly Belonging to Elbert E. Farman, Consul- General to Cairo, Egypt. Price Realized: $62,500.


ROLEX: An Extremely Fine and Very Rare Stainless Steel Chronograph Wristwatch with ”Musketeer Paul Newman” Dial and Bracelet, Circa 1969 Ref. 6264. Price Realized: $200,000.


PATEK PHILIPPE: A Very Fine 18k White Gold Chronograph Wristwatch with Date and Center Seconds, circa 2017 Ref. 5650G. Price Realized: $212,500.


GREUBEL FORSEY: A Very Fine Limited Edition 18k White Gold Tourbillon Wristwatch Signed Greubel Forsey, Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain, Model, No. 14, Circa 2017. Price Realized: $125,000.
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