Christie’s Hong Kong is expecting to smash the world record for a single watch auction held in Asia next month when its optimistically titled Auction of the Decade takes place on Saturday, May 22.
Six Patek Philippe watches, alone, have valuations of well over $1 million, including a yellow gold Patek Philippe ref. 3448J ‘Senza Luna’ perpetual calendar wristwatch owned by Alan Banbery, curator of Patek Philippe’s private collection from the early 1970s and one of the key architects in the creation of the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva.
The historically important 18ct gold automatic perpetual calendar with an English calendar, prototype leap year indication and ‘no moon’ was manufactured in 1970 and modified by request of Henri and Philippe Stern in 1975 as a unique piece for presentation to Mr Banbery.
It goes to auction with an estimate of $3.2 to 5.2 million.
Christie’s has split its auction into two sessions for the afternoon and evening of May 22 in Hong Kong. The evening sale, titled Legends of Time, has 18 lots that are expected to generate total sales of over $25 million including the Alan Banbery piece.
There is more volume in the afternoon sale with 147 lots including 56 Patek Philippe timepieces as well as a selection of 36 unusual and high-quality Rolexes, and a unique F. P. Journe Chronomètre Souverain made for British watchmaking legend George Daniels.
Alexandre Bigler, vice president and head of watches, Christie’s Asia Pacific, says May 22, 2021, will be a date that will go down in the annals of watch auctions around the world.
“Asia is poised to witness a new record for the watch market in the region. The evening sale, with 18 fabulous lots that are true ‘Legends of Time,’ will be the auction event of the decade, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see some of the most remarkable watchmaking creations ever. Complemented by a Day Sale on the same day and our online sales, Christies’ Asian watch auction season is one for the record books and will go down in history,” he suggests.
Key watches in the Legends of Time sale
(descriptions and estimates from Christie’s)