The autumn auction season kicks off this week with 211 lots going under the hammer at Christie’s Watches Online: The Dubai Edit.
Christie’s is highlighting the breadth of the sale with three rare collectible watches from Patek Philippe, Richard Mille and Rolex.
Patek Philippe’s star lot is a Ref. 5102G Celestial white gold astronomical wristwatch that borrows the principle of the celestial canopy from the iconic Ref. 5002 Sky Moon Tourbillon.
Only seven pieces of the titanium Richard Mille RM 011 Felipe Massa UAE Edition flyback chronograph were ever produced, making it a contemporary classic.
From Rolex, Christie’s is drawing attention to a pink gold Rolex Ref. 6232 chronograph, a watch so rare that only a handful have appeared in the market over the last five decades.
Christie’s says the Dubai Edit sale shows the continuing momentum for online auctions.
“The concept is going from strength to strength as the total estimate for this third online edition well exceeds that set for the previous one in Spring 2021: US$ 9.4m vs US$ 8.6m. The gamut runs from extremely complex to extremely rare, from iconic to legendary, from classic to contemporary. The quality and diversity of the pieces reinforces Dubai’s position as a global hub for the most desirable vintage and modern watches,” suggests Remy Julia, head of watches Christie’s Middle East, India & Africa.
Key watches at Dubai Edit
(described by Christie’s)
Lot 5 –Ref. 5102G Celestial, a white gold astronomical wristwatch was launched in 2002. The astronomical wristwatch Ref. 5102G borrows the principle of the celestial canopy from the most complicated wristwatch ever produced by Patek Philippe – the Ref. 5002 Sky Moon Tourbillon. The nocturnal sky of the northern hemisphere rotates to show the apparent angular motion of the stars and moon as well as the progression of the phases of the moon. A delicate elliptical contour on the inside of the glass frames the portion of the sky that can be seen from all cities on the same latitude as the city of Geneva. Circa 2008. (Est. US$ 200,000-300,000)
Lot 106 – Collectors will discover a Patek Philippe Ref. 1518, gold perpetual calendar chronograph that was the first perpetual chronograph to be made in series by any watch company. Owners have included the likes of King Farouk of Egypt, the King of Jordan, and Henry Graves, Jr., arguably the greatest watch collector of the 20th century. Ref. 1518 was not only a design first with its simple and pure layout but would set the mould for all future perpetual calendar chronographs. Only 281 examples of this reference were ever made and this particular example comes in 18K yellow gold and was produced in 1945. Interestingly, it features the old Patek Philippe & Cie. full signature, which is highly sought after by collectors, and exists only on timepieces produced before 1947. (Est. US$ 350,000-450,000)
Lot 110 – The reference 3979 has a special place in the history of Patek Philippe. It was introduced as part of a celebratory timepieces marking the 150th anniversary of the manufacture. The ref. 3979 was produced between 1989 and 2002 and it is believed that about 100 pieces were made with the majority in yellow gold. The initial batch of watches featured a case made by the legendary casemaker Jean-Pierre Hagmann and his initials JPH are stamped on the inside case back, just like it is the case for the present timepiece, made circa 1991. (Est. US$ 220,000-300,000)
Lot 111 – Another high complication is the exclusive Patek Philippe Ref. 5013P, a platinum minute repeater perpetual calendar with a retrograde indication. It is among the most complex wristwatches ever made by the Geneva ‘Maison’ and the first automatic minute repeater perpetual calendar with retrograde date function. The watch’s design was a nod to the historically important tonneau-shaped yellow gold minute repeating wristwatch no. 97589 made for Henry Graves, Jr. The reference 5013 was launched in 1992 and remained in production until 2011. The platinum examples were initially produced only with silver dials and over the years only a few examples with a black dial have appeared on the market. Circa 2010. (Est. US$ 300,000-400,000)
Lot 11 – The Rolex Daytona Ref. 6240 ‘Solo’ from 1966 counts among the rarest vintage Daytona references. ‘Solo’ refers to the fact that the dial only carries the mark ‘Rolex’ and not the usual description ‘Oyster Chronograph’ seen on the other Ref. 6240 models. The watch world speculates that only a small number of early Ref. 6240 models (between the serial number ranging from 1.2 million to 1.4 million) were fitted with this dial. The reference 6240 was the first waterproof Daytona and featured an acrylic bezel and screw-down chronograph pushers (Est. US$ 120,000-180,000)
Lot 82 – The Rolex Ref. 4062, a yellow gold, anti-magnetic, manual-winding chronograph, is an elegant and sophisticated timepiece distinguished by its coin-edge case band. The Ref. 4062 was a huge success for Rolex when it was produced and is a good example of the dressy chronographs made by the brand in the early 1940s. (Est. US$ 20,000-30,000)
Lot 83 – The Rolex Chronograph Ref. 6232 in pink gold is so rare that only a handful of examples have appeared on the market over the last 50 years. Produced in 1958, it is one of Rolex’s rarest chronograph models. Made for the French market, it is believed to exist only in an exceedingly small number of 12 examples. This watch has silvered sunburst dial with blue telemetry scale and has over time developed a charming champagne-tone patina. Circa 1958. (Est. US$ 100,000-150,000)
Lot 6 – An extremely rare Richard Mille RM 011 Felipe Massa UAE Edition flyback chronograph is being presented in titanium. The new RM 011 All Gray Limited Edition is based on the original RM 011 featuring a distinctive All Gray PVD treatment and case of microblasted titanium. The exclusive edition, limited to just 7 pieces, was created in partnership with Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, one of the largest watch retailers in the UAE. The case is typical of Richard Mille’s tonneau with a curved bezel, sides and case back. The watch is being offered for the very first time at auction, with an estimate of US$ 200,000-300,000.
Lot 26 – Richard Mille, RM 055 Bubba Watson, a titanium and ceramic skeleton dial wristwatch. In 2011, Richard Mille undertook the challenge of creating a watch for golfers, working with PGA Tour player and two-time Masters winner Bubba Watson. Based on the RM 038 Richard Mille took its original design a step further in 2012 and created the present model, RM 055. The case consists of different materials. The bezel is made of ATZ, known for colour stability and for being one of the hardest materials in the world. Grade 5 titanium is used for the case band and back as the key focus of the Richard Mille manufacture was to optimise weight: the movement weighs a mere 4.3 grams. Circa 2014. (Est. US$ 300,000-500,000)
Lot 22 – The limited-edition Cartier Tank Monopusher Chronograph in gold is part of Cartier’s CPCP collection of watches that are based on historic Cartier designs but equipped with modern mechanical movements. The watches in this collection were available between 1998 and 2008 in very limited numbers. This particular model is powered by Calibre 045 MC, produced by THA Ebauche, a collaborative founded by three modern watchmakers: FP.Journe, Denis Flageollet (co-founder of De Bethune) and Vianney Halter. All three watchmakers would go on to form prestigious independent brands. Circa 2008. (Est. US$ 15,000-30,000)
Lot 71 – The prototype (No. 000/200) of the steel Panerai Luminor GMT limited edition was created to mark the 50th anniversary of the United Arab Emirates. Proceeds from the sale of this watch will benefit the Noor Foundation, a UAE-based non-profit organization that aims to eliminate all types of avoidable blindness and visual impairment worldwide. (Est. US$ 10,000-20,000)