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Patek Philippe wristwatch that belonged to Henry Graves Jr. is highlight of Christie’s Rare Watch Auction

Henry Graves watch

Christie’s auction of Rare Watches in Geneva on 11 November will be led by the Henry Graves Jr. Patek Philippe yellow gold tonneau minute repeater wristwatch of 1927, sold to Henry Graves Jr. on 16 June 1928

The American multi-millionaire (1868-1953) was one of Patek Philippe’s greatest clients of the first half of the 20th century and the watch is estimated at $3 million -$5 million.

The auction will showcase several spectacular newly discovered and fresh to the market timepieces and important rarities and is expected to fetch in excess of $10 million.

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Comprising 214 lots consigned from some of the world’s greatest collections and over 85% from private owners, the auction will also feature models of modern watch production from renowned Swiss watch houses.

Another highlight of te carefully curated Patek Philippe wristwatch selection of 44 lots includes a 1938 vintage reference 533, sector dial chronograph wristwatch with Extract confirmed pulsometer, or “doctor’s” dial, thought to be the earliest yellow gold example of the reference with such dial known to date.

Also included is the Patek Philippe reference 5016 with minute repeating, perpetual calendar, tourbillon and moon phases – one of Patek Philippe’s most complicated and legendary wristwatches of the company’s modern production.

Christie’s presents a unique special-order version in platinum with black dial and “Ferrari” red indications. The property of the original owner and completely fresh to the market, it was made in 2005 upon his request.

Christie’s has also sourced several fresh to the market examples of The Nautilus. Showcasing the original classic steel reference 3700 first launched in 1976 is an extremely rare early model from 1978, formerly the property of Prince Nicholas Romanov (1922-2014) and passed down by direct descent to the present owner. It will be presented with the original cork Nautilus box, in itself a collector’s piece.

The collection of Rolex’s on offers includes a highly important Rolex reference 6262 Cosmograph Daytona in 18 K gold with black dial and “Cherry Logo” signature, which prominently features four pages in the book “Ultimate Rolex Daytona” by Pucci Papaleo, the acknowledged “bible” for Cosmograph collectors.

The property of an important French private collector, the Rolex Daytona “Paul Newman Panda” reference 6265 dating from 1971 is another exceptional highlight. In excellent original overall condition, it is accompanied by the original guarantee and box. The reference 6265 is the most uncommon reference with “Paul Newman Panda” dial, considered as one of the most attractive wristwatch dials ever produced.

One of the most exciting and significant new discoveries in the world of vintage Rolex Submariners is a very special “explorer dial – big crown” reference 6200 from circa 1954. Already a very rare reference with only about 300 manufactured in total, this watch rewrites the history of the model as a hitherto unknown version with depth rating “200m=660ft” printed on its dial – to date, the only known example of its type. It is also one of the very few watches of the reference to have a “Chronometer Certified” movement.

The hugely desirable Rolexes specially commissioned for His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said of Oman are represented by another fresh to the market watch, a superb 18K gold Submariner reference 1680 with the Sultan’s emblem, the “Khanjar” printed on the blue dial. Made circa 1973, it is one of the rarest and most attractive, versions among Omani Submariners and is estimated at CHF150,000-250,000.

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Patrick Cremona

The author Patrick Cremona

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