On 30th May, 2017, The Hong Kong Watch Auction: FOUR will take place, once again in the brilliant Mandarin Oriental and as usual, a public preview precedes the main event, with all pieces generously on display. We managed to spend some personal time with them in a sunny afternoon and here are our top picks from the 356-lot-strong lineup. You will see Patek Philippes, Rolexes, and some more. Let's check them out.
Ref. 530 in Steel
The reference was first launched in early 1930s, an era when anything with a case diameter north of 33-34mm was considered "oversized". For instance, the Ref. 130 from that same period boasts a much more then en vogue 33mm case (we will look at a great example of the Ref. 130 later on in this article). As such, there weren't that many Ref. 530 produced, making any Ref. 530 a rare find, let alone one with a steel case. In fact, it is believed there are less than 10 examples in existence. The current lot, sold to its first owner in 1943, remains in excellent condition and even comes with its original certificate and service paper from the 1950s. From a collectibility point of view, this very Ref. 530 is an absolute slam dunk.
It has an estimate of HKD4,000,000 to HKD8,000,000.
Ref. 2499 Two and a Half Series in Yellow Gold
The present lot was produced and sold in 1966 during what was a transitional period for the reference between its second and third series, and it embodies features from both. For instance, the arabic numerals are decidedly second series, yet the lack of a tachymeter is most definitely a third series matter. Only three such 2½ series examples are known to exist. That, coupled with the present lot's fantastic condition, really is a sight to behold.
It has an estimate of HKD2,700,000 to HKD4,000,000.
Ref. 565 with Breguet Numerals in Yellow Gold
First introduced in the late 1930s, the Ref. 565 was Patek Philippe's first large (well, it is 34.5mm after all) water resistant watch, thanks to its two-part case with a screw-down cash back. But that's really where the "sportiness" of it ends. The Ref. 565 is still by and large a dress watch, particularly so for variants cased in precious metals. And variations, my friend, are what make the Ref. 565 so fun to study. The Ref. 565 was produced in so many different combinations of numerals, hands, dial and materials that it's virtually impossible to exhaustively keep track of every single one of them (to put things into perspective, this auction alone sees THREE Ref. 565 on offer, all in completely different configuration from the other two; you can check them out here and here).
The current lot is very nicely preserved, evidenced by its crisp yellow gold case. In addition, the yellow gold Breguet numerals give it a harmonic and coherent profile, which is rounded out by interestingly a central sweeping hand, which accorded the watch a pleasantly relaxed vibe.
It has an estimate of HKD160,000 to HKD300,000.
Ref. 3448 in White Gold
The thing about the Ref. 3448 is that it has a completely symmetrical profile, complimented by what could be the most rounded watch case we've seen. The watch looks so clean, so unassuming that it's easy forget it is in fact a perpetual calendar watch. And that's what we like about it. The current lot even comes with the original certificate and box. Now that's a full set proper.
It has an estimate of HKD2,400,000 to HKD4,000,000.
Ref. 130 in Pink Gold (with a Two-Tone Pink Dial)
Despite being a tad smaller than the Ref. 530, the Ref. 130 channels the sort of quiet elegance that defines a great dress chronograph. In fact, the smaller dimension allows the watch to sit squarely and comfortably on your wrist and that's when you realize you are truly owning something spectacular.
It has an estimate of HKD400,000 to HKD600,000.
Ref. 1415 in Pink Gold
It has an estimate of HKD780,000 to HKD1,550,000.
Day-Date Ref. 1807 with Turquoise "Stella" Dial
It has an estimate of HKD80,000 to HKD120,000.
Daytona Ref. 6265 in Yellow Gold with Heavy Bracelet
It has an estimate of HKD800,000 to HKD1,200,000.
The Laurent Picciotto Collection
Other Brands (Heuer, Longines and more)
Until next time!