Original article found on bloomberg.com
We are almost done with the high season for watch auctions, but a handful of great sales remain. On Dec. 16, Christie’s New York is hosting its final watch auction of the year, with a 193-lot catalog featuring everything from inexpensive pocket watches to crazy rare chronographs. The sale is heavy on top-condition Patek Philippe watches sprinkled with extremely rare finds from other brands. Here are 13 timekeepers you don’t want to miss.
Audemars Piguet Ref. 5516 Perpetual Calendar (Lot 162)
This watch is a Holy Grail. Back in 1955, the ref. 5516was the very first perpetual calendar ever to show the leap year cycle on the dial. Only nine were made over a three-year period, and this example is in mint condition. The next owner of this watch will have something very, very special on the wrist.Estimate: $150,000 to $300,000
Patek Philippe Pearl of Bahrain (Lot 62)
This is an, um, interesting, watch. The totally unique Patek was made on the commission of the Emir of Bahrain as a gift for an American adviser in 1958. The pink gold case has a pink gold dial with eight pearls set into it. The hands sit extra high off the dial to make room for the pearls, and the tip of the minute hand is dramatically curved to sweep over their polished domes. Estimate: $10,000 to $15,000
Patek Philippe Ref. 5020 (Lot 191)
The so-called “TV-set” Patek Philippe watches weren’t popular when they came out. Many sat in retailers’ back rooms for a decade or more before buyers finally came along. Because of this, there aren’t many, and the complicated ref. 5020 (a perpetual calendar chronograph) in white gold has a strange elegance. It’s a big, funky Patek. What’s not to like? Estimate: $200,000 to $300,000