Distinguished timepieces realise record-breaking US$38.2m total in Christie's Hong Kong sales

Two watch sales took place during Christie’s Hong Kong Spring Auction Week. Collectively, they attained a sale total of nearly HK$300 million (around US$38.2 million) dollars – which set a new record for Christie’s Asian Watch Department.

The most valuable lot was a Patek Philippe Reference 5002R Double Dial 18K Pink Gold Tourbillon watch with 12 complications, which garnered HK$24.4 million (around US$3.1 million) dollars with buyer’s premium. A Patek Philippe world time pocket watch was the second priciest lot, and fetched HK$16 million dollars with buyer’s premium.

In recent years, F.P. Journe is a watch brand that has emerged rapidly. With its innovative design and complex functions, it is highly sought after by collectors. The F.P Journe T-10 platinum tourbillon watch is limited to 10 pieces. One of which was the sale's third most valuable lot, and realised HK$11.3 million (around US$1.4 million) dollars with buyer’s premium.

Lot 2273 | Patek Philippe | Ref. 5002R 18K Pink Gold Double Dial Wristwatch with Twelve Complications including Cathedral Minute Repeating Tourbillon, Perpetual Calendar with Retrograde Date, Moon Age and Angular Motion, Sidereal Time and Sky Chart

Manufactured in 2010
Estimate: HK$10,000,000 – 20,000,000
Sold: HK$24,450,000 (around US$3.1 million)

The Ref. 5002 model was produced between 2001 and 2012. During its introduction, it was the most complex watch in the history of Patek Philippe. This timepiece integrates 12 complex functions – including cathedral minute repeating tourbillon, perpetual calendar with retrograde date, moon age and angular motion, as well as sidereal time and sky chart.

Ref. 5002 has yellow gold, rose gold and platinum versions – the rose gold version has 25 pieces, while 40 pieces each in yellow gold and platinum. Until today, six rose gold Sky Moon Tourbillon watches returned to the market – including this present watch.

Inspired by the Star Caliber 2000, a double-dialled pocket watch made to commemorate the new Millennium, the Sky Moon Tourbillon has two dials. The first displaying mean solar time, retrograde perpetual calendar and phases of the moon. The other side features the sky chart – a map of the night sky in the Northern Hemisphere.

The minute repeater is a complication for which Patek Philippe are also famous for. Over the years, the company has invested considerable time and effort in the development of the minute repeating wristwatch to perfect both its function and sound. The company has developed a special alloy for the making of the gongs which provides a clear, easily audible and attractive tone. In the Reference 5002 Sky Moon Tourbillon, two extra-long cathedral gongs provide an astonishing richness and clarity. Almost twice the length of ordinary gongs, both coil around the movement twice.

Lot 2443 | Patek Philippe | Ref. 605HU 18K Gold World Time Pocket Watch with World Map Cloisonne Enamel Dial

Manufactured in 1948
Estimate: HK$5,000,000 – 12,000,000
Sold: HK$16,050,000 (around US$2 million)

Manufactured in gold and equipped with a cloisonne enamel world map, this present lot with Reference 605HU is one of three watches with the same model and configuration. One is in the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva, a second is owned by a private collector, while this present and third one was auctioned for the first time at Christie’s Hong Kong.

The Heure Universelle or world time mechanism was invented in 1931 by the prominent Geneva watchmaker Louis Cottier (1894-1966). This technology was incorporated into watches by several of Switzerland's leading watch firms – including Patek Philippe (Ref. 605, 1415 and 2523), Vacheron & Constantin (Ref. 3372), Agassiz and Rolex (Ref. 4262).

Louis Cottier

Patek Philippe's world map cloisonne enamel dial 

From 1939 to 1964 Louis Cottier and Patek Philippe produced up to 95 pieces of Reference 605 – for a total production of 68 watches in yellow gold and 27 in pink gold. Reference 605 was available with a plain metal dial or a unique cloisonne enamel dial. The latter could depict individual continents, hemispheres or even the entire planet. The reference was one of the earliest to use Louis Cottier's world time system and each watch was made under Cottier's direct supervision to ensure that the world time mechanism worked flawlessly even after it was cased.

The dial maker, Stern Freres, supplied most of the great watch houses. These watches’ solid gold dial production was costly, as they had to be individually made by a skilled craftsman and not on a production line. The artist created the outline of the desired motif by arranging thin gold wires on a dial.

Lot 2382 | F. P. Journe | No. 01⁄10-T10, Platinum Limited Edition Tourbillon Wristwatch, Celebrating 10th Anniversary of the First F. P. Journe Boutique in Tokyo

Manufactured in 2014
Estimate: HK$6,500,000 – 13,000,000
Sold: HK$11,730,000 (around US$1.4 million)

With its innovative design and extraordinary complications, F.P Journe has attracted many watch collectors. The founder, Francois-Paul Journe, is particular about the materials used in watchmaking.

A small team of 120 craftsmen machine and assemble the tiny components for fewer than 900 watches annually with Journe himself as the chief watchmaker. Each watch is inscribed with the Latin words Invenit et Fecit – meaning invented and made – indicating that each of the watches carrying his name results from an entirely original conception with rigorous craftsmanship.

Francois-Paul Journe

F. P. Journe boutique in Tokyo

An entirely special production watch in every sense, the platinum Tourbillon T-10 was made in 2013 to celebrate two important events in the history of F.P. Journe – the 10th anniversary of the opening of the first boutique in Tokyo (the T of T-10 stands for Tokyo) and the inauguration of the brand’s 10th international boutique in Beirut.

As 10 watches were made, the limited number presented a challenge in terms of allocation. To solve this dilemma, F.P. Journe's 10 worldwide boutiques were each asked to provide the names of three loyal and established clients. The names were collected and of these 30 names, 10 were drawn at random to become the lucky chosen recipients of a platinum T-10 Tourbillon.

The general design of the T-10 closely followed the rose gold T-30, which was also made in 2013 in an edition of 99 pieces to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Francois-Paul Journe's first tourbillon pocket watch. T-10's most striking feature is that, unlike almost every other tourbillon wristwatch, F.P. Journe decided not to display the tourbillon through the dial. Instead, the tourbillon is solely visible through the exhibition crystal case at the back.

Auction Details:

Auction House: Christie’s Hong Kong

Sale: Important Watches and The Rise of The Independent Watchmakers, Featuring The Kairos Collection Part II
Date: 24 May 2022
Sale Total: HK$142,114,923 (around US$18.1 million)

Sale: The Champion Collection Part III: The Artistry of Complications
Date: 24 May 2022
Sale Total: HK$156,889,860 (around US$19.9 million)