Bonhams Hong Kong Presents Asia's Largest Collection of Timepieces Spanning the Last 100 Years, Led by Limited-Edition Omega 'Moon Watch'

The first moon landing in1969 is definitely one of the proudest moments in human history happened in the last century. To celebrate this event, the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer Omega produced the Speedmaster Professional Moon watch. It will be on sale at Bonhams Hong Kong with an estimate of HK$130,000 - 260,000.

The Speedmaster Professional Moon watch was same model of wristwatch that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin wore on the mission, which dubbed the watch 'The First Moon Watch'. Omega produced 1,014 pieces of limited edition Speedmaster Professional watches to commemorate the Apollo XI Moon landing, one of which (no. 518)  is offered in this sale.   

The Omega Speedmaster Professional Moon watch

This wristwatch celebrates the first Moon landing

Omega Speedmaster Professional Moon watch (right), 25th Anniversary Speedmaster Professional (left)

This Moon watch, along with the 25th Anniversary limited edition Omega Platinum Speedmaster Professional, are the centerpieces of Bonhams' Centennial Collection.

The Centennial Collection showcases over 1000 fresh-to-market watches and signifies the development of the watch industry from the 1920s until now. Bonhams seizes this opportunity to walk us through the social trends that were popular in the last hundred years. 

Rolex Oyster yellow gold octagonal wristwatch

British professional swimmer Mercedes Gleitze

We will introduce some of the most iconic and representative watches from each decade, starting with the 1920s. In the 1920s, Rolex produced its first waterproof and dustproof wristwatch. Given the name “Oyster”, it featured a hermetically sealed case which provided optimal protection for the movement.

An example of the Oyster watch is the yellow gold octagonal wristwatch in the sale. It was produced in 1926 and has an estimate of HK$20,000 - 40,000. In 1927, the British swimmer Mercedes Gleitze wore an early Rolex "osyter" in a 10-hour swim across the English Channel and the watch remained in perfect working condition at the end of the swim. 

The Rolex Prince 14k yellow gold rectangular wristwatch

The 1930s was the era of the Great Depression. The watch industry remained stagnant. Art Deco watches, like the Rolex Prince in this sale, became on trend. The Rolex "Prince" is the only Rolex watch which is rectangular in shape.

In fact, the Rolex "Prince" was designed for professionals like doctors and lawyers. The letters and markings on the watch had to be highly readable for doctcors to be able to tell the time easily during surgery. As a result, the watch was often called the "doctor's watch". At the time, it was reported that the price of the new Rolex "Prince" was the same as that of a motor car. It has an estimate of HK$30,000 - 60,000 now. 

The "Pilot" watch is oversized and anti-magnetic 

During the 1940s, World War II took the world by storm. Watches produced in that period were more for practical use. An example is this stainless steel military wristwatch designed by the German watch manufacturer A. Lange & Söhne for military pilots. With a diameter of 55cm, this oversized watch is perfect for pilots.

In order for pilots to tell the time accurately with no distraction, the manufacturer didn't mark the brand name on the surface of the watch. The watch is also encased in an anti-magnetic alloy and can be easily worn over the flight suit. Those who have the chance to wear it would be surprised by how heavy it is. The watch has an estimate of HK$60,000 - 100,000.

Jaeger-LeCoultre|Yellow gold triple calendar wristwatch with moonphase

The 1950s is a period of recovery from the devastation of World War II. People slowly became more conscious of the passing of time. In 1955, Jaeger-LeCoultre made a yellow gold triple calendar wristwatch with moonphase which quickly became one of the most sought-after watches at that time. Today, it has an estimate of HK$40,000 - 80,000.

The Moon Watch that commemorates the Apollo 11 Space Mission

Omega Speedmaster Professional Moon Watch

The aforementioned Speedmaster Professional Moon Watch was a masterpiece of watches in the 60s. It was made during The Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, a period that urged scientific development, especially in space technology. 

Heuer | Monaco stainless steel chronograph square wristwatch

The Monaco Grand Prix has over 90 years of history

Heuer | Carrera yellow gold chronograph bracelet watch with date

"Tool watches" were in demand in the 1970s. They perform tasks such as measuring time during diving, racing and in flights. The Heuer "Monaco" is a prime example of these watches. It has four notches clipped into the back of the monocoque case and through tension it is able to create water resistance.

Monaco is a familiar place to many Formula One fans because of the Monte Carlo Grand Prix. Rumour has it that Jack Heuer wanted to use the watch to attract these car racing fans, therefore naming it "Monaco". Estimating at HK$20,000 - 40,000, the watch was produced in the same period as the "Carrera/1158" which is estimated at HK$70,000 - 140,000.  

Omega|Limited edition yellow gold skeletonised wristwatch

The late 1970s to 1980s was the period of the Quartz Revolution when "tool watches" and chronographs were dominating the industry. As a form of retaliation, traditional manufacturers produced skeletonised watches to show the fine hand-craftmanship that cannot be seen in battery-operated watches. The Omega 1985 yellow gold skeletonised wristwatch in the sale is a beautiful example of this period's watches. It has an estimate of HK$20,000 - 40,000.

Omega|Apollo 11 25th Anniversary, Limited edition 1/5 platinum and diamond-set chronograph skeletonised bracelet watch

The 1990s is propelled by new technologies and globalisation which promoted luxurious watches. The Omega 1994 limited edition Speedmaster Professional platinum watch is fully skeletonised and comes adorned with 36 baguette-cut diamonds. With only 5 produced, this "number 1" watch of the five pieces has an estimate of HK$500,000 - 1,000,000. 

Robert Wan|Tahitian Black Pearl chronograph

The wristwatch features a pink gold case and automatic rotor, set with Tahitian pearls

The watch is produced by the Tahitian Pearl producer Robert Wan

The 2000s was a period for more technically diverse watches. The Tahitian Pearl producer Robert Wan produced a Tahitian black pearl chronograph wristwatch that features a pink gold case as well as an automatic rotor. This watch is very unique and thus estimated at HK$100,000 - 200,000. 

Ulysse Nardin|San Marco Adam & Eve - Erotic Automaton Jacquemart

The couple, woman and serpent "performs" on the hour and half hours or at will

The past ten years have been an era for both traditional and avant-garde watch brands. This Ulysse Nardin San Marco watch, released in 2010, exemplifies the innovation of the watch industry. The watch depicts two erotic scenes in a 42mm case- an amorous couple and a naked woman performing with a serpent.

This watch has a Mother-of-Pearl centre and strikes on the hour and half hours or at will. Its estimate is HK$250,000 - 500,000.

To get a closer look at these watches, you can visit the Bonhams Hong Kong gallery from today until 12 June. The collection will be offered across multiple sales throughout the year, commencing with 'Hong Kong Watches 2.0', in which over 310 watches from the collection will be up for sale. 

The Centennial Collection: 100 Years Of Timepieces

Rolex 'Oyster' Yellow Gold Octagonal Wristwatch

Lot no.: 1269
Produced in: circa 1926
Estimate: HK$20,000 - 40,000 (US$ 2,600 - 5,200)

Rolex 'Prince' 14K Yellow Gold Rectangular Wristwatch

Lot no.: 1274
Produced in: circa 1930
Estimate: HK$30,000 - 60,000 (US$3,800 - 7,700)

A. Lange & Söhne Oversized Stainless Steel Military Wristwatch 

Lot no.: 1084
Produced in: circa 1940
Estimate: HK$60,000 - 120,000 (US$7,600 - 15,000) 

Jaeger-LeCoultre Yellow and Gold Triple Calendar Wristwatch with Moonphase

Lot no.: 996
Produced in: circa 1955
Estimate: HK$40,000 - 80,000 (US$5,100 - 10,000)

Omega - The First Moon Watch Limited Edition Yellow Gold Chronograph Bracelet Watch, Commemorating the Apollo 11 Space Mission and the successful Moon landing in 1969

Lot no.: 1176
Produced in: circa 1969
Estimate: HK$130,000 - 260,000 (US$17,000 - 33,000)

Heuer 'Monaco' Stainless Steel Chronograph Square Wristwatch

Lot no.: 1043
Produced in: circa 1970
Estimate: HK$20,000 - 40,000 (US$2,600 - 5,100)

Heuer 'Carrera' Yellow Gold Chronograph Bracelet Watch with Date

Lot no.: 1050
Produced in: circa 1970
Estimate: HK$70,000 - 140,000 (US$8,900 - 18,000)

Omega 56/100 Limited Edition Yellow Gold Skeletonised Wristwatch

Lot no.: 1154
Produced in: circa 1985
Estimate: HK$20,000 - 40,000 (US$2,600 - 5,100) 

Omega Apollo 11 25th Anniversary, Limited Edition 1/5 Platinum and Diamond-Set Chronograph Skeletonised Bracelet Watch, Commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Space Mission and the Successful Moon Landing in 1969

Lot no.: 1173
Produced in: circa 1994
Estimate: HK$500,000 - 1,000,000 (US$64,000 - 130,000) 

Robert Wan 'Tahitian Black Pearl' Pink Gold and Tahitian Black Pearl Chronograph Wristwatch

Lot no.: 1107
Produced in: circa 2001
Estimate: HK$100,000 - 200,000 (US$13,000 - 26,000)

Ulysse Nardin 'San Marco' Adam & Eve Platinum Erotic Automaton Jacquemart Striking Wristwatch with Two Tone Mother-of-Pearl Dial

Lot no.: 1252
Produced in: circa 2010
Estimate: HK$250,000 - 500,000 (US$32,000 - 64,000) 

The Centennial Collection: 100 Years of Timepieces

Location: Bonhams Hong Kong gallery
Address: Suite 2001, One Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty
Exhibition: 31 May - 12 June 2019

Auction details

Auction house: Bonhams Hong Kong
Sale: Hong Kong Watches 2.0 
Sale date: 12 June 2019|10:30am