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Fine and rare watches at Christie’s New York auction
Patek Philippe Wristwatches to lead sale of over 380 extraordinary timepieces
By: Diamond World News Service
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Dec 12 2009 12:06PM
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Reference: 4437  

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Following recently successful sales of fine and rare watches in Dubai, Geneva and Hong Kong, Christie’s New York will present a selection of over 380 fine and rare timepieces for auction on Tuesday, December 15. Vintage and modern wristwatches from major manufacturers as well as pocket watches, fine ladies watches, and rare signed clocks will be highlighted. Prices for the timepieces begin at $700 and range upwards to $350,000 for the most important signed timepieces. The total sale is expected to achieve in excess of $4 million. Sam Hines, Head of Watches at Christie’s New York comments, “As our recent sales have demonstrated, demand for high quality timepieces continues to expand globally, as we welcome new collectors into this field.”

Minute-repeating watches
Among the top lots of the sale is a selection of Patek Philippe minute repeating wristwatches – a highly covered complication among devoted collectors of fine wristwatches. The watches include a platinum minute repeating tourbillion wristwatch estimated to be from $350,000 to 550,000, a signed 18k gold minute repeating watch estimated to be between $280,000 to 350,000 and a signed platinum minute repeating watch with a handsome enamel dial coming at a price between $250,000 to $350,000. Also featured is the Cartier retailed Audemars Piguet wristwatch estimated to be between $120,000to 180,000.

Signed watches from top manufacturers
Leading the broad selection of over 200 modern signed watches from top houses is a sleek platinum Girard-Perregaux, a fine and rare oversized tourbillion hour striking watch with a pink golden bridge visible though the aperture approximately priced between $100,000 to 150,000; a curved tonneau-shaped Richard Mille, a 18k pink gold tourbillion watch with a skeletonized dial estimated to be between $80,000 to $120,000; a very rare Franck Muller, the “Consquistador” model in 18K white gold and estimated to be between $80,000 to 120,000: and a Patek Phillipe with the rare and highly sought after black dial and white gold baton numerals costing between $80,000 and $120,000.

Vintage pocket watches
Pocket watches continue to fascinate connoisseurs who appreciate this pleasing form as an emblem of horological craftsmanship. Over 50 pocket watches are included in the upcoming sale, including the 18k pink gold Patek Philippe pocket watch priced between $75,000 to 120,000; a silver pair case verge watch signed by Thomas Tompion, the “Father of English Clock Making priced between $4,000 to $6,000. Other rare and important timepieces consigned by the museum include antique pocket watches signed by the 19th century English watchmakers John Torbock, Edward Prior, and William Ilbury fetching a price between $4,000 to 12,000 and an unusual Swiss timepiece in the form of a musical harp that is accented with gold, pearls, diamonds and enamelled decorative motifs estimated at $40,000 to 60,000.

Ladies watches and holiday gift ideas
The upcoming sale features an array of ladies luxury watches from Cartier, Chopard, Graff, and Harry Winston, among others. Leading the group is an impressive signed wristwatch by De Grisogono that is accented with a silvered dial and diamond encrusted frame, dial and hinges estimated to fetch $35,000 to $55,000. Among the fine bracelet watches for women is a stunning 18k white gold and diamond watch by Graff with a dial and bracelet set entirely in diamond baguettes and highlighted by clusters of heart-shaped diamonds priced between $20,000 to $30,000. Among the vintage items is an elegant ladies Cartier wristwatch that features a slim rectangular case and black cord bracelet accented with diamonds priced around $15,000 to $20,000.

Among the many items in the sale well-suited for lavish gift-giving is an exquisite 18k gold, diamond, rock crystal and onyx “Mystery Clock” by Cartier, and a signed Breitling limited edition “Orbiter 3” which is a perfect gift for pilots, off-piste skiers, and adventurers.

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