Rolex, Patek Philippe lead Bonhams Fine Watch Auction
Two ultra-rare Patek Philippe timepieces from different eras headline Bonhams’ highly anticipated Fine Watch Auction tomorrow (June 15) at its Bond Street auction house.
The first is a spectacularly complicated pocket watch, No. 962, an 18-carat gold perpetual calendar pocket watch with moon phases, leap years, and 24-hour indications.
The second, a more recent Patek Philippe replica watch, is model 3422, designed around 1960 by the jeweler Gilbert Albert, who was inspired by the modernist sculptor Brancusi and the painter Mondrian.
Influenced by the artist, the diamond-shaped, asymmetrical stepped case stood out in Patek Philippe’s vast catalog of designs.
Only 18 yellow gold pieces and five rose gold were produced in four years. This watch was offered by a representative of the original owner’s family and has therefore never been seen at auction.
Also from Patek Philippe is an 18-carat pink gold 2010 Nautilus, model 5980R, one of the giant and sportiest Nautilus models, and a 2012 Grande Complication Retrograde Perpetual Calendar, model 5160, another limited edition with an officer-style case.
Another military-related copy Rolex is a GMT Master ‘Pepsi’ circa 1960, estimated at £40,000-60,000, offered by the family of the original owner. This highly decorated pilot served in the Royal Air Force from 1944 and later flew as a commercial pilot.
ROLEX GMT Master with Bakelite Bezel
Aside from its impeccable provenance and the rare state of preservation of a watch worn regularly, the absolute rarity of this watch is its bezel, made of blue and red bakelite-covered radium, which was later withdrawn from sale on the advice of the Atomic Energy Commission.
“Some auctions take on a life of their own and this one is no exception, offering an unusual group of modernist designs from, Patek Philippe, Ulysse Nardin and even Alain Silberstein. These are adjacent to some superb examples of collectors’ staples such as the Rolex Paul Newman 6265 or the more modern replica Rolex Submariner 116610LV (aka Hulk),” said Jonathan Darracott, Bonhams’ global head of watches.