Heritage Auctions October 2017 Event
On October 24, 2017 Heritage Auctions will offer extraordinarily rare and exciting pieces to the block. Leading the way, and forming the pinnacle of this single owner collection from a well-known tech entrepreneur is a pair of minute repeaters from Patek Philippe. The Ref. 3974J is both a design and technical tour de force, a masterpiece of haute horology, and rightly considered one of the most beautiful and important wristwatches from the manufacturer over the last 50 years. This example is one of only circa 90 made, in yellow gold, during its 13-year production run and was created to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Patek Philippe.
Let us begin with the collector. The collector buys Audemars Piguet due to its history in great complex pocketwatches. The collector buys AP since when Patek Philippe needed some assistance on the complicated repeater of the Henry Graves Jr.. Supercomplication, it turned out to AP. The collector purchases AP because of watches such as this, this, and this. They purchase AP since the Le Brassus manufacture has long been at the very forefront of engineering and materials, showing off incredible watches like the very first moment repeating wristwatch way back in 1892, the first jump-hour wristwatch in 1921, the first skeletonized pocket watch in 1934, the introduction of an whole category in 1972, the first ultra slim perpetual calendar wristwatch with central rotor in 1978, the very first self-winding ultra slim tourbillon in 1986, the first grande and petite sonnerie wristwatch in 1994, the very first self-winding grand complication in 1996, the first wristwatch equation of time together with endless calendar in 2000, the high frequency chronometer with double-balance AP Escapement in 2009, and well, a ton of other things.Today, watches such as the Royal Oak endless calendar skeleton (a benchmark in AP’s collection and among the finest perpetuals available on the market, in my own opinion), the Royal Oak Equation of Time, the innovative Chron-AP, and also this Millenary Minute Repeater demonstrate that AP is without a doubt a top-tier manufacture. AP’s in-house self-winding caliber 3120, located inside the fundamental Royal Oak 15400, is also one of the best base movements on earth. These are the things which keep AP pertinent to “real” watch fans that sometimes get lost in the buzz around the other types of AP buyers.
The complexity of the automatic perpetual calendar moon phase, combined with the minute repeating complication, points to nearly 4 years of research and development of the Caliber R 27 Q featured in this timepiece. Alongside this is the Ref. 5013R from 2007, an automatic retrograde date minute repeater fashioned in a rose gold tonneau shaped case. With 515 movement parts, it was previously one of the most complicated wristwatches Patek had produced at that time. These two amazing timepieces are just part of the extraordinary single owner collection offering.
Other highlights from Patek Philippe include an ultra-rare Ref. 5204P Split Second Chronograph in Platinum. This watch has rightly become a modern day icon, a grail piece for collectors, and easily the most desirable perpetual calendar on the market. Also available is a stunning pair consisting of the Ref. 5004P and Ref. 5004R. One is a double sealed rose gold example and the other a platinum version, as well as two Ref. 5970P and Ref. 5970R watches in rose gold and platinum and a pair of Ref. 5960P and Ref. 5960R models also in rose gold and platinum. Additionally, in this same collection is a gorgeous white gold Ref. 5270, and one of the best-known examples of a Ref. 1579R to come to auction. Finally, the well-known and loved Calatrava Ref. 570R, with center seconds from the late 1950s, still factory sealed from the Patek Philippe service center, will be of great interest in the auction room.
For the modern wristwatch collector, Heritage Auctions will be offering a Platinum Jaeger-LeCoultre Gyrotourbillon 2 No. 58/75, and an Audemars Piguet Best Watches Carbon Concept Tourbillon. These are two completely different, but industry-changing applications to the tourbillon regulator from two of the most respected manufactures producing timepieces today.
Every important watch brand will be represented, with an especially strong selection of sports watches from Rolex. This includes multiple Submariners, GMTs and Daytonas, in varying combinations of era and specification, as well as a vast array of Bubblebacks and classic Datejust models.
The reply to that question is simple: everyone. What I mean with this is that there are two very distinct groups of high-end watch buyers: the collector and the basic “watch lover.” The collector is the guy who spent the past 15 years living on TimeZone along with the PuristS, the type of guy who hears the title Walt Odets and understands exactly who I’m talking about. The collector is the type of guy who understands the distinction between hand handmade and polished. He has gotten well past the point of arguing about brands and knows enough to talk about individual projects. He also reveres Patek Philippe for what it meant to watches within the last 100 decades, understands the importance and appeal of classic Rolex, but purchases just what talks to him. A watch buff, on the other hand, is someone who might be a little newer to luxury watches, and remains very brand conscious. Both purchase watches from Audemars Piguet, but likely different versions, and surely for different factors.
Of particular interest to the vintage chronograph collector will be the ‘Nina Rhindt’ Compax by Universal Genève. This highly collectible wristwatch, with its signature “panda” dial, has increasingly been on the collector radar. For the Omega and space enthusiast, the actual Omega Speedmaster 40th Anniversary Ltd Ed No. 11 that was presented to astronaut Buzz Aldrin in 2009 by Omega will also be available. Here, the limited edition Number 11 is obviously significant due to Buzz Aldrin’s history-setting Apollo 11 mission to the moon.
The auction will be held online and in the Lotte New York Palace Hotel on October 24, 2017 at 1 pm, with previews on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th of October at Heritage Galleries: 445 Park Avenue, New York NY. ha.com
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