Patek Philippe. A rare and very fine 18K gold chronograph wristwatch with registers, perpetual calendar and moon phases. Ref:2499, Case no. 691621, Movement No. 868353, circa 1955, 23-jewel Cal. 13"' movement with overcoiled spring to bimetallic balance, micrometer regulator, chronograph work planted on the bridges activated by two rectangular buttons in case band, perpetual calendar under the circular silvered dial with tachymeter scale enclosing applied gold arabic chapters, apertures for day and month and date ring incorporating aperture for moon phase, gold dauphine hands, blued sweep and register hands, snap back case with concave bezel and down turned lugs, leather strap with 18K gold "Patek Phillipe" [sic] buckle, case, dial and movement signed. 37mm. Est. $250,000 - 350,000. Image: Courtesy of Bonhams.
NEW YORK, NY.- Bonhams presents the firm’s biannual Fine Watches, Wristwatches & Clocks auction to be held on December 13 at 3pm ET. The sale will be viewed in the Bonhams Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York galleries and the auction will be conducted simultaneously in all three salesrooms. The auction features a wide variety of beautiful and rare timepieces, including: vintage pocket watches and wristwatches by Cartier, Vacheron Constantin, and Patek Philippe, fine handmade complicated wristwatches by Beat Haldimann and Kari Voutilainen, a wonderful selection of vintage and modern Rolex chronographs, several hand painted enamel wristwatches by Roger Dubuis and Patek Philippe, several beautiful and rare clocks and many fine vintage European and American pocket watches. With such diversity and fine craftsmanship, the December auction is sure to attract many collectors and admirers of horological art.
Perhaps no production wristwatch is more sought after than Patek Philippe’s reference 2499, a stellar example of which will be on offer this December (est. $250,000-350,000). This fresh to auction rare and very fine 18K gold chronograph wristwatch with registers, perpetual calendar and moon phases, is in splendid condition and represents the height of complexity achieved by wristwatch makers in the 1950s. The perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch has been continuously produced by Patek Philippe for 70 years since the introduction of Reference 1518. The increased production of successive models testifies to its status as one of the most desirable wristwatches in the world.
Beginning in the 1980s and continuing today, complicated handmade wristwatches have become increasingly popular amongst fine wristwatch collectors. A Beat Haldimann extremely fine platinum precision wristwatch with central flying tourbillon H1, No. 19, completed 2005 (photo Bonhams), 2-jewel Cal. H-ZEN-A manual winding movement, right angle lever escapement with shock resistant suspension to monometallic balance, overcoiled spring, finely finished three arm 1 – minute tourbillon carriage at the center of the black dial engraved with roman numerals, central hour and minute rings with polished Breguet pointers, polished cylindrical case with convex bezel glazed with sapphire, similarly glazed transparent back secured by six screws, maker's leather strap and buckle, accompanied by display box with protective packaging, guarantee certificate, case, dial and movement signed. 39mm (est. $60,000-80,000). Introduced at the 2002 Basel Fair, the HI tourbillon wristwatch embodies the belief of its creator, Beat Haldimann that Horology is an art. His atelier, located in Thun, Switzerland produces individually crafted watches and clocks to order without the use of automated machinery. Haldimann sees himself upholding the tradition of innovation and craftsmanship that characterized the work of the pioneers of precision time keeping such as Harrison, Breguet or Janvier.
The challenge in designing the first H1 was crafting a highly finished tourbillon of sufficient size to be effective while keeping the overall dimensions of the watch to a modest size. In addition, choosing to locate the carriage in the center of the movement precluded the use of standard calibers or conventional motion work. The result is a unique watch entirely of Haldimann's own design and manufacture.
Another magnificent example of handmade craftsmanship can be seen in a very fine stainless steel lever chronometer wristwatch with its Bulletin de Marche d'Observatoire, No. C26072, sold 2009 by Kari Voutilainen (photo Bonhams), 21-jewel highly finished Peseux calibre movement, free sprung Guillaume balance with Breguet overcoil and Grossman inner terminal curve, white gold dial, engine turned chapter ring with polished arabic numerals, subsidiary seconds, gold Breguet hands, polished cylindrical case with transparent back secured by six screws, maker's leather strap with 18K white gold deployant clasp, accompanied by Observatoire de Besançon Bulletin de Marche, guarantee certificate, two additional straps, an additional buckle, screwdriver and a bespoke inlaid maple presentation box by Cedric Vichard with certificate, case, dial and movement signed. 38mm, est. $55,000-70,000.
The base caliber of the Chronomètre d'Observatoire (observatory wristwatch) is the famed Peseux 260, a movement mostly used for observatory trials. It has been hand finished with Geneva Stripes, anglage and perlage. Special attention has been given to the free sprung 13mm diameter balance wheel. While the exterior of the spring uses a typical Breguet overcoil, the spring has been given an inner terminal curve devised by Moritz Grossman one of the original founders of the Deutsche Uhrmacherschule in Glashütte. Grosmann, who later taught at the Horological School at Le Locle, was influential in the science of chronometry and in the final development of the precision watch in the early 20th century.
Kari Voutilainen was born in Finland in 1962. He moved to Switzerland in 1989 to attend the International Watchmaking School where he completed the WOSTEP complicated watch course, a post graduate course for those watchmakers dedicated to the restoration of complicated, high quality rare watches. Following his graduation he found work as a restorer for Parmigiani. In 2002, Voutilainen established his own company in Môtier Switzerland.
The sale will also include many fine vintage Rolex chronographs, two of which are the property of famed racecar driver, Monte Shelton. The first of his two items, both to be sold without reserve, is A fine stainless steel chronograph bracelet watch with tachymeter beze lCosmograph Daytona, Ref:6263, Case no. 5503357, circa 1978 (photo Bonhams), 17-jewel Cal. 727 manual winding two button chronograph movement adjusted to temperature and position, shock resistant suspension to monometallic, balance, silvered dial with fifth seconds ring enclosing applied baton numerals with luminous fill, black subsidiary dials for 30-minute and 12-hour registers and continuous seconds, polished hands with luminous fill, screw back tonneau case with black tachymeter bezel, screw down chronograph buttons and crown, Oyster 78350 bracelet with deployant clasp, accompanied by a display box, case, dial and movement signed. 37mm17-jewel Cal. 727 manual winding two button chronograph movement adjusted to temperature and position, shock resistant suspension to monometallic, balance, silvered dial with fifth seconds ring enclosing applied baton numerals with luminous fill, black subsidiary dials for 30-minute and 12-hour registers and continuous seconds, polished hands with luminous fill, screw back tonneau case with black tachymeter bezel, screw down chronograph buttons and crown, Oyster 78350 bracelet with deployant clasp, accompanied by a display box, case, dial and movement signed. 37mm, est. $20,000-30,000.
Also up for auction is a fine stainless steel tachymeter chronograph wristwatch Cosmograph, Ref:6265, Case no. 3504219, circa 1972, 17-jewel Cal. 727 manual winding two button chronograph movement adjusted to temperature and position, shock resistant suspension to monometallic, balance, champagne dial with fifth seconds ring enclosing applied baton numerals with luminous fill, black subsidiary dials for 30-minute and 12-hour registers and continuous seconds, black hands with luminous fill, screw back tonneau case with black tachymeter bezel, screw down chronograph buttons and crown, associated leather strap, accompanied by a display box, case, dial and movement signed. 37mm; with unique champagne dial made for Mr. Shelton at the Rolex factory in Geneva, which was worn by the master driver for 46 years, throughout eleven Daytona 24 Hour races and much more ($25,000-35,000). Despite its long history, this rare and important watch was well preserved and will certainly be an auction highlight.
Other highlights include: a beautiful Cartier art deco rock crystal, lapis lazuli, jade and emerald boudoir clock (photo Bonhams), No. 2163, stamped with reference no. 0716, the movement by the European Watch and Clock Co., 1920's, est. $25,000-50,000, a rare mirror image pair of enameled silver gilt center seconds watches for the Chinese market (est. $10,000-15,000), a very fine and rare platinum tourbillion wristwatch with power reserve and remontoire displaying dead beat seconds by F.P. Journe (est. $75,000-100,000), and a very fine platinum limited edition automatic wristwatch with painted and cloisonné enamel dial depicting the American bald eagle, signed by the enameller, Anita Porchet, made by Patek Philippe (est. $90,000-100,000).