With America’s largest luxury watch show, WatchTime New York, a little over a week away, Phillips Auction House has revealed some of the watches it will be featuring at the upcoming event, at Manhattan’s Gotham Hall on October 14-15 (Click here for event details and to purchase tickets). From a storied Rolex GMT-Master to an extremely rare vintage Panerai Luminor, Phillips is previewing eight interesting modern and vintage pieces from its upcoming November auction in Geneva.
The first of these featured pieces, Lot 122, is an engraved Breguet Type XX previously owned by Sir Jack Brabham (April 2, 1926 – May 19, 2014). Brabham, famous for winning the Formula One World Championships in 1959, 1960, and 1966, owned the piece for over a decade before eventually trading it to his longtime watchmaker for fixing his clocks and other watches. At 38.5 mm in a steel case, with a consistent patina over the three subdials, and with “Esso J.B. Champion Du Monde 1959” engraved upon the caseback, this watch is an excellent example of a 1960s’ military chronograph.
The second of the featured pieces, Lot 162, is a full-set reference 1675 Rolex GMT-Master previously owned by motorsports designer and constructor Derek Gardner, and gifted to him by Formula One racing legend Sir Jackie Stewart. Gardner, best known for developing four-wheel-drive systems for Matra in 1969, and going on to design and build championship winning chassis for Tyrell in the early 1970s, was given the piece by Stewart in 1971 as a “thank you” after his first-place finish at the Drivers World Championship of the same year. Gardner enjoyed the watch — engraved on the caseback with “To Derek from Jackie With Thanks 1971” — for over 40 years, and it represents a unique piece of racing history and triumph.
The third of the pieces available for preview, Lot 103, is number 70 of the first 100 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshores, Reference 25721 ST. The historic piece marked the beginning of the Offshore line, which still thrives today and arguably helped spark today’s trend of larger watches. First unveiled at the Basel watch fair in 1993, the watch was quickly nicknamed “The Beast” due its (then) relatively large diameter of 42 mm and prominent presence on the wrist. This specific example features a guilloché “petite tapisserie”-patterned dial, a simply engraved “Royal Oak” on the caseback (simple when compared to the much more complicated casebacks seen later in the series’ lineage), and a chronograph complication popular in the Offshore collection.
The next featured piece, Lot 12, is a limited-edition platinum A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk with a digital time display, power-reserve indicator, and hacking seconds mechanism. From the second generation of the famous Zeitwerk series, this model is number 46 of 100 pieces and has some distinctive features such as the semi-transparent gray dial revealing its mechanics, the use of an innovative “Time Bridge” mechanism for the movement of the digital display disks, and luminous Arabic numerals.
The fifth of the featured pieces, Lot 11, is a platinum Vacheron Constantin Malte Chronograph with box and papers. At 41.5 mm, with a sand-blasted, platinum finished dial and an outer telemeter scale, this particular piece was the 62nd of 75 watches in a limited run of platinum-cased watches in the series under the name “Malte Chronograph Collection Excellence Platine.” The series, introduced in 2004 and discontinued in 2009, has since become a rarity in the world of horology, and uses the highly admired manually wound Vacheron Constantin Caliber 1141.
The next piece, Lot 13, is a yellow-gold Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph, Reference 5970, with box and papers. The 5970, released in 2004, was the direct successor of the Ref. 3970 and is the second-most recent iteration of the famous reference 1518 — next to the Ref. 5270, which was released in 2011. The reference 1518 was the first perpetual calendar chronograph to come into commercial production beginning (in 1941), and this yellow gold Perpetual Calendar Chronograph holds a significant spot in one of the longest running and most famous lineages in horology. This lot also comes with an additional caseback and pin pusher for the timepiece.
The seventh of the featured pieces, Lot 17, is a Reference E 168 Jaeger-LeCoultre Chronometre Geophysic from 1958. The Geophysic was originally developed as a scientist’s tool watch in order to resist magnetic fields, temperatures changes, and varying pressures — all of which were common concerns of many researchers working in extreme conditions around the world. The watch is characterized by a Bauhaus-inspired, no-nonsense dial; a central hacking seconds hand; and a 35-mm steel case.
The last of the pieces available for preview, Lot 82, is a reference 6152/1 Panerai Luminor from 1955. This particular piece houses a Rolex Caliber 618, and uses both a Rolex signed case and Panerai’s signature crown-protecting device — a combination known to exist in only 64 total examples. Of this 64, only 33 are known to also have the rare “Luminor Panerai” dial seen here. This particular piece also comes with a copy of a matriculation document certifying it to be previously owned by an accomplished, high ranking Rear Admiral of the Italian Navy, an accompanying detail that makes this watch’s excellent condition even more impressive.
All of these watches will be available for viewing at the Phillips Auctions booth at WatchTime New York on October 14-15, and will subsequently be available for auction at Phillips’ “The Geneva Watch Auction: Four” in Geneva, Switzerland, on November 12-13. The auction house will also conduct complimentary watch valuations on site at the event, exclusively for attendees of WatchTime New York. Click here to reserve your spot!