patek philippe nautillus ref 3700 11 lot 149 phillips 2017 02
Vintage & Auctions

Prevailing Design at Phillips auction

One thing that sets the Phillips catalogue apart is the strong dedication to choose watches based on their design and highlighting this choice notably through the pictures and the angles they are taken from.

By Audrey Humbert

No matter how complicated a watch, it is the well-balanced design that will make it a masterpiece or not. A display that is pleasant to look at and provides a clear reading of the time which is surrounded by a well proportioned case. «It should feel like a stroke», these are the words pronounced by Jean-Pierre Hagmann, the unequalled talented casemaker.

Audemars Piguet Ref. 5504 – Lot 198 – Estimate : CHF60,000 - 90,000

If you focus on the design aspect, then you will find it delightful to flip through the pages of the Phillips catalogue starting with the fabled reference 1436 and its pink on pink dial and split chronograph. A refined movement combined to high readibility and a smooth case which beauty is further enhanced through the matching colour of the dial.

Patek Philippe Ref. 1436 – Lot 75 – Estimate : CHF350,000 - 550,000

Staying within the Patek Philippe family, you will necessarily pay strong attention to the worldtime pocket watch (lot 182) with a cloisonné enamel scene depicting North America.

Patek Philippe Ref. 605 HU – Lot 182 – Estimate : CHF300,000 - 600,000

Once again, it is not only the level of complication of a watch that matters. If we consider the worldtime fonction, it is purely a matter of how readable is the worldtime indication. And Patek Philippe has been a master in successfully creating worldtime dial. Do we really need to remind their connection with the Stern dial factory?

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona "Qaboos" Ref. 6265 – Lot 84 – Estimate : CHF200,000 - 400,000

Rolex has also a longstanding tradition for smooth designs that have tirelessly appealed the most eminent personalities of the world through years. This results in creation such as the reference 1680 with blue bezel and nipple dial adorned with the golden Khanjar (the Omani State symbol) or the reference 6265 proudly bearing the «Qaboos» signature in red. These features combined, the two examples literally stand out from the crowd to reach the very privileged status of grail watches. Not only personalities have shown a strong interest to associate their name to the crown logo, companies such as Tiffany also feature their very own Rolex specimen. Speaking about lot 92, I personally feel like standing in front of a Tiffany boutique when looking at it.

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona "John Player Special Paul Newman" Ref. 6241 – Lot 92 – Estimate : CHF400,000 - 800,000

A completely different feeling dominates when looking at the Patek Philippe reference 2499 (lot 38) where the Tiffany logo is less prominent thus even further enhancing the choice of the House to collaborate with Patek Philippe on one of their most acclaimed model.

Patek Philippe Ref. 2499 – Lot 38 – Estimate : CHF1,000,000 - 2,000,000

Design freaks will not miss the selection of Cartier timepieces (lots 216-220) again following the same rule of shining through their specific design.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Ref. 6062 "Bao Dai" – Lot 93 – Estimate : On Request

If you allow me, I will conclude with a choice of two watches. The impressive Rolex 6062 with the imperial provenance of Bao Dai that promises to fetch the highest price of this auction and my personal choice which in this case is lot 171 for its woven bracelet that confers a very particular shine to this pink gold Patek Philippe reference 2597.

Patek Philippe Ref. 2597 – Lot 203 – Estimate : CHF70,000 - 120,000

Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 3700 – Lot 149 – Estimate : CHF40,000 - 60,000

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