Earlier this month we had a look at the best Rolexes in the catalogue for the upcoming Antiquorum Important Antique, Modern & Vintage Timepieces, taking place on December 5th in Hong Kong. As promised, we’re back to take a look at the best of the rest, ranging from auction staples like Patek Philippes to those that are more accessible but no less intriguing.
We have 16 watches to look at so let’s not waste any more time.
Lot 370: A. Lange & Sohne Lange 1 Tourbillon Ref. 722.050
They might not be Swiss but A. Lange & Söhne’s German precision has been causing a storm at recent watch auctions and this watch is likely to be no different. It is, in my eyes, the archetypal A. Lange & Söhne wristwatch, the Lange 1.
And this one is extra special because it’s a tourbillon limited edition created in 2010 in honour of the brand’s founder and it was one of the earliest timepieces to use their new signature gold alloy, honey gold.
Case/Dial: 38.5mm, 18K honey gold case
Movement: Calibre L 961.2
Strap: Brown alligator leather
Estimate: EUR 66,000 – 102,000 / CHF 69,000 – 108,000 / USD 75,000 – 116,000
Lot 18: Heuer Monaco Ref. 1533 G
The history of the Heuer Monaco is well documented and the Ref. 1533 G has a special place in that timeline. It was arguably the first Monaco that was designed with accessibility in mind helping to boost the watch’s popularity at a time in the 1970s when the price of Swiss watches was skyrocketing.
A crucial part of that accessibility was the new calibre 15 housed inside, which replaced the Monaco’s second chronograph subdial with a small seconds function at 10 o’clock. The watch combined a great price with the Monaco’s undeniable style, something which is just as true today with a gorgeous grey dial with patina.
Case/Dial: 45.4mm x 40.2mm, stainless steel case
Movement: Calibre 15 (with left-hand winding-crown)
Strap: Grey alligator leather with silver stitching
Estimate: EUR 4,800 – 6,700 / CHF 5,100 – 7,100 / USD 5,500 – 7,700
Lot 362: Patek Philippe Chronograph Ref. 130
Just as you can’t avoid Rolex at a high-end auction, you also can’t avoid Patek Philippe and this Ref. 130 is only the first that we’ll cover. Produced from 1934 until c.1960 the 130 Chronograph is a stalwart of vintage Patek.
Albeit typically with a gold case making this version a rarity for being stainless steel with gold accents. It houses the calibre 13-130, a manual movement with a 1/5 second chronograph function, a 30-minute timer and sub seconds.
Case/Dial: 41.4mm x 32.9mm, stainless steel case
Movement: Calibre 13-130
Strap: Stainless steel mesh bracelet (by Bambi, Japan)
Estimate: EUR 61,000 – 122,000 / CHF 64,000 – 128,000 / USD 70,000 – 140,000
Lot 327: Audemars Piguet “Royal Oak” Jumbo B Series Ref. 5402
Auctions like Antiquorum’s aren’t just good places for exclusive and rare models, they can also be the ideal place to find well maintained vintage icons that are still part of a watchmaker’s modern collection.
Case in point the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo, which is such a signature of the brand that the modern counterpart won an award at the 2021 GPHG. This vintage version from the 1970s is a prime example with its sports luxe aesthetic realised to the fullest in stainless steal with a Tapisserie dial.
Case/Dial: 39mm, stainless steel case
Movement: Calibre 2121/1
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Estimate: EUR 31,400 – 54,000 / CHF 33,100 – 57,000 / USD 36,000 – 62,000
Lot 78: Lemania Skeleton and Engraved Chronograph
Lemania is a name that now exists exclusively in the second-hand market, having ceased to produce watches under their own name after being acquired by Breguet in the 1990s. And even then, they didn’t produce a large number of watches themselves and are best known for supplying chronograph movements to the likes of Omega and Patek Philippe.
This Skeleton Chronograph in yellow gold with a moonphase showcases what the brand was best at, top end of haute horological chronos.
Case/Dial: 45.3mm x 36.6mm, 18K yellow gold case
Movement: Calibre 2612-5
Strap: Brown leather
Estimate: EUR 5,800 – 8,600 / CHF 6,100 – 9,100 / USD 6,600 – 9,900
Lot 184: Longines Chronograph Ref. 5967
Another example of accessible but awesome is this c.1957 Longines Chronograph. The early-mid century is regarded as the peak era of Longines’ chronograph game by collectors as it cemented their position in the arenas of chronographs and pilot’s watches.
This example has a yellow gold case and airs its chronograph functions with both a tachymeter and telemeter in bright red and blue, making for a very cool looking dial.
Case/Dial: 38mm, 18K yellow gold case
Movement: Calibre 30CH
Strap: Alligator leather with gold plated Longines buckle
Estimate: EUR 5,100 – 7,300 / CHF 5,400 – 7,700 / USD 5,800 – 8,400
Lot 89: Gallet Chronograph “Flight Officer” “AS / 7584”
The Gallet “Flight Officer” is a quirky watch. It’s an early form of worldtimer as it has a time zone scale with 25 major cities, however they hadn’t yet developed a method to easily adjust the time to a particular location meaning you have to do the maths yourself.
The chronograph is still very much central to this watch, not the time zone function even if it was useful to pilots. A second quirk is the fact the caseback is inscribed with “AS / 7584” indicating it was an official Swiss army watch, despite the fact it never was.
Case/Dial: 45.2mm x 36.7mm, stainless steel case
Movement: Calibre 13’’’ ¾ (based on Poljot 3133, inspired by Valjoux 7733)
Strap: Brown leather
Estimate: EUR 2,600 – 4,500 / CHF 2,800 – 4,800 / USD 3,000 – 5,200
Lot 374: Patek Philippe Ref. 3448
The perpetual calendar is often touted as one of the top complications in haute horology, which is why the Ref. 3448 is so significant. It was the first serially produced, self-winding perpetual calendar from any manufacturer, giving them a wider availability than ever before.
However, just because the 3448 was a landmark for availability doesn’t mean it’s accessible, as like most Patek Philippe perpetual calendars it has held its value incredibly well.
Case/Dial: 37mm, 18K yellow gold case
Movement: Calibre 27-460
Strap: Brown leather with Patek Phillppe 18K yellow gold buckle
Estimate: EUR 72,000 – 102,000 / CHF 76,000 – 108,000 / USD 83,000 – 116,000
Lot 123: Ulysse Nardin Freak Ref. 020-81
Classic complications like chronographs and calendars are all well and good but sometimes going the extra mile to be more unique is worth it and when the Freak burst onto the scenes it was truly revolutionary.
The haute horological wonders of Ulysse Nardin show that there is an appetite for different styles of timekeeping, especially the carrousel format used in the Freak. Instead of simple rotating hands, carrousel watches have fixed hands that rotate along with the entire module. To make this one even more outstanding, it has a tourbillon as well.
Case/Dial: 44mm, 18K white gold case
Movement: Calibre UN-202
Strap: Blue alligator leather with Ulysse Nardin 18K white gold deployant clasp
Estimate: EUR 22,500 – 31,400 / CHF 23,700 – 33,100 / USD 25,700 – 36,000
Lot 160: Roger Dubuis Sympathie Bi-retrograde Chronograph Ref. S3756320
The unusual cushion case and bi-retrograde perpetual calendar function of the Roger Dubuis Sympathie Bi-Retrograde Chronograph instantly make it stand out from the crowd. Retrograde displays are those that operate like dashboard instruments, the hand moving in a linear arc before resetting to the start, as opposed to a continuous circle. It makes for a technical appearance bolstered by the chronograph subdials and moonphase.
Throw on top of that the fact it’s a limited edition of 28 pieces and the exclusivity and desirability shoot through the roof. Not to mention the man behind the brand, Roger Dubuis himself, spent time as a watchmaker at Patek Philippe so quality is more than assured.
Case/Dial: 37mm, 18K white gold case
Movement: Calibre RD 5632
Strap: Black Alligator leather with Roger Dubuis 18K white gold buckle
Estimate: EUR 28,100 – 57,000 / CHF 29,600 – 60,000 / USD 32,100 – 65,000
Lot 219: Omega “Speedmaster Professional” So-Called “Ultraman” Ref. ST 145.012
The Omega Speedmaster Professional Ref 145.012 from 1968 was not a particularly remarkable Speedmaster, after all, its classic tricompax display and great looks are mainstays of most Speedmasters. However, the so-called “Ultraman”, which has the same reference and was produced in the same year, is far more mysterious.
It’s a special edition with an orange chronograph hand and less than 50 pieces are known about. Omega then released a tribute model in 2018, boosting interest in the vintage model and making it one of the most sought after Speedmasters.
Case/Dial: 39.7mm, stainless steel case
Movement: Calibre 321 (based on Lémania, L’Orient-de-l’Orbe, Vallée de Joux)
Strap: Stainless steel Omega link bracelet (Ref. 1039)
Estimate: EUR 24,700 – 33,700 / CHF 26,000 – 35,500 / USD 28,300 – 38,600
Lot 265: Daniel Roth Papillon
Similar to Roger Dubuis, who we looked at earlier, the Daniel Roth brand started as an independent watchmaker in the late 20th century, in 1988. However, unlike Roger Dubuis, the Daniel Roth name is no longer a player in horology as the company was bought by Bulgari in 2000.
That makes this Papillon watch with double ellipse shape from c.2000 one of the final watches released under the name. It encapsulates everything that made the brand famous, from its unique case shape to its high end complications à la retrograde scales.
Case/Dial: 38mm x 35mm, 18K white gold case
Movement: Calibre DR113
Strap: Black alligator leather
Estimate:EUR 11,300 – 20,200 / CHF 11,900 – 21,300 / USD 12,900 – 23,200
Lot 353: Panerai Radiomir Ref. PAM21
The Radiomir is perhaps Panerai’s most iconic vintage timepiece, rivalled only by its cousin the Luminor in terms of modern popularity. However, this limited edition from 1997 is a step up from most Radiomirs as it’s a re-edition of the original Radiomirs crafted for the Italian Navy in WWII.
The movement is even the exact same Rolex calibre. However, there are a few notable alterations in the re-edition, for one the whole case is platinum and it has gold hands – something the military spec one did not have. Plus, the dial has been intentionally been given a vintage style patina.
Case/Dial: 45mm, platinum case
Movement: Calibre 618
Strap: Brown alligator leather with Panerai buckle
Estimate: EUR 68,000 – 87,000 / CHF 71,000 – 91,000 / USD 78,000 – 99,000
Lot 358: Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Ref. 3970EP-019
Now we come to the final Patek Philippe in our list of highlights from the upcoming Hong Kong auction and it’s a beauty. What more could you want of a Patek Philippe than a stellar grand complication realised fully in a platinum case with a deep and beautiful black dial.
I haven’t mentioned it so far but hopefully it’s been apparent in the images, many of these auction lots come with the original packaging and certificates of origin providing useful and interesting provenance.
Case/Dial: 37mm, platinum case
Movement: Calibre CH 27-70Q
Strap: Black alligator leather with Patek Philippe platinum calatrava deployant clasp
Estimate: EUR 79,000 – 114,000 / CHF 83,000 – 120,000 / USD 90,000 – 130,000
Lot 372: Breguet Tradition Grande Complication Tourbillon Ref. 7047PT/11/9ZU
This Breguet Grande Complication is perhaps the most technical looking watch that we have featured so far as it has both a tourbillon and a fusee and chain.
Both of these elements are designed to maintain the accuracy of the watch, the tourbillon when the watch is held at a particular angle, the fusee and chain when it is winding down. It’s also an interesting design with an off-centre dial made from gold.
Case/Dial: 42mm, platinum case
Movement: Calibre 569
Strap: Black alligator leather with Breguet platinum deployant clasp
Estimate: EUR 62,000 – 90,000 / CHF 65,000 – 95,000 / USD 71,000 – 104,000
Lot 383: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Ref. 25686 “Tuscan Dial”
Finally, we have the Audemars Piguet bi-colour Royal Oak with a perpetual calendar that at the time was the thinnest of its kind. Of course the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar took the world record for thinnest perpetual calendar earlier this year.
While there have been thousands of perpetual calendar Royal Oaks, it’s believed there are only 43 two-tone examples of this reference, the 25686. This particular example is likely one of the last ones to be sold in 1997 before the reference was no longer available from Audemars Piguet.
Case/Dial: 39mm, platinum and 18K pink gold case
Movement: Calibre 2120/2800
Strap: Platinum and 18K pink gold bracelet with deployant clasp
Estimate: EUR 90,000 – 170,000 / CHF 95,000 – 178,000 / USD 104,000 – 194,000
More details at Antiquorum.