Sotheby’s New York is thrilled to offer an impressive selection of timepieces in our upcoming Important Watches live auction which will take place on 15 June. We are honored to showcase exceptional collections from numerous private collectors including part I of The X Collection, a comprehensive and prolific curation of over 170 wristwatches amassed by a single owner. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, this collection brings us over 50 Royal Oak models in never worn, museum quality condition, and largely complete with box and papers.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
The Royal Oak by Audemars Piguet is undoubtedly one of the most important wristwatches that will ever be created. ‘The masterpiece of his lifetime,’ the formidable genius Gerald Genta said of his creation, the designer of the Nautilus for Patek Philippe, Pasha de Cartier and Ingenieur for IWC. The genius of any design can be counted by its longevity, and the Royal Oak, almost unchanged for 50 years is a testament to the legacy of that original Genta design, and the passion and thoughtfulness that Audemars Piguet have treated their most desired creation that represents over 70% of their annual production. Over 50 years, many hundreds of variations of the Royal Oak have been created, incorporating a multitude of materials, sizes and complications.
Audemars Piguet Reference 26293IN.OO.D101CR.01, Grande Complication ‘Marcus Watches Edition’
Audemars Piguet debuted a line of very limited and rare grand complication wristwatches in the early 2000s. For an Audemars Piguet watch to receive the moniker ‘Grand Complication’ it must contain at least three horological complications.
The present skeletonized grand complication wristwatch is fitted in the iconic Gerald Genta designed Royal Oak case. Marcus Margulies is a British watch collector, retailer and patron of some of the watch industry’s most important brands. His association with Audemars Piguet is long and deep, and he has assembled one of the most important collections of early Audemars Piguet wristwatches outside the firm’s museum. This history with the brand was celebrated in a number of limited special editions for ‘Marcus’. The limited editions are designed in Marcus’s colors. The present lot features a black DLC case with a skeletonized dial with “Marcus red” accents.
According to research, this is the first time an Audemars Piguet ‘Marcus edition’ grand complication with skeletonized dial has ever been offered to the market.
After spearheading the watchmaking department for numerous companies including the legendary fine jeweler Mauboussin, industry veteran Richard Mille launched his eponymous brand in 2001. Since its inception, Richard Mille has been dedicated to utilizing the latest technical innovations to yield timepieces that are unmistakably modern.
Beyond the consistent championing of innovative technology, Richard Mille’s signatures include sleek tonneau cases and skeletonized movements that display the architectural beauty of Mille’s intricate mechanics. The brand’s performance-minded machines have lent themselves to collaborations with sporting luminaries, such as the RM011 and RM005 created for Formula 1 racer Felipe Massa. Prized for their revolutionary design and being especially rare due to their meticulous construction, Richard Mille watches are some of the most coveted timepieces today.
Anatomy of the F.P. Journe Tourbillon Souverain à Remontoir d’Egalité
- Tourbillon aperture
- 42 hour power reserve indication
- Hours and minutes
- Remontoir aperture
- Pink gold dial
- Platinum 38 mm diameter case
- Rhodium plated brass movement
- Souscription tourbillon number 53/99. 99 refers to the first production year, of which, it is believed that only approximately 60 examples were made.
In 1999, Journe initiated the Souscription following the footsteps of Abraham-Louis Breguet and 20 close clients and friends committed a deposit that allowed F.P. Journe to build 20 Tourbillon Souverain watches for each of them, and allowed Journe to start his own namesake manufacture.
The earliest of these souscription tourbillons was numbered on the dial from “1/20” to “20/20” as well as on the case back beside the crown. After these first 20 examples, the following watches were numbered on the caseback only and the numbering continued where the subscriptions watches ended
The current watch, number 53/99T is from the 3rd generation from 1999. The watch is presented in superb condition having never been polished and having only been worn on a handful of occasions. The dial is beginning to take on same patina, not uncommon on these early pieces.
This example is coming to market for the very first time having been consigned from a very important collector who purchased the watch new in 1999. The watch is accompanied by its original strap and buckle, the original wooden display box and warranty card.
F.P. Journe Highlights
The Patek Philippe Reference 5270, Retailed by Tiffany & Co.
The Reference 5270G is one of Patek Philippe’s most desirable 2011 Basel Fair releases. This season, we are incredibly pleased to present four unique opportunities to purchase this reference, fitted with different cases and dials, all doubled signed by Tiffany & Co.
Two Important Patek Philippe Reference 1463