Sotheby's presents "The Nevadian Collector" - A highly valuable private collection of vintage watches focusing on Patek Philippe

Art. 303

The Nevadian Collector
A PRESTIGIOUS PRIVATE COLLECTION
OFFERED IN A DEDICATED EVENING SALE IN HONG KONG THIS APRIL

Encompassing 40 Exceptional Vintage Watches, With a Focus on Patek Philippe
Charting the Golden Years of Horological Development between 1940s and 1980s

Carrying a Total Estimate of HKD$78m/ US$15m
The Highest Single Owner Watches Sale Staged by Sotheby’s in Asia

Lead by

A Pink Gold Reference 2499 Retailed by the World Renowned Gobbi Milano
- The Only Known Pink Gold Second Series to Feature a Retailer Signature on the Dial –
Estimate HK$ 24 – 48 Million / US$3 – 6 Million

Other Highlights Include:

A “Pink on Pink” Reference 1518 made in 1948
And The Only Known Luminous Example of a Reference 2499 Second Series

Hong Kong - Sotheby’s presents The Nevadian Collector, a historically important private collection of vintage watches to be sold in Hong Kong this April. Encompassing 40 exceptional timepieces - the vast majority Patek Philippe - the highly curated sale charts the ‘Golden Years’ of horological development from the 1940s through the 1980s. The collection is led by a pink gold reference 2499 retailed by the renowned Italian retailer Gobbi Milano (est. HK$24m – 48m/ US$3m – 6m), the only known pink gold second series featuring a retailer signature on the dial. The sale will be presented as a dedicated evening sale during the Hong Kong Spring Sales Series in late April, carrying a total estimate of HK$78m/ US$15m – the highest single owner watches sale ever offered by Sotheby’s in Asia.

A collecting career spanning over 30 years, the Nevadian collector’s unrivalled passion in vintage Patek Philippe has made him a legend within the watch community. At once encompassing over 400 pieces comprising almost every reference of the brand, he has historically favoured perpetual calendar chronographs, amassing 18 Patek Philippe reference 2499 and 15 reference 1518, at the peak of his collecting career. An active collector over the past three decades, he witnessed the growth of the market firsthand, with his distinguished collection featuring a number of record-breaking timepieces, such as the Patek Philippe reference 2499 retailed by Asprey (sold at Sotheby’s Geneva for 3.9M CHF in 2018) and the pink gold reference 2499 retailed by Tiffany & Co. (sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong for HK$23.5M in 2018) – the holding records for any 2499 and a pink 2499.

This treasure trove of 40 exceptional watches is one of the best kept secrets of the horological world. Fiercely private, the Nevadian collector was remarkably unknown to Patek Philippe for many years, and yet through his passionate collecting, helped elevate the brand’s market success. We are extremely honored to share his passion, determination, and these terrific watches to others in the horological market today.

SAM HINES, INTERNATIONAL CONSULTANT OF SOTHEBY’S WATCHES

Asia is one of the fastest growing market for watches, with notable demand for vintage timepieces. Following the success of achieving Sotheby’s highest watches sale total last October in Hong Kong, we are excited to bring this prestigious, most valuable single-owner collection to Asia, which presents a rare acquisition opportunity for collectors from the region and beyond.

JOEY LUK, SOTHEBY’S HEAD OF WATCHES, ASIA

 

 

The 1940s

Patek Philippe Reference 1518
A pink gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon phases and pink dial, Made in 1948
Estimate: HK$8,000,000 – 16,000,000 / US$1,000,000 – 2,000,000

Patek Philippe cased the majority of the 281 total examples of the reference 1518 in yellow gold, with only 58 examples believed to have been cased in pink gold. Of these 58 examples, an exceedingly scarce few were configured like the current example; which features a matching pink dial instead of the more commonly fitted silver dial. This subtle adjustment gives a warm attractive aesthetic, unique to this variant. It is also interesting to note the current piece features a more copper finished pink, rather than in lighter salmon. To date, only 14 such ‘pink on pink’ models have appeared on the market, the current owner purchased the piece at auction in 2008 for close to 800,000 CHF.

The 1950s

Patek Philippe Reference 2499
A possibly unique and important pink gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch, Retailed by Gobbi Milano, Made in 1957
Estimate: HK$24,000,000 – 48,000,000 / US$3,000,000 – 6,000,000

Reference 2499 is recognized as one of the most important wristwatches made by Patek Philippe. This exceptional example, cased in pink gold and retailed by the famous and most prestigious Italian retailer Gobbi Milano, was offered for the first time at auction in Geneva in 2007. Achieving an exceptional price of 2.7M CHF, it established a world record price for a reference 2499. Only nine pink gold second series examples are known, all of which feature applied baton numerals. This example, however, is the only one known to feature a retailer signature on the dial. Retained in very original condition, the present example belongs to the second series, which is produced between 1955-1964 and featured round chronograph pushers.

Patek Philippe Reference 2499, Second Series, The Only Known Luminous Example with Original Certificate
A yellow gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon phases, luminous baton indexes and hands and Certificate of Origin, Circa 1958
Estimate: HK$6,400,000 – 12,500,000 / US$820,000 – 1,600,000

Unseen for over two decades since it last appeared at auction at Sotheby’s New York, the present watch is the only known example of a second series with a luminous dial. Of all 349 reference 2499 made, there are only 5 luminous examples known (1 first series, 2 third series, 1 transitional model and the current example). The rarity of the present example is enhanced further by the presence of the Certificate of Origin dated 8th March, 1958.

Retained in wonderfully well preserved condition, the dial shows a large area of yellow tarnish around the signature which is caused by the radium material inserted into the hands. This would indicate the hands have sat in a stationary position for a very long time indeed. When this watch was auctioned in 2000, it was consigned by the family of the original owner and passed to the current owner, with no use since the date of the original sale.

Patek Philippe Reference 2526
A yellow gold wristwatch with black enamel dial, Circa 1953
Estimate: HK$800,000 – 1,600,000 / US$100,000 – 200,000

Launched in 1953 and only produced for 8 years, the reference2526 houses Patek Philippe's first ever self-winding caliber 12-600AT, and is widely considered as the finest and most beautiful automatic movements ever made by any brand The first series of the reference is distinguished by its twice-baked enamel dial and gold indices set using pins or feet. These flared holes under the numerals give the dial an extraordinary three-dimensional quality and add to the alure of these early examples. While most of these first series examples have ivory/eggshell dials, an exceedingly small number with black dials are known, with only ten examples in existence today. Black dialed Patek Philippe’s from this era, confirmed on their extract form the archives like this example, are some of the most desirable examples ever made and rarely coming to market. This example was purchased at auction 20 years ago and has not been used since.

Patek Philippe Reference 655/1 An important and possibly unique yellow gold two train trip minute repeating openface straight line perpetual calendar watch with moon phases, Retailed by Tiffany & Co., Circa 1957, Formerly part of the Esmond Bradley Martin Collection Estimate: HK$2,000,000 – 2,800,000 / US$250,000 – 350,000

The present lot was formerly in the celebrated Esmond Bradley Martin Collection, which covered the production of complicated watches by the finest French and Swiss makers of the 19th and 20th Century. This pocket watch, which Martin purchased at Tiffany & Co in New York in 1958, achieved a staggering US$265,000 at Sotheby’s in 2002.

The watch features an American straight-line perpetual calendar, with a minute repeating that can be activated via a push piece through the crown. The winding is also through the crown; one direction for winding the movement, and another direction to increase the power for the repeating mechanism.

THE 1960s

Patek Philippe Reference 1463
A stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with Breguet numerals, Made in 1962
Estimate: HK$2,400,000 – 4,000,000 / US$300,000 – 500,000

The reference 1463 chronograph was first introduced in 1940 and remained in production until 1969. The majority were made in yellow gold and fewer examples exist in pink gold and steel. Different dial configuration exists but arguably the most sought-after combination would be stainless steel with Breguet numerals. The present watch has been retained in very nice condition with crisp case that is free of any corrosion. The hard enamel signature is nicely raised and there are no signs of wear to the crown or the end of the pushers.

Patek Philippe Reference 1463
An extremely well preserved yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with certificate of origin, Retailed by Guillermin & Mollet, Paris, Made in 1962
Estimate: HK$2,000,000 – 2,800,000 / US$250,000 – 350,000

Made in 1962, the present gold reference 1463 has been kept in exceptional condition; the dial has wonderfully raised hard enamel scales that can be seen without a loupe. The case is extremely well preserved and can be considered unpolished with excellent hallmarks that appear untouched. The thickness of the lugs, case lines throughout and the definition to the bezel are breathtaking and show us how the watch left the factory. The present example was made in 1962 and is fitted with a dial with a clearer design that omits the railway 5-minute divisions. The rarity is further elevated by the presence of the Certificate of Origin, stamped by Patek Philippe's retailer Guillermin & Mollet in Paris.

THE 1970s

Patek Philippe Reference 3448
A very well preserved white gold perpetual calendar wristwatch with day, date and moon phases, Circa 1970
Estimate: HK$2,400,000 – 4,000,000 / US$300,000 – 500,000

Launched officially in 1962 and in production for two decades, the reference 3448 was Patek Philippe's first automatic perpetual calendar wristwatch, and was powered by the caliber 27-460. According to scholarship, just over 50 examples are known in white gold among the 586 pieces made in all four metals. The present example with extremely well preserved case is from the later part of production. It is fitted with a printed signature and black baton minute markers. The dial is preserved in very nice condition. The case is very crisp to the touch and there is a strong hallmark stamped underneath the lugs.

THE 1980s

Patek Philippe Reference 2499, Fourth Series
A very well preserved yellow gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon phases, original certificate and presentation box, Circa 1984
Estimate: HK$3,200,000 – 4,800,000 / US$410,000 – 620,000

Last seen on the market in 2008, the present forth series was manufactured in 1984, a year before the reference was discontinued to move over for the introduction of the 3970. This example features its Certificate of Origin dated July 14th, 1984. The dial and case are both in excellent condition with very well-defined fluting to the lugs, very crisp hallmarks, overall terrific definition throughout.

June 20 2022