Patek Philippe timepiece headlines New York Watch Auction

. November 25, 2010 . 0 Comments

An extremely rare Patek Philippe Advanced Research Ref. 5250 timepiece, one of only 100 ever made by the legendary watchmaker, is the hotly anticipated lead lot of the Heritage Auctions’ Saturday, Dec. 4 Signature® Fine Timepieces Auction, taking place at the Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion (Ukrainian Institute), 2 East 79th Street (at 5th Ave). It is estimated at $120,000+.

“This timepiece represents the perfect blend of quality, artistry and technical innovation,” said Jim Wolf, Director of Fine Timepieces at Heritage. “It’s one of just 100 pieces made by Patek Philippe incorporating a friction free silicium escape wheel, which is revolutionary technology in watch-making. An opportunity to acquire own one of these exceptional watches is very rare.”

When unveiled in 2005, Patek Philippe’s Advanced Research Ref. 5250 was seen as a milestone in the development of timepieces. In incorporating a friction-free silicium escape wheel into a timepiece for the first time, Patek Philippe changed the game in fine timepieces. Silicium is anti-magnetic, super-smooth, super-hard, super-light and does not corrode. The company called the Ref. 5250 a “test run” and produced only 100 pieces.

This timepiece, according to the international watch industry magazine Europa Star, placed a key emphasis on watchmaking’s “holy grail” – the elimination of the need for lubrication. Several subsequent models, such as the Patek Philippe Ref. 5350 and Ref. 5450, developed the concept even further, eventually optimizing the entire escapement system with the technical advantages of silicon.

One of the most coveted of all Rolex watches, an Ultra Rare Ref. 6263 Gold “Paul Newman” Oyster Cosmograph Wristwatch, circa 1976, provides further heft to the timepieces auction. It is estimated at $120,000+.

“The eye appeal alone is enough to make this one of the most sough-after Rolex’s around,” said Wolf. “Its association with Paul Newman, one of Hollywood’s all-time great leading men, for whom the first one was designed and presented to, makes it even more attractive. Add to that the simply impeccable craftsmanship and you have a simply stellar piece.”

The top Omega timepiece offering in the auction comes in the form of a special and rare grouping, known as the Speedmaster Missions Collection, after the series of watches the company crafted for NASA astronauts to wear into space, a very fine Set Of 23 Chronograph wristwatches, Special Edition No. 22/40, made to celebrate the Speedmaster Professional’s 40th anniversary in 2005. The collection carries an estimate of $90,000+. “The Missions Collection was limited to 40 sets produced for commercial sale,” said Wolf. “Omega made an additional 10 sets for non- commercial use and 5 ‘Artists Proof’ sets. The Omega Speedmaster played an instrumental part in the history of space exploration. Since its’ space debut in 1965, an Omega Speedmaster has accompanied every astronaut and has performed with faultless precision and reliability.” The top pocket watch in the auction comes in the form of a rare Waltham Premier Maximus 18K Gold Pocket Watch, circa 1909, one of the great pieces made by this important company. Pocket watch collectors are already beginning to buzz about the piece, estimated at $12,000+.

Further highlights include:

Audemars Piguet Fine & Rare 18k White Gold & Diamond Shaquille O’ Neal Royal Oak Offshore, No. 53/96: Estimate: $80,000+.

Patek Philippe Rare Ref. 5135R-010 Rose Gold Gondolo Calendario President, Limited Series Of 100 Sets Produced For Mercury Of Russia: Estimate: $70,000+.

Rolex Ref. 6234 Very Fine & Rare “Pre-Daytona” Anti-Magnetic Oyster Chronograph, circa 1959: Estimate: $15,000+.

Breitling Rare Rolls-Royce Limited Edition Montbrillant 1903 Chronograph Made For National Aviation Hall Of Fame Enshrinee Recipients & Aviation Dignitaries, circa 2003: Estimate: $10,000+.

Illinois Very Rare 26 Jewel Bunn Special, circa 1907: Estimate: $7,000+.

Heritage Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world’s third largest auction house, with annual sales more than $600 million, and 500,000+ registered online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit HA.com

Category: Auction News

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