Yesterday Nov 29 Christie’s held its last watch auction of the season in Hong Kong. The beautiful catalogue and the timepieces selected showed both the gaining importance of Hong Kong and of Christie’s in the watch auction market. Vacheron Constantin held a place of honor with a wide selection of models from simple time only to the most complicated. It is interesting to note that almost all lots sold above their high estimates which shows that Vacheron Constantin is gaining momentum and is attracting more and more the eyes and hearts of collectors and aficionados and luckily no speculators and investors as the prices reached seem “fair market value”.
Lot 2722 Heure Sautante (Jump Hour) Ref 43040 in platinum: One of my favourite VCs a beautifully “tranquil” watch made in the 90s. Estimated at HK$ 50,000-70,000 ($6,500-9,000 € 4,700-6,500) it sold for HK$ 93,750 ($12,000 / €8,150).
Lot 2755 Vintage Chronograph ref 4072 in RG: This lot is the perfect example of the attraction for vintage VC chronographs. A low estimate lead one to believe that the recently reprinted dial would be less attractive, but not at all. The watch multiplied its low estimate by 4!! Estimated at HK$ 100,000-150,000 ($13,000-19,000 €9,200-14,000) it sold for HK$391,500 ($50,300 / €34,000)!
Lot 2950 Audubon Birds of America: Launched in 1997 the Audubon series consisted of 10 models made in 10 pieces each with cloisonné enamel dials depicting birds drawn by naturalist JJ Audubon in the 19th century. Many find these dials too “baroque” but I’m a big fan . Estimated at HK$ 120,000-180,000 ($15,000-23,000 €11,000-16,500) it was sold for HK$175,000 ($22,500 / €15,200).
Lot 2955 Mercator Japan: This platinum limited edition made in only 30 pieces was estimated at HK$ 320,000-480,000 ($ 40,000-60,000 €30,000-44,000) but unfortunately did not sell either because the reserve price was too high or bidders did not find it interesting enough. A great mystery to me!
Lot 3002 Overseas Dual Time “Wempe”: Made for retailer Wempe in 2005 in a limited edition of 100 pieces. It is basically the same as the regular production model save for the non guilloche dial and a smaller power reserve indicator. Estimated at HK$60,000-80,000 ($7,500-10,000 €5,500-7,300) it sold for HK$ 106,250 ($13,650 / €9,200)
Lot 3022 a set of 3 Saltarello models: Launched in the late 90s the Saltarello is a jump hour with retrograde minutes counter. Made in a limited edition of 200 in white gold, 200 in rose gold and 100 in yellow gold this is a very rare 3piece set made for Parisian retailer Dubail. Estimated at HK$ 250,000-350,000 ($32,000-45,000 €23,000-32,000) it sold for HK$451,500 ($58,000 / €39,250)
Lot 3025 Malte Tourbillon platinum: One of the most beautiful tourbillons on the market today, the buyer got a bargain. The watch was estimated at HK$ 400,000-600,000 ($50,000-75,000 €37,000-55,000) and sold for HK$ 583,000 ($75,000 / €50,725).
Lot 3071 Les complications Tourbillon Squelette: THE model which sealed VC’s reputation as having the most fascinating skeleton models. Conservatively estimated at HK$ 500,000-700,000 ($65,000-90,000 €46,000-64,000) it sold for HK$847,500 ($108,815 / €73,672)