With Patek Philippe's 175th anniversary celebrations, watch releases, and auction behind us, I think it's about time we return to reality and explore other watches, from other brands. Christie's will be holding a Hong Kong sale later this month which will feature a fine array of vintage and contemporary timepieces, ranging from incredibly sought-after enamel dial Vacheron Constantin to ornate ladies' Piaget. In recent years, the Asian market has seen an influx in demand for complicated, often showy and highly-jeweled, pieces. This leads me to foresee white metal wristwatches, without any precious/semi-precious stones and complications, selling at a slightly lesser price at this auction than, let's say, a Geneva or New York sale. Here are three steel sports watches that I not only reckon will sell at at a fair price, but I'm sure will appreciate down the road due to their provenance.
A ROLEX SUBMARINER REF. 5508, CIRCA 1962
Rolex's Submariner has been the world's coolest tool-watch for more than half a century. It's a substantial piece that emphasizes simplicity and function, and nothing more. This exact specimen lacks a crown guard and is a relatively early reference; thus, heightening value and collectibility. In addition, this Sub is accompanied by its original riveted oyster stretch bracelet and black gloss dial.
Lot No. 2528
AN AUDEMARS PIGUET ROYAL OAK REF. 15202ST, CIRCA 2013
Gerald Genta, as we all know, designed many iconic wristwatches: Patek Philippe's Nautilus, IWC's Ingenieur, the Bulgari Bulgari watch, the Omega Constellation and Universal Geneve's Polerouter. Though when Genta is mentioned, what first comes to mind is his Royal Oak. This modern example, unveiled only two years ago, is alike the original A-series Royal Oak Ref. 5402ST introduced in 1972. A handsome textured slate-blue dial, integrated steel bracelet, and octagonal crown all add a touch of understated elegance to this wristwatch. Do keep in mind, this is no delicate piece and it's intended to withstand some degree of shock. Just because a watch isn't older than you, doesn't mean it can't be an solid investment.
A ROLEX EXPLORER II REF. 16570 TIFFANY AND CO., CIRCA 1988
It has become a rarity to find a Rolex watch co-branded by a jeweler. It has become even more of a rarity to find a Rolex sports watch co-branded by a jeweler. Throughout the twentieth century, Tiffany, Cartier, Serpico Y Laino, Cuervo Y Sobrinos, and LIP would stamp the dials on Rolexes that would be sold through their retailers. The Explorer II up for sale at Christie's is in spectacular condition and features a black dial with cream hued dot and baton numerals. Furthermore, the hefty oyster bracelet has little to no stretch and is free of damage to the brushed finish.
Lot No. 2204
For photographs and further information pertaining to these watches and Christie's "Important Watches" Hong Kong sale, please visit www.christies.com.