Christie’s is organizing a Patek Philippe selling exhibition that is historic in scale. Over 300 vintage Patek Philippe watches will be available for purchase in New York City at Rockefeller Center for only 11 days, July 13-23. Exceptionally rare watches, including many fresh to market pieces, will be available for immediate purchase priced from $5,000 USD to well over $5M USD. The Christie’s exhibition is taking place at the same time as the official Patek Philippe ‘Art of Watches’ Grand Exhibition that will take place at Cipriani New York from July 13 to July 23. Here we have a Q&A with John Reardon, curator of the event and International Head of Watches for Christie’s.
This is quite possibly the largest curated assembly of vintage Patek Philippe watches for sale in history, it truly is an experience not to be missed – JR
What is the Patek Philippe Vintage Watch Selling Exhibition?
The concept for the Christie’s exhibition is quite simple. With thousands of Patek Philippe Collectors and enthusiasts converging on New York in July, it is the perfect time to celebrate all things Patek Philippe and offer collectors the chance to see and purchase exceptional museum quality watches. The demand for purchasing vintage watches is now higher than ever before and this exhibition offers buyers the opportunity to own a piece of Patek Philippe’s history at all price points.
Imagine going to the Patek Philippe Museum and being able to ask the purchase price of each watch, try on a few pieces, and even possibly go home with a few treasured acquisitions. Of course this is not possible at THE museum but Christie’s is pleased to offer people the experience of seeing, assessing, and purchasing a very large selection of vetted and authenticated Patek Philippe vintage watches from the mid 19th century through the late 20th century within their own NY galleries.
The goal of the Christie’s exhibition is to educate new collectors on the intricacies of assessing vintage watch condition, understanding the vintage watch market, and learning about how to collect vintage watches and focus on building collections. A series of tours, lectures, and watchmaking classes will support this initiative and complement the mission of the official Patek Philippe exhibition being hosted nearby at Cipriani.
What is your favorite part of the Christie’s exhibition?
I have always wanted to see the complete verticals of Patek Philippe watches presented in a way that one can see and compare the development of key complications. The ability to see firsthand the ‘family tree’ of Patek Philippe complicated watches is something that many only dream of seeing but it will finally be possible during our exhibition. This is absolutely my favorite part of curating this exhibition. For chronographs, visitors can see the development in the 20th century from the 130 moving on to the 530, 533, 591, 1579, 1463, and the split seconds 1436. For perpetual chronographs, we have four 1518s and then a wide selection of 2499s with examples in each series.
With calendars, we show the development starting with two examples of early triple calendar 96s and moving on to the presentation of superlative examples of the 1526, 2497, 2438, 3448, and 3450. And the icing on the cake is the total production run of the minute repeaters highlighted by 7 early minute repeating wristwatches and nearly the entire run of modern discontinued minute repeaters, many with unique variants. Combined with special sections of Patek Lemania chronograph verticals, Advanced Research watches, Nautilus, Ellipse, Calatrava, and clocks, this exhibition has something that can peak the interest of the most jaded of all collectors – we even have a Patek Philippe singing bird box on offer!