What can people expect when they visit Christie’s Patek Philippe exhibition?

First, I encourage visitors in NYC to attend the ‘Patek Philippe Art of Watches Grand Exhibition’ at Cipriani. This exhibition is not to be missed and will open the world of Patek Philippe’s historic and modern production. After visiting the Grand Exhibition for a few hours, I suggest a visit to our selling exhibition (a short walk away) to see Christie’s offering of timepieces lavishly presented throughout the galleries of 20 Rockefeller Plaza.

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What are the watches available for the private sale?

All but approximately two dozen of the watches on our exhibition will be available for private sale. Some collectors and some families will not let go of their watches/heirlooms at any price and I am forever grateful that we have had the honor of taking some pieces on loan that few people have ever seen before. Most notably, we will have James Ward Packard’s Patek Philippe Walking Stick and Patek Philippe ring watch on view for the first time publicly. The walking stick features a Patek Philippe watch embedded onto the silver knob of a walking stick with a movement that is engraved with Packard’s name. The ring also has a movement and case bearing James Ward Packard’s name. Other ‘unicorn watches’ that are not for sale include a Patek Philippe two tone ‘Reverso’-cased wristwatch, a reference 3448 in white gold case ‘Senza Luna’ with a confirmed extract from Patek Philippe, and an exceptional collection of early Patek Philippe minute repeaters.

The 300 watches available for private sale are from various sources around the world, many purchased from Christie’s decades ago and many from the original owners or families. In a world where collectors dream of owning a fresh to market watch in as-found condition, the offerings of this sale will not disappoint.

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Can you share some of the highlights from the concurrent online auction?

At the same time of the exhibition we will be presenting the Patek Philippe only online auction on view at Rockefeller Center. The highlights of this 85-lot sale include an impressive assembly of pocket watches, enamels, time-only watches, and an impressive, fresh-to-market example of a reference 2438 perpetual calendar at an estimate of $150,000 USD to $250,000 USD.

If money was no object, what would you buy?

This is a dream question and I was just debating with a collector friend this ‘dilemma.’ For the same money, I would have a tough time deciding between buying a complete vertical of Patek Philippe perpetual calendars (1518, then one of each of the four series of 2499s) or the Stephen Palmer Grand Complication from 1898 that we have available for sale. I would choose the Palmer.

Many pieces in this exhibition are priced under $20,000 USD, what are your favorites?

We have over 100 basic time-only watches on offer in this exhibition starting at $5,000 USD and many priced under $20,000 USD. I would suggest a basic Patek Philippe ‘Calatrava’ model from the 1940s or 1950s or even an original Gondolo pocket watch that can be bought for less than $10,000 USD.

Are there any events that the public can attend?

We have a series of lectures that are open to the public and even watchmaking classes. On Wednesday, July 19, Philip Poniz, a leading horological historian and restorer of vintage timepieces, will present a lecture entitled “Issues and Secrets of High-End Restoration” from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM. To RSVP, write a note to [email protected]

Additionally, we will be presenting “Horology 101: Movement Mechanics” courses taught by Vincent Robert, a watchmaker and trainer, on Friday, July 14 (3:00 PM-5:30 PM), Saturday, July 15 (11:00 AM-1:30 PM and 3:00 PM-5:30 PM), Sunday, July 16 (2:30 PM-5:00 PM), Monday, July 17 (3:00 PM-5:30 PM) and Tuesday, July 18 (3:00 PM-5:30 PM). Please RSVP to [email protected] Additionally, at 2 PM each day during the exhibition, I will also be personally giving a gallery walk of our highlights. We hope to see you soon to welcome you to Christie’s and our special Patek Philippe Selling Exhibition! christies.com

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