William (left) with Christie’s International Watch Department Head Aurel Bacs (right)
& A Patek Philippe Ref. 2499 (middle)

Christie’s, the renowned auction house, will have yet another “Important Watches” auction event in Geneva on November 11, 2013. Here in New York, I personally received a special preview. I was excited when my good friend, John Reardon (Senior Vice-President, Head of Christie’s New York Watch Department), invited me to today’s preview event. From past experience, I knew that I would have the chance to see and touch some of the world’s finest timepieces which once again equates to a lot of Patek Philippes and Rolexes.

While taking in the watches (more on that later) John introduced me to Aurel Bacs, the Head of Christie’s International Watch Department. Known throughout the watch world for his discerning eye, I had to ask about his favorite watch. When a man is surrounded by millions of dollars of spectacular watches all day, every day- what gets him excited?

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Patek Philippe Ref. 2499


As it turns out, what excites Aurel the most is a Patek Phillipe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph with Moon Phases, Reference 2499. The movement was manufactured in 1951, and the watch was encased in 1957. With an estimated sale price of about $1.1-$1.6 million, it is a pristine example why we love watches the way we do. To my surprise and enjoyment, before I could object (and who would?) Aurel strapped the watch on me. I suggested that we take some photos to preserve the moment. It’s fabulous and humbling all at once to wear a piece of history. Of course, this piece (lot 152) will be part of the November 11th auction (learn more about this piece on their site here).


Given the chance, is there a watch enthusiast who does not want to talk about his or her favorite watch? John Reardon was quick to mention that he too, has a special timepiece coming up for sale. Maintaining the suspense for as long as he could, he revealed a Patek Phillipe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph, Reference 1518, in yellow gold with a pre-sale estimate of between $300,000-$400,000. Another incredible specimen!


Christie’s’ John Reardon & William


Patek Philippe Ref. 1518

John and Aurel turned to me. My own favorite? Of all the magnificent watches I saw today, I cast my vote with Aurel on the 2499. Anyone who knows me, is aware of my soft spot for rose gold. I’m not known for my patience but I did wait (anxiously) nine months for my solid 18k rose gold Audemars Piquet 41mm Royal Oak Chronograph.

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Eventually, we all had to return to work. I left John and Aurel to mingle with clients and I headed home. Oh, the watch? It’s off my wrist and safely tucked away, waiting for the enthusiast lucky enough to make it his own. So, if you find yourself in New York, I suggest you make it a point to visit Christie’s and see whatever is on display. Whether it is for auction or private sale, I can promise that you will be pleased by the warm welcome, and surprised by how much you will learn.

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