Modern Timepieces, Vintage Clocks and Exquisite Pens Lure Connoisseurs

Modern Wristwatches, Clocks and Fine Writing Instruments
23 Nov 2013
Hong Kong, Admiralty

The Bonhams Hong Kong Modern Wristwatches, Clocks and Fine Writing Instrument auction held on 23 November at the Island Ballroom of the Island Shangri-La Hotel offers the discerning gentleman collector an exquisite selection of modern horological timepieces, vintage carriage clocks and finely crafted Namiki pens. The 248-lot sale aims to fulfil every collector's desire for technological innovation and fine aesthetic micro engineering.

Aiming to entice and attract watch collectors with every preference and pocket, we have a wonderful selection of vintage bracelet watches from esteemed makers such as Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin and Rolex. Spanning a production period of two decades, these delicate and yet resilient bracelet watches with thin movements bear testimony to the gold craftsmanship and micro engineering which has stood the test of time.

Our leading cover lot is the extremely fine Audemars Piguet minute repeating tourbillon (Lot 1452, HK$1,500,000 – 1,750,000). With astonishing accuracy – a single tourbillon rotation is accomplished in one-minute revolution, this micro-engineering marvel also melodiously chimes the hours, quarters and minutes. Diamond-set with the highest quality top Wesselton brilliant cut stones, horological aficionados will no doubt appreciate the attention paid to aesthetics as well as mechanics.

Many collectors around the world consider watches as a status symbol as well as an alternative investment. Leading the forefront of this intrinsic allure is Patek Philippe and we are delighted to offer the highly desirable double sealed Reference 3970P with diamond set hour markers (Lot 1382, HK$780,000 – 980,000), highly regarded as a key statement piece in Patek Philippe's horological development. When the Reference 3970 was first made, Patek Philippe would upon special request allow a customer to order a custom dial such as this lot offered, with its platinum case, black matte dial and diamond set indices. Launched in 1986 and no longer in production, the 3970 modern classic perpetual calendar chronograph was the inspiration for the equally popular Ref:5970 and it is considered a very desirable classic.

Invented in 1795 by Abraham-Louis Breguet to counter the effects of gravity and other forces that affect the accuracy of timepieces, the tourbillon, meaning 'whirlwind' in French, is sure to blow away any passionate watch collector. Exceptional tourbillon watches on offer include the Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Repetition Minutes Tourbillon Globe (Lot 1437, HK$1,200,000 - 1,500,000) and the highly complicated perpetual calendar tourbillon automatic wristwatch from Blancpain (Lot 1359, HK$420,000 - 600,000).

Carriage clocks hold an old world charm with horological appreciators – our collection of 34 clocks from a single private collector was first created exclusively by skilled craftsmen for the wealthy elite. Examples such as these, from the 19th century, were decorated with exquisitely fired champlevé enamel, set with precious stones, sonnerie chiming and alarm functions. A few of these were made exclusively for the Chinese market and bear witness to a key period in Asian history when Western and Eastern trading routes and cultural exchanges were established. Lots 1317, 1319, 1357, 1391, 1403, 1404 and 1406 may be of particular interest to clock collectors.
We are also delighted to offer a few extremely collectible investment worthy Patek Philippe pocket watches with finely detailed foliate engraving (Lot 1443, HK$70,000 – 95,000) and accompanied by the original early 20th century Gondolo & Labrouriau certificate and box (Lot 1478, HK$80,000 - 110,000).
More than just watches, this season also offers up a different kind of subtle precision accessory - the luxuriously handcrafted Namiki pens from The Eric Tan Collection of Exquisite Namiki Pens. With a history of over 80 years, artisans take 3 to 4 months to create each fountain pen, carefully designing maki-e (lacquer work) on urushi (sap from Japanese lacquer trees) and richly interpreting scenes of nature in precious metals and lavishly coloured pigments. This present auction comprises 56 lots and of particular interest is the extremely rare Zodiac series of 12 elaborately detailed animal themed pens (Lot 1549, HK$150,000 – 200,000).

For more information please contact
Mabel Au-Yeung
+852 9038 8939


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to

Related auctions