Bonhams Hong Kong offers a timely selection of horological masterpieces at 2012 Autumn auctions

Modern Wristwatches
23 Nov 2012
Hong Kong, Admiralty

This upcoming auction season offers the discerning collector a tempting selection of modern horological models. From the traditional Patek Philippe Ref 130 chronograph to the whimsical Romain Jerome Space Invaders, Bonhams Hong Kong aims to fulfil every collector's desire for technological innovation and fine aesthetic micro-engineering. Keeping in mind current economic uncertainties, this Autumn season promises collecting opportunities for every preference and pocket. A total of 120 lots with an estimate of HK$13 million will go to block, including rare pieces such as the Edward Piguet tourbillon and Rolex Double Red Sea Dweller that will entice and attract watch collectors of all levels.

Leading this season's auction is the contemporary horological masterpiece Tourbillon 24 Secondes Incline (estimate: HK$1,800,000 - 2,200,000). The extremely light and resilient tourbillon mechanism structured at a 25 degrees incline, is constructed of aluminium alloy, Avional and titanium. These characteristics allow for astonishing accuracy - a single tourbillon rotation is accomplished in a mere 24 seconds compared to the traditional one minute revolution in other timepieces. This micro-engineering marvel has been produced in a limited production of 11 pieces per precious metal.

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 References 130 (estimate: HK$280,000 - 330,000), 3970 (estimate: HK$930,000 - 1,100,000) and 5450 (estimate: HK$550,000 - 620,000), each considered as key statement pieces in Patek Philippe 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.

The watchmaker that offers resilience in the auction market during times of economic uncertainty is the 165-year-old Saxon manufactory A. Lange & Söhne. This season at Bonhams, we have three fine examples of A. Lange & Söhne's quality, micro-engineering finesse and sophisticated aesthetic - the Lange 1 Time Zone (estimate: HK$170,000 - 250,000), Langematik Perpetual (estimate HK$350,000 - 420,000) and Datograph (estimate: HK$D260,000 - 320,000). Each pivotal to horological history in their own right - Langematik Perpetual is the first timepiece in the history of watchmaking that features a perpetual calendar, an outsized date and a mechanism that allows each calendar display and moon phases to be adjusted individually as well as collectively. The timepiece also comes with the Lange 1 Time Zone's design which features 24 of the world's time zones on the rotating city ring that can be simply selected with a touch of the Lange signature push piece. And last but not least, the Datograph with its combination of column-wheel control, flyback mechanism, and precisely jumping minute counter that allows the stopwatch to be instantaneously restarted for continuous timing, without having to stop, reset and then restart. The movement also has increased accuracy compared to other conventional chronographs as the minute hand jumps in single minute increments rather than continuously moving.

This season's cover lot features three timepieces of the Octa Series from the exclusive watchmaker F.P. Journe, who produces less than a thousand timepieces annually. With exacting attention to detail, F.P. Journe's vision is that beauty begins from outside rather than from within - he commences his creative process by designing the dial and then arranging the internal mechanism accordingly. The Octa Réserve de Marche (estimate: HK$310,000 - 380,000) is the premier model in the series and hence is emblematic of the aesthetic and technical virtues of the Octa calibre. Paying tribute to the sun and stars that was once man's means of telling the passing of time, F.P. Journe produced the Octa Zodiaque (estimate: HK$180,000 - 240,000) between 2003 and 2005 in a limited production of 150 pieces. The outer rotating ring with its 12-hour numerals moves daily, driven by the signature large date function, in turn displaying the current zodiac sign as well as the corresponding month at 12 o'clock. One of the rarest of this series is the special edition SINCERE Haute Horlogerie Octa Calendrier (estimate: HK$280,000 - 350,000), with just 15 pieces in existence, in a unique combination of PT950 platinum case and black mother-of-pearl dial. To our knowledge, this is the first time that this timepiece has been offered at auction, its rarity as well as the delicate luminescent beauty of the black petroleum mother-of-pearl is the face of a high complication annual retrograde calendar movement.

For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, go to

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

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