Andy Warhol’s rare Patek Philippe watch is heading to Christie's auction

Twenty four important timepieces up for grabs on December 5 at the Rockefeller Centre, New York

Andy Warhol's Patek Philippe Perpetual calendar Ref 3448. Photo: Christie's
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Auction house Christie’s is holding a significant watch sale on December 5 in New York, including a one that once belonged to Andy Warhol.

Taking place at the Rockefeller Centre in Manhattan, the sale will conclude a tour of select timepieces that will travel to Geneva and Hong Kong before returning to New York to go on show from December 1 to 4, ahead of the sale.

With 24 notable and important watches in the auction, perhaps the most high profile is the Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Ref 3448 once owned by Andy Warhol. The American artist, arguably one of the most famous of the 20th century, inspired the art world to reconsider the boundaries of what was considered “art” with his screen prints of mundane objects such as soup cans.

A prestigious collector, Warhol amassed a large array of things during his lifetime, from objects to artworks, that collectively became know as “Andy’s stuff”. Following his death in February 1987, it was all auctioned off in a sale that lasted 10 days. The buyer of this particular watch kept it until 2014, before it was sold once more to the present owner.

As an 18k Gold Automatic Perpetual Calendar Wristwatch with Moon Phases, it is described by Christie’s as being in “superb overall condition,” and was fully cleaned and restored by Patek Philippe in the mid-1980s. It has a last series saltine opalin dial by Stern Freres, with the Aprior mark at six o'clock, on either side of the word Swiss. The 18k gold case, meanwhile, is in the original condition with crisp, well defined edges.

With its excellent condition and unique provenance, the watch is expected to draw lots of interest. Christie’s estimates it at around $350,000-$600,000.

Patek Phillipe

Another Patek Philippe watch being offered for sale is an extremely important 2001 Sky Moon Tourbillon Ref 5002P-001. Made in platinum, this rare timepiece has a double dial and a total of 12 complications, including a Cathedral minute repeater tourbillon, a perpetual calendar with retrograde date, moon age and angular motion and a sky chart.

Considered a masterpiece when it was released with 686 components, it features the brand's first ever double dial, one of which displays a celestial chart of the Northern Hemisphere. The watch tracks the meridian passage of Sirius (the brightest star in the night sky) while on the back of the case, the rotation of the sapphire crystal disc follows the sidereal day – the time required for the Earth to rotate once relative to the background of the stars. The watch also has a finely engraved case and dial.

Estimate: $1,200,000-$2,200,000

Rolex Daytona

Also on offer is a Rolex Daytona “Paul Newman” Oyster Sotto, ref 6263. In stainless steel, this Rolex Cosmograph Daytona has a coveted Paul Newman dial with subtle variations from the standard.

This example notably has an RCO dial, with the word “Oyster” written after “Rolex Cosmograph,” making it one of only 25 known examples worldwide. The typography is Mark II lettering, instead of the expected Mark I usually found on this type of dial.

Estimate: $200,000-$400,000

Richard Mille

There is a Richard Mille Unique RM 018 “Hommage A Boucheron” from 2008.

Made to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Boucheron in 2008, this white gold timepiece was limited to 30 pieces worldwide, and is the first watch by Mille that has a movement with sapphire crystal plates.

In addition, the tourbillon has wheels set with minerals, including tiger’s eye, onyx, jasper and diamond, that can be viewed through the skeletonised dial. The watch also features an ornate crown that nods to Boucheron’s history as a high jeweller, and even has deep vertical ridges to echo the 1947 Reflet watch.

Estimate: $500,000-$1,000,0000

Updated: November 03, 2023, 2:12 PM