It's always exciting putting together a new catalogue. Many of the watches included in The Hong Kong Watch Auction: SEVEN have been favourites of ours for many years, but there were plenty of surprises and new discoveries as well. We asked our team to go through the entire catalogue - more than 250 timepieces - to reveal the watches that made the strongest impression on them during the cataloguing process. Here are their picks:
Lot N° 874 - The Breitling Ref. 791 Split-seconds Chronograph
An epitome of supreme complication and unparalleled aesthetics, lot 874 is by all means one of the most unforgettable and exciting vintage Breitling examples to appear on the market. Launched in the 1940s, the “Duograph” model was Breitling’s most prestigious wristwatch model incorporating a split-seconds chronograph. An ingenious function, the split-seconds chronograph mechanism is the perfect tool for racecar drivers to record intermediate periods of time in the midst of contests. Split-seconds chronograph movements are extremely complex, with a separate castle wheel and various other parts needed for the amazing task of stopping one second hand while another continues. It would not be an overstatement to say that the present Breitling “Duograph” reference 791 is historically significant, as it represents one of the most exquisite and complex wristwatches created by the brand in the 1950s. Remarkably, the present example boasts the largest case diameter produced by the brand - 38.5mm. In overall excellent condition, the watch is further fitted with an imposing silvered dial which dazzles the eyes of its beholders. With its significant linkage to motor racing, the watch offers you the one-of-a-kind opportunity to experience vicariously the speed and passion which signify the golden days of the 1950s. Thomas Perazzi, Head of Watches, Asia
Lot N° 977 - The Omega Ref. CK 2914 Railmaster
As of late I have fallen in love with vintage Omega wristwatches, and lot 977 in particular is able to dazzle my eyes. Part of the first execution of Railmaster ref. 2914-1, this watch belongs to a trilogy of professional-grade timepieces offered by Omega in the late 1950s. Ref. 2914-1 is one of the rarest Omega watch models on the market right now due to its extremely short production run. Made for professionals who worked in magnetic fields, the watch was designed with a soft iron cage to protect the movement from magnetic interference. The unmistakable broad arrow hands, paired with an unmistakable black dial, have developed a warm tone of patina over a good half of century. Such warm tones of color perfectly blend sensuality with elegance, and are appealing to any collectors. Zi Yong Ho, Specialist
Lot N° 844 - The Patek Philippe Reference 1463 with Breguet Numerals
One of the most classic chronograph designs, the Patek Philippe reference 1463 is extremely rare, and there are only 17 known exmaples in yellow gold with Breguet numerals. Research shows that the watch was delivered to United States, which the HOX export mark on movement confirms. I find it fascinating that this watch, manufactured nearly 70 years ago, appears still in such original condition. This Patek Philippe 1463 - lot 844 - retains its original crown and pushers, as well as crisp hallmarks. The beautiful hard enamel raised signature and scales artfully tell the time. This tremendous timeless piece is absolutely one of my favorite vintage watches of this auction. Jill Chen, Specialist, Business Development Director
Lot N° 826 - The Rolex Daytona Ref. 16528 “Floating Cosmograph” in yellow gold.
Exquisite, exemplary and extraordinary – lot 826 perfectly epitomizes the legacy of Rolex at its finest. Named after the American racetrack, the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona has long been one of the most coveted chronographs. Bearing a “R” serial number, the watch is one of the earliest examples of the reference 16528 – the yellow gold version of the brand’s first self-winding chronograph wristwatch. Likely the most eye-catching element of the watch, the rare white porcelain dial exhibits a beautiful luster unmissable by its beholder. With the “Cosmograph” lettering separated from the other four lines of text, the “Floating Cosmograph” design pops out from the gorgeously crafted dial. The eye is drawn to the dazzling 18K yellow gold case which is preserved in immaculate condition, further inspiring awes amongst aesthetes of fine watches. Kenneth Chan, Cataloguer.
For more information on The Hong Kong Watch Auction: SEVEN, please browse the online catalogue.