Later this month, Phillips will be hosting back-to-back watch auctions in Hong Kong, starting with Phillips & Blackbird: SPORTS a thematic sale, the first of its kind in Asia, composed of 82 iconic sports watches, followed by The Hong Kong Watch Auction: EIGHT. We asked the team who put together these sales to select some of their favourite watches from both catalogues. Here are their top picks:

Lot 882: Rolex, Submariner "Big Crown" Reference 6538

The James Bond movie franchise exemplifies some of the greatest films in the history of motion pictures, and the British secret agent has brought an abundance of fond childhood memories to many of us. Despite the fact that many vintage Rolex Submariners are being referred to as “James Bond” watches, only the ref. 6538 with big crown has really been worn by James Bond in films including Dr. No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), and Thunderball (1965), played by none other than the legendary Sean Connery. Lot 882, the Rolex ref. 6538 Big Crown, is an example which makes a collector’s dream come true. Exceptionally, the luster of the black lacquer dial is in superb condition, further underscored by the cream-colored Radium indexes and hands. Considering the condition, rarity and quality of the watch, it would not be an overstatement to call it a horological masterpiece. Thomas Perazzi, Head of Watches, Asia

Lot 864: Patek Philippe, Reference 1579 in pink gold 

While most people consider that Patek Philippe is synonymous with elegant dress watches, the brand was in fact a pioneer in producing sporty chronographs back in the 1940s. I am particularly amazed by Lot 864 as the watch is preserved in excellent overall condition, evidenced by how carefully and nicely the watch has been preserved ever since it left the manufacturer in 1949. With its elegant “spider lugs” and an awe-inspiring salmon dial which has developed a nice layer of patina, Lot 864 perfectly amalgamates the enthralling power of a chronograph movement and the fine elegance which Patek Philippe takes pride in. Most impressively, the watch is double signed by Freccero — a highly esteemed retailer from South America. Zi Yong Ho, Head of Sale, Hong Kong 

Lot 979: Patek Philippe, Ladies' Nautilus Reference 3900/1G (in white gold)

Without a doubt, Patek Philippe’s Nautilus is one of the hottest and most coveted watch models in the world right now. With a history that spans over 40 years, Patek Philippe has created a fascinating array of Nautilus references. Out of all of these configurations, the reference 3900 is definitely one of the rarest in the market as its production run is very short. Lot 979, in particular is extremely rare as it is the first publicly known example of a ref 3900 in white gold with diamond-set sunburst matte ribbed dial. Traditionally, scholars and researchers have only recognized the reference 3900 in stainless steel, steel & yellow gold, yellow gold, and platinum. Amazingly, the 18K white gold case material, dial configuration and production year are all confirmed by Patek Philippe’s Extract from the Archives, demonstrating that the watch is all original. It’s also worth noting that the watch was sold in Hong Kong, and owned by a local collector for more than 25 years. Jill Chen, Head of Watches, Hong Kong

Lot 884: Patek Philippe, "Tasti Tondi " Reference 1463 

The reference 1463 was released in the 1940s but has a very modern look that is still by all means aesthetically modish for today’s style and taste. This model was the earliest waterproof chronograph wristwatch produced in series by Patek Philippe. The fact that Lot 844 is cased in pink gold and preserved in impeccable condition further adds its rarity and collectability. The 35-mm case — a versatile size — is prefect for both men and ladies, and actually, it's perfect for me! Cindy Yen, Senior Specialist, Watches & Jewels, Taiwan

Lot 1128: Omega, Speedmaster "Golden Panda" Reference BA 145.0122 / PIC 3690.30.01

I am particularly fascinated by Lot 1128 of The Hong Kong Watch Auction: EIGHT, an Omega Speedmaster chronograph ref. BA 145.0122 featuring an exotic dial that is reminiscent of the widely-adored “Paul Newman” dials fitted on some of the most sought-after Rolex Daytona examples. While this Omega watch is commonly dubbed by collectors as “the Golden Panda”, the dial design with its white overall and black accents does call to mind the fluffy creatures that are native to China. The 18K yellow gold case bestows upon the watch an aura of extravagance and elegance, which makes the watch even more attractive to behold. Most intriguingly, the watch was specifically made for the Japanese market, and delivered to Hong Kong in 1997 — the year which marked Hong Kong’s official transfer of sovereignty. Jacky Lam, Administrator, Watches