The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XII – Hong Kong Auctions 5-6 June 2021

Phillips Watches is coming to Hong Kong again to auction their important watch sale. Phillips HK boss Mr Perazzi was so nice to send me detailed pictures you normally don’t see. Find below the first set of info I received and want to share with you. Contact Thomas Perazzi directly with any questions. Find the Phillips HK catalogue by following this hard link.

Let’s start pulling this Patek Philippe 2499 out and show you every possible detail you want & need to know prior bidding. I truly believe this way we cover all possible questions and honestly I’m proudly sharing these close ups Mr. Perazzi send me earlier…

Link to Catalogue —->  Estimate: HK$12,000,000 – 23,000,000 – €1,280,000-2,450,000 – $1,540,000-2,950,000

“Patek Philippe is regarded as perhaps the most prestigious manufacturer of timepieces of the highest quality and has gained a loyal following over the decades by offering connoisseurs a wide array of complicated timepieces and mechanical artistry. However, it was one of the firm’s most prized innovations that have secured their position as an all-time great, the perpetual calendar chronograph.

  • Next is the Panerai…. And this one is the real deal, all perfectly matching and confirmed by Jose who wrote an super interesting story which I will add here for your reference.

Link to Catalogue—->

“C.C. No 1 is the first of around 30 Ref. 6152-1 watches delivered to the Carabinieri Sommozzatori. So far, only 12 of the 30 pieces have surfaced. C.C. No 3 belonged to Commander Gianfranco Allegretti who was one of the co-founders of the Carabinieri Sommozzattori unit. It can be assumed that C.C. No 1 belonged to a similarly important figure.

Ref. 6152-1 was manufactured by Rolex in 1955. All of the 500 pieces made featured signature Rolex Big Crowns (8mm) known from the Rolex “King Sub” Ref. 6200. The first examples delivered to the Italian Navy were equipped with radium-based Radiomir Panerai dials. Around 1958, Panerai started heavily modifying Ref. 6152-1 by removing the Big Crown and adding their patented crown-protecting device. To do so, the cases had to be machined to provide a flat seat for the large half-moon shaped crown guard. Later in the mid 1960s, Panerai developed their tritium-based luminous compound named Luminor. All watches delivered to the Italian Navy and other customers such as the Carabinieri Sommozzatori thereafter were equipped with Luminor dials. The ones for the Italian Navy were engraved with Marina Militare, the other customers received Luminor Panerai engraved dials.

Around the same time, the Marina Militare started replacing all highly radioactive Radiomir dials on previously supplied watches with the latest Luminor dials. In the same breath, all watches also received new, slightly thinner hands painted with tritium-based luminous compound.

Only a handful of these early Ref. 6152-1 watches supplied between 1955 and the mid 1960s retained the original Radiomir dials. In most cases, this occurred because the watches were gifted to retired divers and were never serviced afterwards. C.C. No 1 is such a rare piece. In addition, it is also the only known Carabinieri watch to feature a Radiomir dial.

C.C. No 1 shows clear signs of wear and tear but is still in great shape for its 60 plus years. The Rolex reference and case numbers between the lugs are still crisp. The C.C. No 1 engravings on the outside of the caseback are perfectly visible. The inside of the caseback features the typical Rolex stamps from the era in addition to the reference number 6152/1. The iconic crown-protecting device is engraved with Brev. Ital. which refers to the Italian patent. Most Panerai crown guards found on Ref. 6152-1 are stamped with numbers between 1 and 10. The significance of these numbers is unknown.

The dial of this watch is a typical Radiomir dial from the late 1950s that developed a lovely cream-coloured patina on all markers and numerals. The skeletonized hands aged beautifully with slight traces of surface oxydation. A Geiger counter measurement shows high levels of radioactivity.

A special feature of this watch would be the original plexi crystal with its distinct and highly sought-after spider-web-like craze but unfortunately, it cracked in some areas. For this reason, Phillips will include a replacement crystal.

The Cortébert-made Rolex 618 caliber with 17 jewels, overcoiled Breguet hairspring and Incacloc shock protection is in nice condition with slightly oxydized crown and ratched wheels. The watch comes with its original soft-iron cover which is supposed to shield the movement from strong magnetic fields emitted by limpet mines, etc.

As of today, only 12 of the 30 Carabinieri watches have surfaced and only the present one features a Radiomir Panerai dial.

C.C. No 1 124’682 Radiomir Panerai (The present example)
C.C. No 2 124’XXX Dial unknown
C.C. No 3 124’898 Luminor Panerai (Commander Gianfranco Allegretti, Co-founder Carabinieri Subacquei)
C.C. No 6 124’XXX Luminor Panerai
C.C. 7 124’XXX Luminor Panerai
C.C. 8 124’880 Luminor Panerai
C.C. No 15 124’646 Luminor Panerai
C.C. No 17 124’XXX Luminor Panerai
C.C. No 20 124’801 Luminor Panerai
C.C. No 22 124’754 Luminor Panerai
C.C. No 24 124’XXX Luminor Panerai
C.C. No 28 124’762 Luminor Panerai

Carabinieri Sommozzatori

The Italian Carabinieri are a national military force, primarily carrying out domestic policing duties. The name Carabinieri originates from carabine, a long-barreled firearm whose barrel is shorter than that of a standard rifle or musket. The carbine was originally developed for cavalry troopers as it was easier to handle. Established in 1814 as Corpo dei Carabinieri Reali (Royal Carabinieri Corps), the force was renamed in Arma dei Carabinieri after the second world war when Italy became a republic. As the fourth branch of the Italian Armed Forces, the Carabinieri are under the authority of the Ministry of Defense.

Following the pioneering work of Italian Navy frogmen during World War 2 (Decima Flottiglia MAS, Gruppo Gamma), the Carabinieri established their own underwater unit named Carabinieri Sommozzatori (Carabinieri Divers) in 1953. The main purpose of the unit was to deal with crime scenes at the bottom of water bodies such as the sea, lakes, rivers and wells but also to carry out rescue missions in case of floods, etc. Initially performed with the help Italian Navy divers, the Carabinieri soon became more and more self-suficient. In 1955, the two initial bases in Genoa and Napoli were merged into one headquarter in Genoa. As a result of the great success of the unit, their services were expanded in 1964 and new local bases were set up in a number of major coastal cities. Around the same time, the headquarter in Genoa became the national training centre. Prior to this, all Carabinieri frogmen received their basic training at the ComSubIn base in the Varignano Fortress in Porto Venere, La Spezia. In October 1971, the headquarter in Genoa changed its name from Centro Carabinieri Sommozzatori to Centro Carabinieri Subacquei.

The Carabinieri divers performed several notable missions. In 1965, they heped locate a midget submarine that went missing in the Lago Maggiore near Locarno, Switzerland. Another notable intervention was the heroic rescue of several crew members from the British merchant ship “SS London Valour” in 1970. The large vessel had been driven aground by strong winds just outside the harbour of Genoa. When in late 1971 a Hercules C-130 of the Royal Air Force crashed into the sea near Livorno, Italy, Carabinieri divers helped revover the remains of all 46 passengers and six crew members.

G. Panerai & Figlio supplied the Carabinieri Sommozzatori with a total of around 30 watches. All of them featured special engravings on their casebacks. C.C. for Carabineri, followed by the individual watch number. Since the watches were delivered in small batches, there are some slight variations in the way the casebacks were engraved.

PHILLIPS would like to thank Perezcope for the research and archival images for the present lot.

The Carabinieri Sommozzatori were not the only customer outside the Italian Navy to receive these watches. Other law enforcement agencies such as the Guardia di Finanza (G.F) or the Polizia di Stato (P.S.) created their own diving units and bought their own equipment from G. Panerai & Figlio. Their watches featured similar engravings.

  • Then this stunner comes up! I’m myself n rom ally not into day date but for this version I have made an exception in the past. Why because the blue is so mesmerizing cool and the platinum case so rich to wear I can only recommend this one. Sharp case, everything matching so yes threat yourself you won’t regret!

LINK to Catalogue —>

“The present Rolex Day-Date is not just outstanding but an extremely rare example for a number of good reasons. With a striking appeal that is immediately noticeable, the dial is stamped with a red “Khanjar” symbol, a part of the national emblem of Oman. Watches fitted with “Khanjar” dials were made on special request from His Majesty Qaboos bin Said Al Said, the Sultan of Oman, and presented as gifts to his closest dignitaries and servants.

While the ref. 1800 series of Day-Dates were encased in a variety of metals, the present example ref. 1802 featuring a smooth bezel is encased in the highly rare and precious platinum 36mm diameter Oyster case. On another note, one may notice that the blue sunburst dial is of the attractive “Pie-Pan” style, which was used in the 1970s featuring a “stepped” appeal against the outer minute track with a “T SWISS T” designation at 6 O’clock, correct for the configuration.

The case back is engraved Asprey as the Sultan’s early Rolex timepieces were only available at the London-based retailer. The Asprey engraving remains clear, crisp and legible, which is incredibly rare as most engravings have been worn off over time due to general wear and light polishing. Once the caseback is opened, the case number is repeated inside the caseback indicating that the watch was a special order made upon request from Rolex.

Adding to its elegance, the blue sunburst “Pie-Pan” dial is further adorned with baguette and brilliant-cut diamond-set indexes. Boasting an attractive overall condition with crisp hallmarks and offered for the first time at auction by an important European collector who has kept the present timepiece in the same collection for over 20 years, the present rare example is a delight for lovers of vintage Day-Dates to add to their collection. A rare occasion, this is the second time that PHILLIPS is offering a Rolex Day-Date ref. 1802 “Khanjar” with a blue pie-pan dial, the first example was sold at Glamorous Day-Date in Geneva 9th May 2015 (Lot 10).”

  • Super hot are any Crash Cartier in current market, last one sold went from 80K estimate to like 250K hammer. This one is from the 1991 edition and number 113 out of 400.

LINK to Catalogue —>

“The Cartier Crash was regarded as one of the most enigmatic timepieces introduced by the firm in 1967 at their prestigious New Bond Street Boutique in London. With a mysterious story packed with controversial legends along with its daring and unusual aesthetics, the Crash quickly became an icon on its own of the 20th century. While some say that the timepiece was inspired by Salvador Dali’s melting clock from the “Persistence of Memory”, some would argue that it was inspired by a Cartier Baignoire that was deformed during a car crash. Regardless of the true inspiration behind the piece, the Crash is simply unique.

The 1960s was an exciting era for the Parisian House of Luxury as branches of the establishment operated individually with Paris, New York and London. Headed by the great grandson of founder, Jean-Jacques Cartier, the innovative approach to creating extraordinary timepieces and luxury goods to cater towards their trendy clientele was inevitable.

The Cartier Crash is certainly a superlative timepiece and it is perhaps the most celebrated Cartier wristwatch ever by esteemed collectors. In 1991, Cartier Paris created their very own version of the Crash as a limited edition of 400 pieces in yellow gold sharing much of the same aesthetical principles to the original example from 1967.

The present example is indeed an example from one of the 400 pieces produced in 1991 by Cartier Paris numbered 113. Preserved in attractive overall condition with a voluptuous case with its delicate curves uninterrupted, it further boasts a clean dial featuring its iconic Cartier signature at 7 o’clock. With a heightened demand for the Cartier Crash in recent times, the present example is a treat for collectors trying to get their hands on this beloved timepiece.”

Then this rare bird comes up… Ref 6610 Explorer retailed by K.W. Co (“Knickerbocker Watch Company”, the company was an importer for Swiss watches and wristwatches of the time)

LINK to Catalogue—->

“Launched in 1953 and in production until 1963, the Rolex reference 6610 was the celebration of rigors of adventures and extreme explorations of mankind. With a distinguished 3-6-9 dial configuration and humble flat bezel, this utilitarian timepiece is beloved by collectors. The present ref.6610 with a 269 thousand serial dates back to 1957, and is truly a time capsule specimen, preserved in absolutely stunning condition is a sight to behold, the dial still remains its vivid black gloss over the course of an amazing 64 years, rare condition to come across for this vintage timepiece. Powered by the slim caliber 1030 movement, the Explorer evolved into a more modern and lean profile comparing to its predecessors.

The discerning collector will notice an unusual sight sitting discretely underneath the coronet and Explorer logo, one will find the presence of a gilt insignia “K. W. Co”. The present ref. 6610 is a double-signed Explorer, according to research this is the mark of an American retailer named the “Knickerbocker Watch Company”, the company was an importer for Swiss watches and wristwatches of the time. Preserved in excellent condition, the watch has developed a pleasing patina on the luminescent and retains very strong Geiger readings. A pioneer of mankind’s desire to push boundaries of human limits, the present specimen will certainly impress the collectors of vintage icons.

Next is this tropical Submariner retailed by SYL or Serpico Y Laino.

LINK to Catalogue—>

“Founded by two enterprising Italians, Leopoldo Serpico and Vincente Laino, the eponymous Venezuelan watch and jewellery house was established in the middle of the roaring 20s. The pair was a match made in heaven: Laino, being the business brains, and Serpico, bringing the financial brawn, guided the business to prosper for a generation. While Serpico y Laino retailed watches for various brands, their crowning achievement must have been the exclusive rights for Rolex distribution in Venezuela.

During that time, Rolex was still forging its international reputation and customers trusted local retailer more than foreign brands, thus “double-signed” dials were born. These double-signed dials, identifiable by the “Serpico y Laino” dial signature or by a subtle “S&L” case engraving, served as a stamp of quality for the imported watches. As one can imagine, this required enormous respect from the maison to the retailer and vice versa.

Just four decades later, with the prestige that Rolex enjoys, it is inconceivable such double-signed watches would be produced again. Understandably, these monuments of the past have become highly prized amongst apex collectors. Such is the desirability that the “double-signed” watches often enjoy a premium, at times multiples, over their plain counterparts since surviving ones are unbelievably rare. The present lot on offer, the Rolex 5513 “Serpico y Laino”, is one such example. It is known as the last of the “classic” submariners: no date, 4-digit reference and acrylic crystal. Notably, the watch has aged gracefully, resulting in a chocolate gilt dial, honey lume plots and a faded “ghost” bezel.
Those interested in this particular piece will undoubtedly be focused on the “Serpico y Laino” signature. Serious connoisseurs will notice a unique detail; whereas an overwhelming majority of double signed watches have the retailer signature at 6, this exceptional piece has its signature at 12, making it a unicorn even amongst rare “double-signed” Rolex Submariners. Even more astonishingly, the lightly engraved “S&L Acero” on the case back is still well preserved after many years; it is a clear testament to the outstanding condition that this piece is in. To the best of our knowledge and research, there is only a handful of Rolex, of which fewer are Submariners, with the “Serpico y Laino” signature at placed at 12.

For many, this Rolex 5513 “Serpico y Laino” will simply be one Submariner; yet, for the distinguished collector, this may well be the final puzzle piece. Knowledgeable aficionados will understand that this piece is present only once in a blue moon. So, to those hoping to complete a Rolex Submariner, “double-signed” or Venezuelan collection, we say – do not hesitate.”

Followed by a hot Rolex Paul Newman Daytona Ref 6241

LINK to Catalogue —>

Vintage Rolex Cosmograph Daytona timepieces have garnered a much appreciated interest from collectors due to its timeless aesthetics, historical importance and rarity. With some examples rarer than others, the scholarship behind these timepieces have been well-documented by the collecting community and auction houses. Throughout the years of extensive research, studies regarding the transition of the models released over the years provide collectors an insightful knowledge of the mind of the Rolex manufacture.

First introduced in the early 1960s via the ref. 6239, it was the first Cosmograph featuring a “DAYTONA” designation on the dial. Depending on the dial manufacturer, there were several variations including a rare dial nicknamed “Paul Newman” made by Singer that was first witnessed in the ref. 6239. Over the years and transition of references, these rare “Paul Newman” dials continued to appear until the last manually-wound Daytona ref. 6265.

The Daytona ref. 6241 is one of the rarest references, even more so when it is presented in a 14K yellow gold case with a champagne “Paul Newman” dial. First released in 1965 together with the ref. 6240, the ref. 6241 similarly featured a black bezel insert however with pump-style pushers differing from the ref. 6240 with screwed-down pushers. Early examples of the reference featured the cal. 722 while the latest examples featured cal. 722-1. The reference was discontinued in 1969 with a production span of four years. It is estimated that throughout the course of its production, 2,300 examples were encased in stainless steel and 700 examples in gold. Therefore, considering the low production of Singer-made “Paul Newman” dials, examples in yellow gold featuring the rare dial can only be considered as extremely scarce. It is believed that examples encased in 14K yellow gold were sold primarily to the US market and out of the 700 examples encased in gold an estimated 400 examples were encased in 14K yellow gold.

The present example Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ref. 6241 champagne “Paul Newman” with a 2.1 million serial from circa 1969 belongs to one of the last examples of the reference produced featuring a cal. 722-1. Bearing an attractive and clean dial, the case of the present example features two hallmarks stamped behind the lugs. Previously offered and consigned by the family of the original owner at The Hong Kong Watch Auction: SIX and sold, we are pleased to offer the present example for the second time at auction fitted with a 14K yellow gold riveted Rolex Oyster bracelet.

Then a mega elegant Cosmograph in gold with black dial and gold print. Now imagine it on your wrist! Great thing is when you buy it your wife can wear it as well. You see looking at my wrist is cool but seeing my wife wear a gold pump daytona is endgame.

LINK to Catalogue —>

“Designed as the designated timekeeping tool on the wrist of professional drivers among racetracks, the three-handed Daytona chronograph is with no doubt one of the most robust icons of all time. The reference 6241 with a striking black acrylic bezel was launched in 1965 and remained in production for only 4 years until 1969. The present timepiece bearing a 2 million serial not only signifies the end of its production, it is also cased in a metal of extreme rarity, the 14 karat yellow gold case. Produced with a comparatively lower quantity to the more common 18 karat variant, the 14 karat cases were made especially for the American market and are extremely collectible. A noteworthy detail for the collector with a keen eye is the “ROW” stamp found on the Valjoux 722-1 movement, an import code indicator for the designated market. Fitted with a stunning black dial contrasting with the luxurious sheen of gold subdials, the Daytona signature sits above the hour totalizer curve which further enhance its rarity.

Preserved in excellent condition with outstanding vintage appeal, the hallmarks on the underside of the lugs retains its clear and crisp edges. The present timepiece is sporty, yet classy, making this an ultimate chronograph for the discerning collectors.”

Link to Catalogue —>

Thats it for now, we will update this RPR repost in coming days with more interesting lots and show you all necessary info you need to buy with confidence from your lazy chair at home, isn’t that great! 😉 Find all necessary info below.

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XII

Hong Kong Auctions 5-6 June 2021