Some 400 lots will come under the hammer at three sessions on Monday May 16th 2011. Held at Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues and presided by Aurel Bacs, this is always an eagerly anticipated event. While wristwatches dominate the sale, including some forty Rolexes from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, Christie’s is hitting hard in enamel pocket watches from the 17th to the 20th century. Says Aurel Bacs, “In view of past success, Asian demand should remain high. China has a culture of horology and appreciates this type of timepiece but has high expectations for quality and rarity.” Christie’s will be presenting a fine selection including an exceptional early nineteenth-century Ducommun automata pocket watch, of which there are only five in the world. It depicts the prophet Moses striking a rock in the desert to bring forth water, which one of the Israelites is shown drinking (est. CHF 200,000-300,000 / € 154,400-231,600 / USD 216,000-323,940).
The highlight of the sale will doubtless be a 1928 single pusher split-seconds chronograph by Patek Philippe on a Victorin Piguet ébauche, and which inspired generations of watches by the Geneva brand. In white gold with a cushion case, it features an Art Deco silvered dial with applied Breguet numerals (est. CHF 1.5-2.5 m / € 1.16-1.93 / USD 1.6-2.7 m). Another historically important timepiece in the sale is a 1930s Longines which was personally presented to the aviator Italo Balbo by his friend Charles Lindbergh when the two met in Tripoli. The fourth and final part of A Connoisseur’s Vision (ten Patek Philippe wristwatches) will also come under Aurel Bacs’ hammer, with a pre-sale estimate of CHF 1.5-2 million (€ 1.16-1.55 m / USD 1.6-2.15 m).