Geneva, 15 September 2023 – The Rare Watches Live Auction at Christie’s Geneva on 7 November will present three remarkable timepieces sure to create a buzz amongst global watch enthusiasts:
- Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 3700/31 – the only publicly known example of this reference. (Est: CHF1,500,000-3,500,000)
- Philippe Dufour Simplicity – the first wristwatch with a steel case by this maker to be offered at auction (Est: CHF600,000-1,200,000)
- F.P.Journe Sonnerie Souveraine – award winner at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in 2006 (Est: CHF700,000-1,400,000)
This sensational Patek Philippe Nautilus Jumbo Ref. 3700/31 in platinum with diamonds with a bracelet made by Gay Frères was discovered circa 2015 and subsequently sold by Christie’s Geneva the following year. It is the only publicly known example of this reference, hence the most important Nautilus Ref. 3700 in the world.
Moreover, the original Patek Philippe Certificate of Origin and sales invoice from Patek Philippe Geneva have survived and accompany the watch. Without question, the present Haute Joaillerie Nautilus is one of the all-time great Patek Philippe wristwatches of the 20th century, so significant that it was given its own individual sub-reference ‘31’.
A unique 38mm Philippe Dufour Simplicity wristwatch in stainless steel with royal blue dial, this is the first timepiece with a steel case by this independent watchmaker to be offered at auction. Manufactured in 2021, it’s perhaps the ultimate contemporary time-only watch, a distillation of the knowledge, experience and virtuoso craftsmanship of one of the greatest living watchmakers.
The Certificate of Origin is dated June 3, 2021, the day Philippe Dufour turned 73, while the case size is an unprecedented 38mm, with all other Simplicity models come in case sizes of 34mm or 37 mm.
Reflecting the original owner’s wish, the blue dial eschewed the subsidiary small seconds dial, the only such example known publicly. In addition, the dial features individually applied faceted baton indexes with a double index at 12 o’clock, and in combination with the “white” steel case, the watch blends a minimal aesthetic with richness of the very finest craftmanship.
This F.P.Journe Sonnerie Souveraine in steel with a Grande and Petite Sonnerie minute repeater is a masterpiece very few watchmakers in the world are capable of producing. In recognition of F.P.Journe’s achievement, this Sonnerie Souveraine won the accolade of First Prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in 2006. Produced from 2006-2018, all pieces were made in stainless steel, except 1 or 2 made in pink gold with special dials. Only four examples of this model were made each year, accounting for a total of less than 60 pieces.
In 2008, François-Paul Journe was asked what his greatest challenge in watchmaking was to date: “The creation of the Grande Sonnerie watch was quite a challenge. The Grand Strike is the most complicated of all watchmaking functions. My version incorporates 10 patents (the source of the “Invenit” – invented – part of our motto) and took six years of research and development to make (this explains the “Fecit” – made – in the motto). The F.P.Journe Grande Sonnerie has no equal in the whole world. It is the most complete and accomplished timepiece ever made”.