6 Wearable Works Of Art Offered By Phillips This Spring
Phillips is unveiling some extremely rare lots in two of its upcoming Spring auctions. With the auction house celebrating the new world record it just set in Geneva this month for the highest price ever achieved for a Rolex wristwatch sold at auction, the Hong Kong Watch Auction: FOUR on May 30 will present over 350 collector timepieces, including 43 watches from renowned Parisian retailer Laurent Picciotto.
Meanwhile, the Jewels and Jadeite auction on May 29 will showcase a curated selection of over 140 jewels, featuring iconic pieces from late 19th century to contemporary signed masterpieces.
It's better to see something once than to hear about it a hundred times, as they say, and nothing beats seeing these wearable works of art in person at the Phillips Spring 2017 Auction Preview this weekend. If you’re curious for a sneak preview, here are some handpicked highlights:
1. The Secret Pink
The Jewels and Jadeite auction will showcase a number of rare diamonds, amongst which “The Secret Pink” is the leading lot—a magnificent diamond ring that has a 4.23-carat, Golconda-type fancy vivid purplish-pink diamond sheltering another 1.39-carat vivid pink diamond from the Argyle Mine underneath.
The 4.23-carat diamond is a very rare Type IIa (the most valued and the purest type of diamond) and is internally flawless, purportedly from the legendary Golconda diamond-mining region in India. Pink diamonds are extremely uncommon—they make up less than 0.05 per cent of current annual global diamond production and are almost always less than a carat in size—making The Secret Pink highly collectible.
Estimated value: HK$45 to 55 million
2. Patek Philippe wristwatch
The leading lot for The Hong Kong Watch Auction: Four is a very fine and important Patek Philippe stainless steel chronograph wristwatch, reference 530, manufactured in 1943. It comes with the original certificate. The timepiece was first consigned by an important collector, staying in his private collection until today, where it reappears on the auction market after 15 years.
Estimated value: HK$4 to 8 million
3. Mauboussin art deco emerald and diamond pendant
Historic jewellery from the 20th century, which are veritable wearable pieces of art, will also feature in the sale. This 1929 Colombian emerald and diamond pendant, made by Mauboussin and certified to be an authentic creation from the maison in 1929, is a superlative example of Art Deco jewellery from one of the most important jewellers in the early 20th century.
Estimated value: HK$1 to 1.3 million
4. De Bethune wristwatch
The timepieces from the Laurent Picciotto Collection are especially collectible, coming with various accessories and memorabilia. As Picciotto himself explains, “This De Bethune DB25 with spherical moon phases is a unique piece. The constellation is as seen from the sky above my birth place."
The dial is finished with 12 radiating sectors and the moon phases are constructed from palladium. For extra intrigue, there's even a secret signature at 10 o’clock of a flying space shuttle.
Estimated value: HK$200,000 to 280,000
5. Richard Mille wristwatch
Another beauty from the Laurent Picciotto collection, this Richard Mille timepiece, circa 2010, has a rare, tonneau-shaped case. Also known as the "Black and Blue"—black for the DLC-treated titanium case and blue for the blue luminova hands and numerals—the wristwatch is “a magical 53 grams only, and limited to 50 pieces," according to Picciotto.
Estimated value: HK$240,000 to 400,000
6. Boucheron diamond and enamel flower bracelet
This extraordinarily delicate diamond and enamel bracelet from Boucheron demonstrates excellent workmanship in its understated design. Emblematic of jewellery from the 1960s, the bracelet is a graceful weave of diamond-set flowers and intricate enamel leaves.
The enamel work is particularly stunning, crafted using an ancient decoration technique where powdered glass is fused to the metal surfaces through a firing process.
Estimated value: HK$260,000 to 320,000
Preview highlights from the Phillips Spring 2017 Auction Season in Hong Kong from 10am – 6pm, between May 25 - 29. The Jewels and Jadeite auction begins at 2.30pm on May 29, and The Hong Kong Watch Auction: Four begins at 1pm and 6pm on May 30. All events will be at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, 5 Connaught Road, Central.