Of the 146 lots in the sale, brands range from Rolex to Breguet, Harry Winston to Jaeger-LeCoultre; styles include items with alligator straps, hundreds of diamonds, and ties to racing greats like Paul Newman. But it's the variety of 40 historic Patek Philippe Nautilus watches—in honor of
the model's 40th anniversary—that especially caught our eye.
Designed by Gérald Genta, who sketched the brand on a napkin in a restaurant in Basel, Switzerland, the Nautilus was released in 1976 as a way to re-invigorate a high-end Swiss watch industry under assault by quartz-movement newcomers. Fast-forward four decades, and the Nautilus design remains an icon of steel mechanical automatic movement—the model that was first introduced at a crazily inexpensive (for a Patek) $3,100, roughly $13,000 in today's money, will now sell for as much as $250,000.
Not a Nautilus fanatic? There are dozens of other impeccable watches on sale next week as well. Here are some of them.
Patek Philippe 18K Gold Nautilus Automatic Wristwatch
Lot 138: Ref. 3700/1 comes with automatic movement and 36 jewels incorporated into its 18K gold case, 42mm bezel and black dial. It was manufactured in 1980. Est. $40,000–$80,000
Patek Philippe Stainless Steel Nautilus Wristwatch
Lot 145: The automatic-movement Ref. 5980/1A from 2008 is black-ribbed with white-gold indexes and a 44mm-wide steel case. It comes accompanied by a Tiffany & Co. certificate of origin, plus spare bracelet link, instruction manual, and leather case. Est. $25,000–$35,000
"From late 1970s examples of stainless steel Ref. 3700/1A ‘Jumbos’ to current production models, the Nautilus 40 not only tells a story of the last 40 years of Nautilus, it tells the story of how watch companies continue to reinvent themselves in the marketplace," said John Reardon, the International Head of Department, Watches, at Christie's.
Emmanuel Bouchet Unique Titanium Jumping Hour Wristwatch
Lot 56: The Complication One Model, No. 88, manufactured in 2016, has a lapis lazuli open dial with day and night indication, three-dimensional time display, and jumping hours and seconds. The case is titanium, with a blue alligator strap. Est. $50,000–$100,000
F.P. Journe Platinum Limited Edition Ergonomic Chronograph
Lot 10: Made circa 2013, this Formula Jean Todt Edition, No. 370-CT watch has manual movement and 18K pink gold detailing, with 50 jewels incorporated and a red dial. The case is platinum. Est. $60,000–$90,000
Patek Philippe 18K Gold and Diamond Nautilus Wristwatch
Lot 140: Manufactured in 1981, the Ref. 3700/3 watch comes with automatic movement and 112 diamonds set in the bezel, along with an 18K gold Gay Freres bracelet. The black ribbed dial offsets luminous hands, date window, and 42mm total width of the piece. Est. $70,000–$120,000
Rolex Paul Newman Chronograph Wristwatch
Lot 135: The circa 1966 watch is a signed Rolex Chronograph, Ref. 6239, with manual movement, stainless steel tonneau-shaped case and two chronograph buttons on the band. The width is 36.5mm. Est. $120,000–$180,000
Patek Philippe 18K Pink Gold Chronograph Wristwatch
Lot 21: The Ref. 591, from 1942, has a rose dial with signed Patek Philippe & Co. manual movement and gold raised Roman and baton numerals. It has an Arabic five division and tachometer scale with two sunken beveled subsidiary dials for constant seconds and 30-minute register. Est. $45,000–$75,000
Rolex Stainless Steel Chronograph Daytona "Tropical" Wristwatch
Lot 134: The Ref. 6262 watch has manual movement and a 36.5mm width. It has silvered, baton numerals and three engine-turned subsidiary dials for constant seconds, 30-minute and 12-hour registers and was manufactured circa 1970. Est. $60,000–$100,000
The watch takes its name from a phenomena called "tropicalization," whereby previously black dials slowly change color over time, usually to a brown or bronze shade. Examples were introduced in the 1970s and contained the Daytona signature below the "Cosmograph" lettering on the dial of the watch.
Rolex Stainless Steel Chronograph Wristwatch With Panda Paul Newman Dial
Lot 136: The watch is a signed oyster Rolex cosmograph with manual movement and a white matte dial, ref. 6263. The three sunken black subsidiary dials work as constant seconds, 12 hours and 30-minute registers. The watch is 37.5mm wide and extremely rare, having been purchased in Switzerland circa 1972. Est. $120,000–$180,000
"We aim [to have] the largest Dubai auction ever with a strong $4.5 million [total sale]," said Remy Julia, the Head of Watches Middle East, Africa, and India at Christie's. Reardon added, "This year alone we have seen a 25 percent growth in the number of clients transacting with us."
The auction will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m. in the Jumeirah Emirates Tower Hotel in Dubai. Viewings start on Oct. 16.