The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Saturday, November 27, 2021


Phillips sale features a selection of exceptional timepieces encompassing vintage and modern sports watches
Rolex reference 6234, circa 1960. “Pre-Daytona”, an extremely rare and highly attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with black glossy dial. Estimate: HKD 2,000,000 - 4,000,000/ USD 250,000 - 500,000. Image courtesy of Phillips.



HONG KONG.- Following a series of record-breaking sales in Hong Kong over the last four years, Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo unveiled highlights from its upcoming Hong Kong Watch evening sale, Phillips & Blackbird: SPORTS. As was previously announced, Phillips & Blackbird: SPORTS is the first watch auction of its kind in Asia, with Phillips partnering with Blackbird and its founder Mr. TK Mak, marking the first ever watch auction in the world curated by an Asian collector. The watches of the sale, which are in excellent condition and all of which have notable provenance, will be sorted into 6 different categories - WIND, AIR, SNOW, TARMAC, LAWN and WATER.

Taking place on 27 May, the Evening Sale will feature 82 lots of exceptional sports watches, including vintage collectors’ watches manufactured by the world’s most established watchmakers such as Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, IWC, Omega, Richard Mille, and a Zenith El Primero Flyback prototype made for Felix Baumgartner’s historical space jump, plus a celebrity watch once owned by Bruce Lee. The catalogue is available online at Phillips.com/watches.

Highlights from Phillips & Blackbird: SPORTS

WIND: Timekeeping and the wide-open ocean

Made in 1966, the present Rolex reference 6240 was the first from the “Cosmograph” line to be equipped with screwdown chronograph pushers, greatly improving the water resistance of the watch. While the reference 6240 is already extremely rare and highly revered to in the market, only an exceedingly small part of the reference was fitted with “Paul Newman” dials according to various scholarships and studies. The present wristwatch is offered by the family of the original owner.

Rolex reference 6240, circa 1966. An extremely rare, very well-preserved and attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with black "Paul Newman" dial and screw-down pushers. Estimate: HKD 1,100,000 - 2,000,000/ USD 140,000 - 250,000

AIR: Air races and the Jet Age
Destined to inspire admiration and wonder, this spectacular Rolex GMT-Master with Bakelite bezel epitomizes the perfect amalgamation of fine artistry and the brand’s ingenious design. An example of a reference 6542 fitted with its wondrously preserved Bakelite bezel is extremely rare, as these bezels are very fragile and delicate. With the original COSC certificate, the present lot offers a now-or-never opportunity for watch connoisseurs to collect a fine museum-grade timepiece.

Rolex reference 6542, circa 1959. “GMT-Master”, a very attractive, rare and well- preserved stainless steel dual time automatic wristwatch with date, sweep center seconds and bracelet, Bakelite bezel, bracelet and COSC certificate. Estimate: HKD 940,000 - 1,870,000/ USD120,000- 200,000

SNOW: Survival in cold climates
The only vintage Rolex series to feature a triple calendar and chronograph complication, the reference 6036 is named after the legendary three-time Olympic ski champion and Rolex ambassador Jean- Claude Killy, who was often seen sporting the watch. Ever since its debut in 1951, the “Jean-Claude Killy” 6036 has been considered an icon by collectors around the world. One of the most technically complex vintage Rolex models ever created, the present lot is preserved in remarkable condition, accompanied by its original riveted, expandable bracelet, and a hardly-ever-seen dial featuring yellow gold indexes and hands that contrast beautifully against the white dial.

Rolex reference 6036, circa 1951. “Jean-Claude Killy”, a highly attractive and rare yellow gold split-seconds chronograph wristwatch with stop function, snail-shaped telemeter and tachymeter scales. Estimate: HKD 2,000,000 - 4,000,000/ USD 250,000 - 500,000

TARMAC: The affinity between watches and cars
First introduced in 1955, the reference 6234 “pre-Daytona” was, and is still considered to be one of the most desired model within the Rolex Oyster chronograph family. The present lot, with its well-preserved black glossy dial with tachymeter and telemeter scales, makes it one of the most awe-striking executions of the reference to appear on the market. Examples of any reference 6234 presented in such excellent condition are few and far between.

Rolex reference 6234, circa 1960. “Pre-Daytona”, an extremely rare and highly attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with black glossy dial. Estimate: HKD 2,000,000 - 4,000,000/ USD 250,000 - 500,000

LAWN: Watches for more than just telling the time
The Patek Philippe reference 2499/100 was launched in 1978 and produced until 1985. It is considered in public consensus to be one of the most beautiful, impeccable and elegant wristwatches of all time. Due to the extremely complex technical prowess required, only a total of 120 examples were created during its production. The present watch is offered in untouched condition with original box, hang tag, booklets and Extract from the Archives.

Patek Philippe reference 2499, circa 1980. An exceedingly rare, highly attractive and important yellow gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moonphases. Estimate: HKD 3,120,000 -6,240,000/ USD 400,000 - 800,000

WATER: Vital timing below the waves
The present Rolex reference 6538 is not only all original with the correct dial, bezel and winding crown; it is also wisely preserved in absolutely stunning condition. The watch is indisputably a grail-level “Big Crown” Submariner for connoisseurs, in terms of its quality, historical relevance, and fine aesthetics. Even though many vintage Rolex Submariners are referred to as “James Bond” watches, only the reference 6538 with big crown has really been worn by James Bond in movies. The beauty of the bezel insert perhaps the most impressive aspect of the watch, with the bright red triangle gorgeously retained, and the pearl atop most miraculously kept. The watch is furthermore fitted with finely-preserved stainless steel “Big Logo” bracelet.

Rolex reference 6538, circa 1958. “Submariner, Big Crown”, an incredibly rare and highly attractive stainless steel wristwatch with sweep center seconds, black lacquer “four liner” dial, big crown and big logo bracelet. Estimate: HKD 3,200,000- 6,200,000/ USD 400,000-800,000

Fearless Felix and his giant leap of faith
During Felix Baumgartner’s record-breaking skydive from space in 2012, he wore two examples of the Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th. Incredibly the watches were standard production pieces that had been thoroughly tested by Zenith, and their diligence was proven when the pieces worked perfectly after the jump. The lot offered here is a prototype of the El Primero Stratos created for Felix. It is an immense privilege to be able to offer one of these very special test watches, which formed a part a defining moment of human history. It has been consigned directly from the manufacturer with a new warranty and strap that was purposely developed to allow the watch to be fitted over the space suit worn by Felix.

Zenith “El Primero Stratos Flyback” prototype, circa 2012. An attractive stainless steel flyback chronograph prototype wristwatch with warranty and presentation box. Estimate: HKD 78,000 - 155,000/ USD 10,000 - 20,000

The Universal Bruce Lee
Phillips & Blackbird will present an important memento that was owned and worn by Bruce Lee— a Polerouter wristwatch from Universal Genève. Verifying the provenance of the watch, the present lot is accompanied by a letter from the former owner confirming that the watch was given to his father Herb Jackson as a gift from Bruce Lee around 1968, and that the watch was previously worn by the extraordinary master himself.

Universal Genève Polerouter, circa 1950. A very rare and historically interesting yellow gold-plated stainless steel wristwatch with sweep center seconds and a letter of provenance, formerly in the possession of Bruce Lee. Estimate: HKD 78,000 - 155,000/ USD 10,000 - 20,000










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