News-Antique.com - Mar 25,2008 - New York — Following Christie’s record breaking year in 2007 with worldwide sales for watches of
$88 million dollars, including the two most successful sales for this category in the United States to
date, the Important Watch auction in New York on April 24 will offer 264 exceptional timepieces.
Many of the items are not only exceedingly rare and historically important, but fresh to the market.
The sale will present collectors with a wide variety of timepieces catering to a multitude of tastes
including vintage and modern, rare, and highly complicated pieces by celebrated makers such as
Patek Philippe, Rolex, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin. Other featured
lots include a selection of watches owned by well-known individuals such as Joe DiMaggio, the
former New York City Mayor, Edward I. Koch, Hugh D. Auchincloss and more.
Patek Philippe features strongly in the sale, leading with two rare Patek Philippe wristwatches which
are fresh to the auction block. First is a rare 18k gold water-resistant perpetual calendar wristwatch
produced in a total of only 179 examples (reference 2438/1) (estimate: $250,000-400,000). Another
Patek Philippe offered is a fine stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with Breguet numerals from
1949 (reference 1463) (estimate: $180,000-280,000). The superb condition in combination with its
interesting provenance, originally owned Shelby H. Curlee, a member of the family of the famed
Curlee Clothing Company, presents a true collector’s find.
Modern highlights including a rare platinum and diamond Blancpain Tourbillon wristwatch, created
in 2001 following the purchase of Blancpain by the Swatch Group, to reflect the tradition of the
Blancpain name (estimate: $80,000-120,000). Another example of note is the platinum Patek
Philippe perpetual calendar wristwatch, circa 2006, new in its box, as it would have come from the
factory (reference 5059) (estimate: $60,000-80,000).
The sale is complemented by a selection of historically interesting wristwatches including timepieces
belonging to former New York City Mayor Edward Koch and baseball hero Joe DiMaggio. A
Wittnauer stainless steel wristwatch, circa 1962, features the engraving, "OLD TIMER'S DAY, 7-28-
62, JOE DIMAGGIO” (estimate: $2,000-3,000). DiMaggio made his
debut with the Yankees on May 3, 1936 and quickly established himself
as one of the greatest player's that the game had ever seen, helping to
propel the team to garner nine world series titles during his thirteen year
career. The present watch was presented to Joe DiMaggio on July 28,
1962 at Old Timers' Day. This long-standing Major League Baseball
tradition, most commonly associated with the New York Yankees, was
initially conceived in the late 1930s as a day to celebrate the lives and
accomplishments of baseball greats. Given the enduring greatness of his
career, it is only fitting that Joe DiMaggio was recognized with this accolade.
From the former mayor of New York City is an Omega wristwatch (reference no. 198.031), circa
1970, that is accompanied by a letter written by Edward I. Koch on his personal stationary dated
January 7, 2007 (estimate: $2,000-4,000). The letter explains that the present watch was purchased
by Mr. Koch during the