Christie's Next Hong Kong Auction Features This Ultra-Rare Patek from the 50s
Christie's Next Hong Kong Auction Features This Ultra-Rare Patek from the 50s

Appearing in the auction world for the first time in over two decades, this Patek is one of only three examples known to still exist today

Christie’s Hong Kong has become synonymous with record-breaking auctions, setting the stage for historic sales such as the 2023 auction of the Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon, which captivated collectors worldwide. Building on this momentum, Christie’s is poised to make headlines once again with the upcoming auction of an exceptionally rare Patek Philippe timepiece on May 26th, 2024—the Patek Philippe 18K Yellow Gold Dual-Crown World Time Wristwatch Ref.2523. 


The Patek Philippe 18K Yellow Gold Dual-Crown World Time Ref.2523


The highlight of this incredible example is, of course, the dial. Launched in 1952 by Stern Frères, it features the names of 41 cities surrounding a cloisonné enamel map, representing some of the finest artisanship in fifties watchmaking. Each one of these dials (which vary across each example of this watch) is unique and entirely handmade, with enamel colours that vary slightly depending on the temperature conditions at the time of making. Dating back to circa 1953, this watch is one of just three known examples featuring this specific Eurasian map design, elevating it to a status that is as much about art collection as it is about timekeeping.


Alexandre Bigler, Vice President and Head of Watches at Christie’s Asia, expresses his enthusiasm: “This remarkable Patek Philippe represents a peak in the art of watchmaking, where technical precision meets stunning aesthetic beauty. The cloisonné enamel dial, a vivid portrayal of Eurasia, is not just a function of world time but a masterpiece of miniature art.”


This auction follows a series of record-setting sales at Christie’s, including the 2019 auction of another Patek Philippe Ref.2523, which became the most expensive watch ever sold in Asia at approximately $9.12 million USD. In 2023, a variant of the same reference featuring a North American map on its dial sold for over $8.58 million USD, underscoring the enduring allure and escalating value of these historical pieces.


Alongside the extraordinary 2523, other notable pieces include Patek Philippe references 5074P, 5016P, 5275P, and 5971P, shown in order


The May 2024 auction will showcase an array of high-value watches, offering something for everyone—from emerging enthusiasts to the most discerning collectors. The spotlight, however, will undoubtedly remain on the featured Ref.2523. Renowned for its craftsmanship, this piece was brought to life by eminent artisans including Marguerite Koch, who handled the enamel, and Antoine Gerlach, who was responsible for the casing. Bigler adds, “Each auction we host builds on the legacy of the last, and this particular piece is poised to not just continue but elevate the tradition of exceptional craftsmanship that collectors expect from Christie’s.”


Image Credits: Christie's

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