Jonathan Crockett, Asia chairman of the auction house Phillips, talks about his most meaningful timepieces and his standouts from last month’s Phillips Hong Kong Watch Auction: XVII
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding
This watch was given to me by my wife as a wedding present after she noticed that I’d been obsessing about it and trying it on at different AP boutiques around the world. I love the minimal and timeless Gérald Genta design, and how it looks great on my wrist whether I’m wearing a suit at work or a T-shirt and shorts at the beach. I’m a big fan of stainless steel sports watches as I’m constantly on the move, and I like how this watch is robust enough to withstand the inevitable knocks and bumps of daily life.
Rolex GMT Master II “Pepsi” 126710BLRO
I had to wait a couple of years for this watch but, as they say, good things come to those who wait! There’s so much to like about this watch, especially the blue and red Cerachrom “Pepsi” bezel that has now achieved cult status after its long evolution. I love the GMT feature, which comes in handy for quickly registering dual time zones. But one of the best things about this watch for me is the stainless steel Jubilee bracelet which reminds me of my father’s watch, the Oyster Perpetual Datejust, which I remember being a permanent feature on his wrist when I was a child.
Bremont Broadsword Bronze
Being British i’m happy to observe that the United Kingdom has become a hotspot for watchmaking innovation in recent years, and Bremont seems to be leading the charge. The brand has special meaning to me as their headquarters are in Henley-on-Thames, which is my hometown in England, and having to travel a lot with work, it’s nice for me to carry a piece of Henley with me on my wrist wherever I go! I love the patina that has developed over time on the bronze which gives the watch a unique touch.
Patek Philippe Ref. 3974P
In 1989, Patek Philippe celebrated their 150th anniversary by launching one of the world’s most complicated wristwatches at the time, the Ref. 3974. It’s believed that approximately 120 examples of the reference were produced across all metals from 1989 to 2002. According to our colleague’s research, only 10 examples of the Ref. 3974 in platinum have surfaced in the market. Appearing at auction for the first time, the Ref. 3974 we presented last month is the 11th example in platinum offered to the public. It pushes the boundary much further as it’s believed to be the only example known with an opaline white Breguet numerals dial.
Rolex “Stelline” Ref. 6062
This vintage Rolex “Stelline” Ref. 6062 from our Hong Kong auction last month is one of the most beautiful examples of the reference and has been preserved in incredible condition. Launched at the Basel fair in 1950, Ref. 6062 was the first automatic wristwatch with date and moon phase housed in a waterproof case. The model was fitted with a number of dial variants and the most desirable version has eight faceted stars in lieu of hour numerals, which collectors have dubbed “stelline”, meaning “starlet” in Italian. There’s light tarnishing in the form of patina, which gives this watch so much character and history!
Rexhep Rexhepi Chronomètre Contemporain
I’ve been a proponent of young and emerging designers, and the last one I want to share is a Rexhep Rexhepi. Highly regarded by industry titans such as Philippe Dufour and Kari Voutilainen, Rexhep Rexhepi has become somewhat of a legend among the new generation of young independents. In 2018, Rexhepi released the first Chronomètre Contemporain, an award-winning design that reflects his vision of a contemporary yet classical aesthetic. Chronomètre Contemporain made its auction debut in Phillips Hong Kong last season and sold for a staggering HK$7.2 million, setting the world auction record for the young independent watchmaker. I hope I have the opportunity to add this watch to my collection one day.
Also see: Christmas gift guide: Editor’s picks