Watch specialists Ryan Chong, Rebecca Ross and Brandon Frazin discuss their shared passion and select their top lots from the forthcoming Watches Online sale, 26 February to 12 March
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Ryan Chong inspects a Rolex GMT-Master with a ‘Coke’ colour-blocked bezel
How I got started: ‘I first really wanted a watch when I was about 12 years old. As a kid growing up and surfing in San Diego, I wanted to be able to keep track of the tide cycles. The first watch that I can remember receiving was a Freestyle Shark Tide. As I got older and became more familiar with mechanical watches and their history, my tastes changed.
‘I have been greatly influenced by Christie’s International Head of Watches John Reardon and as a result I have fallen in love with Patek Philippe watches and the company’s storied history. The watches that I wear today, though, relate back to the ethos of my first watch — they are tool watches that serve a purpose. I wear my Tudor Submariner ref. 7016/0 and my Rolex Explorer II ref. 16570 the most.’
Patek Philippe, Aquanaut, ref. 5064. Case diameter: 34 mm. Estimate: $8,000-10,000. Offered in Christie’s Watches Online, 26 February to 12 March 2019
My picks from our online sale: ‘The recent craze for Aquanaut means these early Patek Philippe examples [above] are more in demand than ever. I particularly like this watch because it is the sportiest Patek Philippe watch made and, on top of that, it’s a quartz movement.
Rolex, GMT-Master II ‘Coke’, ref. 16710. Bracelet: 7.28 inches / 185 mm. Estimate: $8,000-12,000. Offered in Christie’s Watches Online, 26 February to 12 March 2019
‘GMT-Masters are among the most iconic Rolex watches ever made because of their colour-blocked bezels. I like this “Coke” example [above] because it dates to 2001 and is a later example of the reference that has a Super-LumiNova dial.’
Rebecca Ross wears a Breguet, 18k white gold and diamond-set minute-repeating watch
How I got started: ‘My father was a watch collector, which means I was exposed to the artistry of clocks and watches at an early age. I went on to study history of art and the art market, and was awarded a certification from the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie in April 2015. Now I focus on history and education surrounding horology.
‘I got my first watch, a Swatch, when I was 13 years old. I’m delighted to have recently added a steel 1950s Movado with a “tropical” dial to my collection. I am constantly inspired by the people I meet, both experts in the industry as well as my clients, and by the artistry of the watches themselves.’
Breguet, 18k white gold and diamond-set minute-repeating watch, ref. 3938. Case diameter: 40 mm. Estimate: $20,000-30,000. Offered in Christie’s Watches Online, 26 February to 12 March 2019
My picks from our online sale: ‘This modern Breguet [above] has an 18k white gold case and full diamond-set bezel which, at 40mm, gives a powerful impression. What I like most about this watch is the minute-repeating function, activated through a simple slide in the band. I also like that you can see the gongs at work through the sapphire-crystal display back.
Franck Muller, 18k world time, ref. 2800 HM38. Case diameter: 37 mm. Estimate: $4,000-8,000. This lot is offered in Christie’s Watches Online, 26 February to 12 March 2019
‘I would love to add a World Time complication to my collection. This 18k pink gold example by Franck Muller [above] foregrounds both form and function. Its design is exquisite: the manufacturer has managed to add a day/night indication as well as a date function, while maintaining a simple aesthetic. I particularly like the elongated screwed lugs, which offer a vintage flair.’
Brandon Frazin admires the Rolex Explorer II from circa 1980
How I got started: ‘My passion for watches began at a young age. My father always collected watches and would let me look at and play with them when I was growing up. His collection comprises mostly stainless-steel sports watches. There’s no doubt that this is where my fascination with vintage Sports Rolex stemmed from.
‘I can’t remember my first watch, but I do remember getting a manually wound Seiko when I was about eight years old. I remember winding the crown and listening to the movement and being completely fascinated by it.’
Omega, Seamaster 300, ref. 166.024. Bracelet: 7.67 in / 195 mm. Estimate: $5,000-8,000. This lot is offered in Christie’s Watches Online, 26 February to 12 March 2019
My picks from our online sale: ‘Recently, I have become more interested in Omega Seamaster 300s. This example [above] is a ref. 166.024 from circa 1967. The sword hands, twisted lug case, and “Big Triangle” at 12 o’clock are just a few of the stand-out characteristics. The sword hands remind me of the Rolex Military Submariner and other Omega Seamaster 300s that were military-issued. The case design of this watch is similar to that of the Speedmaster Professional, which is another one of my favourite models.’
Rolex, Explorer II ‘Freccione’, ref. 1655. Bracelet: 6.98 in / 177.5 mm. Estimate: $12,000-18,000. This lot is offered in Christie’s Watches Online, 26 February to 12 March 2019
‘This Rolex Explorer II [above], circa 1980, comes from the family of the original owner and will be sold with its original box and papers. Unfortunately, the papers do not say the serial number, but this wasn’t uncommon practice at the time. It’s also fantastic that the watch still has its original folded link bracelet. These Explorer IIs offer great value when compared with other vintage Rolex sports models that have in recent years significantly increased in value.’