by Dana Li
I was recently able to view all the watches from the upcoming Phillips auction thanks to the wonderful Watch Femme, Watch Girl Off Duty, and the team at Phillips’s watch department. Out of the many gorgeous pieces, these are my 5 favorites that will be headed home with some lucky bidders this weekend.
For a watch that is over 100 years old, this piece is in absolutely stunning condition. This 32mm gold watch has a pristine enamel dial with a gorgeous patinated lume that has taken on a deep caramel color. I personally am a fan of vintage Patek designs and this watch showcases some of the brand’s best aesthetic from the hinged caseback to the unique wire lugs. This watch may be my favorite out of all the lots in the auction.
I always love a good vintage Speedmaster and this piece has so many great qualities that a newer collector or Speedy fanatic can equally appreciate. The pumpkin-hued lume on the hands and hour markers pops on the clean black dial and lightly faded bezel. The lollipop chronograph hand found on this example also one of my favorite elements of a vintage Speedmaster, giving the watch an almost classic, yet fun feel. A bonus for any hardcore Speedy enthusiasts, this watch is also powered by the noteworthy Caliber 321.
FP Journe and the Chronomètre Bleu need little introduction these days as the independent watchmaker has garnered much acclaim in the watch world with his innovative and classic pieces. The striking chrome blue on this dial is captivating to say the least and is only further complemented by the tantalum case. Though the watch has a 39mm case, it does tend to wear slightly larger but nonetheless makes a gorgeous statement piece.
While I typically wouldn’t reach for a Nautilus, I find myself coming back to this piece again and again. After trying on this watch, I definitely think the Patek’s mid-size 3800 is my favorite Nautilus reference in the model’s history. At 37.5mm, it wears extremely well on any wrist and is both subtle enough as an every day wear and bold enough to make a worthy statement piece for any occasion. Bonus: the watch’s enamel dial is also in pristine condition and has taken on a nice eggshell color.
Rolex is incredibly well-known both for its reliably robust modern and vintage pieces, but this triple calendar chronograph from the late 1940s is a gorgeous representation of the brand’s prowess in complicated watchmaking. This particular reference (5036) is one of the rarest of these Oyster Dato-Compaxes since it was only produced for 3 years from 1948 to 1951. The delicate pink gold case also has taken on a lovely patina, along with the beautiful two-tone dial.