Watch enthusiasts and collectors are gearing up for a historic event as First State Auctions prepares to present an extraordinary timepiece at auction. The spotlight is on a limited edition 1946-manufactured Patek Philippe #1436, and its sale could rewrite the history books, with an estimated value ranging from $400,000 to $800,000, potentially making it the most valuable watch ever sold at an Australian auction.
While the estimated value may seem steep, avid collectors and investors will recognise the significance, especially when compared to a staggering $2.6 million price tag attached to a similar luxury timepiece in the past. This represents an unmatched opportunity for horology aficionados to own a piece of history, potentially at a fraction of the previous price.
The Patek Philippe #1436 model is one of a mere 160 produced over 30 years, cementing its status as a rare and highly coveted piece among collectors. Records from Patek Philippe’s archives confirm its initial sale date on October 28, 1949. This vintage gem is crafted in 18ct yellow gold, featuring a manual winding mechanism, a Split Second chronograph, a Patek Philippe black leather strap, and a Patek Philippe 18ct gold buckle and gold bars.
This extraordinary watch will be part of a curated selection of 500 lots up for grabs at the First State Auctions’ online event running from November 13 to November 19, 2023.
Lili Mustakov, client experience specialist at First State Auctions, expressed her excitement, “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to secure a Patek Philippe #1436 18ct Yellow Gold Split Seconds Chronograph. Patek Philippe watches are often retained as personal family heirlooms so they rarely become available to purchase and are therefore known for their strong investment and resale value. Vintage models such as this #1436 can command incredibly high prices at auctions among collectors and watch enthusiasts because they are so hard to come by. I’m excited to see this watch make history in the Australian auction arena,” she says.
Patek Philippe is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious and respected watch brands, known for exceptional craftsmanship, attention to detail, and rich heritage dating back to 1839. Patek Philippe #1436 timepieces have established a reputation for robust resale value, with vintage models consistently achieving remarkable prices in both auction settings and among avid collectors. In 2021, a piece manufactured in 1939 sold for over $2.6 million at Christie’s in Hong Kong.
Ari Taibel, founder and director at First State Auctions says, “I am thrilled to announce the auction of this rare masterpiece that could be snapped up for an incredible price. Since our establishment in 1995, we have built a reputation as Australia’s most trusted fine jewellery and Swiss watch auctioneers. Our commitment to quality, backed by qualified experts and a guarantee of authenticity, ensures a seamless bidding experience, and we are excited to open this experience up to the general public in Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and Singapore.”
Apart from the Patek Philippe gem, the auction will also feature highly sought-after fine jewellery, extraordinary gemstones, designer handbags, and even a rare collection of 20 important Argyle pink diamonds, collected over two decades by a former Rio Tinto employee. This landmark auction is set to become the largest Australian jewellery auction ever, with the combined low estimated auction value totalling over $4.5 million, surpassing the previous record of $3.42 million.
The live online auction is scheduled from November 13 through November 19, ending at 8 pm AEDT. To participate in the bidding, interested parties can register on the First State Auctions website here.