Auction Watch: Patek Philippe Platinum Ref 5016 Red + Black Dial

Tourbillon, minute repeater, retrograde perpetual calendar…est. $500k-$700k…

Antiquorum’s “Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces” sale in New York is one week away (Thurs, Dec. 13), and I’d like to highlight the star of the sale:  a platinum Patek Philippe perpetual calendar + minute repeater + tourbillon (Ref. 5016) with a unique black and red dial.  By any account it is a stunning timepiece.  The bold and striking dial is one to its own — in other words, a commissioned piece from a very important Patek Philippe client.  Furthermore, the watch is rated to be in “exceptional” condition, essentially a “like new” timepiece.  Accordingly, the pre-sale estimate is $500,000 – $700,000.  Here’s the rundown on this watch.

According to the Extract of the Archives from Patek Philippe, this exceptional piece that Antiquorum will auction was made in 1999 and sold on January 31st, 2001.  Its platinum case measures 37mm in diameter by 15mm thick, excluding the fluted lugs.  The dial is black with applied white gold Breguet numerals, a subsidiary seconds dial, and apertures for the days of the week, the months, the leap year and the moon phases.   The outer minute track, concentric retrograde red date graduation, day of week, month, leap year, and “tourbillon” notation are all in a robust red color.

The movement, Caliber RTO 27 PS-QR, is stamped with the Geneva Seal and features hour, minute, a one-minute tourbillon regulator, retrograde perpetual calendar, and moon phases.  It was fully serviced by Patek Philippe in early 2012.  The exceptional caliber is visible through the sapphire crystal display back:

The band has a platinum Patek Philippe buckle (not pictured).

The iconic Pate Phillipe Ref. 5016 was introduced in 1993 and was the most complicated wristwatch in production until Patek debuted the Ref. 5002 “Sky Moon Tourbillon” in 2001.  Patek Philippe’s 2009-2010 Collection booklet describes the now discontinued reference 5016 as follows:

Its classic Calatrava case in yellow, rose or white gold or platinum unites the complications most highly prized by those with a passion for exceptional watches: the tourbillon, the minute repeater and the perpetual calendar – completed with a retrograde date hand and a moon phase display. The movement making this masterpiece possible comprises 506 parts.

In short, this is a deeply striking variation that has never been seen on a 5016 before. Commissioned dials for any Patek Philippe are only available to the most dedicated and important clients, resulting in very few truly unique examples such as this.


37mm platinum case.  Accompanied by the Extract of the Archives, Patek Philippe winding box, setting pin, and a leather folder with booklets

To be auctioned December 13, 2012 by Antiquorum. 

Estimate: $500,000 – $700,000 USD

As for the rest of the sale, well, suffice it to say that there are some fantastic timepieces that hit the auction block.  To borrow a phrase (or paraphrase it), “so much to do, so little time to do it” — but I hope do to highlight as many of my favorites from this sale as I can in coming days.

You can browse the auction lots yourself at Antiquorum Important Modern & Vintage Timpieces NY Catalog.