The original F.P. Journe Tourbillon Souverain “Souscription” - the one that helped founder François-Paul Journe launch his eponymous watch company - is among the highlights of the Phillips Geneva Watch Auction XI, which is now scheduled for June 27 and 28 at the Hotel La Réserve.
Journe only made 20 pieces of this subscription model in 1999, back then the only wristwatch with a tourbillon and rementoire (a device that ensure a constant force of energy to the escapement). It was sold to the celebrated Parisian jeweler Lorenz Baümer. When Journe offered his first clients his sophomore effort – the groundbreaking Resonance model – via another subscription system, Baümer agreed to that one too but he made some changes to make in a unique model. The watch featured a pink gold middle case with a bezel and caseback in platinum and a white gold dial.
Launched in 2000, the Resonance again was a landmark wristwatch and notably featured two balance wheels oscillate in resonance with each other. Both these “souscription” watches are now being offered at the June auction. While the Tourbillon Souverain has a pre-sale estimate of CHF150,000-300,000, the Resonance is offered with a pre-sale estimate of CHF80,000-160,000.
It may be recalled that the Geneva Watch Auction XI was first scheduled for May and features four Patek Philippe timepieces from the private collection of industry titan Jean-Claude Biver. Other highlights from the auction include Patek Philippe’s signature complications, a pocket watch reference 605 HU from 1950 featuring a cloisonné enamel dial representing Eurasia and Africa. Previously unknown to the collecting community and appearing for the first time publicly, this watch is the only one known in pink gold featuring this type of dial. This Patek has a pre-sale estimate of CHF250,000-500,000.
The Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 in yellow gold from 1944 is also up for grabs from the family of the original owner from 1944. Ref. 1518, first launched in 1941, is the world’s first perpetual calendar chronograph made in series and is a historically significant timepiece in the world of vintage watches. This watch has an estimate of CHF200,000-400,000.
There is good representation from vintage Rolex as well. For starters, there is a Submariner Ref. 5513 from 1963 featuring the rare “Explorer dial” or “3-6-9 dial”. Unlike most Submariners that are fitted with regular round hour markers, this 5513 has the rare dial configuration, reminiscent of the dials also found on Rolex’s iconic “Big Crown” reference 6200.
Phillips is also offering a well-preserved example of the elusive Rolex Ref. 6232 in pink gold, from 1958. Believed to be one of only 12 watches around, this watch was originally destined for the French market. Among the early chronographs from Rolex that featured an Oyster case, this watch has a bi-compax dial layout with a running seconds hand a 30-minute counter. This watch has a pre-sale estimate of CHF200,000-400,000