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Patrick Getreide, owner of the OAK Collection.

OAK Collection prices felled at Christie’s Hong Kong auction

Part one of a mission to sell more than 500 watches from French collector Patrick Getreide was a muted affair with the first 139 lots raising a total of HKD 51,810,570 ($6.65m million) at Christie’s Hong Kong.

That equates to $6.6 million for one quarter of a collection recently valued at between $100 million and $300.

There are prized lots to come in the multi-part auction, but there is no hiding the slew of disappointing prices for a collection that filled the Design Museum in London for a party when it was put on show.

At the time of that OAK Collection exhibition in London, Patek Philippe president Thierry Stern said that Mr Getreide might be the third most important private collector of watches ever.

No dates or venues have been announced for selling the remainder of the OAK Collection, but a period of ever-rising record-breaking prices ended abruptly in the spring of 2022, and even the world’s third most important private collector has failed to shift the dial.

Until the correction, pre-sale estimates were routinely left in the dust as hammer prices soared to three, four or five times those valuations.

Not now.

Despite valuations being trimmed, and auctioneers focusing on fewer but higher value lots, the OAK Collection sale showed how tough it is to even limp over bottom estimates.

Watch auction results may also have been impacted by recent controversies, including the ongoing Speedygate scandal, the postponement of this year’s Only Watch sale and the mysterious third party guarantor process that disrupted the recent Christie’s Geneva event.

In a column for the December edition of WatchPro, Simon de Burton, Financial Times writer and one-time auction house staffer, says the results of the Geneva autumn sales held by Antiquorum, Phillips and Sotheby’s clearly reflect the overall cooling of prices – and may also demonstrate a growing dissatisfaction among once loyal buyers in respect of the way auction houses now conduct their business.

“To that end, the well-worn phrase ‘caveat emptor’ (buyer beware) may need to be amended to ‘auction domibus emptor’ – which roughly translates to auction houses beware,” Mr de Burton cautions.

OAK Collection auction results

Focusing on the lots that Christie’s led with in its pre-auction publicity, there were mixed results.

(Pictures, descriptions, estimates and sold prices from Christie’s)

Audemars piguet. A rare 18k gold perpetual calendar wristwatch with leap-year indication and moon phases

Audemars Piguet

The top lot was a highly complex, vintage, 18ct gold Audemars Piguet reference 5516.

This legendary perpetual calendar watch with leap year and moon phase indications is one of only nine ever made, and most likely the best preserved, still retaining the crisp satin finish, sharp lugs and untouched hallmarks with which it left the workshop more than six decades ago.

Estimate: HK$6,500,000-13,000,000.

Sold price: Unsold

126 70771688 8013 2

Patek Philippe

A one-of-a-kind and so far only known 18ct gold split-seconds chronograph wristwatch with black dial.

Estimate: HK$4,000,000-8,000,000.

Sale price: Unsold

Patek philippe. A one-of-a-kind and exceptional 18k gold pocket watch with cloisonné enamel depicting a panorama of mont blanc from lac blanc

Patek Philippe

A one-of-a-kind and exceptional 18ct gold pocket watch with cloisonné enamel depicting a panorama of Mont Blanc from Lac Blanc, enamel dial with Breguet numerals and matching 18k gold and marble pocket watch stand.

Estimate: HK$2,000,000-4,000,000.

Sale price: HK$2,772,000.

Akrivia. A one-of-a-kind stainless-steel semi-skeletonised wristwatch with power reserve


Semi-skeletonised Akrivia AK-06, which was made by Rexhep Rehexpi, a former protégé of Patek Philippe’s workshop.

It debuted at Baselworld in 2017 and features a rare ‘mini complication’ that resets the second hand to zero when the crown is pulled out, allowing for more precise setting. It also has a unique blue dial that was custom-made for Getreide.

Estimate: HK$3,200,000-6,400,000.

Sale price: HK$5,292,000.

Voutilainen. A unique stainless-steel wristwatch with dual time and day/night indications


A unique stainless-steel wristwatch with dual time and day/night indications.

Estimate: HK$1,600,000-3,200,000.

Sale price: HK$3,528,000.

Following three auctions in Hong Kong, Christie’s reported a sales total of HK$222,231,750 / US$28,642,583, the second highest autumn total at Christie’s Asia.

“The excellent results attest to the sales’ quality selection of timepieces and strong pricing approach for the market, which drew vast global participation from 39 countries spanning 5 continents, with millennials comprising 40% of new buyers,” a Christie’s statement ends.

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