Sotheby’s in New York is set to auction wristwatches, clocks and timepieces from the personal collections of Patek Philippe patron and banker Henry Graves, Jr. and his grandson Reginald H. Fullerton, Jr.
The watches will be sold in a single-owner sale on June 14, and are said to represent “two of the finest private collections of watches ever assembled”.
The collection will include 13 pieces owned by Graves that are never-before-seen or have never appeared on the market, as well as a group of 42 wristwatches and an important Knibb Grande Sonnerie Long Case Clock assembled by Fullerton himself, who followed in grandfather’s footsteps to become a “passionate and private connoisseur”.
Highlights from the collections will travel to Sotheby’s Geneva where they will be exhibited between May 10 and 14 and then on to Hong Kong for the opening of Sotheby’s new gallery space between May 18 to 22.
Daryn Schnipper, chairman of Sotheby’s watches and clocks department said: “We are humbled to have been entrusted with a very personal group of pieces from a family of watch-collecting royalty.
“Our June auction will offer some of the best examples of the finest references constructed by Patek Philippe, assembled by two members of the most famous patron family in the watch community.”
The sale includes what is known to be the last of Graves’ watches to have descended through this family, each of which has gone unrecorded in literature and has remained unknown to the public, as well as the entirety of Fullerton’s impressive assemblage of iconic vintage and modern pieces.
“Together, this represents what is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for collectors in today’s market, and the lasting importance of their name among connoisseurs worldwide.”
Henry Graves, Jr. was born in 1868 into a banking family who lived in Orange, New Jersey. Eventually he joined his father in the financial industry and moved to New York City, where they became one of the country’s most prominent families by the turn of the century. He died in 1953.
Graves began collection watches at the start of World War I and assembled the world’s most important collections of Patek Philippe in private hands.
Among the highlights of the timepieces on offer in the June auction is The Henry Graves Jr. Yellow Gold Tonneau Minute Repeating Wristwatch, Patek Philippe, movement 97589, Case 605789, estimated to sell between $600,000 and $800,000 (£371,900 to £495,850).
Another highlight of watches commissioned by Graves at the auction will be the an 18ct Yellow Gold Split-Second Chronograph wristwatch with Breguet numerals, Patek Philippe, Ref. 1436, estimated to sell for $200,000 to $300,000 (£124,000 to £185,900).