Who says you can have a decent watch auction in Chicago? While the rest of the world is gearing up for the fall watch auction season, Hindman Auctions hosted a watch auction of its own last week, headlined by a couple Pateks and some other modern gems. Here’s a look at just a few of the pieces that sold in the West Loop last week.
Headlining Hindman’s Chicago watch auction was a Patek Phillipe Reference 5396 in 18k white gold. There’s nothing particular crazy about this watch: it’s just a great, modern, serially produced annual calendar with a moonphase. While it’ll cost you upwards of $50,000 at your local Patek dealer, they can be had at a significant discount on the secondary and auction market. Hindman put up a nice, clean example from the estate of the original owner.
Overall, the watch is a nice introduction to more complicated Patek, with all the design hallmarks of the brand’s more complicated perpetual calendar chronographs present — a gateway watch for sure.
The caliber 324 inside is classic Patek: self-winding, 34 jewels, and 347 total parts.
Lot 53 sale price: $25,000
If modern calendar complications aren’t your speed, this little vintage Calatrava might be more your style. The Reference 96 is the first Calatrava, and thus often thought of as the Platonic ideal of the perfect dress watch. It’s simple and understated; Bauhaus but elegant; vintage but timeless.
Measuring just 31mm, they’re not as popular as some later Calatrava models, but perhaps that’s changing. This example from Hindman’s auction had an estimate of $5,000 to $7,000. It shot past that range, hammering for $20,000. Vintage Patek in stainless steel always commands a premium, but it seems no one saw that result coming for this humble 31mm time-only piece. The watch is overall in excellent and original condition, with the dial showing only slight signs of oxidation.
Lot 22 sale price: $20,000
One more fun watch from Hindman: This Heuer for Abercrombie and Fitch Solunar.
This looks to be a first-execution Solunar from the 1950s (note its recessed cap at 4 o’clock; second executions had a larger cap). The watch uses a modified Valjoux 90 movement, and the unique complication at 6 o’clock allows the wearer to track high and low tide. Personally, I like these executions significantly more than the complicated 1970s iteration of the Solunar. The simple dial and playful colors seem to age wonderfully, as they have on this example.
Lot 48 sale price: $5,500