Christie is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Patek Philippe Nautilus in its own way, setting up a thematic sale of 40 rare Nautilus to be auctioned in four different cities. It’s a non-traditional way to do things, for sure, but it should prove very interesting. The first 10 watches were just sold at Christie’s Dubai, and all sold at or above their respective estimates. The leading Nautilus was an early steel reference 3700/1 with a Khanjar symbol on its dial, for which bidding finished just short of the $200,000 mark, making it the second most expensive watch of the larger 146-lot auction.
Let’s look a little closer at that top lot. As the first Nautilus, the reference 3700/1 is itself a very coveted Â watch. But, the Omani crown, or “Khanjar” at six o’clock onÂ lot 137 puts this Patek in another dimension, and explains the $150,000 to $250,000 estimate. This watch is one of only two steel Nautilus known to bear the Khanjar, which indicates this watch was a gift from the Sultan of Oman. The other known example exhibits is just one case number behind this one, and incidentally it was also sold by Christie’sÂ âÂ back in 2012, it fetched $87,401. The description of the watch here notes a 2013 dial replacement (from another Khanjar dial â this wasn’t a recent addition), but the rarity and provenance of this example trumped this fact, and the watched ended up selling for $193,500, squarely in the middle of the estimate range.
The reference 3700/11 succeeded the reference 3700/1, with minor cosmetic differences,Â but it was still offered in the iconic cork box. This box was clearly part of the appeal ofÂ lot 139,Â along with the watch’s sigma dial. It eventually broke its high estimate, hammering for $52,500. It was manufactured in 1981, just five years after the original launch of the Nautilus, and maintains the original case proportions of the so-called “Jumbo.”
Lot 142 and lot 141Â each doubled their mid-estimates, selling for $20,000 and $21,250 respectively, including buyer’s premium. Both belong to the 3800 family, which has the same case style as the original Nautilus, but with a reduced 37.5mm diameter. They also come with a central seconds hand that wasn’t offered on the original Jumbo. Looking at these two lots, you see Patek Philipple playing with new details and metals for the Nautilus while keeping things fairly classic.
You can find the results of the entire Dubai auction on Christie’s website, with the last 10 lots being the collection of Nautiluses. The next 10 watches in the Nautilus 40 sale hit the block in Geneva on November 14 and we’ll have a live update for you from the auction room.