Christie’s Important Watches and American Icons auctions were no exception as they generated combined sales of $7,726,875 this week.
The top lot of the live sale was a Patek Philippe reference 5016P, that sold for $471,000.
Among the timepieces in the American Icons section were a pair of pocket watches belonging to Ernest Hemingway and Charles C. Ritz, that sold for more than double the estimate achieving $43,750.
When the watches were brought into Christie’s they arrived in a gold frame with a red velvet background. Digging into their history, the specialist says, was ‘like a time capsule, going back to the Art Deco era of glitz and glamour’.
Hemingway’s watch is a 53mm diameter, manual movement split seconds chronograph made by L. Leroy & Cie., circa 1920. As Ross would discover, Charles Ritz gave the watch to Hemingway on the occasion of the writer’s fourth — and final — wedding, to journalist Mary Welsh in 1946 in Cuba. The wedding gift cemented what was by the 1940s a deep friendship between the two men. When Hemingway died in 1961, Welsh returned the watch to Ritz.
Other notable results from the auction included a rare Patek Philippe reference 3450, retailed by Tiffany & Co., which sold for $350,000, a highly sought-after stainless Rolex reference 6264, ”Musketeer Paul Newman”, which went for $200,000.