Christie’s New York is set to host its Important Watches auction, featuring a rare timepiece that was once owned by the renowned artist Andy Warhol.
A unique piece of Andy Warhol memorabilia is about to hit the auction scene this December. But it’s not a famous print or painting; it’s a watch that once graced the wrist of the renowned Pop Artist.
What’s even better than owning a Patek Philippe? Owning a rare one that belonged to Andy Warhol.
Art and Watches
Warhol’s work was all about the glitz and glam of commercialism and celebrity culture. It’s no surprise that his personal possessions are highly sought after.
In 2022, his 1964 “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn” painting set a record as the most expensive piece of American artwork, selling for a jaw-dropping $195 million.
Yet, Warhol wasn’t just an artist; he was a collector with eclectic tastes. He accumulated over 300 timepieces, from plastic wristwatches to Rolexes.
One of the most coveted items from his collection is a Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Reference 3448. It is an exceptionally rare model that’s ready to steal the spotlight at Christie’s Important Watches sale this December.
Estimated to be worth between $350,000 and $600,000, this 18-karat gold timepiece is a true work of art.
It boasts a moon phase display, elegant gold indices, and hands that exude sophistication. The watch was carefully cleaned and preserved by Patek Philippe in the mid-1980s, and its dial features a silky finish known as “satine opalin,” a mark of quality associated with dials crafted by Stern Freres.
The combination of its incredible history and impeccable condition has made this watch a standout item in the upcoming auction.
Christie’s describes it as “one of the most individual and exclusive of the great classic to be offered at auction.”
Andy Warhol had a soft spot for watches.
The Patek Philippe was initially auctioned in 1988 following his passing in 1987 due to complications from gallbladder surgery.
Back then, it fetched $22,000 during a Sotheby’s sale dedicated to the artist’s personal items and artwork.
Warhol’s collections were so vast that his friends affectionately referred to his various items as “Andy’s stuff.”
The subsequent sale of his estate was an epic event, featuring around 10,000 lots, ranging from artwork to clothing, cars, furniture, and even cookie jars. Yes, you read that right—Warhol’s cookie jar collection was legendary.
The Sotheby’s sale also included Warhol’s impressive watch collection—313 timepieces in total.
Among them were Patek Philippe, Rolex, and Cartier models, along with more affordable options featuring beloved cartoon characters like Judy Jetson and Fred Flintstone.
Surprisingly, Warhol didn’t keep these valuable watches in a safe; instead, he stashed most of them in the canopy of his four-poster bed.
Another hundred watches were later discovered in a hidden compartment within his old filing cabinet.
Although he had a variety of watch brands in his collection, Warhol was best known for sporting a Cartier Tank. “I don’t wear a Tank to tell the time. In fact, I never wind it,” he once said. “I wear a Tank because it’s the watch to wear.”
In addition to the rare Patek Philippe, the auction will showcase a range of fine vintage and modern timepieces.
Renowned brands like Rolex, F.P. Journe, Richard Mille, and Audemars Piguet, among others.
These items will be on display during Christie’s Luxury Marquee week at Rockefeller Center from December 1 to 4.
They can also be viewed in Hong Kong and Geneva before the tour arrives in New York. For complete details, you can check out the dedicated auction page.
Banner photo via Galleries Bartoux’s official website.