Celebrating ten successful years, Poly Auction of Hong Kong has assembled an impressive collection of 330 lots for the Magnificent Jewels and Important Watches sale that, including the previews, will run from the 9th to 14th July.
The jewel and watch sales are part of the 10th Anniversary Auctions that also include Noble Handbags and Hype Collectibles, Modern and Contemporary Art, Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, Fine Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy and Rare Wine, Whiskey and Chinese Tea. The level and diversity of the objects reflect the auction house’s prestige and ability to source the finest examples these worlds have to offer with a global appeal following the anniversary theme of 'Heritage, Diversification and Breakthrough’.
‘We are dedicated to promoting the culture of collecting jewels, oriental jadeite, and prestigious watches since 2012, and keeping in sync with the market dynamics and collection trends to coincide with Poly Auction Hong Kong’s 10th Anniversary,’ says Sze Sze, Poly Auction’s Head of the Magnificent Jewels and Important Watches Department. ‘We are excited to present a splendid array of exquisite and highly coveted pieces with excellent qualities, catering to collectors’ interests while inheriting the precious value behind the treasures.’
For those who have yet to know Poly Auction, the house is part of The Culture Group Corporation Limited and is China’s largest state-owned auction house that also holds the world's highest auction transaction volume of Chinese art in the world. Beyond the auction room, Poly Auction organises exhibitions and events to support leading artists as well as offering expertly curated sales as well as NFT digital art auctions. Since opening its doors a decade ago, the firm has held over 200 auctions, with total sales of over HKD 20 billion while achieved multiple world records. Alex Chang, CEO of Poly Auction Hong Kong, says: ‘We look forward to bringing more extraordinary collections to the market, presenting diversified auctions and exhibitions in the future, and reaffirming the market leadership of Poly Auction Hong Kong.’
The Magnificent Jewels sale is made up of 180 lots and features the perennially collectable ‘big three’ of rubies, emeralds and sapphires as well as white and colour diamonds. Given Poly Auction’s expertise in Chinese areas of interest, jadeite features prominently in this auction and in particular an outstanding Jadeite Bead and Diamond necklace (estimate on request) that is one of the leading pieces of the sale. Reflecting the international reach of this sale, jewels include creations from around the world.
Highlights include an impressive 74.48-carat Fancy Vivid Yellow IF diamond (estimate:HKD 28,000,000-35,000,000) that is up for sale un-mounted (above), allowing the fortunate new owner to make their mark by creating their own jewel. The intense saturation of this diamond as well as its flawless clarity combined with its impressive size make this a true collector’s treasure. The sunshine bright yellow of this diamond is thanks to the presence of nitrogen atoms replacing carbon during its formation billions of years ago in the earth’s mantle under extreme heat and pressure. Only 0.1% of diamonds are yellow and less than 5% of these achieve the top Fancy Vivid grading – as certified by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in the accompanying documentation.
Not to be missed is the Cartier high jewellery Fleur de Lotus ring (above) with a 8.388-carat Burmese ruby surrounded by diamonds (estimate on request), property of an important private collector. This one-of-a-kind jewel showcases the vivid rich red of this gemstone whose colour is reminiscent of the famous Mogok mines that is considered the ultimate source for rubies. Such is the quality of this extremely rare ruby that three different gemmological bodies have examined the stone. The the GRS (Gem Research Swiss Lab), the SSEF (Swiss Gemological Institute) and the Gübelin Gem Lab, have issued reports and the former has written a gem profile on this exceptional stone. Cartier’s design enhances the cushion-cut of the ruby by surrounding the stone with a lotus flower crafted in platinum and set with diamonds.
Another exceptional ruby jewel (above) is the pair of Burmese ‘pigeon blood’ ruby earrings (estimate:HKD 18,000,000-25,000,000). ‘Pigeon blood’ is the name given to the most desirable colour of rubies and the stones must posses a rich, saturated, uniformly bright red colour, devoid of secondary blue or brown tones. The top-grade tone, saturation and lightness give these rare examples an inner fire that sets them apart. What’s more three gemmological laboratories – the SSEF, Gubelin and GRS – all concurred in their ‘pigeon blood’ classification. The American Gemological Laboratories (AGL) has awarded the stone the coveted AGL Classic TM designation, a further confirmation of the outstanding nature of these stones. Rubies over 5 carats are a rare find and to have two stones (5.12 and 5.03 carats) that are perfectly matched is reflected in their valuation.
Lovers of the greenest of emeralds (above) will be drawn to the 14.35-carat Colombian emerald and diamond ring (estimate on request). This shining example of the most appealing lush green tone has no oil treatment and is not just exceptionally vivid in colour but is also blessed with a high clarity earning it the status of an Old Mine emerald. Given the relative frailty of emeralds, examples of this size are few and far between and this example is presented with SSEF and Gübelin reports.
The sale includes 160 watches and no respectable auction is complete without Patek Philippe and there are two notable examples under the hammer. The first is an unusual and rare platinum and ruby-set Nautilus Ref.5711/112P N (estimate on request) circa 2020 (above). The Nautilus is one of the Geneva house’s most iconic designs, first created in the mid-1970’s by the famous designer Gérald Genta who was inspired by the port holes of ships, giving the watch its name Nautilus. The early Nautilus models were in stainless steel as it was the house’s first sports watch. Since then, collectors have shown a great interest it its strong design making it a highly sought after model. This version is personalised by the addition of over 4 carats of rubies on the bezel and dial, making it one-of-a-kind and a true rarity as Patek Philippe will only accept a handful of customisations a year for its most valued clients. This watch has not come to auction before making it a highly unusual top lot.
The other Patek Philippe on offer is a Grand Complication, Ref. 5078G (above), made circa 2020 that is an automatic minute repeater (estimate on request) in white gold with 342 hand-assembled components. The black dial is decorated with arabesque vine motifs in contrasting matt and polished finishes. The watch strikes the hours, quarters and minutes on request on the cathedral gong that is coiled inside the case.
Other horological delights include the Jacob & Co. “Astronomia Clarity Collection” (Ref. AT120.40.AD.SD.ADE4D). This highly complex watch (above) is a skeletonised flying tourbillon in rose gold made in a limited-edition of 9 pieces (estimate: HKD 1,200,000 – 3,200,000). The sapphire crystal domed glass offers a view into the workings of our solar system with a blue-lacquer planet Earth and a 1-carat diamond representing the moon that move around each other in exactly the same sequence as in the sky. A skeletonised dial reveals the JCAM12 hand-wound movement with a special one-minute tri-axis flying tourbillon that gyrates around the case.
Lovers of cutting edge engineering and mechanics will be eyeing the Richard Mille RM 11-03 FQ TPT fly-back chronograph (estimate on request). Breaking boundaries in every aspect, its distinctive red quartz and carbon fibre case is made using Thin-ply Technology (TPT) providing an ultra light and resilient housing for the watch (above). RM 11-03 is powered by the RMAC3 self-winding movement, its awesome complexity visible through the skeletonised dial. A large date at 12 completes the distinctive ‘a racing machine on the wrist’ look for which Richard Mille is famous.