This Hand-Painted Patek Philippe Nautilus Design Sold for $727K at Auction
It’s an original prototype from well-known watch designer Gérald Genta.
During Sotheby’s second iteration of the “Gérald Genta: Icon of Time” auction series, the original design drawing from Genta circa 1976 sold for $727,000 to a private Asian buyer.
The auction house said the sale came after a battle among 10 bidders from around the world.
The Nautilus was the brand’s first luxury sports watch, representing a subtle yet innovative balance between the two categories and ushering in a modern era for the traditional brand.
Rendered on blue paper, Genta’s design offers two side profile options for the case, something very rare for his creations, Sotheby’s said.
Another highlight of the auction was a never-before-seen alternate prototype design of the Nautilus circa 1976, unproduced, which featured a strap rather than a bracelet.
Patek didn’t introduce a Nautilus with a leather strap until 2006, with its Ref. 5711 and 5712 examples, showing just how ahead of his time Genta really was.
His drawing garnered $121,000 to be the sale’s No. 2 lot.
Also notable in the sale was a Mickey Mouse Watch made specially for the transition of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to China, a special commemoration series with Mickey holding the flags of all three. It garnered $39,000 at the Sotheby’s auction.
The sale also featured unique NFTs paired with each of the 100 original designs from Genta.
The first sale of the “Gerald Genta: Icon of Time” series took place in Geneva in February, led by his original design for Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak watch, which sold for $610,586.
It continues during the Geneva Important Watches sale on May 10, where the artist’s own Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and four of his oil paintings will be on offer.
Its final sequence will take place in New York from June 8-22, led by the most valuable Disney watches he ever made, according to the auction house.
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