A Rare Patek Philippe Watch, Owned by the Last Emperor of China, Sells for a Total Price of US$6.2 million

The Rexhep Rexhepi Ref. RRCC01 was another iconic watch that came under the hammer during the Hong Kong auction held by Phillips
 A Rare Patek Philippe Watch, Owned by the Last Emperor of China, Sells for a Total Price of US$6.2 million
May 29, 2023
 A Rare Patek Philippe Watch, Owned by the Last Emperor of China, Sells for a Total Price of US$6.2 million

The auction held by Phillips in Association with Bacs and Russo in Hong Kong was yet another grand success. A rare Patek Philipe timepiece, Ref. 96 Quantieme Lune, which was owned by Aisin-Gioro Puyi, the last monarch of the Qing dynasty of China (often referred to as the last emperor of China), sold for a total price of US$6.2 million, setting new records in the history of watch auctions. Watch collectors and enthusiasts from 56 countries around the world participated in the auction, held at Phillips’s new Asia headquarters in Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District. 

“I am thrilled with this groundbreaking sale for the international collecting community, which kicked off our first watch auction series taking place at Phillips’ new Asia headquarters,” says Thomas Perazzi, Head of Watches, Asia, Phillips. “This historic sale was led by the priceless Patek Philippe Ref. 96 Quantieme Lune, which sold for HK$ 49 million/US$6.2 million (total price) and set three records.” According to Perazzi, the records included “the highest result for any Patek Philippe Reference 96 ever sold, a record for any wristwatch previously owned by emperors that had been auctioned and the most valuable lot ever sold by Phillips Watches in Asia”.

He also added that the watches and artefacts that toured the globe generated a lot of interest among international collectors. The auction itself attracted participants, aged roughly between 25 and 60 years, from 56 countries. “We have also witnessed many collectors for different collecting categories, such as Chinese paintings, ceramics and antiques, who are new to Phillips, vying for works offered.” He looks forward to emulating this success in the forthcoming sales in Hong Kong.” 

Patek 96 Quantieme Lune

Only the eighth Reference 96 Quantieme Lune to surface, and just the third with an enamel Arabic "Roulette" dial and platinum case, this Patek Philippe would be highly desirable on its own.

The watch’s Calatrava case in platinum was crafted by Geneva-based case-maker Antoine Gerlach. It is identified by the “Key number 4” stamp. It has an Arabic numeral dial paired with a matching pink gold ring and Feuille hands. Housed within the timepiece is a 11’’’ Victorin Pigueté bauche movement, created during the beginning of the Great Depression. 

A red fan (which went for $77,800) and notebook ($121,600) owned by Puyi sold for well over their estimates as well.

This reference 96 comes with a triple date and moon phase; it was thought to be only the seventh of such references, but the watch auctioned is the eighth one. The dial gets an enamel Arabic layout and comes in a titanium case. The watch has been authenticated by the Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives, mentioning a silvered dial, rose gold zone, manufactured since 1929 and later sold on October 6, 1937.The red paper ‘personally inscribed’ fan that belonged to Puyi was also auctioned; it was gifted to his interpreter in Tokyo. 

Rexhep Rexhepi Ref. RRCC01

This time-only watch displays the hours, minutes and small seconds on a glazed Grand Feu black enamel dial with contrasting pink gold accents.

Another iconic watch that came under the hammer was the Rexhep Rexhepi Ref. RRCC01, which was limited to only 25 pieces when it was launched in 2022. The 38 mm pink gold watch comes with a black Grand Feu enamel dial with a small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock. The hours, minutes, dead-beat small seconds, zero-reset seconds watch is powered by in-house manual-winding RR-01 movement with a power reserve of 100 hours. The movement is equipped with a hacking-second and zero-reset mechanism that allows the small seconds hand to pause and revert to zero when the winding crown is not in place.

Image Credits: Philips