Most of the world's best watch owners don't like to show off their collections. Not so for French businessman Patrick Getreide, who made his moneyby buying and selling companies and then spent it on more than 500 beautiful watches; Patrick Getreide is auctioning off his prized pieces.
One of a Kind, or the OAK Collection, is what Mr. Getreide's safe is called. It has rare old watches from the 20th century as well as one-of-a-kind or custom-made pieces from Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Breguet, Akrivia, and Voutilainen, among others.
In a stunning show of horological extravagance, French magnate Patrick Getreide, the respected owner of OAK, a world-famous and unmatched watch collection, is about to give some of his prized collection to collectors and watch fans who are eager to get their hands on it.
With a big world tour starting at the British Design Museum in London last spring, the collection is almost ready for its long-awaited meeting at Christie's auction house. The first sale is set for November 23 in Hong Kong.
OAK, which stands for "One of a Kind," has a carefully chosen collection of watches that are all unique and stand out. Over the course of four decades, Getreide's never-ending quest for horological perfection has led to a treasure trove of amazing timepieces. When asked what he looks for when buying something, Getreide said:
My criteria for collecting the pieces [amassed over four decades] was that the watches had to be aesthetically beautiful and in perfect condition—like new, even if it’s 70 years old.- Patrick Getreide
A resolute commitment to perfection resulted in a willingness to pay what he refers to as "world record" prices on a staggering 25 occasions. Estimates for the collection's valuation oscillate between a staggering $100 million and an awe-inspiring $300 million.
Alex Bigler, the Head of Watches for Christie's Asia, expressed his anticipation, stating:
In the watch category, this could well be the largest collection that Christie’s has ever handled. But some of the watches will start below $10,000, and some are in the $50,000 or $100,000 mark. There are pieces at all levels. It’s not just the million-dollar-and-above category.- Alex Bigler
Amongst the collection's myriad of horological treasures, the crown jewel is undoubtedly the one-of-a-kind Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 "pink on pink," adorned with a pink dial, pink goldcase, and pink gold bracelet meticulously crafted by Gay Frères. While this particular marvel graces a future auction stage, the initial chapter of the sale showcases other star models.
The inaugural lots include a unique 18-karat gold Patek Philippe pocket watch Ref. 992/108J-001, bedecked with sapphires and featuring a cloisonné enamel dial portraying Lac Blanc, accompanied by a matching yellow gold and marble pocket watch stand, estimated to fetch between HK$2,000,000 and 4,000,000 (approximately $256,000 - $511,000).
Another rarity on the auction block is a 1950 vintage18-karat gold Patek Philippe Ref. 1436 split-seconds chronograph wristwatch, distinguished by its black dial. This timepiece, produced between 1938 and 1971 with only 120 yellow gold examples ever made, now numbers a mere 59 in the public domain, with fewer than half a dozen boasting a black dial. Estimated to sell for HK$4,000,000 - 8,000,000 (approximately $511,000 - $1,022,000), the allure of this watch lies in its unique dial configuration, potentially rendering it the sole surviving example of its kind.
Furthermore, an exceedingly rare 18-karat gold Audemars Piguet Ref. 5516 perpetual calendarwristwatch, complete with a leap year and moon phases indicator, graces the auction stage. Only nine of these masterpieces were ever crafted - three in the first series and six in the second. The piece set to go under the hammer at Christie's is touted as one of the most immaculate specimens among the six known market examples of the reference, carrying an estimated value of HK$6,500,000 - 13,000,000 (approximately $83,400 - $1,661,000).
In a display of modern ingenuity, Kari Voutilainen's Only Watch 2015 creation takes center stage. This one-of-a-kind stainless steel wristwatch with dual time and day/night indicator, crafted by the renowned "master of finissage," is estimated to command HK$1,600,000 - 3,200,000 (approximately $204,000 - $409,000).
For Getreide, the journey into the world of horology began at a tender age. He fondly recounted a poignant childhood memory,
I looked in the window 50 times, and on the 51st time, I went in, and announced that I wanted to buy the watch. Of course, I didn’t have the money. I had five francs per week for pocket money. But the guy liked me - he was impressed that a 12-year-old kid wanted to buy a watch - and he said ‘It’s fine.’ So, I was giving him five francs every week. It went on for weeks, and one day I called my father and I said, If I pay by five francs a week, it’s two years or more before I can own it, so my father paid out.- Patrick Getreide
Such anecdotes only underscore the timeless allure and enduring passion that propel collectors like Getreide to amass these horological marvels, each with its own story and significance. As the auction date approaches, the world awaits with bated breath to witness the unfolding of this horological spectacle.
The sale of Patrick Getreide's amazing collection of OAK watches at Christie's is going to be a big deal in the world of watches. Both experienced watch collectors and people who are just starting out in the world of watches are excited for the sale to start on November 23 in Hong Kong. The collection is worth up to $300 million and has a wide range of exceptional timepieces.
People all over the world are excited to see this amazing collection go on a new trip and leave a lasting mark on the world of watch collecting.