The Best of the Indies at Christie’s Hong Kong

From the renowned to the underrated.

Christie’s autumn sale season in Hong Kong is led by Important Watches, a 146-lot sale featuring independent watchmaking, reflecting the genre’s current popularity. Notably, the season will also feature the first sale of the OAK Collection belonging to French collector Patrick Getreide. 

In this compilation, we examine nine lots by independents ranging from watchmakers that are practically establishment now, like Voutilainen and F.P. Journe. Amongst the highlights from the OAK Collection are several unique watches made for past Only Watch auctions, one of the rare occasions these one-off watches are returning to market.

Important Watches (lots 2201-2343) begins at at 1:00 pm on November 26 – the catalogue is available here. It will be followed by the OAK Collection sale (lots 2501-2639) at 6:30 pm – see the full catalogue here. Both sales take place at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Lot 2242: Gerald Genta Arena Mickey Mouse 

With the revival of Gerald Genta by La Fabrique du Temps (LFT), there has been a renewed interest in the timepieces it crafted in the past. Watches produced during the era when the brand was owned Bulgari have received less attention, although some are equally interesting, like this Arena Mickey Mouse.

Gerald Genta debuted its Fantasy line featuring Disney characters in the 1990s. That evolved into the Arena Fantasy in the 2000s, which included this particular 80-piece edition made in around 2009. The watch combines the familiar retrograde display that’s synonymous with the Fantasy line with the larger, sportier Arena case in titanium.

The watch has a bi-retrograde display with Mickey’s arm indicating the date on the sub-dial at six. Minutes are read with the large red hand against the retrograde scale, while the hours are in the aperture at 10.

The retrograde display is powered by an in-house jumping hour module on top of a Girard-Perregaux automatic movement. 

The case design retains elements of the earlier Gerald Genta design but enlarges it to 45 mm for a maximalist, sporty aesthetic. Because it is titanium, the case remains lightweight, notwithstanding its size.

Limited to only 80 pieces, this example is accompanied by its presentation box and its outer packaging. The Arena “Mickey Mouse” carries an estimate of HK$48,000-95,000 or about US$6,150-12,170. Full lot details here.

Lot 2249: Roger Dubuis Sympathie Bi-Retrograde Perpetual Calendar

Early Roger Dubuis timepieces, inspired by traditional Geneva watchmaking but distinguished by stylistic flair, have gained popularity in recent years. They are no longer the value buys they once were, but some examples remain interesting, like this Sympathie with a a bi-retrograde perpetual calendar.

It was one of the brand’s first models and perhaps the most distinctive thanks to the cushion-shaped case with sharpened corners. The present example has a classical aesthetic with an ivory dial and an Art Deco-ish typeface, matched with spear-shaped hands.

Housed in an 18k white gold case measuring 37 mm by 47 mm, it is powered by a Lemania movement equipped with a bi-retrograde calendar module.

The unusual calendar display was born from a collaboration between Dubuis and Jean-Marc Wiederrecht, founder of complications specialist Agenhor, and originally developed for New York jeweller Harry Winston.

This Sympathie  without any accessories. It has an estimate of HK$160,000-320,000 million or about US$20,500-41,000. 

For more, view the catalogue entry.

Lot 2252: F.P. Journe LineSport Chronographe Rattrapante

The F.P. Journe Line Sport Chronographe Rattrapante remains a compelling choice among split-second chronographs, both for its intrinsic features as well as its competitive retail price.

This example is a second-generation titanium model that does away with the rubber inserts found on the first-generation. The manually wound, single-button split-second chronograph movement inside, however, remained the same.

In the interest of lightness, the cal. 1518 is unique to the titanium version as it has the bridges and plates in aluminium, instead of the 18k red gold that is the norm for F.P. Journe movements. 

This example dates from 2020 and has its original presentation box and guarantee card. It has an estimate of HK$600,000-1.2 million, or about US$77,000-154,000.

For more, view the catalogue entry.

Lot 2578 (OAK Collection): H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour Perpetual Moon Concept Only Watch 2019

The OAK Collection includes several unique timepieces made for Only Watch, one of which is the H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour Perpetual Moon Concept, distinguished by its minimalist interpretation of the moon phase.

The dial is simplified to its fundamentals, showing just hours, minutes, and seconds hands, along with a lone moon phase display at six, deliberately doing away with any markings. The dial elements are set again a backdrop of Vantablack – the darkest synthetic material ever produced – so the dial seemingly disappears, leaving the hands and moon to float.

Inside is the HMC 801 that incorporates a continuously moving moon phase display designed to closely mirror the actual lunar cycle, resulting in a deviation of just one day after 1027.3 years.

The piece unique was made for Only Watch 2019 where it sold for CHF48,000. It is accompanied by its original presentation box, accessories and literature.

The Endeavour Perpetual Moon Concept Only Watch 2019 carries an estimate of HK$480,000-950,000, or about US$61,500-122,000.

For more, view the catalogue entry.

Lot 2579 (OAK Collection): Voutilainen GMT-6 Only Watch 2015 

Kari Voutilainen is widely regarded as one of the foremost independent watchmakers. In 2015, he created a special version of the GMT-6 dual-time for the Only Watch charity auction. Besides a case in steel, the GMT-6 is also distinguished by its guilloche dial with champleve enamel decoration.

The dial is a testament to Voutilainen engine-turning, an intricate process requiring meticulous repetitive engraving on a solid gold disc that is then plated and finally covered with translucent fired enamel, a technique known as champleve. The same process is repeated, but on a smaller scale, for the GMT register at six o’clock.

The GMT function is made up of a day/night disc that shows the second time zone on a 24-hour scale with a fixed triangular pointer at the 60-second mark. The disc is advanced in one hour steps by pressing the crown, a convenient approach to a useful complication. 

Powering the watch is the signature Voutilainen cal. 28 with its distinctive 13.60 mm-diameter free-sprung balance fitted with a balance spring featuring Breguet and Grossmann curves as well as rose gold inertia blocks.

Also part of the OAK Collection, the Voutilainen GMT-6 is a full set. It carries an estimate of HK$1.6-3.2 million, or about US$205,100-410,300.

Full lot details here.

Lot 2584 (OAK Collection): F.P. Journe Octa Réserve de Marche “20th Anniversary”

Released in 2021 as a limited edition of 99 pieces, the Octa Réserve de Marche was a historical remake of sorts to mark the 20th anniversary of the Octa automatic calibre. Being relatively recent and made in small numbers, it has rarely emerged on the secondary market.

The Octa Réserve de Marche was launched in 2001 as F.P. Journe’s first model with an automatic movement. About 800 pieces were produced from 2001 to 2014, with variations in dial, case material, and case diameter.

The anniversary Octa paid homage to the original by replicating many of its defining features, including a rhodium-plated brass movement – revived for this but otherwise discontinued in 2004 – along with a shiny gold dial. 

The 40mm platinum case sticks to F.P. Journe’s classic aesthetic, while the yellow gold dial has a reflective, grained finish that mirrors the dials found on the original run of Octa watches made from 2001 to 2004 series. 

In pristine condition and numbered 34 out of 99, this is offered as a full set and has an estimate of HK$800,000-1.6 million or about US$102,600-205,100.

For more, visit the catalogue.

Lot 2592 (OAK Collection): Voutilainen 28TAI

The 28TAI was a limited edition of only ten. “TAI” is short for “tantalum Inverse”, describe the case material and model.

Introduced in 2019, the Inverse is a variation of Voutilainen’s classic Vingt-8, with the same movement but flipped around to show most of the escapement and oversized balance wheel on the front.

Only 28 Inverse watches were produced, with 10 in platinum, 10 in tantalum, and eight in titanium, excluding any special-order pieces. The present tantalum example is three of ten.

With blued steel tips and centres, the steel hands are a signature Voutilainen feature that contribute to the overall aesthetic refinement. Additionally, the tantalum case is paired with a pale blueseconds ring, providing visual appeal that distinguishes this from other variants of the Inverse.

The in-house movement remains largely identical, with the direct impulse escapement that incorporates two escape wheels, but with additional gearing to place the hands on the movement side. Because the movement is inverted, the trademark Voutilainen adjustable-mass balance takes pride of place on the front, while the power reserve and seconds are relegated to the back.

Noteworthy technical details of the inverted cal. 28 include wheels made of rose gold and a direct-impulse escapement featuring two escape wheels, a variation of Breguet’s échappement naturel, adding a layer of technical sophistication to the timepiece’s design.

Offered with its presentation box and its accessories, the present watch has an estimate of HK$1.8-3.6 million or about US$230,800-461,500.

Full lot details here.

Lot 2593 (OAK Collection): Akrivia AK-06

Known for its meticulous attention to decoration, the visible and concealed components in Akrivia movements are impeccably finished. The AK-06 shows off this impeccable finishing best, as it has an open-worked dial as well as display back.

Introduced in 2017 at Baselworld, the AK-06 was Akrivia’s first watch without a tourbillon, and instead a time-only with subtle mechanical intricacies. More notably, it was the brand’s first watch with an in-house movement.

This example of the AK-06 is a custom order with a stainless steel case and dark blue dial, which is actually the base plate of the movement. At eight o’clock sits a small plate engraved “PU”, short for piece unique.

The open-worked midnight-blue face shows off the mechanics that would ordinarily be concealed under the dial. Notable complications are a power reserve display at 12 o’clock, operated by a rack and pinion system with an opposing rack and arc indicator.

At six, the running seconds display includes a stop feature for precise settings. Pulling the crown halts the seconds and instantly resets them to zero, a process similar to that in a chronograph.

The AK-06 has a 4 1mm in the contemporary AK form that incorporates distinctive design elements like a recessed crown, bevel-edged wide lugs, and a crown guard.

The movement, visible from the front and back, has the symmetrical architecture that is an Akrivia signature. This is most evident on the back where the large centre wheel is secured by a polished steel bridge and above it, a single barrel offering a 100-hour power reserve. The in-house variable inertia balance with adjustable weights sits at four o’clock, with the third wheel just across from it for visual balance.

The present lot is offered with its presentation box, accessories and outer packaging. It has an estimate of HK$3.2-6.4 million or about US$410,260-820,500.

To know more, view the listing here.

Lot 2594 (OAK Collection): Akrivia AK-01

Akrivia made its debut in 2013 with the AK-01, a wristwatch featuring a tourbillon and single-button chronograph. Founder Rexhep Rexhepi aimed to create a technically advanced, finely finished watch in a contemporary case. For the movement, he turned to movements specialist MHC for the ebauche.

This AK-01 is encased in brushed titanium with a recessed crown and bevel-edged wide lugs, matched with a copper-colour dial.

Though the movement blank was made by MHC, the AK-01 movement was entirely decorated by Akrivia. This includes hand-polished angles on the interior and exterior flanks, manual circular graining, and the manual finishing of steel components, underscoring the brand’s commitment to craftsmanship.

The dial has the constant seconds at two, a 30-minute register at ten, and a power reserve indicator just below, while the chronograph’s column wheel is visible at 12 through a dial aperture.

Offered as a complete set, the AK-01 has an estimate of HK$4.0-8.0 million or about US$512,800-1.025 million.

Find the lot details here.

Preview and auction details

All lots will be on show during the preview in Hong Kong during the run-up to the auction. Both the preview exhibition and sale will happen at the Halls 3C to 3E of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Halls 3C-3E, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
1 Harbour Road
Wanchai, Hong Kong

November 25, 10:30 am – 6:30 pm
November 26, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

November 26, 1:00 pm (lots 2201-2343)
November 26, 6:30 pm (lots 2501-2639)

All times and dates are local to Hong Kong (GMT+8).

The catalogues for both sessions are online – the first includes the Important Watches sale and the second comprises watches from the OAK Collection.

This was brought to you in collaboration with Christie’s.


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Ressence Concludes Seddiqi Partnership with the Type 1 DX3

The final collaboration with the Dubai retailer.

At this year’s Dubai Watch Week, Ressence and its Middle East retail partner, Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, have unveiled their third and final edition – the Type 1 DX3. This unique timepiece puts a distinctive twist on the minimalist Type 1, featuring a dial inspired by Arabic geometric patterns, echoing the aesthetic of the pair’s past collaborations.

Initial thoughts

This limited edition for the Dubai retailer resonates with me – and is arguably one of the most outstanding recent watches from Ressence – illustrating the potential to blend modern aesthetics while grounding the watch in the region. It manages to stand apart from Ressence’s minimalist watches, which have been iterated in a multitude of variants to date.

The DX3 sticks to the outline of the standard Type 1 Round, but its standout feature lies in the copper-tone dial that’s embellished with captivating rose motifs reminiscent of Islamic art and architecture, and further accented with Super-Luminova that glows green.

The Type 1 DX3 retails for CHF23,600, will be limited to merely 35 pieces and accompanied by a copy of Arts & Crafts in Motion, the brand’s first book that’s published jointly with Seddiqi.

Considering the dial decoration, this undeniably presents a more alluring proposition in contrast to the standard production models. However one can hope that Ressence will maintain the exclusivity of this design and refrain from replicating it later on.

A cloisonné dial with Arabic patterns

The DX3 marks the culmination of a trilogy of collaborations between the Belgian independent brand and its Dubai-based retailer. This partnership commenced in 2019 with the Type 1 DXB, a creative reinterpretation of the Type 1 Squared design distinguished by its openworked dial. Subsequently, two years later, the collaboration yielded the Type 1 Slim DX2, featuring an elegantly engraved copper dial. 

The focal point here is the convex German silver dial, embellished with an array of geometric patterns reminiscent of Arabic art and rose gold-coloured tones inspired by the nearby desert.

To enhance the visibility of the watch, the brand employed a technique similar to cloisonné where Super-Luminova is applied to the geometric cells of the motif, as well as to the numerals and indicators, ensuring the display endures even during the night.

Aside from the artisanal touch to the dial, the overall design and case dimensions of the DX3 remain consistent with the standard models of the Type 1 Round. Made of grade 5 titanium, the case measures 42.7 mm in diameter and 11 mm high. Likewise, it features a crown-less case where winding and setting is accomplished through a broad lever that pivots out from the case back. 

The DX3 is equipped with the Ressence Orbital Convex System (ROCS), presenting the time through a set of discs orbiting around the central axis of the dial. These discs indicate the hours, minutes, seconds, and day of the week. The entire mechanism is powered by a separate module, driven by the minute wheel of the ETA 2892 base movement.

Key facts and price

Ressence Type 1 Round DX3

Diameter: 42.7 mm
Height: 11 mm
Material: Titanium
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 10 m

Movement: ROCS 1.3
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, and day of the week
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 36 hours

Strap: Beige rubber strap with pin buckle

Limited edition: 35 pieces
Availability: Only from Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons
Price: CHF23,600 (excluding taxes)

For more information, visit


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Dubai Watch Club’s Latest, the Zenith El Primero A384

A Chronomaster Revival in black and yellow.

The first enthusiasts’ club in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai Watch Club (DWC) has regularly created limited edition for its members. The latest is the Zenith  Chronomaster Revival Dubai Watch Club, a striking new take on the old-school El Primero A384.

Initial thoughts

Zenith has done many variants of the A384 remake, but the DWC edition is different, being both conspicuous and subtle.

The yellow is hard to miss, particularly with the contrast-colour case and registers, but the Eastern Arabic numerals elements are subtle and practically invisible at a distance. It only reveals the distinctively local details up close, which gives it the appeal of an insider’s watch.

More generally, the A384 remake that’s the base of the DWC edition is an appealing watch in itself because it retains practically all of the aesthetics of the original, including the compact case, but executes it in a thoroughly modern way in the form of a titanium case coated in diamond-like carbon (DLC).

Local details

Founded by Emirati collectors including Adel Al-Rahmani and Nawaf Al-Abdooli, DWC started with 10 members in 2014, a tally that has multiple tenfold since then. Amongst the club’s past editions was the Cartier Santos-Dumont XL in 2021.

The DWC El Primero is based on the A384 remake in titanium, with the dial being unique to the DWC edition. The dial is a bright yellow while the sub-dials and  tachymeter scale in dark grey to match the case.

Only up close do Middle East-inspired elements reveal themselves: all of the numerals are in Eastern Arabic script. This includes the tachymeter, date wheel, and even the scales on the chronograph registers.

The dial otherwise retains the classical A384 design, including the baton indices and four lines of text below 12 o’clock.

The case is 37 mm like the vintage original, but slightly thicker to accommodate the display back. Under the sapphire back is the El Primero 400, a gently modernised version of the El Primero calibre from 1969, but still identical to the original in all substantive ways.

All photos courtesy Jason Saundalkar/@maxtor71.

Zenith Chronomaster Revival “Dubai Watch Club”
Ref. 97.D384.400/27.C585

Diameter: 37 mm
Height: 12.6 mm
Material: Titanium with DLC coating
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 50 m

Movement: El Primero 400
Functions: Time, date and chronograph
Frequency: 36,000 beats per hour (5 Hz)
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 50 hours

Strap: Cordura fabric with pin buckle

Limited edition: 69 pieces
Availability: Only DWC members
Price: CHF10,500 before taxes

For more, visit


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