NEW DELHI: A custom-ordered pocket watch once owned by Tata Group founder Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata some 140 years ago will be auctioned in Hong Kong on Tuesday for an estimated $10,000-$20,000, an official revealed.
The 18-carat pink gold timepiece was gifted by the “father of the Indian industry” to English architect James Morris in 1890 in recognition of his work on the Tata family mansion, Esplanade House, in Mumbai.
Encased in a leather presentation box decorated with the architect’s monogram, the engraving on the back of the watch carries a dedication to Morris, in recognition of his “professional skill” and “care and attention”.
“Though the yellow gold was in vogue at that time, this watch used 18-carat pink gold making it a rare watch,” Thomas Perazzi, the head of watches at the Phillips Asia, said in an exclusive interview to WION.
He said three criteria determine the value of a watch both for collectors and auctioneers. But the features of the rare Patek Philippe timepiece gifted to the Esplanade House architect will always stand out as the special one.
“These pocket watches are fitted with a highly complicated movement, where you have 5 minutes repeater and chronograph,” he said, adding, “It is a skill very few watchmakers had at that point in time”.
“Adding to the watch’s value is the fact that it was owned by Jamshed Ji Tata and was a custom ordered timepiece by him,” he said.
“We don’t have records of Patek Philippe’s retail prices at that time. We can merely compare it to a present minute repeater price, which is over $300,000,” Perazzi said.
Source: Zee News