In addition to being a trailblazing artist, Andy Warhol was one of history’s most prolific shoppers. I love that about him. In 1988, the year after his death, Sotheby’s needed a 10-day sale to dispense with all his belongings, which included enormous quantities of pottery, textiles, and over 175 prized cookie jars. Warhol also amassed a massive cache of timepieces, 313 of which came up for sale in 1988. The artist was an avid and omnivorous collector, piling up Fred Flintstone and Judy Jetson watches as well as rare Rolex and Patek Philippe. Now, one of Warhol’s most impressive watches is coming up for auction.
In December, Christie’s auction house in New York will put Warhol’s Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar reference 3448 up for sale. Even without the Warhol association, the watch is a powerhouse. The 3448’s hallmark achievement is that it was the first-ever—not just a first for Patek—self-winding perpetual calendar. (Meaning: a watch that tracks the correct day, date, and month until the year 2100 and doesn’t require the wearer to manually power it by twisting the knob on the side of the piece.) The watch was a horological breakthrough and a stunner to look at. Italian collectors christened it the Padellone, which translates to frying pan in English. I’m a sucker for a watch with a good nickname. Christie’s is hoping collectors will be further tempted by the watch’s art-world provenance.