Phillips teams up with Blackbird to curate a thematic sports watch sale

Wind, Air, Snow, Tarmac, Lawn, and Water – these are the six categories in which the 82 exceptional timepieces that form the Phillips & Blackbird: Sports sale in Hong Kong have been framed, in a bid to highlight their wider historical and cultural significance…

From minute dial font formatting changes to original boxes and papers – from an outsider’s point of view, the watch collecting world can appear dauntingly fussy. Which is exactly why Phillips has teamed up with the Hong Kong-based automotive empire Blackbird and its founder TK Mak to present a ‘sports’ watch auction that frames era-defining pieces in a wider historical context of exploration and endeavour.

There are six colour-coded categories into which the 82 pieces are divided, representing the fields in which they’ve forged their reputations or earned their provenance: Wind, Air, Snow, Tarmac, Lawn, and Water. For example, the Tarmac section of the catalogue, rather obviously, features an array of watches intrinsically linked to motorsport, while that dedicated to Water is filled with stainless-steel divers. We must also mention the physical catalogue itself – a beautifully printed and visually exciting book that really throws light on the watches themselves and simply and effectively explains their respective stories and cultural significance. 

With regards to the watches themselves, we’ve selected our two favourites from each category and listed them below. There are exquisite examples of virtually all the most famous sports watches, from Rolex Submariners and Pepsi-dialled GMT-Masters to Patek Philippe Nautilus’ and Omega Speedmasters. Our two outright favourites both happen to be chronographs: the as-new-looking and oh-so-seventies c.1971 Tudor Monte-Carlo ref. 7031/0 (est. 310,000–620,000 HKD) and the 1993 Omega Speedmaster MIR – 365 Days (310,000–620,000 HKD). 

The latter is the 12th of 35 Speedmasters that lived aboard the Russian MIR space station in low Earth orbit for 365 days in 1993/1994, earning it the coveted status of ‘flown’. The piece is certainly one way of trumping all the Daytona-wearers at your next dinner party – talk about a talking point! You can find the entire catalogue for the Phillips & Blackbird: Sports sale, taking place on 27 May in Hong Kong, listed in the Classic Driver Market.

Our 12 favourites from Phillips & Blackbird: Sports