Opening Bids: Moon Rise

For his latest creation, Yann Debelle de Montby, creative director at Debelle de Montby Associates, looked to the moon—and to NASA. Working with designers Tiziano Vudafieri and Claudio Saverino, he studied the space agency’s 3-D lunar photographs to help create Shanghai Moons, a set of four watches that is among the highlights at Chinese and Asian Contemporary Design—a Christie’s Shanghai sale to be held in the city on October 24 featuring 35 lots created by artisans specifically for the auction.

Each watch represents a different lunar phase: full moon, first quarter, last quarter, and new moon. The watch with the darkest face depicts the new moon, when the side of the moon facing Earth receives no direct sunlight, while the full moon watch has the brightest face, portraying the point when Earth’s only natural satellite is completely illuminated. Featuring brown shagreen bands, sapphire crystal windows, and textured copper dials, the watches include a hand-painted hour hand only, to emphasize an indifference to minute punctuality. The watches are “the pure expression of a different time measurement,” says Debelle de Montby. “They are designed for collectors who value craftsmanship and aesthetic over plain and simple timekeeping and are tired of classical time telling.” The sale’s set is the first of only eight that will be produced.

Estimate: $48,000 to $56,000. Sale: Chinese and Asian Contemporary Design, Christie’s Shanghai, October 24; christies.com