Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo: The Geneva Watch Auction XI, On 27&28 June 2020 at Hôtel La Réserve, Geneva

Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo announced the date of their upcoming Geneva watch auction. Taking place at Hôtel La Réserve, Geneva on June 27 and 28, 2020, the sale will feature over 200 lots.

The major highlights of this auction include a Patek Philippe pocket watch reference 605 HU from 1950 and four extraordinary Patek Philippe wristwatches from the private collection of Mr. Jean-Claude Biver, the Non-Executive President of LVMH Group Watch Division.

The Geneva Watch Auction XI is this year’s first live watch auction from Phillips. The auction will offer an incredible selection of fine collectible timepieces hailing from the prestigious Maisons like Patek Philippe and Rolex, as well as from master independent watchmakers such as F.P. Journe or Kari Voutilainen.

Patek Philippe Pocket Watch, Reference 605 HU in Pink Gold, circa 1950

Patek Philippe, Reference 605 HU from 1950 in pink gold, Estimate: CHF 250,000-500,000 (Image courtesy: Phillips)

One of Patek Philippe’s signature complications, this pocket watch Reference 605 HU from 1950 features a cloisonné enamel dial representing Eurasia and Africa. Previously unknown to the collecting community and appearing for the first time publicly, this watch is the only one known in pink gold featuring this type of dial. It is being offered by the family of the original owner.

Lots from Mr. Jean-Claude Biver’s Private Collection

Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo also presents following four Patek Philippe wristwatches from the Private Collection of Industry Veteran Jean-Claude Biver.

Jean-Claude Biver Patek Philippe Collection 1518, 2499, 1579 and 96HU (Image courtesy: Phillips)

1. Patek Philippe Ref 96HU worldtime, circa 1937

Patek Philippe presented its first world time wristwatch created in series in 1939 under reference 1415, but it had created a few pre-series and prototype versions the years prior.

Patek Philippe Ref 96HU worldtime, circa 1937 (Image courtesy: Phillips)

The present reference 96 is in fact one of these ultra-rare pre-series prototypes of which only two are known, made in 1937 to most probably test the market, making it not only a historically significant timepiece but also one of the rarest world time models ever made by Patek Philippe. Unknown to the market, it first appeared in 2011 when it was purchased by Mr. Biver. The other example is in the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva. Estimate CHF 300,000 – 600,000

2. Patek Philippe Reference 1518 in pink gold, circa 1948

A monumental model, reference 1518 was the first perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch ever produced in series when it was introduced in 1941. According to research, only 281 examples were manufactured until the reference ceased production with a majority made in yellow gold. Pink gold reference 1518s were most often fitted with a silvered dial.

Patek Philippe Reference 1518 in pink gold, circa 1948 (Image courtesy: Phillips)

It was only on very rare occasions that they were fitted with pink dials. Only 13 examples of reference 1518 are known with a pink dial, making it one of the most exclusive complicated Patek Philippe wristwatches for a collector to acquire. The present watch appears on the market only for the second time, Mr Biver being the second owner since new. Estimate CHF 1,200,000 – 2,400,000

3. Patek Philippe Reference 2499 second series, circa 1957

Launched in 1951, the reference 2499 was the direct successor of the reference 1518 and came with more sporty round pushers and a larger 37.5mm case. The second series like the present watch, was offered either with Arabic numerals or applied batons as well as with a tachymeter scale.

Patek Philippe Reference 2499 second series, circa 1957 (Image courtesy: Phillips)

The second series reference 2499 is so rare that very few examples have graced the international auction market, and in fact only 20 examples in yellow gold with applied batons, like the present example, are known. Estimate CHF 1,000,000 – 2,000,000

4. Patek Philippe Platinum Reference 1579, circa 1946

This incredibly attractive and well-preserved reference 1579 is one of only three vintage Patek Philippe chronographs cased in platinum. It is unknown why Patek Philippe decided to use platinum for this reference and only for three watches, but it is interesting to note that the three watches have consecutive serial numbers and different dials, making each piece unique.

Patek Philippe Platinum Reference 1579, circa 1946 (Image courtesy: Phillips)

The present watch is the last of the three made and differentiates itself from the other two with its scale and markers in blue, giving the watch an incredibly vivid modernist appeal. Estimate CHF 800,000 – 1,600,000.

Other Important Timepieces

Patek Philippe

A highlight of this sale is a well-preserved Patek Philippe reference 1579 chronograph in yellow gold made in 1955. This timepiece was retailed by famed Swiss retailer Gübelin. It is only the 5th example signed by Gübelin to grace the market.

Patek Philippe, Reference 1579 in yellow gold, Estimate: CHF60,000-100,000 (Image courtesy: Phillips)

Another attraction is a Patek Philippe reference 1518 in yellow gold from the family of the original owner from 1944. This reference was launched in 1941 and was the world’s first perpetual calendar chronograph made in series.

Patek Philippe, Reference 1518 in yellow gold, Estimate: CHF200,000-400,000 (Image courtesy: Phillips)

The sale also offers an ultra-rare white gold Patek Philippe perpetual calendar reference 3448 from 1970, coming from the family of the original owner. This example is one of only 30 known white gold reference 3448s and the third featuring calendar discs in German.

Patek Philippe perpetual calendar reference 3448 white gold (Image courtesy: Phillips)


The Geneva Watch Auction XI presents a wide selection of Rolex models, some of which are rarely seen on the market. These include: A reference 5513 circa 1963 in excellent condition featuring an ultra-rare “Explorer dial” or “3-6-9 dial”.

Rolex Reference 5513 (Image courtesy: Phillips)

While the majority of Submariners were fitted with regular round hour markers, the present watch bears this extremely rare dial configuration, reminiscent of the dials also found on Rolex’s iconic “Big Crown” reference 6200.

Rolex, Reference 6200 Big Crown, Estimate: CHF250,000-500,000 (Image courtesy: Phillips)

Recently found in an antique shop in Alexandria, a Rolex Submariner “Big Crown” reference 6200 is also offered. Finally, Phillips is also offering one of the best-preserved examples of Rolex’s ultra-elusive reference 6232 in pink gold, from 1958. It is one of only twelve watches in existence, originally destined for the French market.

Rolex, Reference 6232, Estimate: CHF200,000-400,000 (Image courtesy: Phillips)

F.P. Journe

The Geneva Watch Auction XI offers two exceptional timepieces created by F.P. Journe: Tourbillon Souverain “Souscription” and Resonance “Souscription”.

F.P. Journe, Tourbillon Souverain “Souscription”, Estimate: CHF150,000-300,000 (Image courtesy: Phillips)

F.P. Journe’s original Tourbillon Souverain “Souscription” is a historically important watch that enabled the Founder of the firm, Mr. François-Paul Journe, to set up his company. When Journe decided to launch his second iconic model, the Resonance, he offered the latter to the clients having already bought the tourbillon, here again he used a subscription system.

F.P. Journe, Résonance “Souscription”, Estimate: CHF 80,000-160,000 (Image courtesy: Phillips)

The Resonance “Souscription” is a model rarely seen at auctions. The present example comes in a unique livery specially commissioned by Lorenz Baümer: platinum/pink gold case with white gold dial.

Harry Winston/ Vianney Halter

Another exceptional highlight is the Opus 3 made for Harry Winston by Vianney Halter, featuring a unique way of reading time. This example is number one from 25 pieces made in platinum.

Harry Winston Opus 3 by Vianney Halter (Image courtesy: Phillips)

Kari Voutilainen

Also topping the Independents’ Atelier section is a unique GMT model with power reserve hiding a beautifully engraved and enameled caseback featuring Triton, and a mermaid by Kari Voutilainen.

Kari Voutilainen GMT (Image courtesy: Phillips)

Kari Voutilainen GMT Caseback (Image courtesy: Phillips)

Some of the finest watches in terms of quality and condition will also be offered, including elegant dress, sports and complicated watches by prestigious collectors’ brands such as Patek Philippe and Rolex, A. Lange & Söhne, Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin, Omega, IWC, Longines and Breitling, to name only a few.

The selection of leading highlights will be available to the public during the pre-sale exhibitions opening in Asia and Europe. Following a preview in Hong Kong from May 20 to 27, highlights will be on display in Geneva from June 24 to 28, 2020.

Auction details


  • The Geneva Watch Auction XI, Part I: 27 June 2020, 5pm
  • The Geneva Watch Auction XI, Part II: 28 June 2020, 5pm

Auction Viewing

  • Asia: 20 – 27 May, Location: 14/F St. George’s Building, 2 Ice House Street, Central Hong Kong
  • Europe: 24 – 28 June, Location: Hôtel La Réserve, Bellevue, Geneva