Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo has resumed its live watch auctions with the Geneva Watch Auction XI achieving a total of CHF 30,072,875 / $31,720,869 / €28,271,510, selling 100% by lot and 100% by value.
Exceeding the pre-sale estimate of CHF 12.2 CHF million to CHF 23.2, this marked the first live watch auction in 2020 with in room bidding since the lockdown was lifted and saw numerous world records achieved across multiple watch brands. Despite the current climate, Phillips continues to attract an increasing number of collectors, with bidders from across 70 countries raising their paddles, including an unprecedented number of over 2,000 online bidders, double that of May 2019.
This is both the first ever white glove sale (100% of lots sold) and the highest sale total for a non-thematic various owner watch auction, exceeding the May 2019 sale total by 20%. The tightly curated offering of 210 collector watches of exceptional quality was highlighted by the four Patek Philippe cover-lots, property Mr. Jean-Claude Biver, selling for a total of CHF 8,307,500 against a pre-sale estimate of CHF 3.3 million to CHF 6.6 million.
Patek Philippe models once again dominated the sale, with three timepieces from Mr. Biver’s private collection making it to the top ten, two of which achieving world auction records.
The Legendary Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 (lot 38), one of the world’s most sought-after watches, captivated the saleroom and online bidders alike, igniting an intense bidding war of four minutes, eventually selling for CHF 3,380,000 / $3,565,224 / €3,177,538.
One of only twelve examples known, this extremely rare Patek Philippe perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moonphases made in 1948, almost tripled its low estimate and established a new world record for a Ref. 1518 in precious metal.
The spectacularly preserved Patek Philippe Ref. 2499 second series in yellow gold (lot 155) sold for CHF 2,600,000 / $2,742,480 / €2,444,260. This extremely rare and important perpetual calendar chronograph set a world record for a Patek Philippe Ref. 2499 second series in yellow gold.
A further lot to soar above the $2 million mark was the final lot of the sale (lot 214), one of only three known Ref. 1579 chronographs in platinum with blue hard enamel graphics and spider lugs, which sold for CHF1,940,000 / $2,046,312 / €1,823,794.
Finally, a pink gold open face world time Patek Philippe pocket watch Ref. 605 HU with an incredibly vibrant cloisonné enamel dial depicting a map of Europe, Asia, Africa, previously unknown and most probably unique, sold for CHF 1,160,000, setting a new world record for the reference.
The two exquisite F.P. Journe “Souscription” models sold for a total of CHF 2.4 million against a pre-sale estimate of CHF 230,000 to CHF 460,000. Consigned by famous Parisian Jeweller Lorenz Baümer, these models set new world record prices for F.P. Journe timepieces at auction (excluding charity auctions). The Tourbillon Souverain (lot 101) sold for CHF1,400,000, almost ten times its pre low estimate, and the platinum and pink gold Resonance (lot 49) sold for CHF1,040,000.
Iconic vintage sports watches achieved remarkable results with Patek Philippe Nautilus and Royal Oak models performing extremely well, in particular the white gold Nautilus ref 3700 (lot 14) selling for CHF 740,000 and fetching a new world record for this variant. Exceedingly rare, this watch is one of only eleven known reference 3700s cased in white gold.
Rolex achieved two world records including a superbly well-preserved yellow gold Ref. 6241 Paul Newman John Player Special (lot 78) selling for CHF 1,040,000 and a Ref. 6232 in pink gold selling for CHF 740,000.
Notable results were achieved by other models by prestigious brands such as the IWC cloisonné enamel dial, a Vacheron Constantin minute repeater, and modern A. Lange & Söhne wristwatches.
The Independents’ Atelier, the section dedicated to independent watchmakers, a field that Phillips has long supported and is market leader in the auction world, sold 100% by lot. Highlights included the ground-breaking Opus 3 Vianney Halter for Harry Winston (lot 142) in platinum that sold for CHF 168,750, and a unique Kari Voutilainen Vingt-8 with enamel and engraved caseback in white gold (lot 141) that sold for CHF 125,000.
The Singer Reimagined Track 1 prototype (lot 100) sold for CHF 52,500 and set a world record for any Singer Reimagined at auction.
The Geneva Watch Auction XI
TOTAL: CHF 30,072,875 / $31,720,869 / €28,271,510
- Lots sold: 210
- Lots offered: 210
- Sold by lot: 100%
- Sold by value: 100%
Top Ten Lots
Lot 38: PATEK PHILIPPE, Ref. 1518, A highly rare, exceptionally well-preserved and attractive pink gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with pink dial and moonphases
– Estimated: CHF1.2 to 2.4 million
– Achieved: CHF 3,380,000 ($3,565,224/ €3,177,538) – World record for the variant of this reference in gold. Phillips also holds the previous world record for the reference 1518 in stainless steel, sold for CHF 11,020,000 / US$11,112,020 in 2016, in the Geneva Watch Action: FOUR
Lot 155: PATEK PHILIPPE, Ref. 2499, An extremely rare, highly important and well-preserved yellow gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moonphases
– Estimated: CHF1 to 2 million
– Achieved: CHF 2,600,000 ($2,742,480/€2,444,260) – World record a Patek Philippe Ref. 2499 second series in yellow gold
Lot 214: PATEK PHILIPPE, Ref. 1579, An exceedingly rare and well-preserved platinum chronograph wristwatch with blue hard enamel graphics and spider lugs
– Estimated: CHF800,000 to 1.6 million
– Achieved: CHF1,940,000 ($2,046,312/€1,823,794)
Lot 101: F.P. JOURNE Tourbillon Souverain « Souscription », An extremely fine and rare platinum wristwatch with tourbillon, remontoire d’égalite, souscription contract and box, numbered 14 of a 20 pieces limited edition
– Estimated: CHF 150,000 to 300,000
– Achieved: CHF 1,400,000 ($1,476,720/€1,316,140) – World record for a F.P. Journe Tourbilon Souverain
Lot 62: PATEK PHILIPPE, Ref. 650HU, A previously unknown and most probably unique pink gold open face worldtime pocket watch with cloisonné enamel dial depicting a map of Europe, Asia, Africa
– Estimated: CHF 250,000 to 500,000
– Achieved: CHF1,160,000 ($1,223,568/€1,090,516) – World record for a reference 605HU
Lot 49: F.P. JOURNE Chronomètre à Resonance « Souscription », A very rare limited edition platinum and pink gold dual time wristwatch with double escapement, box and original technical drawings
– Estimated: CHF 80,000 to 160,000
– Achieved: CHF 1,040,000 ($1,096,992/€977,704) – World record for a F.P. Journe Chronomètre à Resonance
Lot 78: ROLEX, Ref. 6241, A very rare, highly important and extremely attractive 14K yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with Paul Newman John Player Special dial and bracelet
– Estimated: CHF 400,000 to 800,000
– Achieved: CHF 1,040,000 ($1,096,992/€977,704) – World record for a reference 6241 in yellow gold “John Player Special”
Lot 79: ROLEX, Ref. 6232, An exceedingly rare and extremely well-preserved pink gold chronograph wristwatch
– Estimated: CHF 200,000 to 400,000
– Achieved: CHF 740,000 ($780,552/€695,674) – World record for a reference 6232
Lot 14: PATEK PHILIPPE, Ref. 3700/1, A highly rare and attractive white gold wristwatch with date and bracelet
– Estimated: CHF300,000 to 600,000
– Achieved: CHF 740,000 ($780,552/€695,674) – World record for a reference 3700 in gold
Lot 37: PATEK PHILIPPE, Ref. 3448G very rare and well‐preserved white gold perpetual calendar wristwatch with moonphase indication, German calendar, setting pin and presentation box
– Estimated: CHF 200,000 to 300,000
– Achieved: CHF 644,000 ($679,291/€605,424)