Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo Geneva Watch Auction XIV – Highlights

Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo has announced the key attractions of their upcoming Geneva Watch Auction: XIV, which is to be held on 5 and 7 November, 2021 at Hôtel La Réserve in Geneva. This spectacular Fall Sale will offer an incredible selection of watches spanning the 20th and 21st centuries.

These horological masterpieces come from world renowned luxury brands like A. Lange & Söhne, Audemars Piguet, Cartier, Christian Klings, De Bethune, F.P. Journe, Gerald Genta, Harry Winston, Kari Voutilainen, Laurent Ferrier, Longines, MB&F, Omega, Patek Philippe, Philippe Dufour, Richard Mille, Roger Smith, Rolex, Urban Jürgensen, Urwerk, Vacheron Constantin and Zenith.

The most significant among them are: four extraordinary Philippe Dufour timepieces from a private collector, the Rolex “Deep Sea Special”, five F.P. Journe’s “Souscription” wristwatches numbered #1 each and a previously unknown yellow gold Patek Philippe wristwatch reference 2499 first series, retailed by Serpico y Laino.


Patek Philippe

During the Geneva Watch Auction XIV, Phillips is offering two fresh to the market and previously unknown reference 2499 perpetual calendar chronographs. The well preserved first series example in yellow gold retailed by Serpico y Laino replete with its original, heavy and beautiful bracelet also stamped by the retailer (estimate CHF 2,000,000-4,000,000).

Recently discovered, this first series reference 2499 is one of two known reference 2499s retailed by Serpico y Laino, both with consecutive movement numbers. This also includes a second series coming from the family of the original owner, featuring a superb dial and strong case. Estimate: CHF 800,000-1,600,000.

Another impressive timepiece from Patek Philippe is the reference 2497 perpetual calendar in white gold, with a captivating and original white gold bracelet with “Florentine” finish, one of three known ref 2497s cased in this precious metal. Estimate: CHF 1,500,000-3,000,000.


The sale will include a historically important Rolex “Deep Sea Special” in stainless steel and gold deep diving wristwatch with centre seconds. The model was made in 1965 and has never before been publicly available for purchase. Estimate: CHF 1,200,000-2,400,000.

Created for experimental purposes, the Deep Sea Special watches were never available for public purchase. The present watch, the “Deep Sea Special”, represents a key moment in Rolex’s history. In the 1950s, Rolex contacted Professor Piccard, renowned Swiss oceanographer and engineer, to test watches during his diving experiments. For this purpose, Rolex engineers developed a deep diving watch fitted with a special case and a domed crystal to hold up against extreme pressure.

In 1953, Rolex tested the first prototype by strapping it on to the outside of the Bathyscaphe Trieste Submersible. The watch was first tested at 1,080 meters. It was again tested for 3,150 meters in the same year. Having completed initial tests, Rolex created a second prototype in 1960. This new “Deep Sea Special” was created to withstand the most extreme conditions, having submerged to over 10,000 meters below sea level, having completed its test in the Marina Trench, the deepest known point on Earth, with Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh.

Following the successful deep dive in 1960, Rolex produced in the subsequent years a commemorative series such as the present watch, numbered 35, in celebration of this incredible achievement and offered to only the most distinguished science, technology and watch museums, along with the most trusted, longstanding retailers and high profile partners and executives who contributed to the development of the model. Most notably, the “Deep Sea Special” numbered 3, which was strapped to the Bathyscaphe, is currently on display at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. Other museums include the Beyer Museum, London Science Museum and Piccard Museum Nyon (Switzerland), to name a few.

The next significant Rolex model in the Geneva auction is a most probably, unique and incredibly well preserved, reference 6062 in steel.

The ref 6062 was introduced in the early 1950s and features day, date, month and moonphase indications. Beneath the day and month apertures, the dial of this extremely rare timepiece features the K.W. Co signature, representing the “Knickerbocker Watch Company”, an American importer of Swiss watches and wristwatches. Estimate: CHF 600,000-1,200,000.

The Geneva auction is also offering a spectacular and important yellow gold and multi gem-set Day-Date model from 1987, known as the “Rainbow”. The only one known of its kind, it is one of the very first “Rainbow” models the manufacturer ever made, probably even before Rolex had officially coined the model. Estimate: CHF 150,000-300,000.

Vacheron Constantin

Phillips is offering a Vacheron Constantin reference 4737 “Cioccolatone” that was previously unknown. Made in platinum, it is the only example known in this metal and whose unique status is confirmed by the Vacheron Constantin Extract from the Archives. Estimate CHF 200,000-400,000.

Another Vacheron Constantin highlight is the brand’s iconic reference 4178. In spectacular condition and stainless steel, the watch features alluring facetted lugs and an incredible two tone salmon dial with rare pulsometer scale. Estimate CHF 100,000-200,000.

Audemars Piguet

The auction will also offer several Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak watches including one of the original Ref 5402 Series A from 1972 (estimate CHF 60,000-120,000) as well as an ultra-rare reference 5402 Royal Oak in yellow gold, with Tiffany & Co. signature, one of only two known examples (estimate CHF 100,000-200,000).

Other examples include a series of perpetual calendar skeleton models in the Royal Oak collection, in yellow gold, stainless steel and platinum, and a full platinum reference 25829, complete with its box and paperwork (estimate CHF 150,000-300,000).

Richard Mille

Richard Mille’s selection includes an incredible RM 27-04 limited to 50 pieces and made to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the partnership between Mille and tennis legend Rafael Nadal. The watch’s bridges are made to resemble tennis chords, the case is made of TitaCarb and the whole watch, including the strap, weighs a mere 34 grams. Estimate CHF 800,000-1,600,000.

Another incredible piece is the elusive RM11-03 flyback chronograph made of titanium and ATZ. This watch was never publicly offered or communicated by Richard Mille but reserved for the brand’s most valuable customers. Estimate CHF 250,000-450,000.

F.P. Journe and Harry Winston

Phillips is presenting the Harry Winston Opus One Chronomètre a Resonance in platinum (estimate CHF 300,000-500,000), made in collaboration with F.P. Journe. It is the first of a long lineage of Opus projects but one of the most sought-after examples. The present Opus 1 was made in 6 unique examples with different dial colors and/or diamond set bezels. This example features a purple dial and copper numerals.

Roger Smith Series 2

The Series 2 was Roger Smith’s first round watch of perfect proportions featuring his first fully in-house developed and made caliber using the Daniels co-axial escapement. The present Series 2, is one of five made in pink gold featuring a hand crafted floral motif and one of only two with hand engraved barrel bridge and balance cock. Estimate CHF 120,000-240,000.

Derek Pratt for Urban Jürgensen Pocket watch Tourbillon

A contemporary of George Daniels, Derek Pratt is one of the greatest watchmakers of the past 50 years. He had served as the technical director of Urban Jürgensen & Sönner brand from 1982 to 2005. During his tenure there he made around a dozen pocket watch tourbillon with or without remontoire. The present example, with lever escapement, is fully handmade by Pratt himself not only the movement which is incredibly finished but also the case and dial. Estimate: CHF 100,000-200,000.

MB&F Legacy Machine 1 “Longhorn”

Presented in 2011 and discontinued in 2017, the MB&F Legacy Machine One features a domed crystal, extra-large 14mm balance suspended over the dial and held by an arch shaped bridge and superlative movement finish done in conjunction with master watchmaker Kari Voutilainen.

In celebration of the Legacy Machine 1’s 10th anniversary, Phillips has been entrusted by MB&F to auction its stainless steel prototype. It features elongated lugs which coined the nickname “Longhorn” that never made it into production stage and unique black dials not found in other LM1s. The proceeds of the sale of this watch will go to charity. Estimate CHF 80,000-150,000, to be offered without reserve.

Kari Voutilainen 28SC-SB Great Shining Sun

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of his going independent, Kari Voutilainen presented in 2021 his latest creation the 28SC made in a limited edition series of 12 pieces. At the time of the launch, the watch was the very first Vingt-8 movement to have a center seconds function. Upon announcement of the 28SC, all models were immediately sold out, making the present watch the only known example to be available for public purchase.

The case of this timepiece is made of solar-forged steel that is 100% recycled and recyclable, reducing its carbon footprint. The present unique piece Great Shining Sun differs from the limited edition models as the dial features a yellow gold center and a blue hand guilloché periphery (as opposed to green), but the main difference is the case featuring straight lugs as opposed to the facetted lugs found on the limited edition model. Estimate: CHF 50,000-100,000.