Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo achieved a total of CHF 68,263,230/ $74,488,836/ €64,563,363 in The Geneva Watch Auction: XIV on 5 and 7 November. Far exceeding the pre-sale estimate of CHF 21.4 to 41.2 million, Phillips achieved the highest ever total for a watch sale in auction history.
The top 12 lots all surpassed the CHF 1 million mark, led by the star lot of the sale, the Philippe Dufour Grande et Petite Sonnerie wristwatch n°1 in yellow gold. After an extraordinary bidding war, the watch eventually sold for CHF 4,75 million, not only a new world record price for any Philippe Dufour watch sold at auction but also for any watch by an independent watchmaker.
The four Philippe Dufour timepieces offered for the first time included the Grande et Petite Sonnerie wristwatch, Grande et Petite Sonnerie pocket watch, the Duality model n°8 and the Simplicity n° 57, which sold together for an impressive CHF 11.4 million.
Another highlight was the 64-year-old Omega Speedmaster wristwatch, nicknamed the “Tropical Broad Arrow”, which smashed the world record for any Omega watch, selling for an impressive CHF 3.15 million (lot 53).
The Geneva Watch Auction: XIV offered 248 watches carefully curated by Phillips’ international watch team. The sale took place over two days and far surpassed its pre-sale high estimate of CHF 41.2 million. The majority of lots flew above their high estimates, including several record-breaking watches.
Collectors from across 83 countries joined the auction, and online participation continues to increase exponentially, with more than 2,300 online registered bidders. This resulted in half of the lots presented in the Geneva Watch Auction: XIV selling to online bidders. Over the two auction days, 400 watch aficionados participated in person in the saleroom.
Two Patek Philippe models reached the top ten, with a mythical first series ref. 2499 (lot 63) in yellow gold retailed by Serpico y Laino, whose unparalleled quality can only be described as spectacular, achieving CHF 3,539,000, and a white gold ref. 2497 (lot 122), one of only three known, selling for CHF 2,813,000.
Offered for the first time at auction, a complete set of five F.P. Journe “Souscription” watches, N°1 in each series, sold for a breathtaking CHF 9.9 million. The watches Individually achieved the following prices: Chronomètre à resonance “Souscription” n°1 (lot 140) sold for CHF 3,902,000; Tourbillon Souverain à remontoir d’égalité “Souscription” n°1 (lot 138) sold for CHF 3,539,000; Octa Réserve de marche (lot 139) sold for CHF 554,400, Octa Chronographe “Souscription” n°1 (lot 141) sold for CHF 961,700; and finally, the Octa Calendrier “Souscription” n°1 (lot 142) sold for CHF 937,500.
Richard Mille’s Titacarb ref. RM27-04, a tourbillon wristwatch with guarantee and presentation box, number 21 of a 50-piece limited edition, surpassed its high estimate and sold for CHF 1,724,000, scoring a world record for this reference.
The possibly unique and wonderfully originally preserved stainless steel Rolex ref. 6062 “K.W.Co” (lot 178) triple calendar wristwatch with moonphases and bracelet, retailed by K.W. Co, sold for an impressive CHF 1,361,000.
The Independents’ Atelier, the now well-known section dedicated to independent watchmaking, saw a Roger Smith series 2 model (lot 117), one of only five made, achieve a world record for the famous British maker. The watch sold for CHF 655,200 and broke the previous world record, which was also set by Phillips, for a Roger Smith watch, tripling its pre-sale high estimate.
Three important Vacheron Constantin wristwatches also fetched world records for the models, respectively reference 4178 chronograph, reference 4737 Cioccolatone, and the iconic model “222”.
Regardless of model, Phillips achieved world records for any Omega, Philippe Dufour, Roger Smith and Christian Klings watch sold at auction. Furthermore, the sale saw world records for models by: A. Lange & Söhne, Audemars Piguet, Cartier, De Bethune, F.P. Journe, Grand Seiko, IWC, MB&F, Ming, Patek Philippe, Richard Mille, Rolex, Ulysse Nardin, Vacheron Constantin, Kari Voutilainen, and Zenith to name just a few.
Top Ten Lots of the Geneva Watch Auction XVI
Lot 14: PHILIPPE DUFOUR, Grande et Petite Sonnerie #1 – A unique and historically important two-train minute repeating grande and petite sonnerie wristwatch with hinged case in yellow gold and enamel dial bearing movement number 1.
- Estimate: CHF 1,000,000 – 2,000,000
- Price Achieved: CHF 4,749,000/ $5,182,109/ €4,491,604 (word record for a Philippe Dufour watch ever at auction and a watch by any independent watchmaker)
Lot 140: F.P. JOURNE, Chronomètre à résonance « Souscription » n°1 – An extremely rare and the first of its kind platinum and pink gold dual time wristwatch with resonating escapements, number 1 of a 20 pieces subscription series.
- Estimate: CHF 200,000 – 400,000
- Price Achieved: CHF 3,902,000/ $4,257,862/ €3,690,511 (world record for the model)
Lot 190: PHILIPPE DUFOUR, Duality N°8 – An exceedingly rare and important pink gold wristwatch with double escapement, certificate and fitted presentation box. One of three made.
- Estimate: CHF 800,000 – 1,600,000
- Price Achieved: CHF 3,660,000/ $3,993,792/ €3,461,628 (world record for the model)
Lot 63: PATEK PHILIPPE Ref. 2499 first series – An extremely important, fresh-to-the-market yellow gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with retailer-signed bracelet, retailed by Serpico y Laino.
- Estimate: CHF 2,000,000 – 4,000,000
- Price Achieved: CHF 3,539,000/ $3,861,757/ €3,347,186
Lot 138: F.P. JOURNE, Tourbillon Souverain à remontoir d’égalité « Souscription » n°1 – A historically important and extremely rare platinum tourbillon wristwatch with remontoir d’égalité, number 1 of a 20 pieces subscription series.
- Estimate: CHF 300,000 – 600,000
- Price Achieved: CHF 3,539,000/ $3,861,757/ €3,347,186 (world record for the model)
Lot 53: OMEGA, Ref. 2915-1 “Tropical Broad Arrow” – An early and important stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with Broad Arrow hands and chocolate brown “tropical” dial.
- Estimate: CHF 80,000 – 120,000
- Price Achieved: CHF 3,115,500/ $3,399,633/ €2,946,640 (world record for any Omega ever sold at auction)
Lot 122: PATEK PHILIPPE, Ref. 2497 “The Exceptional White” – An exceedingly rare and historically important white gold perpetual calendar wristwatch with center seconds, moonphases and original bracelet.
- Estimate: CHF 1,500,000 – 3,000,000
- Price Achieved: CHF 2,813,000/ $3,069,545/ €2,660,535 (world record for the model in white gold)
Lot 145: PHILIPPE DUFOUR, Grande et Petite Sonnerie #1 – A unique and historically important minute repeating, grande and petite sonnerie pocket watch in yellow gold.
- Estimate: CHF 400,000 – 800,000
- Price Achieved: CHF 2,329,000/ $2,541,405/ €2,202,768 (world record for the model)
Lot 12: RICHARD MILLE, Ref. RM27-04 – TitaCarb tourbillon wristwatch with guarantee and presentation box, number 21 of a 50-piece limited edition.
- Estimate: CHF 800,000 – 1,600,000
- Price Achieved: CHF 1,724,000/ $1,881,229/ €1,630,559 (world record for the model)
Lot 247: PATEK PHILIPPE Ref. 2499 second series – An extremely rare and well-preserved yellow gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moonphases and associated bracelet.
- Estimate: CHF 800,000 – 1,600,000
- Price Achieved: CHF 1,482,000/ $1,617,158/ €1,401,675
Total Sales Summary
- Lots sold: 248
- Lots offered: 248
- Sold by lot: 100%
- Sold by value: 100%
- Total: CHF 68,263,230/ $74,488,836/ €64,563,363