Phillips Announces Highlights from The 2021 New York Watch Auction

Phillips has released the full catalogue for The 2021 New York Watch Auction. Comprised of 165 lots, the sale will take place over two days, with lots 1-81 being offered on Saturday, 11 December, followed by lots 82-165 on Sunday, 12 December.

The auction will be led by a spectacular George Daniels Tourbillon pocket watch – the fourth timepiece ever produced by Daniels, widely considered to be the most important watchmaker of the 20th century – and an exceptional, fresh-to-market 18 karat gold Rolex ref. 6241 Cosmograph Daytona Paul Newman “John Player Special.”

Lot 102: GEORGE DANIELS, The Edward Hornby George Daniels Tourbillon Pocket Watch

This George Daniels one minute tourbillon pocket watch with Earnshaw’s spring detent chronometer escapement is the fourth timepiece that Daniels ever created. Belonging to the rare, very first series of eight pocket watches fully handmade by Daniels for collectors between the years 1969 and 1974.

These commissions were a turning point in Daniels’ career and as his earliest timepieces, are wonderful representations of the excellence of his workmanship and commitment to achieving the best possible. Measuring an impressive 62mm in diameter, the “Edward Hornby” is both an artistic and technical masterpiece. Its namesake was a lawyer and watch collector who began his collection in the 1930s. Hornby would purchase the present lot directly from Daniels in 1971. Every part of this watch was created by hand, with the exception of the balance spring and crystal, and is masterfully finished. Estimate: $600,000-1,200,000.

Lot 41: ROLEX, ref. 6241 Cosmograph Daytona Paul Newman “John Player Special”

Nicknamed “John Player Special,” this Rolex Daytona watch is an exceedingly rare variant of the “Paul Newman” model. The reference 6241 was manufactured from approximately 1966 to 1969 and was amongst the rarest of all Daytona models ever produced. Research indicates fewer than 300 examples were cased in 18K yellow gold, and with the “John Player Special” “Paul Newman” model, far fewer are known. Estimate: $600,000-1,200,000.

Lot 39: ROLEX, ref. 6241 Cosmograph Daytona Paul Newman “The Krug”

Encased in 14 karat yellow gold, this fresh-to-market gold reference 6241 Daytona is fitted with a stunning champagne-colored “Paul Newman” dial. Consigned directly by the original owner and preserved in superb overall condition, this iconic timepiece from the 1960s is fitted with the original Rolex strap and buckle. Estimate: $250,000-500,000.

Lot 165: ROLEX, ref. 6239 Cosmograph Daytona “Pulsations Cherry Logo”

This previously unknown reference 6239 with blue pulsations dial and red floating “Daytona” logo is only the second example found with this exact dial. Part of an extremely small batch of Daytonas made for doctors, a noteworthy design element is the modified dial layout, as a result of the space occupied by the pulsation scale.

One might think the scale was simply added to an existing production dial from a standard reference 6239 of this period. Instead, the features were intentionally repositioned, demonstrating this dial variant was designed to feature the pulsations scale from its inception. This example is fitted with a black chronograph hand, as opposed to the normal silver, and white sub-dial hands for enhanced legibility. The red “Daytona” logo found on this example resembles most closely the early “Cherry logo” dials seen in this era. Estimate: $350,000-700,000.

Lot 95: RICHARD MILLE, RM022 “Tourbillon Aerodyne” Dual Time

This extremely rare RM022 manually-wound dual time tourbillon is a feat of engineering and technology with a case created from carbon nanotubes injected in to a black polymer. The result is an extremely durable material 200 times stronger than steel, while at the same time being very light. The dial is made from a new alloy, orthorhombic titanium alluminides, which has been formed into a honeycomb structure.

The material was tested by NASA for use on supersonic aircraft wings due to its resistance to high temperatures and torsion. Produced in only five examples, Richard Mille’s RM022 is a sleek aerodynamic timepiece that showcases the brand’s drive to create 21st century wristwatches with a contemporary aesthetic. This limited-edition model has a case measuring slightly larger and with more presence than the standard RM022 model. Estimate: $250,000-500,000.

Lot 99: F.P. JOURNE, Chronomètre à Résonance “Brass Movement”

In the year 2000, F.P. Journe introduced the first-ever wristwatch incorporating two resonating escapements. The present, first-generation model in platinum with a superb white gold dial eloquently embodies Journe’s inimitable style both in terms of aesthetics and technical mastery.

Made from 2000 to 2005, the first generation Resonance models, like the present lot, feature rhodium-plated brass movements and a 38mm case. It is in extremely well-preserved condition showing very few signs of careful wear. The case is sharp, with perfectly crisp hallmarks and engravings on its caseback. Furthermore, it is complete, accompanied with its original guarantee and multi-level wooden presentation box. Estimate: $120,000-240,000.

Lot 100: F.P. JOURNE, T30 30 Years Anniversary Tourbillon

In 1977, François-Paul Journe began the painstaking and difficult task of building his own tourbillon pocket watch, finally completing it at the beginning of 1983. To celebrate thirty years since this remarkable feat, Journe decided to produce ninety-nine examples of a wristwatch wholly inspired by his first tourbillon pocket watch. This T30 Tourbillon in 18 karat pink gold and silver, numbered 97 of 99, is one of the final pieces to be completed.

The layout of the dial is almost exactly the same as the original pocket watch, only shrunk to fit a 40mm case. An unusual metal for use in a wristwatch, the silver here was not plated in any way to protect against the elements, and so each example of the T30 has developed its own unique patina. This example of the Tourbillon Anniversaire Historique is the first ever to be offered by Phillips. It has been consigned by the original owner, the recipient of a touching personal note written by Mr. Journe himself, which accompanies the timepiece at auction. Estimate: $100,000-200,000.

Lot 154: F.P. JOURNE, Tourbillon Souverain Limited Edition “Black Mother-of-Pearl”

Francois-Paul Journe launched his namesake brand with the motto “invenit et fecit” (“invented and made”) in 1999, first introducing the Tourbillon Souverain Remointoir d’Egalite, known as the “T.” In 2003, Francois-Paul Journe pushed the boundaries of his timekeeping masterpiece further, upgrading the “T” to the “TN” model (“Tourbillon Nouveau”), the reference Tourbillon Souverain Remontoire d’Egalité avec Seconde Morte.

“Seconde Morte” is the French term for “dead beat seconds”. This complication requires the utmost precision to reliably stop and restart the seconds hand as the escapement continues to beat—not moving until one second has elapsed, then jumping to the next second.

Enhanced with a deadbeat seconds complication, the timepiece with constant force mechanism was designed for highly accurate, precision timekeeping. The present 40mm Tourbillon Souverain rendered in 18K pink gold features an alluring black mother-of-pearl dial. Produced in an extremely limited edition of just 10 examples for the Singaporean retailer, Sincere Fine Watches, it is offered by its original owner. Estimate: $150,000-300,000

Lot 101: ROGER SMITH, Series 1 “Number 1”

In 2001, Roger Smith established his stand-alone workshop on the Isle of Man and launched the Series 1 featuring a rectangular case. After the production of the rectangular Series 1, he introduced the Series 2, a round wristwatch with a power reserve display. Then, in 2013, Smith created a unique piece for the GREAT Britain campaign. He then unveiled the new Series 1, displaying only the hours, minutes, and seconds via a subsidiary seconds dial. Featuring 38 or 40mm round case, this quintessential gentleman’s watch incorporates all the refinement, experience, and heritage of three hundred years of British watchmaking. These watches are painstakingly hand-built and hand-finished by Roger Smith and his few trusted colleagues.

The present Series 1 measuring 40mm is also, remarkably, number 1 – hence, the very first produced, assembled, and likely delivered of this new generation of Series 1. The 2021 New York Watch Auction marks the first time the watch is being sold, hailing directly from the collection of the original owner. Estimate: $120,000-240,000

Lot 135: A. LANGE & SÖHNE, Pour Le Mérite Tourbillon

In 1845, Ferdinand Adolph Lange established his own workshop in Glashütte, Saxony, which flourished for close to 100 years until the factories were sadly destroyed on the final day of World War II. Decades later, in 1990, Ferdinand’s great-grandson re-established the Glashütte-based brand. The first collection of four watches – the Lange 1, the Arkade, and the Saxonia, the Pour Le Mérite Tourbillon – was launched in 1994, revitalizing German watchmaking and leading to global recognition of the brand.

Of the four, the most complicated and technically aligned with the pre-WWII Lange & Söhne manufacture was the Pour Le Mérite – the world’s first wristwatch to incorporate a fusée chain for improved accuracy. The precision of the movements, quality of finishing, and the Teutonic design principles were well-received by collectors and the present example is one of only 24 known to have been made in pink gold. This especially rare example combines two unusual factory-original elements: a brushed caseband and the replacement of upright Arabic numerals for hour indexes with faceted diamond markers. Estimate: $160,000-320,000.

Lot 138: OMEGA, ref. 145.012 Speedmaster Professional “Ralph W. Ellison”

During this important auction, Phillips is offering the enchanting Speedmaster watch of Ralph Ellison, an icon of American literature. Beginning in the summer of 1968, an Omega Speedmaster reference 145.012-67 – the present lot – could be found on Ellison’s wrist. He would wear it for the remainder of his life until his death in 1994. The watch would eventually be sold at a small auction house in Long Island City in 2016, where it was purchased by the current consignor. Estimate: $10,000-20,000.

The “Ride the Wave” Collection

Phillips is offering “Ride the Wave” – a collection of superb, water-resistant watches consigned by a renowned American surgeon, whose extraordinary collection reflects two of his greatest passions outside of work – watch collecting and surfing. The watches offered here were manufactured as early as the 1940s.

The 18 watches of the “Ride the Wave” collection comprise a diverse range of brands, materials, and styles – and all are of exceptional quality. This collection includes coveted watches such as a Paul Newman Daytona, a tropical dial, early reference 6263 with Mk 1 millerighe pushers and a platinum Patek Philippe ref. 2526 with enamel dial for dressier occasions.