The Phillips New York Watch Auction: EIGHT Realizes $26.4 Million

The New York Watch Auction: EIGHT at Phillips realized $26.4 million, selling 100% by lot and 100% by value. Leading the sale was Roger Smith’s Pocket Watch Number Two, selling for $4.9 million to a collector on the phone. In addition, multiple world records were achieved for models by Patek Philippe, Rolex, Zenith, Cartier, and Independent Makers, Including Halter Barnes

Patek Philippe performed particularly well, led by the Ref. 2481 “Pristine Forest,” which realized $1.1 million, a new record for the reference. The sale of this watch, which is one of the brand’s most iconic time-only references of the mid-20th century, marks the first time that it has been sold in nearly 70 years, having remained in the same family’s possession since 1954.

In addition to Roger Smith’s Pocket Watch Number Two, complicated pocket watches by Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet performed exceptionally well, with an Audemars Piguet Grande Complication pocket watch in platinum, completed in 2011, achieving a world auction record of $635,000 for the reference, over ten times its low estimate, fiercely competed for from collectors in the room, on the phone, and online.

Watches from Zenith commanded strong prices as well. The tropical A384 El Primero soared past its estimate of $6,000-12,000 to a remarkable $50,800, setting a new record for a vintage El Primero model. The Chronomaster Original Pink “Unique Piece” for Susan G. Komen”, which realized $30,480, of which 100% of proceeds, including Buyer’s Premium, will be donated to the world’s leading breast cancer organization.

Independent makers continue to inspire spirited bidding, with models by F.P.Journe, Philippe Dufour, Halter Barnes, De Bethune, and Daniel Roth capturing the demand of the market. Both wristwatches by Daniel Roth offered in the sale realized totals that were over three times their low estimate and the Halter Barnes Perpetual Antiqua achieved $393,700 against its estimate of $120,000-240,000, setting a new record for any watch by the creative horological artist.

The results from The New York Watch Auction: EIGHT mark two-and-a-half-years of Phillips selling 100% of watches offered at auction.

Top Ten Lots

Lot 12

Roger Smith, A unique, career defining, and historically important yellow gold perpetual calendar tourbillon pocket watch with moon phase, leap year indicator, and spring detent escapement, every component hand-made by Roger Smith, 1998.

  • Estimate: In excess of $1 million
  • Sold for: $4,900,000
  • World Auction Record for Roger Smith/ Also Auction Record for Any British Timepiece

Lot 89

Patek Philippe, Ref. 2481 An exceptional, fresh-to-market, and extremely well-preserved yellow gold wristwatch with cloisonné enamel “pristine forest” dial with center seconds and presentation box, 1973

  • Estimate: $600,000 – 1,200,000
  • Sold for: $1,117,600
  • World Auction Record for the Reference

Lot 30

Patek Philippe, Ref. 5531R-012 A brand new, exquisite, and very important pink gold minute repeating world time wristwatch with miniature cloisonné enamel dial, additional caseback, Certificate of Origin and presentation box, Circa 2022

  • Estimate: $900,000 – 1,800,000
  • Sold for: $1,016,000

Lot 11

Philippe Dufour, A lavishly hand-finished, highly coveted, and extremely well-preserved white gold wristwatch with white lacquer dial, certificate, and presentation box, numbered 70, 2004

  • Estimate: $300,000 – 600,000
  • Sold for: $863,600

Lot 22

Rolex, Ref. 6241 A very rare and extremely well-preserved stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with “Paul Newman” dial and bracelet, with guarantee, box, brochure, and hang tags, Circa 1968

  • Estimate: $200,000 – 400,000
  • Sold for: $635,000
  • World Auction Record for the Reference in Stainless Steel

Lot 134

Audemars Piguet, Ref. 25701PT An extremely rare and impressive platinum minute repeating perpetual calendar split-second chronograph pocket watch with black dial leap year, moon phase, and warranty card, 2011

  • Estimate: $60,000 – 120,000
  • Sold for: $635,000
  • World Auction Record for the Reference

Lot 136

F.P.Journe, Numbered 99 of a limited edition of 99 pieces, an early and impressive platinum chronometer dual-time wristwatch with double escapement and ruthenium-coated dial, certificate, and presentation box, Circa 2011

  • Estimate: $160,000 – 280,000
  • Sold for: $558,800

Lot 46

F.P.Journe, An extremely rare and mechanically complex platinum “Black Label” tourbillon wristwatch with constant force remontoire, power reserve, dead beat seconds, guarantee, and presentation box, 2006

  • Estimate: $200,000 – 400,000
  • Sold for: $482,600

Lot 133

F.P.Journe, An elegant and extraordinary platinum tourbillon wristwatch with power reserve display, remontoire d’egalité, ruthenium dial, and ruthenium-coated movement, Circa 2002

  • Estimate: $160,000 – 280,000
  • Sold for: $469,900

Lot 29

Patek Philippe, Ref. 5650G-001 A highly sought-after and innovative travel time wristwatch with center seconds, date, Certificate of Origin and presentation box, 2017

  • Estimate: $250,000 – 500,000
  • Sold for: $444,500


The New York Watch Auction: EIGHT
New York, 10-11 June 2023
Sale Total: $26,358,555 / CHF23, 803,871 / HKD206,621,766
Lots Sold: 135
Lots Offered: 135
Sold by Lot: 100%
Sold by Value: 100%