Christie’s New York Important Watches Auction – Highlights

After the successful auctions of last year, Christie’s New York Spring/Summer season promises to maintain the momentum with an Online sale from 30 May to 9 June, together with a Live sale to be held on 6 June.

Christie’s New York Important Watches Live Auction 6 June 2023

The Live auction’s show stoppers are two spectacular, fresh-to-market timepieces from the same carefully curated family collection:-

Lot 44: A Patek Philippe Nautilus model Ref. 3700/1 o of a World War II Italian hero known for his valiant resistance against Mussolini’s regime before he became a successful businessman in the leather business.

PATEK PHILIPPE, REF. 37001, NAUTILUS, A HIGHLY ATTRACTIVE STEEL BRACELET WATCH WITH DATE AND “TROPICAL” DIAL, RETAILED BY GÜBELIN

This Patek Philippe Nautilus watch is fresh to market and comes from the family of the original owner.

Born in Italy in the early 1920s, the original owner of this timepiece grew up in Sardinia. When the Second World War broke out, he joined the fight against Mussolini’s regime in the Alps.

Following the war, having lost most of his family, he decided to study industrial design and left Europe to embark for South America. There he joined a company in the leather business, and having spent many years designing and consulting for different tanneries, he was gifted this Patek Philippe in recognition of his dedication and loyalty.

This watch developed a distinctive ‘tropical’ patina under the South American sun. Parts of the silvered blue dial have become golden and sparkle in the light. The dial is also signed by famed retailer Gübelin.

Estimate: US$ 100,000-200,000

Lot 40: The thinnest Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Quantième Perpétuel ever, one of the earliest known examples of the Ref. 5554/25554ST Royal Oak to be brought to auction.

Also fresh to market and from the family of the original owner, this Audemars Piguet is one of the earliest known Ref. 5554/25554ST Royal Oaks to be publicly offered. Its number: 21.

AUDEMARS PIGUET, REF. 25554ST, ROYAL OAK QUANTIEME PERPETUAL, AN EXTREMELY EARLY, EXCEEDINGLY RARE, AND HISTORICALLY IMPORTANT STEEL PERPETUAL CALENDAR BRACELET WATCH WITH MOON PHASES

The ‘Extract from the Archives’ confirms the watch was purchased on the 6th of June, 1984. With a case measuring 39mm in a diameter, it is incredibly slim at just 7.5mm, which makes this watch the thinnest Royal Oak Quantième Perpétuel produced to this day.

Being the first of its kind, the silver dial on this model eschews a leap year indicator, providing a balanced, uniform aesthetic complementing the beguiling, multi-faceted case. Powering the timepiece is the Audemars Piguet ultra-thin calibre 2120/2800. Estimate: US$ 150,000-250,000.

All pieces included in the New York Important Watches Live sale will be displayed for public viewing during Christie’s Luxury Marquee week at the Rockefeller Center between June 2nd and June 5th.

Christie’s Watches Online: The New York Edit Online Auction, 30 May – 9 June 2023

Christie’s New York Online Watches auction will be going live for bidding from 30 May to 9 June, and will offer esteemed timepieces by Rolex, Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, Breguet and many more.

Bulova Partners with SHR Jewelry Group to Launch Its Expanded Men’s Jewelry Collection

Bulova partners with SHR Jewelry Group to unveil its 2023 collection of men’s fine jewelry. This product range proudly reflects the bold spirit and iconic style inherent to the company and its founder, Joseph Bulova.

After launching its first-ever men’s jewelry designs in 2019, Bulova is expanding its range into fine jewelry, introducing an exciting new men’s jewelry collection.

Bulova Men's Jewelry Collection

The offering includes select pieces inspired by the heritage of the brand and its immigrant founder who began his career as a skilled jeweler at Tiffany & Co. before opening his own jewelry store in NYC in 1875.

Bulova Men's Jewelry Collection

Bulova’s latest men’s jewelry collection includes the debut of its proprietary patent-pending signature Bulova Link™ chain, inspired by the historic tuning fork symbol that has long been an integral part of Bulova’s branding. It is featured across all categories – necklaces, rings and bracelets.

Bulova Men's Jewelry Collection

Additional pieces honor the watchmaking history of the company and feature Chronos, the Greek “God of Time,” while others celebrate the homeland of Joseph Bulova in a Crest of Bohemia sub-collection, featuring a prominent image of a majestic lion—a symbol of strength, courage and adventure.

Bulova Men's Jewelry Collection

In addition to a broad selection of new designs and updated classics that blend the innovative and the iconic, the new Bulova fine jewelry styles include a range of upgraded materials including sterling silver with accents of 14 karat gold, black diamonds, Damascus steel, ceramic, and a variety of precious and semi-precious gemstones such as mother of pearl, malachite, and onyx.

The collection includes rings, bracelets, necklaces, amulets, and earrings. All pieces incorporate Bulova’s distinct branding elements in each design and have been crafted with the same unwavering commitment to quality and detail for which both Bulova and SHR are known.

Bulova Men's Jewelry Collection

Retail price points for the updated Bulova jewelry collection range from $120 to $1,250. The new edition will be a displayed at The Epernay Ballroom at Couture June 1-4, 2023—Wynn Las Vegas.

Vacheron Constantin & the Louvre Museum Les Cabinotiers – Homage to Pierre Paul Rubens, La lutte pour l’étendard de la Bataille d’Anghiari

Initiated in 2019, Vacheron Constantin’s partnership with the Louvre Museum has been renewed this year, betokening an ongoing celebration of beauty and a commitment to the safeguarding and passing on of heritage in all its forms. As part of its new “A masterpiece on your wrist” offer, Vacheron Constantin is now offering its customers the possibility of creating a single-piece edition Les Cabinotiers watch, the dial of which will feature an enamel reproduction of an artwork from the Louvre Museum chosen by the purchaser.

Vacheron Constantin & the Louvre Museum Les Cabinotiers watch

The bespoke single-piece edition Les Cabinotiers – Homage to Pierre Paul Rubens, La lutte pour l’étendard de la Bataille d’Anghiari watch sold at the 2020 Bid for the Louvre auction combines history with artistic complexity and testifies to the vitality of this partnership. Organised to benefit the museum’s solidarity projects in December 2020, this auction initiated a new offer entitled “A masterpiece on the wrist”.

After two years featuring a wealth of discoveries including the winning bidder’s private visit to the museum and the Manufacture in order to discuss the project with the Louvre’s experts and the Maison’s Master Artisans, the adventure gave birth to a single-piece edition watch: Les Cabinotiers – Homage to Pierre Paul Rubens, La lutte pour l’étendard de la Bataille d’Anghiari . Its miniature enamel dial faithfully reproduces the eponymous drawing by Peter Paul Rubens.

Vacheron Constantin & the Louvre Museum Les Cabinotiers watch

In 2021, the collaboration between the Manufacture and the prestigious museum also featured a chance to explore of the art studios of the two institutions through a series of videos illustrating a parallel between the works of their respective master artisans. This was followed in 2022 by the launch of a series of four watches inspired by the museum’s antique collections: Métiers d’Art – Tribute to Great Civilisations.

In 2023, the partnership between Vacheron Constantin and the Louvre will be further expanded with a new Les Cabinotiers offer titled “A Masterpiece on the Wrist” and which will enable clients to choose from among the museum’s works of art the one that will be reproduced in enamel on the dial of their watch.

Vacheron Constantin offers its clients the possibility of experiencing a behind-the-scenes look at the Louvre Museum and its workshops, as enjoyed by the purchaser of the Les Cabinotiers – Homage to Pierre Paul Rubens, La lutte pour l’étendard de la Bataille d’Anghiari watch.

Vacheron Constantin & the Louvre Museum Les Cabinotiers watch

This new “A masterpiece on your wrist” offer involves the creation of a bespoke single piece edition watch with a dial featuring an enamel reproduction of an artwork kept in in the Louvre Museum and chosen by the purchaser. Most of these works are not on display. A certificate of authenticity from the museum will certify the reproduction. The experience will be accompanied by a private tour of the Louvre in the company of its experts and the Manufacture Vacheron Constantin to meet its master watchmakers and master artisans.

In a thoroughly modern way, Vacheron Constantin is thereby perpetuating the grand tradition of the Cabinotiers in the Age of Enlightenment and which the Maison began to practice on 17 September 1755 when Jean-Marc Vacheron signed his first apprenticeship contract with a young watchmaker in Geneva.

At that time, the city’s artisans worked in cabinets installed in attics, on an overhanging floor called a “dome” because it was bathed in daylight. They were known as cabinotiers. The name has stuck, as has the duty to adopt a resolutely demanding approach to their craft.

After its support for the 2016 restoration of the clock named The Creation of the World – a major work of 18th century precision horology presented to King Louis XV in 1754 and deposited with the Louvre by the Musée National des Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon – Vacheron Constantin entered into a partnership with the Louvre in 2019. This collaboration echoes the respective legacies of the two institutions, which share the same respect for history, culture and heritage. This year, the Manufacture announced the continuation of this important partnership.

In December 2020, Vacheron Constantin took part in an auction to support a vast project of educational workshops at the Louvre, with 100% of the proceeds going to support Le Studio, a place of discovery and sharing open to all in order to help people familiarise themselves with the museum, its collections and its crafts, including an introduction to the techniques of the plastic arts.

In this spirit, Vacheron Constantin offered a unique experience, embodied by a single-piece edition bespoke Les Cabinotiers watch whose dial was to be personalised with a miniature or grisaille enamel reproduction of an artwork kept in the Louvre and chosen by the buyer.

Guided by the museum’s experts, the successful bidder also had the privilege of a private tour of the museum and the Cabinet des Dessins, a place accessible to the public by reservation only, in order to determine the work to be reproduced. This is where the original drawing finally chosen – La lutte pour l’étendard de la Bataille d’Anghiari, by Pierre Paul Rubens – is kept.

The drawing by Pierre Paul Rubens has an extraordinary historical background. During his stay in Italy during the early 17th century, the Flemish painter is said to have purchased and then retouched in ink, wash and gouache this sheet depicting the Battle of Anghiari, a vast composition that Leonardo da Vinci was commissioned to create for the Great Council Chamber of the Palazzo della Signoria – which subsequently became Palazzo Vecchio – in Florence.

Lutte_pour_l_etendard_©RMN_Grand_Palais_Musee_du_Louvre_Michel_Urtado
Lutte pour l etendard ©RMN Grand Palais Musee du Louvre Michel Urtado

Regarded as one of the artist’s great masterpieces, the huge painting – celebrating a famous victory of the armies of Pope Eugene IV and the republics of Venice and Florence over those of the Duke of Milan – was left unfinished by Leonardo in 1506 and deteriorated very quickly. Virtually nothing remained when in the mid- 16th century, at the request of Duke Cosimo I, Giorgio Vasari restructured the room to become the present Salone de’ Cinquecento and covered the walls with a new decor exalting the deeds of the Medici house.

Analysis of the Louvre sheet using the infrared reflectography technique, which accentuates traces containing carbon, has confirmed the presence under Rubens’ later interventions of a drawing attributable to an anonymous artist copying the cartoon – Leonardo’s large preparatory drawing for the mural – of the Battle of Anghiari.

Transcribing a drawing composed of ink and pen strokes onto a dial measuring 3.3 cm in diameter is a real challenge. The proven mastery of his art and the creative freedom prevailing in Vacheron Constantin’s Métiers d’Art workshop enabled the master enameller to approach the challenge in a new and innovative way. It was clear from the outset that the Geneva miniature painting technique would be the most appropriate way to pay tribute to the original work.

The Maison’s master enameller nevertheless broadened the scope of the traditional technique by deciding to incorporate blanc de Limoges, generally used in grisaille enamel. Working with multiple instruments and drawing on the many secrets of enamel alchemy, he has used brushes with three to four bristles, pointed tools as well as cactus spines.

The ancestral technique of miniature enamelling with a Geneva flux undercoat consists of adding a final transparent and colourless protection to the layers of vitrified enamel, bringing brilliance and depth to the artisan’s work. The grisaille enamel has been interpreted in an original way on this timepiece, since the master enameller wished to create depth-effect highlights with the help of blanc de Limoges, in order to give greater relief and movement to the horse’s mane.

After using line drawing to clearly mark out the details of the contours, the outline of the dial was drawn. Successive stages sought to recreate the extreme subtlety of Rubens’ drawing, all in very light and diffuse shades and half-tones. The master enameller used about 20 shades of brown, grey brown, sepia brown and cream brown, an impressive number alternating with as many firings at 900°C, the first layers being fired very lightly, just long enough to start vitrifying, so as to follow the firing without altering the first shades.

Vacheron Constantin & the Louvre Museum Les Cabinotiers watch

In a dialogue between artists across the centuries, he has drawn on his expertise in grisaille enamel, born of years of practice in Limoges, to reproduce the sensitivity of the artwork with a multitude of interlocking micro-details identically replicated while retaining the graphics and specificities of the original work. As unprecedented as it is brilliantly executed, this combination of miniature enamel and grisaille enamel has given rise to this unique Les Cabinotiers watch.

This 18K 5N pink gold timepiece is driven by the in-house Calibre 2460 SC, featuring an oscillating weight engraved with a depicting of the Louvre’s east-facing facade. Its officer-type caseback engraved with 17th century “Cerca Trova” calligraphy.

The motto Cerca Trova (He who seeks finds), which is now visible on one of Vasari’s frescoes, is not related to Leonardo’s lost Battle of Anghiari, but was instead of way for Cosimo de’ Medici to thumb his nose at Florentine, Sienese and French enemies, with whom he had numerous quarrels.

Technical details

Model: Vacheron Constantin & the Louvre Museum Les Cabinotiers – Homage to Pierre Paul Rubens, La lutte pour l’étendard de la Bataille d’Anghiari

Movement
Calibre 2460 SC
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
Mechanical, self-winding
26.2 mm (11¼’’’) diameter, 3.6 mm thick
22K pink gold oscillating weight with the Louvre eastern façade engraving
Approximately 40 hours of power reserve
4 Hz (28,800 vibrations per hour)
182 components
27 jewels
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepieces

Indications
Hours, minutes and center seconds

Case
18K 5N pink gold
Officer-type caseback, with line engraving
40 mm diameter, 9.42 mm thick

Dial
Miniature and grisaille enamels
18K 5N pink gold hands

Strap
Brown Mississippiensis alligator leather
18K 5N pink gold pin buckle

Other details
Box Les Cabinotiers box
Single-piece edition
Certificate of Authenticity for the reproduction of the masterpiece issued by Le Louvre
Certificate of Guarantee issued by Vacheron Constantin

Orient watches are now available in the UK

Orient and Orient Star, the two world-renowned watch brands owned by Japan’s Epson Corporation, are now available in the UK for the very first time.

ORIENT Bambino 38mm

A key highlight from the Orient watch collection is the new Bambino 38mm series from the Classic Collection.
The international best-selling ORIENT Bambino series now includes a long awaited 38mm diameter case perfect for both men and women.

ORIENT Bambino 38mm/ Orient watches UK

This new Classic and Simple style, fondly known as the ORIENT Bambino by dedicated fans, has been a best-seller over the last decade in over 70 countries around the world. Until now, they featured mostly 40.5mm case diameters; however, these latest models feature a more compact 38mm case. Price: £299.99.

Orient Neo Classic Sports

ORIENT has also released a new Neo Classic Sports model to its Sports Collection. The watches offer a rich retro design, taking inspiration from ORIENT’s designs from the 1960s and 1970s, with additional contemporary high quality performance.

Orient Neo Classic Sports RA-AA0E05B/ Orient watches UK
Orient Neo Classic Sports RA-AA0E05B

The Neo Classic Sports models reference this period through their design with a block-patterned scale with think Luminous Light hands, the cushioned case from the World Map model and the rotating inner bezel of the King Diver and World Map models.

Modern additions include the contemporary bronze and black case, an enhanced water-resistance to 20 bar and in-house calibre F6922 automatic movement providing stable accuracy. Price: £445.

Orient Star Contemporary Skeleton

The Japanese watchmaker also launched the new Orient Star Skeleton from the Contemporary Collection. It comes with the hand-wound F8B61 movement with a silicon escape wheel and a 70-hour power reserve. Its modern and stylish design includes sophisticated details, and the hand-wound skeleton movement symbolises the vastness of the universe.

The new Orient Star Contemporary Skeleton is neither too formal nor too casual, with a modern and stylish design that is both refined yet informal. Fine hair line and mirror finishing on high-quality stainless steel give an edgy aesthetic appeal to the case and bracelet, and the dial tinted in grey gives a sophisticated and stylish look.

Orient Star Contemporary Skeleton
Orient Star Contemporary Skeleton

The compact and slim case with a diameter of 39 mm and thickness of 10.8 mm, the new metal bracelet with short pitch H-shaped links for comfort on the wrist, the dial with enhanced legibility, and blue hands that add an accent, all create a relaxed feel making it perfect for everyday use.

The hand-wound calibre F8B61 is not only highly precise with accuracy of +15 to -5 seconds a day, but it is also equipped with a silicon escape wheel made with the latest MEMS processing technology, extending the power reserve to 70 hours and significantly enhancing its practicality. Price: £2,759.99.

Orient brand was born in 1950. Its flagship collections are Classic, Contemporary, Revival and Sports. The Orient watch UK price range is £275 to £645.

Orient Star brand was introduced in 1951. It offers three flagship families: Classic, Contemporary and Sports. The Orient Star watch UK price range is £515 to £2760.

Made in Japan, timepieces from both the brands are now available at Orientwatch.co.uk.

Phillips Releases the Full Catalogue for The New York Watch Auction: EIGHT

Phillips has unveiled the complete catalogue for The New York Watch Auction: EIGHT, featuring a selection of over 130 exceptional and rare timepieces, including the previously announced, historically important Roger Smith Pocket Watch Number Two.

The sale showcases an outstanding selection of both established and independent watchmakers, with important timepieces such as a fresh-to-the-market, vintage Patek Philippe reference 2481 with stunning “Pristine Forest’ cloisonné enamel dial, a rare and exceptionally well-preserved Philippe Dufour Simplicity measuring 37mm, and many others.

On the heels of a successful world tour, the watches will be publicly exhibited at 432 Park Avenue in New York, commencing 3 June, with the auction taking place over the course of two days from 10-11 June.

In celebration of the auction, on 9 June, Phillips will host a conversation with Roger Smith prior to a private screening of The Watchmaker’s Apprentice – the 2015 film featuring Roger Smith and his mentor, George Daniels.

The New York Watch Auction: EIGHT – Highlights

Lot 89: PATEK PHILIPPE, Ref. 2481 “Pristine Forest”
Estimate $600,000 – 1,200,000

This previously unknown and extraordinary Patek Philippe wristwatch comes with a cloisonné enamel dial. Consigned by the family of the original owner, the watch has remained in the family for nearly 70 years since its purchase in 1954.

The vibrant colors and workmanship displayed on the spectacular dial’s scene, referred to by the brand as “tropical landscape,” “forêt vierge,” or “pristine forest,” exemplifies the absolute mastery of craft that places Patek Philippe at the apex for collectors worldwide.

Patek Philippe’s reference 2481 is one of the brand’s most iconic time-only watches of the mid-20th century. At 36.8mm in diameter, it is affectionately known by collectors as “King Size”, and when introduced into the market in 1950, it was one of the largest wristwatches made by the brand during the 20th century. Cloisonné enamel is considered one of the finest and most complex dial fabrication techniques in high horology.

Due to their cost and the limited number of skilled artisans capable of such work, cloisonné enamel dials were made in small numbers and very few were sold during the mid-20th century.

The present watch is preserved in outstanding condition, and the dial is free of any restorations. It is believed to be one of only 10 examples produced with this dial type. It has been nearly a decade since a previously unknown cloisonné enamel reference 2481 has appeared on the market.

Lot 30: PATEK PHILIPPE, Ref. 5531R “World Time Minute Repeater”
Estimate $900,000 – 1,800,000

This special edition Patek Philippe reference 5531R-012 was first introduced as part of the brand’s official 2018 collection from “The Art of Watches Grand Exhibition”, and then incorporated into the regular production catalogue the following year.

Produced in extremely limited quantities, it features a stunning cloisonné enamel dial depicting the Lavaux Vineyard Terraces, a UNESCO Heritage site, on the shores of Lake Geneva.

The result of painstaking development, the most complex challenge solved by Patek Philippe was to have the watch chime on the local time of the city displayed at 12 o’clock. This was achieved by incorporating an hour snail that is driven by the world time mechanism.

This fresh-to-the-market, minute repeating world time with cloisonné enamel dial is the height of luxury and complication. It is both a work of art and a functional time piece and is one of only a handful of examples ever offered at auction. Presented in brand new, unworn condition it is offered complete with its full set of accessories.

Lot 11: PHILIPPE DUFOUR, Simplicity 37 “No. 70”
Estimate: $300,000 – 600,000

Dufour introduced the Simplicity in the year 2000, inspired by the traditional watchmaking methods in the Vallée de Joux. The Simplicity was originally presented in a 34 mm case and a larger 37 mm case, like the present lot, was subsequently offered.

Now discontinued, Dufour created slightly more than 200 examples of the original Simplicity. Its rarity, coupled with elegant looks, has propelled the watch to ‘grail’ status today. Fitted with a lacquer dial, the present watch features black Roman numerals, which contrast wonderfully against the white lacquered background.

The larger case size of 37mm sits beautifully on the wrist, and the present lot is complete, accompanied by its original certificate and presentation box. Offered in exceptionally well-preserved condition, it is a trophy watch for collectors.

Lot 27: PATEK PHILIPPE, Ref. 3450 “Padellone Bollino Rosso”
Estimate: $300,000 – 600,000

The Patek Philippe reference 3450 model represents one of the pinnacles of watchmaking. The present watch, manufactured in 1982, is an extremely rare and early first generation fitted with a “red dot” leap year indicator.

Earliest examples of the reference featured this “red dot,” also known as “bollino rosso,” charmingly nicknamed by Italian collectors, to indicate the fourth year of the leap year cycle, while later examples would instead display the Roman numeral ‘IV’ for the leap year.

Enhancing its desirability is its exceptional condition. It retains very sharp and well-defined bevels, original, superb satin finishing on the case and on the lugs, and crisp, perfectly preserved hallmarks, with a flawless dial.

Patek Philippe produced very limited quantities of reference 3450, and the present example stands out with its “red dot” indicator and superb state of preservation.

Lot 107: ROLEX, Ref. 116769TBR GMT-Master II “Ice”
Estimate: $250,000 – 500,000

Set with over 30 carats of flawless round-cut diamonds, as well as invisible-set baguette diamonds to the bezel and center links of the bracelet, this lavish GMT-Master II fittingly earned the nickname “Ice” upon its release in 2007. Now discontinued with extremely limited production, no other example of the reference has previously appeared at auction, reiterating its rarity and exclusivity.

The only surfaces free of diamonds are the edges of the bezel, the crown, and the reverse of the case and bracelet. The ultimate flagship, most expensive Rolex ever at the time of its release, it maintained that distinction for over a decade. Blackened white gold surrounds on the handset give legibility to the dial, which is complemented by aquatic, wavy pavé diamond stripes.

Unusual and rarely seen in Rolex gem-set watches, even the sides of the bracelet are pavé diamond-set as well. Weighing just over half a pound, in exceptional condition and with its original guarantee and boxes, the GMT-Master “Ice” is splendidly extravagant and unabashedly luxurious.

Lot 46: F.P. JOURNE, Tourbillon Souverain “Black Label”
Estimate: $200,000 – 400,000

Francois-Paul Journe launched his namesake brand with the motto “invenit et fecit” (“invented and made”) in 1999, first introducing the Tourbillon Souverain Remointoire d’Egalité, known as “T.” In 2003, Francois-Paul Journe upgraded the “T” to the “TN” model (“Tourbillon Nouveau”), with an unprecedented 18K pink gold movement, incorporating the deceptively complex deadbeat seconds complication.

“Seconde Morte,” the art of making time stand still, 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.

Part of the ultra-rare and exclusive Black Label collection, the present model was available only to pre-existing Journe owners. It comes with a semi-gloss black dial and complete with its original boxes and guarantee.

Lot 22: ROLEX, Ref. 6241 Cosmograph Daytona “Paul Newman”
Estimate: $200,000 – 400,000

The reference 6241 was produced from approximately 1966 to 1969 with scholarship estimating no more than 3,000 examples were manufactured, with only a small percentage fitted with the iconic “Paul Newman” dial.

Produced in stainless steel as well as 14 karat and 18 karat gold, this reference was the first Daytona offered with a black acrylic bezel, offering an alternative to the steel bezel found on the reference 6239. Officially named the “exotic” dial by Rolex and now known worldwide as “Paul Newman” dials, they are now the most coveted vintage chronographs amongst Rolex collectors.

The present ref. 6241 is preserved in outstanding overall condition and is accompanied by its original boxes and guarantee paper. The “Paul Newman” dial is flawless, free of any blemishes, and the cherry-red “Daytona” designation at 6 o’clock is vibrant, contrasting sharply with the ebony background.

Lot 26: PATEK PHILIPPE, Ref. 5711/1A-014 Nautilus “Green Dial, Factory Single Sealed”
Estimate: $80,000-160,000

In 2021, Patek Philippe announced the imminent discontinuation of the reference 5711/1A in its entirety and introduced a special “olive green” dial to only be produced for one year to mark its departure.

Alongside a baguette diamond-set bezel variant, these two final 5711s, alongside the limited run of 170 “Tiffany Blue” double signed pieces, would mark the end of the production of the stainless steel “Jumbo” Nautilus.

Collectors were instantly drawn to the subtle hue of the green dial and of course the limited nature of the release, but allocations were limited and extremely selective. Now discontinued, it is a very rare and attractive variant of one of the most iconic sports watch references of all time. Further adding to the present lot’s importance, it is one of less than a handful known to remain factory sealed, offered here by the original owner having never been opened, with the entirety of its original accessories.

Lot 136: F.P. JOURNE, Chronomètre à Résonance “Ruthenium, No. 99”
Estimate: $160,000 – 280,000

Manufactured through 2005 as a 99-piece limited edition, the Ruthenium Chronomètre á Résonance is certainly a sight to behold, boasting a striking grey dial forged from ruthenium-coated white gold. The charcoal canvas is finely texturized, offering a stimulating addition of depth and dimension to the moody backdrop.

Both visually and mechanically impressive, the movement can be observed via its sapphire caseback. The two balance wheels are strategically placed almost touching one another, which forces the dissipated energy of each to be caught by the other – correcting their timing errors and improving their overall accuracy.

Numbered 99 of 99, this Chronomètre à Résonance is a coveted “end piece”, having first been sold in 2002. It is complete with all of its original accessories.

Lot 47: HALTER BARNES, Perpetual Antiqua
Estimate: $120,000 – 240,000

This fresh-to-market Halter Barnes Perpetual Antiqua in 18K yellow gold watch comes with the earliest known serial number ever seen publicly.

Preserved in exceptional condition and consigned by the original owner with its hardly-ever-seen original accessories, the present lot is one of only 17 total examples of Vianney Halter’s Perpetual Antiqua that have come to auction.

The Perpetual Antiqua, bearing the movement number 4Y, is the earliest example to come to auction and is accompanied by its original riveted porthole winding box. The eldest of the Vianney Halter pieces in this sale, it is the seminal wristwatch that gave birth to the design codes of a brand.

Lot 70: ZENITH, Chronomaster Original Pink “Unique Piece for Susan G. Komen”
Estimate: $8,000 – 16,000

ZENITH and Phillips present this unique Chronomaster Original Pink timepiece with 100% of proceeds supporting Susan G. Komen, the world’s leading breast cancer organization. The auctioning of this singular piece follows the launch of the Chronomaster Original Pink in October 2022, Breast Cancer Awareness month, to benefit Komen.

The present chronograph is a one-of-a-kind unique piece with diamond-set lugs similar to the brand’s iconic A386. Crafted in a 38mm steel case and equipped with the latest generation of the El Primero automatic high-frequency chronograph calibre with 1/10th of a second measurement, the Chronomaster Original Pink stands out with its striking metallic pink dial, honoring the color globally associated with breast cancer awareness. The piece comes with the offer of an additional strap of the winning bidder’s choosing as well as a certificate stating the watch’s uniqueness.

Auction schedule

Auction: Session I 10am EST 10 June, Session II 10am EST 11 June
Auction viewing: 3 – 9 June
Location: 432 Park Avenue, New York, NY, United States, 10022
More information: https://www.phillips.com/auctions/auction/NY080123

The Art of F.P. Journe Auction by Christie’s Geneva Achieves CHF 13.7 Million / US$ 15.3 Million

The first ever dedicated auction for a living independent watchmaker, The Art of F.P. Journe, was 100% sold at Christie’s Geneva on May 12, realising CHF13,665,300 / US$15,314,702.

The auction was conducted at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues in Geneva. The top selling lot of the sale was a platinum tourbillon souverain “souscription model” wristwatch, bearing number 2 out of 20, made circa 1999, sold for CHF 2,707,000/ $3,033,735.

The Art of F.P. Journe Auction Highlights

Tourbillon Souverain

Arguably F.P.Journe’s most famous wristwatch model is the Tourbillon Souverain, launched in 1999, the first ever tourbillon with a remontoir d’égalité – incorporating constant force throughout the winding process to compensate for the uneven force delivered by the mainspring to the escapement as it unwinds.

F.P.Journe Tourbillon Souverain ‘Souscription’
F.P.Journe Tourbillon Souverain ‘Souscription’/ Copyright: Christie’s

Lot 2039 – Tourbillon Souverain ‘Souscription’ – an especially rare, historic and highly important platinum tourbillon wristwatch with brass movement, yellow gold dial, remontoir d’égalité and power reserve. Signed F.P. Journe, No. 2/20, circa 1999, sold for CHF2,707,000/ US$3,033,735, making it the top selling lot of the auction.

Chronomètre à Résonance

By achieving synchronicity without a physical linkage, resonance considerably reduces the effects of wrist and body movements. François-Paul Journe became the first watchmaker to incorporate this tremendous improvement in precision into the smaller available volume of a wristwatch, an incredible achievement of modern horology.

F.P.Journe Chronometre a Resistance Pre-Souscription
F.P.Journe Chronometre a Resistance Pre-Souscription/ Copyright: Christie’s

This represented the second highest selling piece, Lot 2038 – Chronometre a Resistance “Pre-Souscription” – an exceedingly rare and early platinum chronometer wristwatch with resonance – controlled twin independent geartrain brass movement, pink gold dial and power reserve. Signed F.P. Journe, No.040/00R, circa 2000 which sold for CHF1,376,000 / US$1,542,083.

Centigraphe

The Centigraphe Souverain was developed with the aim of producing the perfect chronograph for the world of automotive racing.

F.P.Journe Centigraphe Souverain Formula Edition
F.P.Journe Centigraphe Souverain Formula Edition/ Copyright: Christie’s

This category was led by Lot 2032 – Centigraphe Souverain Formula Edition – an exclusive and highly desirable platinum ergonomic chronograph wristwatch with 100th of a second, 20th second, 10 minute registers, red chrome dial. Signed F.P. Journe, No. 096-CT, circa 2010. Sold for CHF529,200 / US$593,074.

Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo Achieves CHF 47 Million / $52.5 Million during The Geneva Watch Auction: XVII with a White Glove Sale

Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo has achieved CHF 47,172,380 / $52,488,707 / €47,993,179 in The Geneva Watch Auction XVII, more than doubling the pre-sale low estimate of CHF 20 million and continuing an over two-year streak of selling 100% of lots offered.

Held over two days on 13 and 14 May at La Réserve Hotel, the sale welcomed 600 collectors, alongside 1,675 bidders competing online on Phillips.com. 100% of the 203 watches offered were sold, with Phillips selling two watches for above the $3 million mark, the only auction house to achieve such a feat this week.

The sale total was the highest achieved this season in Geneva, making it not only Phillips’ third highest sale total ever but also the third highest ever achieved in the field of horology.

The Rolex Ref. 6270, affectionately called “The End Game,” fetched an astonishing CHF 3,690,000, shattering the previous world record for any Rolex Ref. 6270 ever sold. This exceptional chronograph wristwatch in yellow gold boasts stunning jewels and is one of only eight known pieces in the market.

Phillips Geneva Watch Auction XVII : Patek Philippe reference 2499 second series in pink gold
Image Copyright: Phillips

One of the most highly anticipated lots was the Patek Philippe reference 2499 second series perpetual calendar chronograph in pink gold, widely considered a pinnacle of watch collecting. Following an intense bidding war, the timepiece eventually sold for an impressive CHF 3,206,000. Only eight pink gold Second Series ref. 2499 models are known to exist, with these watches often referred to as the Mona Lisa of watch collecting.

Numerous exceptional results and world records were achieved for prestigious independent makers including F.P. Journe, Kari Voutilainen, De Bethune, Daniel Roth, MB&F, Roger Smith and Urban Jürgensen, to name a few.

The Naissance d’une Montre II project Greubel Forsey x Urwerk x Dominique Buser x Cyrano Devanthey sold for CHF 406,400.

Leading the section of independents was the Biver Carillon Tourbillon, a unique titanium carillon repeating tourbillon prototype belonging to Jean-Claude Biver. The timepiece captured the public’s attention and sold for an astounding CHF 1,270,000.

Another star lot of the Independent’s Atelier was the exceptional Philippe Dufour for Audemars Piguet pocket watch, the first masterpiece by the distinguished master watchmaker Philippe Dufour, which sold for CHF 889,000. Made in a series of five examples between 1982 and 1988, the present pocket watch is the very first Grande and Petite Sonnerie open-faced pocket watch made by Philippe Dufour exclusively for Audemars Piguet and retailed by Asprey.

Over Fifteen World records were achieved covering such diverse brands such as Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Rolex, Vacheron Constantin, Greubel Forsey, and Roger Smith.

Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo The Geneva Watch Auction XVII: Top Ten Lots

Lot 102: Rolex, Ref. 6270 “The End Game”

An incredibly rare yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with diamond-pavé dial, sapphire indexes, baguette diamond-set bezel, caseback sticker and bracelet

  • Estimate: CHF 1,200,000 – 2,400,000
  • Sold for: CHF 3,690,000/ $ 4,105,853/ € 3,754,206 (world record for the reference for any gem-set Daytona)

Lot 23: Patek Philippe, Ref. 2499

A “Second Series” pink gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moonphases

  • Estimate: CHF1,500,000 – 3,000,000
  • Sold for: CHF 3,206,000/ $ 3,567,316/ € 3,261,784

Lot 207: Patek Philippe, Ref. 2499

A “First Series” yellow gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moonphases

  • Estimate: CHF 800,000 – 1,600,000
  • Sold for: CHF 2,359,000/ $ 2,624,859/ € 2,400,046

Lot 25: Rolex, Ref. 6541 Milgauss “The Pinnacle”

An amagnetic stainless steel wristwatch with honeycomb dial, “lightning” hand, bracelet, chronometer certificate, guarantee, hang tag and presentation box

  • Estimate: CHF 500,000 – 1,000,000
  • Sold for: CHF 2,238,000/ $ 2,490,222/ € 2,276,941 (world record for any Rolex Milgauss)

Lot 128: BIVER

A unique titanium carillon minute repeating tourbillon wristwatch prototype with obsidian dial and bracelet

  • Estimate on request
  • Sold for: CHF 1,270,000/ $ 1,413,129/ € 1,292, 098

Lot 57: Patek Philippe, Ref. 5531R-012 Lavaux Landscape

A pink gold minute repeating world time wristwatch with miniature cloisonné enamel dial, certificate of origin, additional caseback and presentation box, single sealed

  • Estimate: CHF 900,000 – 1,800,000
  • Sold for: CHF 1,168,400/ $1,300,078/ €1,188,730

Lot 139: Patek Philippe, Ref. 5004

A stainless steel perpetual calendar split seconds chronograph wristwatch with moon phases, 24 hours, leap year indicator, original certificate, additional caseback and presentation box

  • Estimate: CHF 400,000 – 800,000
  • Sold for: CHF 939,800/ $ 1,045,715/ € 956,152 (world record for this reference)

Lot 127: Philippe Dufour for Audemars Piguet

An open face two-train minute repeating pocket watch with grande and petite sonnerie, retailed by Asprey

  • Estimate: CHF 400,000 – 800,000
  • Sold for: CHF 889,000/ $ 989,190/ € 904,468

Lot 22: Patek Philippe, Ref. 1579

A yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with “Spider” lugs and engraved/enamelled Breguet numerals

  • Estimate: CHF 300,000 – 600,000
  • Sold for: CHF 793,750/ $ 883,205/ € 807,561 (world record for this reference in gold)

Lot 145: Patek Philippe, Ref. 3448

A white gold perpetual calendar wristwatch with moon phases, small date ring and “Sigma” designation, original certificate and presentation box

  • Estimate: CHF 500,000 – 1,000,000
  • Sold for: CHF 787,400/ $ 876,139/ € 801,100

Swiss diving watch brand DOXA enters into Scandinavia

Swiss watchmaker DOXA has now expanded its global presence by entering into the Scandinavian region. Known worldwide for its extremely reliable diving watches, the brand will be distributed in the region – in Denmark, Sweden and Norway – by the Danish family-owned group Henning Stæhr A/S.

DOXA’s presence and distribution worldwide are experiencing an unprecedented acceleration. From the first points of sale opened in 2019 – first in the UK then in Europe, followed by the United States and Australia – for the DOXA SUB watches, the brand has expanded to more than 120 points of sale throughout the world.

Today, DOXA is opening markets in the Nordic Countries in partnership with family-owned Henning Stæhr A/S group founded in 1949 and based in Denmark, and now run by the third generation.

DOXA SUB 200 C-GRAPH II Turquoise Aquamarine
Based in Biel in the canton of Bern, Switzerland, DOXA Watches has been in the ownership of the Swiss Jenny family for over 25 years. The general management of DOXA Watches is under the responsibility of Jan Edöcs, CEO of DOXA Watches.

With more than 70 years of uninterrupted business activity, the Henning Stæhr A/S Group is a family-owned watch retailer based in Denmark. Founded in 1949 by Henning Stæhr, it is today owned and managed by the third generation, Jacob Stæhr (CEO) and Elisabeth Inex Stæhr, with the support of Bjarne Stæhr (second generation) as chairman of the board.

The group employs more than 35 of the industry’s best people in Denmark, Sweden and Norway, and is headquartered just outside Copenhagen, Denmark. With a strong heritage in the region, the company relies on close, personal relationships with its partners to ensure a good balance between the interests of the brand and the retail distribution network.

The First JC BIVER Prototype Sells for CHF 1 Million

A unique Tourbillon Minute Repeater Carillon Titanium Prototype watch made for Jean-Claude Biver’s new watch brand was sold for CHF 1 million in Geneva by Phillips on 14th May 2023.

The auction led by Aurel Bacs, under the Phillips tent set up on the lakeside at the Hotel La Réserve. No less than 15 minutes were devoted to lot 128, with bids punctuated by several collectors from the three continents, both online, telephone and in-room bidders, vying for this first prototype which will remain forever in history the cornerstone of the BIVER brand.

Biver Tourbillon Minute Repeater Carillon Titanium Prototype watch

It was an American collector who won the sale (he was online), and along with the watch he received a warm congratulatory gift from Jean-Claude Biver and his son Pierre Biver: a bottle of 1949 Château d’Yquem from JC Biver’s private collection, the year of his birth, accompanied by two kilos of his mountain cheese.

This auction also marked the sale of the first JC BIVER watch and in a way the birth of the brand. Production of their first three Tourbillon Minute Repeater Carillon models (in pink gold, titanium, and two-tone skeleton) has just begun, with the first deliveries scheduled for September 2023.