Auction news A profitable weekend for Antiquorum, Phillips and Sotheby’s
Over the Whitsun weekend Geneva’s watch auctions brought in a total of CHF 42,630,500. That’s not a small sum.
Top of the class, considerably ahead of Antiquorum and Sotheby’s, was international auction house Phillips, which racked up CHF 32,843,250 in sales at its Whitsun weekend auction in La Réserve, Geneva. Antiquorum netted no less than CHF 5,735,437 during its one-day auction. On the same day, Sotheby’s brought in a total of CHF 4,630,500 at the Mandarin Oriental in Geneva.
Phillips’ auction took place over two days, with lots divided into two categories. On the first day, the “START-STOP-RESET 88 Epic Stainless Steel Chronographs” event sold all 88 timepieces on offer, a rare achievement for an international auction. As Phillips’ auctioneer Aurel Bacs noted, “Our ‘quality before quantity’ approach was very enthusiastically received by the watch community.” The four biggest lots, all Rolexes, went for between CHF 930,000 and 2,405,000. Then came a rare 1942 Patek Philippe with tachymeter function. With an estimate of between half and one million Swiss francs, it was sold for CHF 821,000, complete with an extract from the company archives certifying the date it was made and its first sale. Almost every lot in the second auction, which focused on 137 collectors’ timepieces, was also sold. The star of the show was a Patek Philippe perpetual calendar with moon phase in yellow gold dating from 1951.
Antiquorum’s auction made more than 5 million Swiss francs, with sale prices exceeding estimates by an average of 71%. The undisputed star of the auction was the Urban Jürgensen watch known as “The Krusenstern”, a rose gold chronometer, which sold for CHF 747,750 – twelve times its initial estimate. This pocket watch created in Copenhagen in 1812 was followed by a Patek Philippe Ref. 3651, only the fourth ever to come up for auction. This rare chronograph in yellow gold went for the sum of CHF 207,750, double the estimate. Next in value was a pocket watch by Audemars Piguet dating from 1880, which sold for CHF 183,750. This rare and elegant timepiece in yellow gold has a minute repeater and features enamelled scenes on front and back.
Sotheby’s succeeded in selling more than half the lots it brought under the hammer: 53.2%, to be precise. One of the most exciting watches on offer was a rare Patek Philippe pocket watch in white gold, which went for CHF 472,000, well over the estimate of up to CHF 380,000. This minute repeater, made in 1973, with perpetual calendar and moon phase, is one of only two white gold Ref. 844s known to exist. A new record was set for a Heuer watch: the Carrera belonging to F1 driver Ronnie Peterson went for CHF 225,000, twenty times the pre-sale estimate (CHF 10,000–20,000). Six passionate collectors vied for the timepiece presented to Peterson by Jack W. Heuer in 1972, when the driver signed his sponsorship contract with the Swiss watchmaker. Finally, a sublime Art Deco clock made by Vacheron Constantin in 1926 also exceeded its estimate, achieving a sale price of CHF 430,000. These spectacular timepieces, which included both vintage and contemporary models, made a total of CHF 4,051,813.
Audemars Piguet is one of the few independent family-owned watch businesses and has been based in Le Brassus, in Switzerland's Vallée de Joux region, at the heart of the fine watchmaking industry,...Find out more
Patek Philippe enjoys outstanding renown and rare prestige, due to the constancy with which the Manufacture has applied its philosophy of excellence ever since it was founded.Find out more
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Urban Jürgensen is one of very few watch brands that have a documented history of uninterrupted watch production that dates back over 250 years.Find out more
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