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Phillips - The Geneva Watch Auction: EIGHT

Phillips The Geneva Watch Auction: EIGHT

CHF 66 million were achieved, the highest annual total ever for watch auctions in Switzerland, more than all of the other auction houses combined.

The Geneva Watch Auction: EIGHT realised a total of CHF 21,359,750/$21,250,815 (pre-sale estimate: CHF 12 to 21 million), confirming Phillips’ market leadership in watch sales. The result is more than 50% what its nearest competitor achieved during the same weekend, and makes this the third most successful auction of the year, behind the Geneva Watch Auction: SEVEN and The Daytona Ultimatum, all of which were organized by Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo. 

Held over two days, The Geneva Watch Auction: EIGHT surpassed its pre-sale high estimate with many of the 222 lots offered selling well above their high estimate, including multiple record-breaking watches and memorable bidding battles between passionate collectors. 

The Geneva Watch Auction: EIGHT

Audemars Piguet reference 1533 chronograph © Phillips

Leading this weekend’s results was a rare platinum Patek Philippe reference 3974, one of only eight publically known in platinum, which sold for CHF 1,032,500/$1,027,234/€905,915.There were strong results across all models for Rolex, including a new world record for a Rolex reference 6236, also known as the “Jean-Claude Killy”. Likely the best-preserved example to ever come to auction, the steel “Killy” realised CHF 702,500/$698,917/€616,373 breaking its own world record in the process. Another highlight of the evening was the rare and historically important Rolex Sea-Dweller reference 1665 “Single Red” prototype in stainless steel with no helium valve case, which sold for CHF 708,500/$704,886/€621,638 therefore setting a new world record for a Rolex Sea-Dweller.

Results were notably impressive across all of the early Rolex chronographs presented during the sale in a spectacular riposte to the Daytona Ultimatum auction held earlier this year.Watches rarely seen at auction included the Omega Speedmaster Alaska I and the Audemars Piguet reference 1533 chronograph, which ignited fierce and lengthy bidding between passionate collectors. The Omega Alaska I sold for CHF 193,750/$192,716, while the Audemars Piguet reference 1533 chronograph wristwatch sold for CHF 384,500/$382,539. Both surpassed all expectations by tripling their respective high estimates. Independent watchmakers continue to be extremely popular. Notable results include the F.P. Journe Tourbillon Souverain, which sold for CHF 468,500/$466,110, more than doubling its high estimate. The Jean Daniel Nicolas Two Minute Tourbillon was another highlight, selling for CHF 110,000/$ 109,439.

The Geneva Watch Auction: EIGHT

Patek Philippe Nautilus Tiffany-signed reference 5711/1A © Phillips

Finally, it is impossible not to mention the results of recently made watches that are difficult to obtain on the high street, including the brand-new Rolex Daytona ‘Rainbow’ in pink gold. The first example sold at auction since its reveal at Baselworld 2018 achieved CHF 243,750 /$242,507. Other notable results were achieved by modern Patek Philippe Nautilus models, including a Tiffany-signed reference 5711/1A  CHF125,000/$124,362 and the only publically known platinum reference 3800 with slate grey dial and white indexes, sold for CHF 212, 500/$211,416.

While Phillips welcomed more than 400 enthusiasts who travelled from all over the world to bid on some of the finest watches with their paddles, online and phone bidders also made their presence felt throughout the sale. Participation was particularly strong online. The Geneva Watch Auction: EIGHT saw a record number of online bids, with more than 700 bidders actively participating online and winning almost a quarter of the lots proposed. 

“Firstly, we wish to thank all our clients, consignors and bidders alike, for their trust and for having travelled from far to attend our Geneva Watch Auction: EIGHT,” jointly comment Alex Ghotbi, Head of Sale and Aurel Bacs, Consultant and Auctioneer of the auction. “Secondly, we were thrilled to see how passionately the market reacted to our well curated sale, resulting in an unprecedented sold rate and the highest sale total of any watch auction this season. During the Geneva preview, highlights from the Hong Kong Watch Auction: Seven and the New York auction ‘STYLED. Timeless Watches And How To Wear Them’ were welcomed, intensely previewed and received strong interest.”

Phillips’s next watch auctions will be the Hong Kong Watch Auction: SEVEN on November 27, 2018 and Styled. Timeless Watches & How to Wear Them on December 5, 2018 in New York. 

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