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Sotheby's - Sotheby’s Geneva Luxury Week

Sotheby's Sotheby’s Geneva Luxury Week

Sotheby’s Geneva Luxury Week returns with its highest valued multi-category live and online auction series to date

Watches headline this May auctions series, with a celebration of the work of the “Picasso of Watchmaking”, Gérald Genta, the world’s most influential watch designer. Genta’s own Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak is to go on sale for the first time Estimated at CHF 300,000 to 500,000. The watches auction series – the most valuable in nearly 10 years – includes over 100 Genta designed models, or one third of all watches on sale. Sotheby’s Geneva Luxury Week also includes a unique curation of some outstanding Magnificent Jewels, rare handbags and accessories.

Sotheby’s Geneva Luxury Week

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, ref. 25820PT, Circa 2010, 200,000 - 400,000 CHF © Sotheby's

From Thursday 5 May, Sotheby’s is to present its flagship Geneva Luxury Week, a bi-annual multi-category auction series which showcases the finest examples of products created at the highest intersection of art and luxury. Dedicated to serving the fast-growing increase in the trend for cross-collecting within the wider luxury markets, Sotheby’s multi-category luxury auctions – staged twice a year in Hong Kong, Geneva and New York – have grown by more than four times year on year since their inception in 2020. In the first quarter of 2022 alone, Sotheby’s Luxury Division, which includes jewellery, watches, handbags, accessories and more, registered a record-breaking growth of 173%, or the equivalent of nearly $98.4M, compared to the first quarter of 2021. This Geneva edition will be the most valuable to date and expected to generate around 95 million CHF in aggregated sales. 

Important Watches The Important Watches auction has the highest collective value of any watch sale held by Sotheby’s in nearly 10 years, with an estimate of up to CHF 18 million. This demonstrates the continued growth in fine watches auction sales, insatiable appetite from collectors for rare models across the price spectrum and growing engagement for very complicated watches, which typically are among the most valuable.

Sotheby’s Geneva Luxury Week

Rolex 'Tutti Frutti' Yacht-Master, Ref. 116695, Circa 2018, 100,000 - 150,000 CHF © Sotheby's

Leading the watches category this time round, is the largest selection of models designed by Gérald Genta (1931-2011), the “Picasso of Watchmaking”, ever assembled at a sale by Sotheby’s. Chief among them, his very own Royal Oak – the iconic design he created for Audemars Piguet, 50 years ago, which has become one of the world’s most coveted watches. The news that Genta’s own Royal Oak – arguably the one he most preferred to wear - would go on sale for the first time this spring, has attracted unprecedented attention since it was made public in December last year.

A modern horological icon, The Royal Oak revolutionized the industry as the first luxury sports watch to be made of steel. Designed overnight by Genta, the watch took inspiration from a childhood memory of seeing a man being sealed into an old-fashioned diving suit near the Mont Blanc bridge in Geneva. The revolutionary octagonal-shaped bezel mirrors the shape of a vintage diving helmet, with the eight hexagonal screws securing it to the watch as a helmet would attach to the diving suit.

The Genta collection on sale in May includes 4 rare oil on canvas by Genta, demonstrating his artistic talent beyond watch designing. Each of the four works reference a particular watch design from the watchmaking legend, subtly integrated within an abstract aesthetic that shows off Genta’s love of colour (each work has an estimate of 20,000 - 30,000 CHF).

This year’s Important Watches live auction boasts over 140 lots, half of them imagined by Genta for brands such as Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, and even his own eponymous brand, Gérald Genta - moreover, a further 38 Genta designed watches will feature in the Luxury Week online only auction sales.

Sotheby’s Geneva Luxury Week

Lot 102, Patek Philippe Nautilus, Ref. 5711R Pink gold wristwatch with date and bracelet Circa 2015, Estimate_ 220,000 - 300,000 CHF © Sotheby's

Star highlight among them is the 'Genta's ‘Jumbo’ Royal Oak for Audemars Piguet – a favourite from his personal collection. Historically important, the stainless-steel wristwatch, with date and bracelet, was made circa 1978 for Genta with the unique specification of a 18k yellow gold bezel that Genta produced and added at his own workshop in Switzerland (est. CHF 300,000 - 500,000)

Sotheby’s Geneva Luxury Week

Gerald Genta's personal Audemars Piguet 'Jumbo' Royal Oak, ref. 5402, Circa 1978, estimate 300,000 - 500,000 CHF © Sotheby's

The Patek Philippe 'Jumbo' Nautilus, yellow gold wristwatch with date, tropical dial and bracelet, made in 1979 (est. CHF 200,000 - 400,000). Another highlight from the Genta selection is the rare Royama G2144 yellow and white gold diamond and sapphire-set skeletonised watch, estimated to have been made in 1980 (15,000 - 20,000 CHF)

Beyond the outstanding Genta curated edit, the star lots within the wider watch selection entail

The Rolex Daytona “Dutch National Team World Cup 2010 Edition” commemorating the achievements of the Dutch football team at the World Cup, and made only in a series of 30 customised watches (price 60,000 - 100,000 CHF)

Sotheby’s Geneva Luxury Week

Lot 32. Rolex, 'FIFA World Cup 2010 – Netherlands Edition' Daytona, Ref. 116509H Limited edition white gold chronograph wristwatch with bracelet Circa 2009, est. 60,000 - 100,000 CHF © Sotheby's

The Patek Philippe platinum minute repeating perpetual calendar tourbillon wristwatch with moon phases, leap year and day/night indication from circa 2013 (price 500.000 - 800,000 CHF)

Sotheby’s Geneva Luxury Week

Patek Philippe platinum minute repeating perpetual calendar tourbillon wristwatch with moon phases, leap year and day/night indication from circa 2013, Lot 143 © Sotheby's

The Omega 'Broad Arrow' Speedmaster, in stainless steel chronograph wristwatch, made in 1958 (price 200,000 - 400,000 CHF). The Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 seconde Contemporain Serti, limited edition white gold and diamond-set tourbillon wristwatch, with tourbillon rotation and power reserve indication, from circa 2015 (price 300,000 - 500,000 CHF)

The MBF Horological Machine n°7, limited edition titanium three-dimensional tourbillon wristwatch with spherical time display and platinum rotor, from circa 2017 (price 80,000 - 120,000 CHF). 

Sotheby’s Geneva Luxury Week

MB&F Horological Machine n°7 © Sotheby's

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