New world records were set for the prices of Rolex and Patek Philippe watches at Christie’s Geneva Important Watches sale on May 16. With a blockbuster total of US$26.3million, up 25% on the same sale in 2010, the haute horologerie market is booming once again. We showcase the ten most expensive timepieces of the auction, a remarkable eight of which were collectors’ favourite Patek Philippe.
“The international community of watch collectors responded enthusiastically to this premium selection of rare wristwatches and pocket watches hand-selected by Christie's team of specialists for our spring Geneva sale. Our results confirm once again that Christie's is the auction house of choice for both buyers and sellers of the rarest and most important watches.
Today’s sale was characterized by strong bidding from the international trade, but dominated by private collectors and museums around the world. Eight different buyers secured the top ten lots of the sale – a sign of the immense depth of interest in this category.
The sale was notable for its spectacular moments – for the first time ever at auction, a Rolex watch surpassed the $1 million mark with the ultra-rare reference 4113 selling to a private collector for over $1.1 million.
We were also touched by the spirited bidding that led to a strong result for the Hillary Tenzing Explorer set, which soared above everyone’s expectations to sell for US$ 104,532 with all proceeds directed to charity.
Lastly, Christie's is extremely proud to announce that with Part IV of ‘A Connoisseur’s Vision’, this prestigious collection of Patek Philippe watches reached the highest total ever for any collection of fine wristwatches ever dispersed at auction, reaching over US$ 22 million. We are grateful to the consignor for having entrusted Christie's team of watch specialists with the sale of this landmark collection and are immensely satisfied to see that the market rewarded his knowledge and passion to such an extent”.
- Aurel Bacs, International Head of Christie's Watch Department
WORLD RECORD PRICE FOR ANY PATEK PHILIPPE SIMPLE CHRONGRAPH WRISTWATCH AT AUCTION
An extremely fine, rare and possibly unique white gold cushion-shaped single button chronograph wristwatch with vertically positioned register and Breguet numerals, manufactured in 1928
Sold for: SFr.3,235,000 / US$3,636,140
An exceptional pink gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon phases and pink dial, Ref. 1518, manufactured in 1948
Estimate: SFr. 700,000-1,000,000
Sold for: SFr. 1,143,000/ $1,284,732
An extremely rare stainless steel and 18K gold chronograph wristwatch with champagne dial and stainless steel and gold bracelet. Signed Patek Philippe & Co., Genève, ref. 1579/1, movement no. 863'154, case no. 635'158, manufactured in 1943.
Estimate: SFr. 500,000-800,000
Sold for: SFr. 1,107,000/ $1,244,268
WORLD RECORD PRICE FOR ANY ROLEX WRISTWATCH EVER SOLD AT AUCTION
An extremely fine, rare and important oversized stainless steel split second chronograph wristwatch, Ref. 4113, case 051318, circa 1942
Sold for: SFr. 1,035,000 / US$ 1,163,340
An extremely fine and rare pink gold perpetual calendar wristwatch with sweep centre seconds, moon phases, screw back and luminous hands and luminous baton numerals, Ref. 2438/1, manufactured in 1955
Estimate: SFr. 400,000-600,000
Sold for: SFr. 747,000 / $839,628
A superb, fine and extremely rare 18K gold massive openface minute repeating keyless lever two-train carillon grande and petite sonnerie clock watch with original certificate
Signed Patek Philippe, Genève, retailed by Hausmann, Rome, ref. 768, movement no. 97'903, case no. 678'103, movement made in 1898 and encased in 1953
Estimate: SFr.300,000 - 500,000
Sold For: 723,000/ $812,652
An extremely fine, rare and important gold and platinum cushion-shaped single button chronograph wristwatch, manufactured in 1936
Estimate SFr. 350,000-550,000
Sold for: SFr. 723,000/ $812,652
An extremely fine and rare stainless steel chronograph wristwatch signed Patek Philippe, Genève, ref. 1579, movement no. 867'877, case no. 660'239, manufactured in 1950
Estimate 350,000 - 550,000 Swiss francs
Price Realized 567,000 Swiss francs/ $637,308
An extremely fine and rare 18K white gold automatic perpetual calendar wristwatch with moon phases, bracelet and original box. Signed Patek Philippe, Genève, ref. 3448, movement no. 1'119'045, case no. 318'496, manufactured in 1966
Estimate 200,000 - 300,000 Swiss francs
Price Realized 507,000 Swiss francs/ $569,868
An extremely fine, rare and important gold and enamel openface quarter repeating watch with vari-coloured gold automaton depicting Moses hitting the rock. Signed Ch. Ducommun dit Boudrit, circa 1820
Sold for: 459,000/ $515,916