Hiren Kumar Bose on the year-end auction held in New York which gathered $11 million in sales
Patek Philippe continues to be the favourite among watch collectors as was evident at the recent New York auction sale by Phillips in association with Bacs and Russo. The auction achieved $11,523,500 with bidders from over 50 countries participating in the auction – in the bustling saleroom, on the phone, and online – all eager to acquire the exceptional timepieces.
Several lots soared past their estimates, including an IWC Ref. 3705 from the family of renowned watchmaker Günter Blümlein, which sold for an astonishing $53,750 against an estimate of $6,000-8,000, and a 2017 Vacheron Constantin “Cornes de Vache” Ref. 5000H chronograph in steel which achieved $75,000, more-than-tripling its low estimate.
Seven Patek Philippe’s were on sale including reference 1463, known as the “Tasti Tondi,” which realized $495,000, is among the most collectable and sought-after chronograph watches thanks to its oversized case, rarity, and aesthetic beauty. Released in 1941, the vast majority of examples were made in yellow gold, with less than 10% believed to have been made in steel, making the present lot exceptionally desirable. Fitted with a stunning “two-tone” silver dial, it’s one of only eight known with this dial variation.
Of the four Rolex watches was a 1957 Rolex “Big Crown” Submariner, among the most impressive and best-preserved examples of its kind, selling for $567,000. The reference 6538 has been immortalised onscreen by Sean Connery’s James Bond in films such as Dr. No and Goldfinger. Preserved in exceptional condition, having never been polished or restored, this example was offered complete with it’s hardly ever seen original guarantee and chronometer certificate.
In October 2017 the auction house had sold Paul Newman’s Rolex “Paul Newman” Daytona reference 6239 for $17,752,500 at its New York Auction—the highest result ever achieved for any wristwatch at auction. Similarly, a Patek Philippe reference 1518 in stainless steel went for $11,112,020 at Geneva Watch Auction in November 2016. It was the highest result ever achieved for a Patek Philippe wristwatch at auction.
In November the auction house’s Geneva sale had an incredibly rare platinum Patek Philippe reference 3974 (lot 78A), one of only eight publically known in platinum which went for a remarkable $1,027,234. A Rolex reference 6236, also known as the “Jean-Claude Killy” and likely the best-preserved example to ever come to auction gathered close to $ 7 million, breaking its own world record in the process. Watches rarely seen at the auction included the Omega Speedmaster Alaska I which went for $192,716 and the Audemars Piguet reference 1533 chronograph, which ignited fierce and lengthy bidding between passionate collectors went for $382,539.