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Phillips' second New York Watch Auction realizes $11.5 million
PATEK PHILIPPE. Reference 1463, circa 1946. An extremely rare and highly attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with two-tone silvered dial with outer tachymeter scale. Estimate: $300,000 - 500,000. Sold for: $495,000 / CHF494,010 / €436,244. Image courtesy Phillips.

NEW YORK, NY.- Phillips in Association with Bacs and Russo is pleased to announce that STYLED. Timeless Watches & How to Wear Them, the company’s second New York watch auction, has achieved $11,523,500 / CHF11,500,453 / €10,155,661, selling 96% by lot and 96% by value. Bidders from over 50 countries participated in the auction – in the bustling saleroom, on the phone, and online – all eager to acquire the exceptional timepieces brought to the market by the PHILLIPS team, many of which were offered for the first time at auction. The sale also saw a record level of digital participation, with nearly 600 online registrants and most lots receiving online bids. A first-of-its-kind evening sale, the auction marked the culmination of the season’s partnership with PHILLIPS, MR PORTER, and THE RAKE, which curated a selection of tailored looks showcased alongside exceptional vintage and modern timepieces in both the catalogue and PHILLIPS’ New York gallery.

Aurel Bacs, Senior Consultant, and Paul Boutros, PHILLIPS’ Head of Watches, Americas, jointly said, “Curated with an extraordinary degree of attention to detail, PHILLIPS’ second annual New York watch auction underscores a burgeoning American market for high-quality timepieces. We were delighted to see collectors’ enthusiasm for the watches in this auction, especially for the 1957 Rolex “Big Crown” Submariner. With a global total of $108 million for 2018, collectors across the globe continue to vie for exceptional watches across a variety of styles and manufacturers and we are confident that this momentum will continue into 2019. This season was particularly remarkable for PHILLIPS, as we were fortunate to have the opportunity to partner with MR PORTER and THE RAKE. It was a true pleasure to welcome an entirely new audience through our doors as we celebrated the increasingly converging worlds of watches and fashion.”

Toby Bateman, Managing Director, MR PORTER, said, “We’re thrilled with the successful culmination of our partnership with PHILLIPS and THE RAKE, and today’s auction truly showcased the engagement and power of the vintage watch community. As partners of STYLED, MR PORTER has gained an even broader perspective and insight into this group, and we thank PHILLIPS, THE RAKE, and the teams involved in celebrating not only the timeless watches themselves, but, how to wear them.”

Wei Koh, Founder of THE RAKE, said, “Marcel Proust said that style is the universe that we see that is hidden to others that we try to make manifest through our clothing or our watches. I have always thought that the watch is the crowning achievement of a man’s style. It fits with his mood, it fits with his taste and it fits with his occasion and I think that this relationship is perfectly expressed by this wonderful collaboration between PHILLIPS, MR PORTER and THE RAKE.”

The top lot of the sale 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 forever immortalized 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 its hardly ever seen original guarantee and chronometer certificate.

A Patek Philippe reference 1463, known as the “Tasti Tondi,” which realized $495,000, is among the most collectible 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.

Also among the highlights was an 18 karat rose gold fresh-to-the-market Patek Philippe reference 5016, which realized $399,000. At the time of its creation, the reference 5016 was the most complicated wristwatch ever produced by the firm, fitted with watchmaking’s most prestigious complications - a minute repeater, retrograding perpetual calendar, and tourbillon.

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.

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