On 10 & 11 November, Christies
Geneva three-session auction of important watches realised an unprecedented combined total of $43,985,467 / SFr.40,273,663 / 32,823,824, the highest result for a series of watch sales ever held.
On 11 November, the various-owner Important Watches sale totalled $30,737,300 / SFr.28,240,813 / 22,956,887, selling 92% by lot and 95% by value.
The previous night, Rolex Daytona "Lesson One" a unique single-themed evening auction featuring 50 exceptional examples of the world's most celebrated chronograph wristwatch, totalled $13,248,167 / SFr.12,032,850 / 9,866,937, selling 100% by lot and by value. Each Daytona set a world record price for the model at auction.
The top lot of the week was a 1957 Patek Philippe ref. 2499 second series in pink gold, which sold for $2,160,474 / SFr.1,985,000 (Aurel Bacs, International Head of Christies Watch Department, pictured above while selling the watch).
Aurel Bacs, International Head of Christie's Watch Department, declared: On 10 and 11 November, Christie's dispersed over 370 fine watches in an historical ten-hour auction marathon, which set a new record total for any series of watch sales. In the past months, we exhibited highlights in Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, New York, Paris, Dubai and in all locations we noticed an ever-growing appetite for high quality collectors watches. This trend was demonstrated by a fiercer-than-ever competition generated by both experienced and new international bidders, in the room, on the telephone and online. Patek Philippe and Rolex were the stars, confirming that rare timepieces have to be considered as true works-of-art. Repeatedly interrupted by the applauding audience, the last exciting session of the week was crowned by a standing ovation.
The top lot of the sale was an extremely rare 1957 Patek Philippe ref. 2499 second series in pink gold, which sold for $2,160,474 / SFr.1,985,000.
Only eight other examples of this iconic model in the hyper-rare pink gold second series are known to date.
Another star of the sale was an historically important yellow gold split seconds chronograph ref. 1563 manufactured by Patek Philippe in 1947, which fetched $1,572,738 / SFr.1,445,000.
Only three examples of this model are recorded to exist, all of which were made as special orders for the most prominent clients of the time. Originally created for jazz legend Duke Ellington, one of them is permanently exhibited in the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva.
ROLEX DAYTONA LESSON ONE
Surpassing all expectations, ROLEX DAYTONA "LESSON ONE" a prestigious single-themed evening auction featuring 50 exceptional examples of the world's most celebrated chronograph wristwatch, totalled SFr.12,032,850 /$13,248,167 / 9,866,937, selling 100% by lot and by value, at Christie's Geneva. Created and curated by Aurel Bacs and Livia Russo, in collaboration with the renowned scholar Pucci Papaleo, to mark the 50th anniversary of Rolex most iconic model, this unique sale presented only the best and most mythical Daytona wristwatches ever produced.
The top lot of the auction was an extremely important stainless steel chronograph wristwatch, ref. 6263/6239, Paul Newman model, manufactured in 1969, which sold for $1,088,889 / SFr.989,000 setting a world record price for any Rolex Daytona.
Aurel Bacs, International Head of Christie's Watch Department, commented: Christie's first ever evening auction dedicated to wristwatches proved an unprecedented success. With four hundred people in the saleroom and plenty more queuing outside, I rarely experienced a similar rock concert atmosphere from the rostrum. Possibly the most rigorously curated watch auction ever staged, each lot was selected by Christie's watch department in partnership with Mr. Pucci Papaleo according to a disciplined approach to originality, condition and provenance. Setting 50 world records for 50 watches as well as achieving an absolute record price for any Rolex Daytona ever sold at auction, Rolex Daytona "Lesson One" will be remembered as an historical event.