Phillips continues as the global market leader for watches, with its inaugural spring sale in New York

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Phillips continues as the global market leader for watches, with its inaugural spring sale in New York
A fresh-to-market Rolex Paul Newman Daytona Lemon ref. 6264 soared past its estimate to over $2 million. Image courtesy of Phillips.

NEW YORK, NY.- Concluding a white glove season for Phillips Watches, The New York Watch Auction: SIX realized $30.3 million – more than tripling its pre-sale total low estimate of $9.8 million. Bringing the Spring season total for the category to $127.2 million, the results reaffirm Phillips’ place as the global market leader. Multiple records for individual models in the fields of vintage, contemporary, and independents were achieved during the live auction at Phillips’ New York headquarters at 432 Park Avenue. Bidders from the international community, across nearly 70 countries, vied for rare and historic timepieces, participating in the room, online, and over the phone.

Paul Boutros, Phillips’ Head of Watches, Americas, and Isabella Proia, Head of Sale, New York, said, “Phillips’ inaugural Spring Watch auction in New York was met with tremendous enthusiasm from the international collecting community, underscoring the continued strength of the market. Following a historic year with the December 2021 New York Watch Auction achieving the highest sale total in US history, our team curated an auction that included original owner, fresh-to-market, collectors’ watches across brands and eras. From record-breaking examples of British watchmaking by George Daniels and Roger Smith, to the Rolex Paul Newman Daytona “El Limoncito,” there was enthusiasm across the board. Our commitment to offering highest quality timepieces was once again validated as the results continued Phillips’ unprecedented 18-month streak of 100% sold sales. It was also an honor to be entrusted with the sale of watches from the personal collection of Academy Award-Nominee James Garner. The performance of the pieces in his collection are a testament to his enduring legacy as a 20th century icon, and we are delighted to confirm that the Carrera “James Garner” – which realized $176,400, nearly six times its low estimate – was purchased by none other than TAG Heuer itself.”

Leading the auction was the very first platinum George Daniels Anniversary Watch ever made, bearing the unique serial number “00.” Realizing $2,389,500, it set a record for any George Daniels wristwatch – and any British-made wristwatch - sold at auction. Following its launch in 2010, a total of 47 watches were made to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the co-axial escapement, with just four examples produced in platinum, like the present lot. George Daniels wanted the Anniversary model to also be a celebration of his life’s work, and the platinum “00” is a wonderful representation of the best in handmade, traditional English watchmaking. A portion of the proceeds from the sale will benefit The George Daniels Educational Trust, The Alliance of British Watch and Clock Makers, and the Horological Society of New York.

A fresh-to-market Rolex Paul Newman Daytona Lemon ref. 6264 soared past its estimate to over $2 million. Named “El Limoncito” as an homage to the Mexican origins of the family who owned this watch since its production in 1969, the watch’s bracelet is also stamped “Hecho in Mexico.” With its grèné yellow dial, black subdials, and white graphics, the Lemon is perhaps the most striking and unusual configuration of Cosmograph Daytona Paul Newman and is seldom seen publicly.

Independent makers also saw fierce competition, with three examples by F.P.Journe selling for over $1 million. A unique and historically important F. P.Journe platinum Chronomètre Souverain wristwatch, which was gifted to George Daniels by none other than Mr. Journe, realized $1,482,000, nearly six times its low estimate and a world record for the model at auction. The Tourbillon Souverain with jade dial saw spirited bidding up to $1,240,000 against an estimate of $200,000-400,000, while the Tourbillon Souverain No. 035/99T sold for $1,361,000. Timepieces by DeBethune, Greubel Forsey, Urban Jurgensen, and Konstantin Chaykin also performed exceptionally well.

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