New World Record For The Most Expensive Vintage Omega Watch Sold At Auction
Two weeks ago, Phillips Auctioneers hosted the Geneva Watch Auction: SIX, and successfully supervised the sale of 153 out of 155 lots that were up for auction. Not surprisingly, the top two spots for the most expensive wristwatches at auction were dominated by the greatly admired luxury Swiss watch manufacturer, Patek Philippe.
The most expensive timepiece was lot 187, the Patek Philippe Ref. 2499, a rare, attractive and well preserved pink gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon phases. The realised price was not a huge shock or surprise for the auction room as the timepiece sold for $2.7 million, a fair price for an item that had an estimate of $1.5 million to $3 million. In second place was lot 231, the Patek Philippe Ref. 2497, an extremely rare and elegant white gold perpetual calendar wristwatch with the original bracelet. The realised price for this particular Patek Philippe was $2.9 million, once again an adequate result for an item that had an estimate of $1.5 million to $3 million.
Credit: Phillips Auctioneers (L) Patek Philippe Ref. 2499, (R) Patek Philippe Ref. 2497
There was however a timepiece that not only altered the record books, but also intensified the atmosphere of the auction room. The unique stainless steel prototype Omega “Tourbillon 30 I” was estimated to sell for around $100,000-$200,000, however the historical significance of the watch captivated private collectors who went on to purchase the Omega prototype for an astounding $1.4 million. The auction purchase has now gone down in history for breaking the world record of the most expensive vintage Omega to have ever been sold at auction.
The attractive timepiece is recognised as ‘historically important’, because in 1947 Omega created only 12 Calibre 30 I Tourbillon movements specifically for manufacturer trials and testing, and not for sale. However, this item’s existence demonstrates that at least one of those movements was used in a Tourbillon prototype design.
For more information and historical dialogue on the Omega Tourbillon click here.
Credit: Phillips Auctioneers
The details of the Omega as presented by Phillips Auctioneers:
- Manufacturer: Omega
- Year: 1947
- Model Name: “Tourbillon 30 I”
- Material: Stainless steel
- Calibre: Manual, cal 30 I, 19 jewels
- Bracelet/Strap: Leather
- Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Omega pin buckle
- Dimensions: 37.5mm. Diameter
- Signed: Dial and buckle signed
- Accessories: Accompanied by Omega Extract of the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1947 and that this watch is the only known period-completed Tourbillon 30 I wristwatch-cased Omega in existence.
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Credit: Luxe Watches
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