The Highlights of Christie’s ‘Only Watch’ Charity Auction and Sotheby’s ‘Important Watch’ Auction
Throughout the year watch collectors and connoisseurs have travelled to some of the world’s largest cities including Hong Kong, London, Geneva and New York, for a chance to bid on and buy some extremely rare and attractive timepieces. As the year draws to a close, there are fewer watch auctions to tick off our calendars. However, last weekend was a spectacular time for passionate horologists as not one, but four highly anticipated auctions took place in Geneva, the world’s luxury watch manufacturing hub.
The weekend was a great success, with some results even stunning the auction room and breaking world records. However, for those of you who didn’t attend, and don’t have time to scroll through the long lists of auction catalogues, we have summarised the top two auctions, and revealed the weekend highlights, impressive results and favourite items.
Credit: ONLY WATCH
Christie’s - Only Watch Charity Auction
On Saturday ‘Only Watch’, the biannual charity auction organised by the Association Monegasque Contre les Myopathies (AMM), stunned the world with its spectacular bidding results. This year around 49 distinguished wristwatch manufacturers donated one unique and specially crafted timepiece to the AMM charity, to auction off and raise money for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
If you’re interested and want to know more about Luc Pettavino, the founder of Only Watch and AMM, click here, and you’ll be directed to our previous post that has covered the topic in more depth. The particular lots that caught the eyes of the press and private collectors, were lot 12 the Patek Phillippe Ref. 5208T-010, and lot 6 the Tudor Black Bay Bronze One.
The impeccably sophisticated timepiece was estimated to fetch around $900,000-$1,100,000, but the final realised price was a shocking $6,200,000. Although everyone was expecting the prestigious watch design to sell for the highest price, six times more than the estimated value was a huge, but welcome surprise.
The Patek Philippe wristwatch features a titanium case, a material the luxury Swiss brand rarely ever use, and a gorgeous blue dial with striking minute markers, sub dials and day, date, month indicators. The timepiece was responsible for over half of the impressive $10.7 million total sale figure, which will go to funding research into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
Credit: ONLY WATCH
Moving swiftly onto the timepiece that has broken a world record this weekend, the Tudor Black Bay Bronze, which was estimated to sell for a feasible $4,500- $5,500. However, in reality the wristwatch shattered its estimates by selling for an incredible $350,000, setting a new record for the most expensive Tudor watch ever to be sold at auction.
The attractive wristwatch emits a militaristic appearance with its gold, white and khaki green colour theme, a fitting trait for a watch brand that supplies a number of the world’s navies and professional expeditions. The self-winding wristwatch features a simplified dial with bold minute markers and hands that are coated in a luminescent material to ensure the time is visible even in the dark.
In addition to purchasing the timepiece, the highest bidder also won a travel expenses paid visit to Tudor’s headquarters in Geneva.
Credit: ONLY WATCH
Sotheby's – Important Watches Auction
Last weekend, Sotheby's Auctioneers concluded the ‘Important Watches’ auction with a splendid sale total of $5.2 million. The selection of timepieces on offer included a number of vintage and modern designs from leading watch manufactures like Rolex, Patek Philippe, Frank Muller and Audemars Piguet.
The first timepiece that caught our eye was the Richard Mille Ref. RM35-01.AO.CA NO Rafael Nadal Circa 2015. The extremely lightweight and sporty timepiece features an openwork dial with luminescent dots and outer minute track, and semi-skeletonized luminescent hands.
The manual winding wristwatch was inspired by the success, ability and stamina of the current world number one tennis champion, Rafael Nadal. Richard Mille guarantees reliability with its RM 35-01 athletic wristwatch range, and the particular RM 35-01 at last week’s auction, was sold with a comfortable and dependable Velcro strap.
The intricately designed timepiece was estimated to sell for around $50,000-$80,000, but instead fetched a healthy $115,000 at auction. If this incredible design caught your attention, check out our selection of Richard Mille RM 35-01’s here.
Another attractive timepiece that stood out last weekend was the Audemars Piguet Platinum automatic calendar perpetual Ref. 25654.PT.O.0944.PT.01. The contemporary and unique wristwatch features a strikingly bold blue patterned dial with four sub dials, including a realistic moon phase sub dial located above the 6 o’clock marker.
The platinum case is complimented by the Audemars Piguet platinum bracelet and 18K white gold folding clasp. The modest timepiece was one of the more successful lots having been sold for impressive $100,000, almost four times is estimated value of $15,000- $30,000.
Needless to say, it has been a prosperous and exciting weekend in Geneva, and the lucky watch collectors and connoisseurs who purchased one of the rare and stunning timepieces, are most certainly travelling home exhilarated, and expecting wonderful things from the world’s top auction houses in the approaching New Year.
If the watches above appealed to you, make sure you click here and browse through Luxe Watches newest arrivals.