by Kyle Stults on November 13, 2013
Exemplifying the white hot collectors market right now, a superb example of a second series pink gold Patek Philipee Reference 2499 sold at the Christie’s “Important Watches” sale this week in Geneva for a cool $2.2 million, well beyond pre-sale estimates. This was the headline piece of the sale, outselling a rare Patek Ref 1563 which sold for a whopping $1.57 million. To many elite collectors of vintage Patek Philippe wristwatches, reference 2499 represents the pinnacle, beautifully combining aesthetics, complications, and rarity. Indeed, a Patek reference 2499 cased in platinum and formerly owned by Eric Clapton sold at this same sale last year year for $3.6 million. Even without the star power of someone like Clapton behind it, it quite simply does not get any better than this pink gold 2499.
On November 10th and 11th 2013, Christie’s Geneva three-session auction of important watches realized an unprecedented combined total of $43,985,467 (€32,823,824) with 370 watches sold, the highest result for a series of watch sales ever held. On November 11th alone, the various-owner Important Watches sale totalled $30,737,300 (€22,956,887), with 92% of all lots sold. A quick review of the auction results clear shows that Patek Philippe and Rolex were the stars, confirming their ongoing dominance as the marks of choice for most high-end collectors.
For just a few specific examples you can turn to the Patek Ref 2499 in pink gold that sold for $2.2 million, the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 6263 “Paul Newman” that sold for $1.1 million a couple days ago, as well as the rare Patek Philippe “Duke Ellington” Ref 1563 that sold for $1.6 million just yesterday, all as I profiled here on Perpetuelle. This is not an isolated trend — watch prices have been super strong across the board this year.
So, should we thank Ben Bernanke and his global counterparts for all of the “stimulus” these past many years, or is this supremely strong demand and rising watch prices merely a reflection of sustainable gains in wealth? I wonder.
by Kyle Stults on November 11, 2013
SOLD! Rolex Daytona Record…$1,089,186…
Some might call it Rolex passion, perhaps others may call it Rolex insanity. Whatever your view on yesterday’s Christies “Lesson One” sale which featured 50 exception examples of the Rolex Daytonas, it was a whopper of an event. In particular, this new record-setting Ref 6263 Rolex Daytona “Paul Newman”, a steel-cased mechanical chronograph which sold for a cool $1.1 million. An absolute record price for any Rolex Daytona ever sold at auction. Two other examples, one a Ref 6263 and one a white dial/black register 6239, sold for more than $800,000 apiece. The entire 50-piece sale netted approximately $13.25 million, which equates to an average sales price of $240,000 per Daytona– talk about Rolex madness!!!!
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by Kyle Stults on October 24, 2013
$890,000 – $1.55 million pre-auction est…1/3 known to exist…”Duke Ellington” Patek…
UPDATE: SOLD for $1.57 million on Nov 11, 2013
This superb and extremely rare Patek Philippe Ref 1563 is one of only three examples known publicly to exist. Although it will likely sell for more than $1 million — perhaps closer to if not more than $1.5 million – it will likely be surpassed in its sales price by another exceptional Patek Philippe, a Ref 2499 in pink gold which is the headline piece of Christie’s upcoming “Important Watches” auction in Geneva.
Yes, Eric Clapton’s drop-dead-gorgeous platinum Ref 2499 sold for $3.6 million at this same auction last year (a watch I profiled in-depth at the time), but this year’s event, though lacking the “star power” of Eric Clapton, really will be an amazing auction event for watch collectors. I estimate that there are ten Patek’s that are each capable of fetching in excess of a half million dollars. But as usual, there is so little time and so many watches, so let’s take a look at this Patek Ref. 1563, shall we? By the way, I’ve got the FULL story on the 1563 (and it includes more Eric Clapton), below.
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by Kyle Stults on October 10, 2013
Breitling is auctioning off a one of a kind timepiece created to pay tribute to World War II veterans. Proceeds from the winning bid on the limited edition watch will support Honor Flight‘s mission of delivering U.S. Military veterans to our nation’s capital in order for them to visit the World War II memorial. Assuming, of course, that they are able to bypass the National Park Service which has been denying entry to our Veterans on account of the partial Government shutdown. But I digress.
The watch is based on the iconic Breitling Navitimer 01 and features the Honor Flight logo on the dial. The case back is specially decorated with wreath and bracket engravings by WWII memorial creator and artist Raymond Kasky, with the phrase “Honor Flight – One Last Mission”. The auction also includes commemorative box signed by veterans featured in the film Honor Flight: One Last Mission, among others.
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by Kyle Stults on June 26, 2013
This special piece of James Bond history, a Breitling Top Time Ref 2002 made in 1962 and subsequently modified for 007, just sold for a whopping $160,383. This price far surpassed the pre-auction estimate of $60,000 – $90,000 set by Christie’s, who sold the watch in its June 26, 2013 “Pop Culture” sale today in London. Of note, besides the Rolex Submariner, the Breitling Top Time is the only other model of watch that Sean Connery wears as James Bond.
by Kyle Stults on June 10, 2013
Single-Red, Single-Owner, Missing Bezel ?!?!…
Today was Sotheby’s “Important Watch and Clocks” sale in New York. Although a bit light on high-dollar pedigree, it was a strong auction for the lots that did go up, save for a few (see ‘Other lots of note’ below). Of the 258 lots offered, about 95% went above the estimated range — some significantly so.
The top lots, both at $461,000, were a Patek Ref 5013P minute repeater perpetual calendar and a diamond-set white gold Chopard L.U.C tourbillon (pre-sale est. $100-$150,000), but perhaps more headline-worthy was a 1967 Rolex Ref 1665 “Single-Red” Sea-Dweller which sold for a whopping $383,000. The pre-sale estimate on this piece was a mere $60,000-$80,000, but it seems that collector’s could not resist the provenance of this piece. And who could blame them — this Single-Red Sea-Dweller was also “Single-Owner” (since 1967), the property of a an accomplished American Navy diver. The “original owner” status along with the relative rarity of the Single-Red Sea-Dweller in all its ‘character’ made this piece highly coveted — a superb collector’s catch in today’s world of high-dollar collecting. Never mind that the bezel is missing, bid it up!
by Kyle Stults on April 11, 2013
Offered by an American collector, the highly anticipated Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 Perpetual Calendar Chronograph (lot 99) stirred exceptional excitement in the auction room, on the phones, as well as on the internet as it went up for sale yesterday. After several minutes of intense bidding, the outstanding timepiece sold for an impressive $794,500, almost twice its low estimate. This particular watch last appeared at at auction over 15 years ago on October 18th, 1997 at Antiquorum Geneva. It was manufactured in 1951 and sold on November 3rd, 1953 with the rose gold bracelet — confirmed on the Extract from the Patek Archives.
Click through for hi-res looks at this superb Patek
by Kyle Stults on March 18, 2013
Yesterday in Geneva (Mar 17, 2013) this beautiful and rare A. Lange Tourbillon ”Pour le Mérite” (Ref 701.001) circa 1996 with white-gold case and blue dial sold for 338,500 Swiss Francs including buyer’s premium at the Antiquorum “Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces” auction (that’s about $350k). This is an amazing result for Lange & Sohne, particularly as this is the first example of a white gold “Pour le Mérite” tourbillon to appear at auction. It was the highest selling piece in the 549-lot auction, and fetched well above pre-auction estimate and more than 4x original retail price.
The Tourbillon “Pour le Mérite” was produced in limited editions of 150 pieces in 18K gold, 50 in platinum and 1 in stainless steel. Of the 150 in 18K gold, just 15 were produced in white gold (15 were also made in pink gold). There is no doubt that Pour le Merite is as good as it gets from Lange, and the pieces are a must have for any serious Lange collector.
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