Phillips Geneva Watch Auction Totals $46 Million
The first post-pandemic live watch auction sees collectors return in full force.
Over the weekend, the Phillips Geneva Watch Auction XI marked the return of the live watch auction – the first since the global Covid-19 crisis. With 210 lots on offer, the event experienced energetic bidding from buyers across at least 67 countries totalling approximately $46 million.
The sale, conducted by Phillips in association with Bacs & Russo at the Hôtel La Réserve in Geneva, was held for a limited number of live buyers supported by more than 2000 collectors bidding via phone or online.
As far as individual sales, Patek Philippe claimed all three spots on the podium with the premiere lots from the private collection of Jean-Claude Biver – a recognisable force of the Swiss watch industry. Here, the Patek Philippe ref. 1518 perpetual calendar chronograph from 1941 claimed top spot, its moonphase in pink gold and extremely rare pink dial fetching for around $5.1 million.
In second, was the Patek Philippe ref. 2499 perpetual second series calendar chronograph with moonphases, from 1957. Only 20 known examples of this model – with its yellow gold batons 0 are known to exist, making it a highly sought-after piece. And with nine bidders competing for the watch, it soared to a final price of approximately $3.93 million.
In third was a Patek Philippe ref. 1579 from 1946, in platinum. Recognisable for its ‘spider’ lugs and blue enamel graphics, it is believed to be one of only three models of this reference with a platinum case, and of those, it is the only watch with a blue scale and markers. As such, the one of a kind piece commanded a $2.91 million sale price.
Despite Patek Philippe’s dominance across the auction block, the action wasn’t limited to the venerable Swiss brand with the earliest F.P. Journe watches ever made both selling well above their estimates at prices of $2.18 and $1.6 million respectively.