Christie’s Rare Watches Auction in Geneva totaled $12,241,750

  • Patek Philippe’s The Pearl of Bahrain was in high demand in Geneva 
  • Rahul Kadakia selling the top lot, a Patek Philippe, ref. 5208P-001 for CHF 750,000

Christie’s Rare Watches auction at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues in Geneva on 14 May 2018 totaled CHF 12,241,750 /$12,241,750. The sale offered 221 mainly consigned by private collectors from Europe and sold 86 % by value and 88% by lot.

Sabine Kegel, Head of the Geneva Watch Department commented: “Over the past three days of viewing we welcomed over 1200 visitors from around the world. Today’s room was dynamic and unique and privately consigned watches drew strong interest amongst the 813 registered bidders from 43 countries. The balanced offering of vintage and modern watches was well received by all, including bidding via Christie’s Live, which increased by 1/3 compared to November 2017. Many lots doubled, triples or quadrupled their pre-sale estimates, such as lot 42, a Jaeger- LeCoultre, made for the 1952 Roland Garros tennis tournament, selling for CHF 42,000 against a pre-sale estimate of CHF10,000, or lot 46 a pocket-watch by Patek Philippe, manufactured in 1910, selling for CHF 175,000 against a low pre-sale estimate of CHF50,000.”

Patek Philippe’s The Pearl of Bahrain, ref 2573, manufactured in 1958, was in high demand on 14 May in Geneva and selling for CHF 250,000 / $250,000 to a bidder, who was on the phone with Remy Julia, Christie’s Middle Eastern Watch Specialist. 50 years ago His Highness Emir Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa presented John Eardley Alcard with this watch, of which only two examples are known to date. Alcard was a businessman, working most of his life in the Middle East and set-up the Bahrain Slipway Company and consulted the Emir on infrastructure matters.

A highly important aspect of the Pearl of Bahrain is its bespoke case construction or “architecture” necessary to accommodate the natural pearls indicating the hours on the dial. The reference 2573 is not only an unusual watch, but a watch of exalted royal provenance, bespoke design, visual magnetism and superb pristine condition. It is furthermore one of Patek Philippe most remarkable time-only watches ever made and a recent discovery.

The top lot of the section and the entire sale was Patek Philippe’s “Grand Complication” reference 5208P selling for CHF750,500 / $750,000. It is one of Patek Philippe’s most complicated wristwatches ever made, offered exclusively to the firm’s top clients. Preserved like new, the present platinum reference 5208P is only the second example to come to auction.

The Property of an Important Swiss Private Collector, lots 136-182, includes 47 mostly contemporary wristwatches compiled by the Swiss collector over the last decade and was highlighted by the two Richard Mille watches – first, RM011 R. Grosjean Lotus F1 Team selling for CHF187,500 and secondly, the RM030 Argentina Especial Limitata No. 26/30, which achieved CHF 118,750/$118,750. The entire collection totaled just under CHF 1.2 million /$1.2 million.

CHRISTIE’S HONG KONG IMPORTANT WATCHES – 28 MAY 2018

For the collectors who have been unsuccessful in Geneva, luck might have been with them during the Important Watches auction in Hong Kong, offering lots 332 of modern, unique and vintage watches.  

Leading the live auction was ROLEX, AN 18K GOLD CHRONOGRAPH WRISTWATCH WITH PAUL NEWMAN LEMON” DIAL, COSMOGRAPH, DAYTONA, PAUL NEWMAN LEMON MODEL, REF. 6264, CIRCA 1970 (estimate: HK$3,800,000 – 6,000,000/ US$490,000 – 770,000, illustrated middle). REF. 6264 was manufactured exclusively between 1969 and 1972 in very limited quantity, and is hardly seen with yellow dials. In impeccable condition, this extremely rare timepiece will undoubtedly attract intense bidding across the world. Further highlights of the sale include:

PATEK PHILIPPE.

AN 18K PINK GOLD AUTOMATIC “CATHEDRAL”

MINUTE REPEATING PERPETUAL CALENDAR

WRISTWATCH WITH MOON PHASES, 24 HOUR

AND LEAP YEAR INDICATION, REF. 5074

US$420,000 – 620,000 

AUDEMARS PIGUET.  

18K WHITE GOLD

LIMITED EDITION SKELETONISED MINUTE

REPEATING CHRONOGRAPH TOURBILLON

WRISTWATCH, JULES AUDEMARS MODEL,

REF. 26345BC

US$160,000 – 260,000 

PATEK PHILIPPE.  

A STAINLESS STEEL

CUSHION-SHAPED SPLIT SECONDS SINGLE

BUTTON CHRONOGRAPH WRISTWATCH,

REF. 5950

US$260,000 – 360,000 

RICHARD MILLE.  

AN 18K PINK GOLD TONNEAU-SHAPED

TOURBILLON SPLIT SECONDS CHRONOGRAPH

WRISTWATCH WITH POWER RESERVE AND

TORQUE INDICATION, REF. RM008 AE PG, NO.1  

US$410,000 – 610,000 

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