STYLED. Timeless Watches & How to Wear Them, Phillips’ second New York watch auction has gathered bidders from over 50 countries in the saleroom, on the phone, and online. Notably, the sale saw a record level of digital participation, with nearly 600 online registrants and most lots receiving online bids. The auction has achieved $11,523,500 / CHF11,500,453 / €10,155,661, selling 96% both by lot and by value.
The top lot of the sale was an extremely rare 1957 Rolex ‘Big Crown’ Submariner Ref. 6538, which has been forever immortalized onscreen by Sean Connery’s James Bond in films such as Dr. No and Goldfinger. Fresh-to-the market and preserved in exceptional condition, stainless steel wristwatch with black lacquer ‘four liner’ dial realized $567,000. Patek Philippe Ref. 1463, known as the ‘Tasti Tondi’, which realized $495,000, is among the most collectible and sought-after chronograph watches. Produced in 1946, the vast majority of examples were in yellow gold, with less than 10% believed to have been made in steel, making the present lot exceptionally desirable.
The rose gold Patek Philippe Ref. 5016 produced in 2011 has realized $399,000. This piece features a minute repeater, retrograding perpetual calendar, and tourbillon. Top Ten Lots, as a result, was shared between Patek Philippe and Rolex, 6 vs 4 pieces, respectively. Several lots have seriously surpassed past their estimates, including an IWC Ref. 3705, which sold for an astonishing $53,750 against an estimate of $6,000-8,000, and a 2017 Vacheron Constantin ‘Cornes de Vache’ Ref. 5000H chronograph in steel which achieved $75,000, more-than-tripling its low estimate. According to Aurel Bacs, Phillips’ senior consultant, and Paul Boutros, Phillips’ Americas' head of watches, they were delighted to see collectors’ enthusiasm. With a global total of $108 million for 2018, collectors across the globe continue to vie for exceptional vintage and modern timepieces across a variety of styles and manufacturers. And this momentum will continue.