Rolex broke through the magic $1 million mark at Christie’s Geneva auction held at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues where an oversized stainless steel split seconds chronograph wristwatch manufactured in 1942 sold for $1,163,340 including the buyer’s premium. This is the all-time high price paid for any Rolex at auction.
The record-setter is a reference 4113 signed Rolex, Chronographe, Antimagnetique, manufactured in 1942. The movement is a Valjoux caliber 55 VBR, a 17 2/3”’ nickel-finished lever movement with 17 jewels. The dial is silvered matte with applied pink gold Arabic and baton numerals, outer minute divisions, blue telemeter and black tachymeter scales, and two subsidiary dials for constant seconds and 30 minutes register. The round case measures a highly unusual 44mm. The case has fluted lugs and a snap-on back. The split seconds chronograph mechanism is operated through two rectangular chronograph buttons in the case band and one round chronograph button in the crown. The case, dial and movement are signed.
Overall the sale brought more than $26.3 million, up 25% compared with last year’s Geneva sale. The top watch of the night is a unique 18k white gold cushion-shaped single button chronograph wristwatch manufactured in 1928 by Patek Philippe which sold for more than $3.6 million against a pre-sale high estimate of $2.8 million. This piece set a new world auction record for any simple chronograph watch.