Christie’s Geneva Sale Realizes Over $21 Million

Christie's Top Lot

Christie’s Geneva sale of important watches generated an impressive $21,099,940, far exceeding the pre-sale high estimate of about $15.8 million. Nearly 370 watches were offered with 96% selling by value and by lot. The sale included “A Connoisseur’s Vision, Part II”, and along with the “Connoisseur’s Vision Part I” group offered this past November, the two sales represent the most important private Patek Philippe collection ever offered at auction, and the most expensive collection ever sold.

The sale set an attendance record with 831 bidders from 5 continents. An additional 250 bidders participated online. The top lot in the sale, number 84, was a unique Patek Philippe ref. 1527 perpetual calendar chronograph with moon phases produced in 1943, and at $5,708,833, it set a world record for any yellow gold watch ever sold at auction. The top 5 lots are pictured below.

Commenting on the sale, Aurel Bacs, International Co-Head of Christie’s Watch Department, said: “The extraordinary results Christie’s achieved today in Geneva with Important Watches – Including A Connoisseur’s Vision Part II reflect the passion of an increasingly broad audience of watch lovers and collectors. We are proud to announce that following the success of last November’s sale of A Connoisseur’s Vision Part I, the second part of the most important private collections of Patek Philippe wristwatches in the world ever offered at auction, now also become the most expensive one ever sold. As with the Part I sale, 100% of the lots were sold with a combined total of almost SFr.16 million, led by the Mona Lisa of all watches, the unique Patek Philippe chronograph wristwatch, ref.1527, which sold for an outstanding $5,708,833 (SFr.6,259,000 / €4,393,192) to a Swiss private museum. Throughout the sale, the room was packed with buyers from all over the world, and an additional 250 bidders participated online via Christie’s LIVE™. European bidders were fiercely challenged by international collectors, especially buyers from China. I was also pleased to see strong competition for the very first example of the book ‘Ultimate Rolex Daytona’, scheduled to be released in the Fall, which sold SFr.43,750, with proceeds to benefit the Red Cross HK.”

Although wishing to remain anonymous, the consignor of “A Connoisseur’s Vision” Collection declared: “I cannot help but express all my gratitude to Christie’s and their extraordinary Watch Team in Geneva for the amazing work they did to study every single piece of my collection and to make a wider group of international watch lovers aware of the importance and sophistication of Patek Philippe vintage watches. I started buying watches in the 1970s, at a time when these amazing objects appealed to very few collectors and even fewer scholars were exploring this charming field. In my opinion wristwatches are the most beautiful wearable item created in the 20th century and I am sure that pieces such as the unique Patek Philippe reference n.1527 will be on show at decorative arts museums, alongside the specialized institutions that currently buy them for their collections.”

Top Lots:

Lot 84
Sale price: SFr.6,259,000, $5,708,833, €4,393,192
Patek Philippe – 18K gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch, ref. 1527
Pre-sale estimate: SFr.1,500,000-2,500,000
Buyer: Swiss Private Museum

Christie's Lot 84, Patek Philippe ref. 1527

Lot 159
Sale price: SFr.963,000 , $878,352, €675,929
Patek Philippe – 18K gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch, ref. 2499
Pre-sale estimate: SFr.600,000-900,000
Buyer: Anonymous

Christie's Lot 159, Patek Philippe ref.  2499

Lot 160
Sale price: SFr.723,000, $659,448, €507,473
Patek Philippe – 18K gold full calendar wristwatch, ref. 96
Pre-sale estimate: SFr.600,000-900,000
Buyer: European Collector

Christie's Lot 160,  Patek Philippe ref. 96

Lot 371
Sale price: SFr.723,000, $659,448, €507,473
Patek Philippe – 18K gold hinged single button chronograph wristwatch, manufactured in 1924
Pre-sale estimate: SFr.400,000-600,000
Buyer: European Private

Christie's Lot 371, Patek Philippe chronograph

Lot 370
Sale price: SFr.675,000, $615,667, €473,782
Patek Philippe – 18K pink gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch, ref. 1518
Pre-sale estimate: SFr.500,000-800,000
Buyer: European Collector

Christie's Lot 370, Patek Philippe ref.  1518

Complete results are available at the Christie’s website.

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