It’s all over.
Months of anticipation led to last night’s sale when Paul Newman’s legendary Daytona sold for a hammer price of $15.5 million — $17.75 million after auction premium and before taxes. This makes it the most expensive wristwatch ever sold at auction, but not the most expensive watch overall — the Patek Philippe Henry Graves Supercomplication takes that prize.
The atmosphere was electric at Phillips showroom on Park Avenue. After Aurel Bacs started bidding at $1 million, an anonymous telephone bidder jumped the price immediately to $10 million. Over the next 12 minutes, two bidders battled while Mr. Bacs — ever the showman — deliberating between the two, consistently reminding the audience that whatever sum is reached is going towards the Nell Newman Foundation. Finally, the bidding slowed before settling at the astronomical price tag of $15.5 million. With a drop of the gavel, the most anticipated wristwatch in auction history was gone.
Here is the rest of the top ten lots from last night.
Patek Philippe, Ref. 1518
A pink gold perpetual calendar chronograph with moon-phase indication and tachymeter scale from 1951 that was estimated to sell for between $600,000 and $1,200,000. It sold for $975,000.
Philippe Dufour, Duality
A platinum wristwatch with double regulator, certificate and fitted presentation box from 1996 that was estimated to sell for between $200,000 and $400,000. It ended up selling for $915,000.
Audemars Piguet, Ref. 5516 Perpetual Calendar
A yellow-gold perpetual calendar wristwatch with leap-year indication, moon-phase aperture, and additional dial from 1957 that was estimated to sell for between $300,000 and $600,000. A world record for this reference, it sold for $615,000.
Rolex, Ref. 8171 “Padellone”
A well-preserved triple calendar wristwatch with grainé dial featuring luminous hour markers and hands from 1950 that was estimated to sell for between $400,00 and $800,000. It sold for $603,000.
Patek Philippe, Ref. 1463 ‘Tasti Tondi”
A stainless-steel chronograph wristwatch with two-tone silvered dial with outer tachymeter scale from 1949 that was estimated to sell for between $300,000 and $600,000. It sold for $591,000.
Rolex, Ref. 6200 Submariner
A stainless steel wristwatch with black glossy Explorer dial, gilt hands, presentation box, and hangtags from 1954 that was estimated to sell for between $250,000 and $500,000. A world record for this reference, it sold for $579,000.
Rolex, Ref. 6284
A 14k yellow-gold wristwatch with a cloisonné enamel dial depicting North and South America from 1950 that was estimated to sell for between $300,000 and $600,000. It sold for $567,000.
Rolex, Ref. 6062 “Stelline”
A yellow-gold triple calendar wristwatch with star dial, moon-phase indication and bracelet from 1953 that was estimated to sell for between $250,000 and $500,000. It sold for $495,000.
Patek Philippe, Ref. 3448 “Padellone”
A well‐preserved white-gold perpetual calendar wristwatch with moon-phase indication, and rare reversed date dial, original literature, and presentation box from 1972 that was estimated to sell for between $250,000 and $500,000. It sold for $471,000.