Just one day after the first major auction in New York, there was another major bidding for rare and valuable timekeepers in the “Big Apple”. The sale in question is Antiquorum’s “Important Modern and Vintage Timepieces” which was organized on December 11 and which totaled exactly $4,708,937 for its 343 offered pieces. The total amount of money which was received for the sold items is 14 percent more than it was estimated and it was the best result of the year when it comes to Antiquorum’s watch sales in New York. When considering sold watches individually, the most successful were Patek Philippe pieces, as it often happens. Among them, the most successful were the ones with the supported minute repeater feature. The highest paid watch of the event was Reference 5207 sold for amazing $843,750. Similarly astonishing price of $795,750 was received for Reference 3974, as well as for Reference 5033P-010 which was sold for almost half a million dollars. Among watches which were sold for a six figure price were two more Patek Philippes and a single Rolex.
Reference 5207 – A Grande Complication Watch by Patek Philippe
The absolute recorder of the event in Antiquorum’s organization was Patek Philippe Refernce 5207. The timepiece in question is supplied with a minute repeater, a one-minute tourbillon and an instantaneous perpetual calendar with phases of the moon. The watch comes in a round casing made of platinum (with the width of 41 mm and the thickness of 13.5 mm) which has a single decorative Top Wesselton diamond. Moreover, it possesses a lovely honey gold dial with three calendar apertures at the top, as well as with a small seconds counter which is likewise used for the moon phases and which sits at the opposite side. Its magnificent Caliber RTO 27 PS-QI with 35 jewels and as much as 549 parts bears the Geneva seal as the testament of its quality. The hand-wound movement possesses a power reserve of between 38 and 48 hours, mostly depending on the use of the minute repeater which is activated with a slide. Some of the other important components of the watch’s movement are lateral lever escapement, Gyromax balance with the frequency of 3 Hz and Breguet balance spring. It should also be said that the movement is rhodium plated and decorated with fausses cotes motif.
Patek Philippe Reference 3974 – Minute Repeater and Perpetual Calendar Complications
The second placed auctioned item whose price likewise exceeded three quarters of a million was Patek Philippe Reference 3974. This automatic-winding timekeeper like the previous one includes a minute repeater and a perpetual calendar in its complications. Furthermore, it is likewise fitted into a platinum body with a transparent sapphire case-back. However, the case is in this instance significantly smaller, since its diameter measures to 36 mm, whereas its thickness is 12 mm. Reference 3974 has a fine silver dial that includes indications for date, days of the week, a 24-hour display, months, leap year and moon phases. Its beating heart is Caliber R 27 Q. As it was the case with the previous model, this caliber likewise includes 39 jewels, Gyromax balance that beats at 3 Hz, the same amount of power storage (despite the fact this is a self-winding caliber), as well as the matching type of decorations. Unlike the first movement, Caliber R 27 Q includes a straight-line lever escapement. Moreover, it has a self-compensated free-sprung balance spring and integrates a shock-absorber in its construction. Another common trait of the two highest paid watches at the Antiquorum’s auction is the fact that they were sold for just a few thousand less than the maximum amounts which their estimations predicted.
When speaking about the estimated prices, we can notice that one of the “intruders” that slipped its way in the company of minute repeaters by Patek Philippe was Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Grande Complication watch in white gold and with diamond decorations. It is a unique timepiece which was estimated between $400,000 and $700,000. However, the piece by Audemars Piguet failed to attract enough attention and it was not sold. Still it is a pretty interesting watch, so we shall name some of its characteristics. The automatic timekeeper which was manufactured 11 years ago has three major horological complications: a minute repeater, a split-seconds chronograph and a perpetual calendar (supplemented with phases of the moon indication). It sports pavé diamonds all over its 45 mm x 15 mm case, its hexagonal bezel, white gold bracelet and even on the dial (except for subsidiary counters that were made of mother-of-pearl). In the essence of the Audemars Piguet one-of-a-kind watch there is self-winding Caliber 2885 which has oeil-de-perdrix ornaments and a hand-engraved gold rotor. The rhodium-plated movement incorporates 52 jewels, a straight-line lever escapement, monometallic balance and it is shock resistant.
Reference 5033P-010 – The First Annual Calendar by Patek Philippe
The next of the extremely valuable watches that was sold in New York is yet another minute repeater by Patek Philippe. This one, with the Reference 5033P-010 is tonneau-shaped, made with a silver dial with guilloche azure central part and it sports an overall art-deco styling. Its platinum casing with the width of 39.5 mm, the length of 51 mm and the height of 12 mm holds Caliber R 27 PS QA which is a self-winding movement with a striking mechanism. Moreover, the 443 part movement with 44 jewels is the first one by the brand that includes an annual calendar feature. Its free-sprung Gyromax balance beats at the frequency of 21,600 vph, while its automatic winding system with 22K yellow gold rotor enables power storage of two days. The value of the rare timekeeper was estimated between $400,000 and $600,000, whereas the strike of the hammer at the New York auction closed its sale for a sum of exactly $483,750.
Sky on the Wrist – Patek Philippe Reference 5102 Celestial
The next among the pieces which snatched high amounts of money was a Patek Philippe model which is quite different from the previous models by the same brand we have previously covered. It is Reference 5102 Celestial model in a 18 K yellow gold casing (43 mm x 11 mm) with Calatrava motif on the sides. Still in its original package, the watch is distinguished by the representation of a night sky of the Norhern Hemisphere with all the visible stars. This enables indications for not only phases of the moon, but also its orbit, as well as time of meridian passage of moon and Sirius. The magnificent timekeeper with a sky chart has self-winding Caliber 240/165 with 45 jewels and a power reserve of two days. This exceptionally sought-after piece among the collectors was sold at the price of $219,750 (which is exactly in the estimated value range of between $150,000 and $250,000).
The final Patek Philippe that has found its way in this exclusive company of watches was sold for over $100,000. It was yet another timepiece that features oh so popular and long-lasting complication combo – perpetual calendar and chronograph. It is Reference 3971 from 1988 distinguished with its unusual snap-back yellow gold exhibition case (with the diameter of 36 mm and the thickness of 13 mm). This Patek Phillipe product also has a matte silver dial with the outlay of indications, which is characteristic for the manufacturer’s watches which have both perpetual calendar and chronograph. The watch possesses manually-wound and 24-jeweled 27-70 Q movement that has straight-line lever escapement, Gyromax balance with systems that guard it from temperature fluctuations and shocks, as well as self-compensating free-sprung Breguet balance spring. As it turned out, this watch was sold for $105,750, exactly as it was expected.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Gyrotorbillon 2
Moving further on the list, we reach Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Gyrotorbillon 2 in white gold which was the only other model sold for over $200,000 (it was the fifth highest paid watch, just under three Patek Philippes with minute repeaters and the one with the celestial feature). The watch with the Reference 247.3.07 is only the second model in the 20-piece restricted series. It has a skeletonized face with an off-centered dial and a distinctive 35 mm x 55 mm x 15 mm JLC’s Reverso rotatable housing, but its true value, as it was expected, lies inside the housing. To be more precise, it is its Caliber 174 with 58 jewels which shows of a two-carriage multi-axis tourbillon. This feature which the manufacturer named gyrotourbillon consists of two cages with different periods of rotation – while the outer tourbillon one makes a full revolution in 3.2 minutes, the inner one does it in a more common one-minute frame. It should also be said that the manually-wound caliber, with 50-hour power storage whose remainder is indicated on the back side of the case, includes also a lateral lever escapement, a 14K gold balance that beats at 4 Hz, a self-compensating helical balance spring and six shock absorbers. Gyrotourbillon 2 was estimated between $180,000 and $200,000 which it surpassed only slightly, since its final price measured $201,750.
As it turned out, the only other timekeeper sold for a six-figured price was a watch by Rolex. Similarly as it was the case with the Sotheby’s auction, it is yet another Paul Newman Cosmograph model with Oyster bracelet. However, this specific model from 1969 was paid significantly more – $183,750 (contrary to the Sotheby’s models which barely exceeded the six figure mark). This Rolex with the Reference 6263/6262 has steel housing (37 mm x 13 mm) with a black bezel, as well as a two-tone ivory and black dial. The functioning of the timekeeper was enabled by the inclusion of self-winding Caliber 727.
The Antiquorum’s auction also offered another very interesting watch which was expected to be sold at a six figure price. The watch in question is peculiar Concord Tourbillon C1 with the reference number 01.6.60.1019. It has a huge 50 mm wide and 19 mm high white gold case and a futuristic skeleton dial with several layers. Among the features of its hand-wound Caliber C100 with 22 jewels are a flyback chronograph, an indicated power reserve that spans for 42 hours and a tourbillon. But what is most interesting about this unusual piece is the position of the tourbillon – it is actually placed outside the case at the four o’clock. The freaky 25 piece limited edition model by Concord which dates from five years ago was valued between $100,000 and $150,000, but failed to find its buyer.