By reaching the total of $43,985,467 (€32,823,824), the Christie’s Geneva three-session auction of important watches, held on November 10 and 11, set the new world record for any series of watch sales. During the ten-hour long auction marathon, Christie’s sold 370 high-end timepieces, including several extremely rare Patek Philippe’s and Rolex’s models which were absolute highlights of the auction. The highest price of breathtaking $2.2 million was achieved by Patek Philippe Ref 2499 in pink gold.
The extraordinary pink gold Patek Philipee Reference 2499 from the brand’s second series was the central piece of the auction, with the final price that significantly exceeded pre-sale estimates. An extremely south-after 2499 model is even rarer in the pink gold version, which explains a very high price it reached at the auction. The watch features a chronograph, a perpetual calendar and a moon-phase indicator, shown at the beautiful dial, presented in the untouched, original condition, with the smooth ivory-colored patina showing the signs of aging. Interestingly, the platinum version of Patek reference 2499, known as the Eric Clapton’s timepiece, reached the price of $3.6 million at the last year’s auction.
The International Head of Christie’s Watch Department, Aurel Bacs, said that during a series of Christie’s exhibitions held in Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, New York, Paris, Dubai and other locations in the last couple of months, he noticed ‘an ever-growing appetite for high quality collector’s watches’. “This trend was demonstrated by a fiercer-than-ever competition generated by both experienced and new international bidders, in the room, on the telephone and online. Patek Philippe and Rolex were the stars, confirming that rare timepieces have to be considered as true works-of-art”, concluded Mr. Bacs.
Another Patek Philippe’s model that highlighted the sale is an extremely rare watch with the reference 1563 which was sold for $1.57 million. Created in 1947, this exquisite chronograph features a yellow gold case and a silvered dial and it is one of only three known pieces to exist. One of those three models became famous as Duke Ellington’s watch. Hence, the Ref 1563 got the nickname after the Jazz legend. The third model that went for over $1 million is Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 6263. It is interesting that this iconic chronograph which was sold for $1.1 million also has a link with a celebrity, a famous actor Paul Newman.