December sale of rare watches and clocks, organized by the famous auction house Sotheby’s in New York, completely lived up to expectations. The highly anticipated event resulted with the total sum of $8.8 million which is the record for all the auctions of this type ever organized in the Big Apple. The final results show that 86 percent of items on auction were sold, and the amount of money that was paid is equal to 90 percent of estimated prices for all these products of fine watchmaking. Another interesting fact from the Sotheby’s Important Watches and Clocks Sale is that as much as 93 percent of timepieces surpassed or at least matched the estimated prices.
It comes as no surprise that John Reardon who is the leading man of Sotheby’s watch department expressed his satisfaction with the final outcome. “Our strategy as a team has been to focus on the client experience; both for our buyers and consignors, and the diverse offering we presented them resulted in a range of global interest that included top buyers from Asia to the United States, Europe and Africa”, explained Mr. Reardon.
No Surprises, Heure Universelle and Platinum Tonneau Minute Repeatin Perpetual Calendar Watch Reach the Highest Prices
As it was previously anticipated (which was reported in one of our previous news), Patek Philippes stole the show. The highest price of $482,500 was paid for two watches by this manufacturer. The first of them is recently discovered Heure Universelle timepiece, one of the initial watches with a world time function. This product, set in a yellow gold case with the diameter of 30.5 mm is running on the hand-wound Calibre 12 mechanism. Nearly half of million dollars was also the final bid for another product by the same watchmaker, Platinum Tonneau Minute Repeating Perpetual Calendar. This timepiece includes retrograde date display on its perpetual calendar and has a moon phase indication. Its beating heart is the automatic Calibre R27 PS QR movement with 41 jewels. The interesting fact about this watch is that it is one of the most complex timepieces that was ever made by Patek Philippe, consisting of 515 components.
Among the top ten items on the auction, there are six more excellent watches by the same manufacturer. The only other brands that succeeded to rank among the best ten were Bovet Fleurier and Vacheron Constantin. The first manufacturer was present with the pair of silver-gilt enamel and pearl timepieces that were created for the Chinese market. The pocket watches that were crafted around the half of the nineteenth century feature polychrome enameled cases that depict lion hunting sessions, with two hunters with turbans, a lion and an elephant in the background. The pair of watches with the diameters of 54 mm was sold for $236,500 (the fourth highest price), heavily surpassing the estimated value of between $40,000 and $70,000.
The other product that managed to squeeze its way in the exclusive company dominated by Patek Philippes was Vacheron Constantin 18K Yellow Gold Watch with a striking cloisonné dial in cerulean blue, turquoise and teal. The item with Calibre P454/83 hand-wound movement with 17 jewels was constructed with peculiar triangular-shaped lugs has the diameter of 35 mm. The eighth most expensive timepiece of the auction reached the price of $170,500 which also exceeds the previous estimation of value that placed its cost somewhere between $80,000 and $120,000.
Millenium Watch Made by Dr George Daniels Reaches the Highest Price in London
Sotheby’s also organized another sale of collectable and rare watches this month (on December 13). The auction held in London included a wide range of timepieces. Among them were the early pocket watches with lovely enameled dials and technically significant mechanisms. The event offered products from brands, such as Patek Philippe, Rolex, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Cartier, Audemars Piguet and Daniel Roth. One of the stars of the show that was supposed to attract most buyers was hand-made Millenium wristwatch, constructed by a famed watchmaker, Dr George Daniels. As it turned out, this was right, because the timepiece reached the highest price of all watches in the show. It was sold for 91,250 GBP. The watch is set in a round 18K yellow gold case that runs on an automatic gilt brass mechanism with Daniels slim co-axial escapement.
The only other product whose price came to the vicinity of 50,000 GBP was unsurprisingly made by (can you guess it?) Patek Philippe. The timepiece with the reference number 3970E is housed in a round yellow-gold case that is 36 mm wide. Inside of it is the manual winding Calibre CH 27-70 Q mechanism with 24 jewels. The product includes a chronograph feature, a perpetual calendar, an indication of leap years and a moon phase display. It was sold for $49,250 GBP.