Sotheby’s, Antiquorum Claim Impressive Results

Sotheby’s and Antiquorum both claimed impressive results for their May 11 watch auctions in Geneva, Switzerland.

Sotheby’s Important Watches auction totaled 10.9 million Swiss francs or $10.4 million. Its top-seller was “Trossi Leggenda,” an oversized single button chronograph by Patek Philippe, made between 1925 and 1932 (pictured with its owner, race care driver Count Carlo Felice Trossi). It went for $2.2 million, becoming “the most expensive wristwatch ever sold by Sotheby’s,” said Alexander Barter, Sotheby’s International’s deputy worldwide head of watches.

The Geneva auction followed successful Sotheby’s watch sales this spring in Hong Kong (the most expensive modern wristwatch sold) and in New York (the most expensive Rolex Daytona sold). Together, they show “the continuing strength of the global watch market [and] the strong international demand for wristwatches of excellent quality and impeccable provenance,” said Geoffroy Ader, Head of Watches, Sotheby’s Geneva.

Other top-selling Patek Philippe watches included a 1939 oversized stainless steel chronograph with register, for ($1 million; a 1958 perpetual calendar chronograph with moon-phases and register, $901,445, and a 1958 gold, center seconds, perpetual calendar with moon phases, $367,255.

Other highlights included Rolex chronograph ‘Paul Newman’ Daytonas. One in gold with registers, circa 1980, brought $149,764; another in stainless steel sold for $144,040, triple its pre-sale estimate. A Breguet 1908 minute repeater went for $126,870.

Meanwhile, Antiquorum’s auction took in 10.4 million Swiss francs (about $9.94 million) in what it claims was “the most important collection of modern wristwatches ever to appear on the market.”

The sale had bidders onsite, by phone, and online (where a record 500 were registered), with “strong international participation,” especially from Spain, the Netherlands, Singapore, the United States, and Hong Kong.

Several brands took top prices including F. P. Journe, Lange & Söhne, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Vacheron Constantin, and Patek Philippe.

The top five sales were F. P. Journe’s 2007 Sonnerie Souveraine, with Grande et Petite Sonnerie, and minute repeater, $487,931; Jaeger-LeCoultre’s 2005 limited production “Gyrotourbillon 1” $397,509; Vacheron Constantin’s “Saint-Gervais,” made to mark the watchmaker’s quarter millennium in 2005, $397,509; Patek Philippe’s 10 Days Tourbillon, $237,011; A. Lange & Söhne’s limited edition “Lange 1 Tourbillon,” from 2000, for $165,804; and Patek Philippe’s 2006 limited edition Annual Calendar with silicon escape wheel, $109,195.