Vintage Patek Philippes Led the Phillips Hong Kong Watch Auction

“Not even a global crisis can halt the rise and growth of the vintage watch market,” said Phillips senior consultant Aurel Bacs in a prepared statement disseminated to the press on Friday. 

Considering the success of Phillips’ latest sale, the Hong Kong Watch Auction X, that would seem to be true.

The auction, hosted in association with Bacs & Russo, brought in just more than $14 million, and sales were led by a group of rare, vintage Patek Philippe timepieces. Of the top 10 lots sold in the sale, five were Pateks, including the top three. Rounding out the top 10 were a trio of Rolex watches, a Richard Mille timepiece, and a watch by A. Lange & Söhne.

“Our 10th watch auction in Hong Kong brought together a carefully curated group of timepieces,” said Thomas Perazzi, head of watches in Asia for Phillips, in the same statement.This season we continue to see astonishing international participation.”

Indeed. Bidders hailed from more than 50 countries, raising their paddles in person and over the phone—but primarily online. A record 1,200 individuals bid online—the most ever in any Phillips in Asia live auction. And a whopping 93% of lots received online bids.

Here are the three best-selling lots from the sale, in descending order.

Patek Philippe reference 2499
The top dog: An 18k yellow gold Patek Philippe reference 2499/100

The superstar lot of the auction was a circa-1982 18k yellow gold perpetual calendar chronograph Patek Philippe reference 2499/100 with moon phases. Hammer price: $607,590.

Patek Philippe reference 3448
Top and above: A white gold Patek Philippe reference 3448/14

Second prize went to a circa-1975 white gold Patek Philippe reference 3448/14—a  perpetual calendar wristwatch with moon phases and a stunning integrated bracelet that was originally retailed by Gübelin. Hammer price: $483,750.

Patek Philippe 3979
A platinum Patek Philippe 3979

The third-highest-selling lot was a circa-1996 platinum Patek Philippe reference 3979: a classic minute-repeating wristwatch with a glossy enamel dial. Hammer price: $443,438.

(All photos courtesy of Phillips)

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JCK Magazine Editor