‘Wall Street Journal’ Auction Story Called ‘Misleading’

A Wall Street Journal article's allegations of collusion between some luxury watchmakers and Antiquorum auctioneers to boost the brands' auction prices, prestige, and consumer demand are unfounded and misleading, say those named in the story. Antiquorum founder Osvaldo Patrizzi, who left the company in August, said, "There has never been any collusion between Antiquorum and any watch manufacturer." The Oct. 8 article alleged that Antiquorum S.A., Geneva, let some Swiss watchmakers secretly intervene in auctions to force up bids and sale prices on their vintage timepieces (through anonymous bidding) to boost the brands' market-perceived worth and retail prices of new watches. The article cited various brands but focused on Patek Philippe and Omega. Those mentioned in the article dispute its claims. The allegations are "unfounded and inadequate," said Béatrice Howald, head of media
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