Phillips, in association with Bacs & Russo, achieved an unprecedented result over the weekend at the Geneva Watch Auction: XIII. The auction, which was held May 8–9, raked in a whopping $42,290,938, marking the highest ever result for a nonthematic or charity watch sale.
A total of 233 collectors watches were sold, all handpicked by Phillips’ team of specialists.
“Season after season, the number of online bidders continues to reach new heights, and with more than 2,500 bidders and 10,000 online viewers, the Geneva Watch Auction: XIII once again attracted a new record audience for a watch sale,” said Arthur Touchot, Phillips’ specialist and head of digital strategy for watches, in a statement. “In addition to being viewed as opportunities to acquire incredible watches, auctions now represent an unmissable rendezvous for the growing community of collectors to come together and celebrate their common passion for horology.”
Patek Philippe was once again the star of the show—specifically, the Patek Philippe reference 2523 with “Eurasia” dial from 1953, one of only three examples known to date with a cloisonné enamel dial, which sold for $7.8 million. The watch doubled its pre-sale estimate and achieved two new world records: the highest price ever for a Patek Philippe wristwatch with enamel cloisonné dial and for any yellow gold wristwatch ever sold at auction.
Other notable sales included a Cartier yellow gold wristwatch nicknamed the “Pebble” or “Baseball,” which sold for $443,668; a white gold Roger Smith watch that went for $601,073, a world record for any Roger Smith watch sold at auction and for any British watchmaker; and a sculptural Richard Mille limited-edition red quartz watch that was presented on the market for the first time and that sold for $838,706.
“We are humbled by the trust that consignors, bidders, and successful bidders placed into the Phillips Watch Division,” said Aurel Bacs, senior consultant at Bacs & Russo, in the same statement. “Throughout the combined 10-hour-long auction, each lot felt like the 90th minute of a World Cup final with pulse-racing bidding. This is the result of many unprecedented record parameters in all relevant disciplines including pre-sale enquiries, website visits, numbers of attendees during the international traveling exhibition, and online auction attendance.”