Vintage & Auctions

Discovering the rarities from the fall Geneva auctions

While auctions remain the right place to get ahold of the latest and most coveted examples due to their limited availability, it is also the right place to find the most treasured vintage pieces.

By Audrey Humbert

Following the New York sale of the Rolex “Paul Newman’s Paul Newman”, the trend is fully confirmed. Vintage Rolex pieces are now leading auction markets and have taken pole position away from Patek Philippe. Not that Patek Philippe is no longer attractive. Their pieces are maintaining value on the market. However, as we’ve seen in recent auctions, vintage Rolex has increased in both desirability and value. Below we’ll give you a full rundown of some of the very exciting pieces coming up at this weekend’s auctions.

Phillips Watch Auction: Six

The highlight from the Phillip’s upcoming Geneva Watch Auction: Six is lot 138, a Rolex reference 6062 that features a lower estimate (CHF 400’000 – 800’000) than the top lot of the sale in value, the Patek Philippe reference 2523/1 estimated at CHF 700’000 – 1’400’000. But the Rolex catches more attention and probably has a stronger potential to sell well beyond estimate.

When it comes to rarities, it is important to note the left-handed Jaeger-Lecoultre should surpass its high estimate (lot 177 estimated at CHF 4’000 – 6’000).

Christies: Rare Watches Fall Auction

Now jumping to Christie’s, the sensation there is the Patek Philippe ref. 3448 “Senza Luna”. With only seven examples known, this minimalistic design hiding its complicated mechanism of the finest making is without doubt the highlight of the sale. (lot 135 estimated at CHF 300’000 – 500’000).

My interest goes in second to the Girard-Perregaux Opera Three, possibly a unique example in platinum and with a dial added on special request by the owner. The music box it contains is playing either Mozart’s “A little night Music” or Tchaikovsky’s “No great love” whether on demand or every hour. (lot 32 estimated at CHF 120’000 – 220’000).

And because we love unique pieces, we should mention the Patek Philippe ref. 3945/1, rendered possibly a unique piece through its first series dial and white gold case. (lot 47 estimated at CHF 40’000 – 60’000 CHF).

Sotheby’s Important Watches Fall Auction

In case if you are not a big fan of the reference 3448 without moon phase, then you ought to have a look at Sotheby’s selection which offers a beautiful yellow gold example of ref. 3448. (lot 337 estimated at CHF 120’000 – 180’000). From Sotheby’s you will also appreciate the impressive selection of Audemars Piguet timepieces. With a fine selection of jump hour, including minute repeater or not, you may choose your gold colour, your shape between rectangular or cushion-shaped and even from a more vintage or modern piece (see lots 34, 44 and 288 from this sale).

However, you may prefer to stick to the iconic Royal Oak. In this case, I would advise the perpetual calendar with the 52 weeks displayed by hands that is highly attractive though a hard find. (lot 39 estimated at CHF 12’000 – 18’000).

With an introduction by Dr. Crott, the former president of Urban Jürgensen, who provided his assistance with the selection of lots 266-273, Sotheby’s introduces an interesting selection of Urban Jürgensen / Derek Pratt timepieces for the savviest collectors.

Antiquorum: The Art of Calatrava

Antiquorum is once again offering thematic auctions. The Art of Calatrava auction is featuring a selection of Patek Philippe Calatrava celebrating a triple anniversary. 130th anniversary of the brand registration with the trade symbol of the Calatrava Cross (1887), 85th anniversary of the launch of the reference 96 (known as “the Calatrava”) (1932), 35th anniversary of the apparition of the name Calatrava in Patek Philippe’s product catalogue (1982).

A Week end starting with the Only Watch auction

Again, we are heading of an exciting week end of auctions and I am very much looking forward to it. However, I’ll admit that most of my focus will be on the F.P. Journe tantalum unique piece featuring a split chronograph from the Only Watch auction held by Christie’s on Saturday afternoon.

And receive each week a custom selection of articles.

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