Last spring, the international team of Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo consisted of only nine people. Today, only a year later, their team around the world has almost doubled and grown to 17. Thus far, Phillips Watches sales exceed $80 Million USD and have set price records for different watches including the Patek Philippe Split Seconds chronograph ref. 1436 that sold for $3.301 Million Swiss Francs as we reported it here, the Patek Philippe Monopusher Chronograph ref. 130 Doctor's Watch selling for $4.645 Million Swiss Francs as we reported it here and of course the privilege to bring down the gavel on what is today the world’s most valuable wristwatch ever sold —not only at auction—, we are talking about the Patek Philippe reference 5016A selling for $7.3 Million Swiss Francs as we reported here. Well, to continue with the watch auction frenzy from the last three years, this upcoming May 14th, 2016 Phillips will conduct a special theme auction named START-STOP-RESET —you can see our picks here—, an auction dedicated to 88 legendary stainless steel chronographs, followed by their Watch Auction Three the next day.
Disclaimer: Since Phillips Watches is the only one that can provide you with a 'Condition Report' for any of the watches in their auctions, our live photography or verbiage regarding these watches is for your viewing/reading pleasure only. Our images or verbiage, should never be used in lieu of a condition report from Phillips. Regardless, these live photographs have not been subject to retouching or manipulation. Therefore, dust, the actual wear on watches and lint left from perusing the watches will be present in our images and we apologize in advance for it.
This next auction will include 137 exceptional vintage watches across Patek Philippe, Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Blancpain, Panerai, Cartier, Vacheron Constantin, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Tudor amongst other brands. Some very special watches in this lot include the Hublot King Power Foudroyante 'All Black' —a unique titanium and ceramic carbon split-seconds chronograph with foudroyante made especially for Mr. Jean Claude Biver on the occasion of his 60th birthday and with special rotor engraved King Biver—, four exceptional 'Khanjar' watches —including an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo ref. 5402 A-series, a Patek Philippe ref. 3700 in 18K white gold, a Rolex Submariner ref. 1680 in 18K yellow gold and a Rolex Daytona ref. 6265 Red Khanjar— and a Patek Philippe ref. 3448 in 18K white gold amongst others.
While at least a third of the watches in this auction could be strong favorites, we can only bring you so many for you to look at and make up your mind before the bidding wars kick-off next May 15th. Therefore, we are focusing on nine exceptional lots from the Phillips Watch Auction Three. Let's start with lot 190 which is particularly one of our top top favorites.
This Rolex GMT Master ref. 6542 in 18K yellow gold, is one of the most well preserved and most complete sets out there, not to mention its unique bronze hue dial, the condition of its bakelite bezel and a watch that comes as complete as it gets with its original box and all paperwork.
Accompanied by original warranty papers confirming the sale of the present watch on October 25th, 1958, Certifcate from the Bureaux Suisses de Contrôle Ofciel de la Marche des Chronomètres, product literature, leather wallet, presentation box and outer packaging, this watch is simply stunning.
One of the most notable features of the present lot is its unrestored, incredibly looking cognac brown-colored Bakelite bezel. Not to mention the sick chamfers on this watch and its super tight bracelet.
It is also fitted with an absolutely stunning light brass-colored nipple dial that could easily be interpreted as having aged to a “tropical” color, but it is actually the original color it was born with when it left the Rolex factory nearly 60 years ago.
Last time this particular watch sold at auction, it fetched crazy money. Today, the estimate for this watch is set at 180,000-280,000 Swiss Francs. Definitely a true gem and one that for sure will bring a lot of money setting a new record for this particular Rolex reference.
Then we have lot 109, a very rare and extremely attractive Rolex ref. 4768 antimagnetic triple calendar chronograph in stainless steel and yellow gold. This reference was produced in stainless steel, yellow gold, pink gold, steel and yellow gold and steel and pink gold. According to scholarship, after its launch in 1947, only 220 examples were made in total. The current watch from 1948 is encased in stainless steel accented with a yellow gold bezel, crown, and date hand. The beating heart inside this piece is the most reliable Valjoux 72C movement. This watch is fitted with elongated teardrop lugs and a stunning silvered dial in excellent condition. The estimate for this watch is 50,000-100,000 Swiss Francs. Let's see what the final number ends up being on May 15th.
Along with three other amazing 'Khanjar' watches, lot 173 is one of our favorite pieces. A Rolex Daytona ref. 6265 in 18K yellow gold and with Red Khanjar on its black dial. The 'Khanjar' is Oman's national emblem. When found on a wristwatch they are rendered extremely rare, and are considered amongst the world’s most soughtafter collectible watches. The so-called 'Khanjar' watches were direct commissions from the Sultan of Oman, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said, who is well known for his enthusiasm for horology and his own formidable collection.
Born on November 18th of 1940, the only son to then Sultan Said bin Tamur and Princess Mazoon al-Mashani. His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said ascended to the throne on July 23rd of 1970. His reign has been one of great success modernizing his country with oil revenues, strengthening international relations and advances in healthcare, education and infrastructure. Consequently, the nation was recently ranked as the world’s most improved nation in terms of development over the past 40 years.
The timepieces he ordered were personalized, either with the image of the 'Khanjar' superimposed upon two crossed swords sometimes surmounted by a crown, or with His Majesty’s signature, and given as gifts to loyal servants and foreign dignitaries.
For this particular watch, the 'Rolex Oyster' imprint at 12 o’clock had to be repositioned higher on the dial in order to accommodate the 'Khanjar', demonstrating that this dial was custom designed for His Majesty. The matte black dial further enhances the beauty of the red 'Khanjar', while the beautifully aged champagne sub-dials give the watch a sporty and elegant aesthetic. At the dial’s bottom edge at six o’clock the desirable sigma designations flanking “T SWISS T” are found, signifying the use of gold for the hour markers and hands. The word 'Cosmograph' was also moved to the lower part of the dial where we typically find the 'Daytona' imprint.
The case back of this extraordinary timepiece features the crisply engraved signature of the prestigious London jeweler, Asprey, which at the time was Rolex’s Middle East distributor of personalized watches destined to Oman. The case and case back display all their crisp edges and factory finished surfaces, with thick, well-defined lugs. Finally, the inner case back is engraved with the same serial number stamped between the lugs at 6 o’clock, indicating that
this watch was indeed made by Rolex upon a special order. Its royal provenance, spectacular condition, and superb rarity make it one of the most exciting and important Rolex sport watches to appear at auction in recent years. Estimate 200,000-400,000 Swiss Francs.
Another one of the 'Khanjar' watches in this auction is lot 170 featuring a stunning Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo ref. 5402 A-series Case No. 959 made for the Sultanate of Oman. Thanks to its Royal provenance, the present watch is one of the rarest and most exciting examples of an early Royal Oak Jumbo to appear at auction. Taking its exclusivity and desirability to an even higher level is the presence of the 'Khanjar' on the bottom half of its smooth dial —without the traditional petite tapisserie— with diamond markers.
The watch —in what to us— seems to be in unpolished condition comes with a super tight Gay Frères Audemars Piguet bracelet correct for the time period of the watch circa 1973. The numbers on the case back are nice and crisp just as the day this watch left the factory. This is perhaps the most rare A-series Royal Oak Jumbo ever, or at least he most rare to have surfaced in the last decade. Estimate 60,000-100,000 Swiss Francs.
Now, we have one of the most rare Rolex references ever made. Lot 192 is a Rolex Full Calendar ref. 6062 'Black Stelline' which is one of only two models ever made by Rolex featuring a full calendar and the phases of the moon. This particular reference was made in the early 1950s for only a few years, and until today we have only seen examples in stainless steel, yellow gold or pink gold. One of the most valuable vintage Rolexes out there, especially with a black lacquered dial —the most exclusive of all dial versions out there. Furthermore, this dial features eight, five-pointed faceted stars for hour markers. It is thanks to this dial configuration that reference 6062 has received its flattering nickname 'Stelline' —starlet in Italian. Another desirable feature of this watch is the absolutely correct, matching moonphase disk with black sky rather than blue. To date, only four examples are known to scholars with this configuration and it is always a spectacular event when they appear on the auction market. Estimate 500,000-1,000,000 Swiss Francs.
Lot 214 is for sure one of those mystical watches that could easily set a huge record at this auction and one of the stars of this particular Phillips Watch Auction Three. This watch is one of those we like to say 'what watch dreams are made of'. We are talking about a Patek Philippe ref. 2499 'First Series' Perpetual Calendar Chronograph. To fully understand this interlink, one must go back to the reference 1518 from 1941 when Patek Philippe launched its first perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch, which also happened to be the world’s first perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch made in series. The Patek Philippe ref. 2499 replaced reference 1518 in 1951 and was made for a period of only 34 years, until 1985 in four different series.
First series: Square chronograph buttons, applied Arabic numerals and tachometer scale. Second series: Round chronograph buttons, either applied baton or applied Arabic numerals and tachometer scale. Third series: Round chronograph buttons, applied baton numerals and outer seconds divisions. Fourth series: Round chronograph buttons, applied baton numerals, outer seconds divisions and sapphire crystal. The estimate for this lot has been set at 800,000-1,500,000 Swiss Francs.
The Patek Philippe ref. 2499 First series was made for about half a decade and can be subdivided in two different categories identified by the case maker. The first Vichet-made cases, which feature a fat caseback and elongated lugs, followed by Wenger-made cases, which feature a domed case back with slightly shorter lugs and a larger case like in the present example. Only nine reference 2499 models left the Patek Philippe ateliers each year on average, leading to a full production of just 349 pieces in 34 years. As time goes by, the appearance of reference 2499 first series with a Wenger case at auction is not calculated in seasons but in years. There are collectible wristwatches, then there are watches woven from the fabric of dreams, and the present reference 2499 is of the latter. This particular watch is one out of 28 Patek Philippe ref. 2499 in yellow gold with the Wenger case.
There are rare watches and then there's this one. Lot 153, a Vacheron Constantin 'Chronomètre Royal' ref. 4907 in white gold. One of horology’s best known models as well as one of the frrst attempts at serial production of a precision timepiece. vintage 'Chronomètre Royal' wristwatches are considered by collectors and scholars to be amongst the finest ever made by any brand. A reference 4907 in white gold, it’s a highly coveted model thanks to its substantial case and long, massive lugs that give it incredible presence on the wrist. Produced mainly in
yellow gold, with fewer examples in pink gold, the fact that the reference was made in a white case metal was simply unheard of until now.
Stating that the present lot is rare would be an understatement. Not only is this timepiece fresh to the market, but research shows that never before has a white gold reference 4907 appeared at auction. It is unknown how many examples of reference 4907 were cased in white gold during the model’s nine years of production between 1953 and 1962. If more examples besides the present piece were made, their whereabouts remain unknown. Its original silver dial is free of any restorations, and features raised, hard enamel printing and faceted, applied white gold hour markers. The manual wound movement powering this watch is impeccably finished and considered a masterpiece from the brand that is on par with a Grand Complication. Estimate 80,000-140,000 Swiss Francs.
Lot 199 features a rare Audemars Piguet chronograph ref. 5020 housed in a large —for 1941 when this watch was made— pink gold case measuring 35.5 mm in diameter and powered by the Audemars Piguet caliber 13’” VZA movement. Featuring a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, a delightful, red ‘45’ indication is found printed above the 15-minute mark. This charming red indication was often found on vintage Audemars Piguet chronographs permitting the wearer to record up to 45 minutes, commonly associated with the halves of a soccer match lasting 45 minutes each. It is known that only 286 examples of this chronograph were ever made. Estimate 120,000-180,000 Swiss Francs.
Without a doubt, one of the biggest stars of this auction is lot 135, an ultra rare Patek Philippe Calatrava ref. 530 in stainless steel with black lacquer dial with applied Breguet numerals. This is truly one of the world’s most beautiful and exclusive watches one can hope to obtain. This example is the only one of its kind to exist in the world. The mirror polished silver print along the outer minute track and Patek Philippe signature matches perfectly with the hour markers, radiating such beauty. The flawless dial and case’s remarkable overall state of preservation is not only visually striking, but has aged in the sophisticated manner that it deserves.
This watch has graced the world’s most important and prestigious private collections with its presence, where it has remained in pristine, virtually unworn condition. This stunning steel reference 530 presents itself for the first time ever to be seen on the auction market at the upcoming Phillips’ Geneva Watch Auction Three. A once in a lifetime opportunity to own an important piece of horological history. Most likely the most beautiful and valuable stainless steel “time-only” wristwatch with a 36.5 mm diameter and fitted with a strap with Patek Philippe stainless steel folding buckle. The watch was originally sold in the midst of World War II on August 2, 1941. The estimate 300,000-600,000 Swiss Francs.
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