A meeting with Paul Boutros at Phillips Watches is always a real treat and a thrilling experience. Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo will be conducting their Geneva Watch Auction Three next month in Geneva at the Hotel La Réserve. After two very successful auctions last year, their third auction will take place on May 14th and May 15th. The auction will kick-off with the START-STOP-RESET watch auction, a very special auction dedicated to 88 epic stainless steel chronographs. Fully curated by Aurel Bacs, Sam Hines and with special collaboration of Pucci Papaleo, this auction is set to be another record-breaking auction by 'King Midas' —as we like to refer in a very respectful way of course to Mr. Aurel Bacs, who anything he touches turns into real crazy money at the watch auctions.
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.
The auction composed of 88 stainless steel chronographs —mainly vintage with a few modern pieces in there— includes crazy looking pieces that include tropical dial Paul Newman Daytonas, Pre-Daytonas, Tiffany & Co. Daytonas, a Rolex Daytona ref. 6263 'Tropical Oyster Sotto' —one of two known to exist—, two Rolex 'Musketeer Paul Newman' Daytonas, a Rolex Daytona ref. 6263 United Arab Emirates Desert Eagle Coat of Arms, a black Pre-Daytona ref. 6238, Patek Philippe ref. 130 chronographs in 'mint to new old stock condition', a Rolex Daytona ref. 6263 'Tropical Panda', a Jaeger-LeCoultre Shark Worldtime, several rare Longines, CYMA, Ulysse Nardins, Omegas, Hermès, Zeniths, Universal Genèves, Breguets, Blancpains, Heuers, Breitlings, Movados, Eberhards, a Tudor ref. 7031 Monte Carlo 'Home Plate' dial and a safe queen in unpolished condition Patek Philippe ref. 530 Oversize Chronograph amongst other treasures.
One of the main highlights of this auction is the last lot number 88, an ultra rare Rolex Daytona ref. 6239 nicknamed 'The Doctor' with pulsations dial. This watch, with an estimate of CHF 350,000-700,000 Swiss Francs, is clearly one that might break the record for the highest amount paid for a Rolex Daytona at auction. Up until now, the record was set on November 10, 2013 at the Rolex Daytona "Lesson One" Auction where a Rolex Paul Newman Daytona ref. 6263/6239 Case No. 2,197,870 manufactured in 1969 with box and papers sold for $1,089,186 USD as we brought you the news here.
Made in 1966 and one of less than a handful of examples like this known to exist, this example features a soleil dial with bright blue pulsations scale on the dial. Chronographs with pulsation scales on their dials were typically worn by medical doctors back in the days and commonly used to take the pulse on their patients. Therefore, this ultra rare Rolex Daytona has been playfully nicknamed 'The Doctor'.
Another one of our picks and a favorite at this auction is lot 69, a rare and stunning Patek Philippe ref. 530 Oversize Chronograph from 1942. With an estimate of 500,000-1,000,000 Swiss Francs, this safe queen can clearly become one of the most expensive Patek Philippe wristwatches sold at auction —behind the the Monopusher Chronograph ref. 130 that sold for $4.6 million Swiss Francs at the 2015 inaugural Phillips Watches Auction One held in Geneva as we brought you the news here. This amazing Patek Philippe oversize —36.5 mm in diameter— chronograph ref. 530 is one of the most rare, desirable and beautiful Patek Philippe references ever made. Secured in a bank vault for most of its life and worn only a handful of times, this watch was recently serviced by Patek Philippe and in immaculate condition. We feel honored that we were allowed to peruse this watch and wear it for a few minutes.
Continuing with our picks from the upcoming START-STOP-RESET Phillips Watches Auction, we bring you lot 60, an ultra rare Rolex Daytona ref. 6263 with United Arab Emirates Desert Eagle "Quraysh Hawk" Coat of Arms imprint on its dial. Circa 1977, this watch comes with original box, hang tag and letter from Rolex confirming the watch was supplied to Ahmed Seddiqi in Dubai in 1977. The watch even still bears the old Rolex sticker on its case back. Simply a perfect watch that here at WCL we would consider 'new old stock'. The estimate 200,000-400,000 Swiss Francs.
Lot 56 is another ultra rare watch from Rolex. This watch is a ref. 4113 'Split Seconds' chronograph from 1942 with a 44 mm case size. Estimate 800,000-1,600,000 Swiss Francs. It is known that only 12 examples were ever produced and all of them in stainless steel. This example sold in two occasions at auctions in 1996 and 2013, this is a true gem. Never offered to the general public for sale, it appears that Rolex used to gift these watches to car racing drivers during their involvement as sponsors of racing events.
Lot 42 is a Heuer Monaco 'Dark Lord' ref. 74033N with a black PVD case from 1975. A watch that very few have ever held or seen in person. Its not even clear whether this PVD Monacos were ever sold or remained in the prototype stage. This particular example looks like a 'new old stock' in our book and is simply stunning.
Then Lot 68 a black Pre-Datyona ref. 6238 from 1963 is another one to keep an eye on. With an estimate of 60,000-120,000 Swiss Francs, this watch is very rare due to its place in the history of Rolex Chronographs as the predecessor to the Daytona ref. 6239 released in 1964. With its smooth bezel without tachymetric scale, its black matte 'grainé' dial and box and papers accompanying the watch, this watch is simply amazing.
Another favorite and a top pick from this upcoming Phillips Watches auction is lot 34, a rare Rolex Daytona Paul Newman ref. 6263/6239 'Tropical Panda'. With an estimate of 300,000-600,000 Swiss Francs, this is another watch that will clearly exceed its estimate on May 14th. Its 1/5th seconds outer ring has developed a caramel brown color that along with its MK II dial, makes it truly unique and highly desirable.
Another piece that for sure will be a heavy hitter the night of the auction on May 14th at La Réserve in Geneva will be lot 31, an ultra rare Rolex Paul Newman ref. 6263/6239 'Tropical Oyster Sotto'. With an estimate of 750,000-1,500,000 Swiss Francs, this watch will make history for sure. Not only the Paul Newman 'Oyster Sotto' —meaning 'Oyster Underneath' with its RCO writing placement instead of the typical ROC— is extremely rare and desirable, now imagine when its dial has turned into a chocolate tropical dial. This is one of two known examples to bear a tropical dial making it one of the world's most important Paul Newman Daytonas ever offered at auction.
Then among our picks and favorites, we have lot 17 a Patek Philippe ref. 1463 'Freccero' with a two-tone silvered dial and Arabic numerals. Known as the 'Tasti Tondi' —round pushers in Italian—, the watch from 1955 comes on a Gay Frères bracelet, measures 35 mm in diameter and is accompanied by its original box from Freccero y Cia. from Uruguay Montevideo, where the watch originally sold. The dial bears the 'Freccero' imprint on it. The estimate 350,000-700,000 Swiss Francs for the only known example in stainless steel with white gold baton markers and Arabic numerals.
Yet another amazing vintage Rolex Chronograph. Lot 74 at the START-STOP-RESET Phillips Watches Auction is an ultra rare pre-Oyster Rolex ref. 3330 Antimagnetic with rose colored dial from 1939 with an estimate of 200,000-400,000 Swiss Francs.
Lastly, lot 75 a Patek Philippe ref. 1579 in stainless steel from 1954 with a silvered matte dial with white gold square faceted markers and Arabic numerals at 12 and 6 o'clock. This rare piece features the so called 'Spider Lugs' —Anse a Ragno in Italian— on its stainless steel case that was upgraded by Patek Philippe in 1989 during service. Some time during the second half of the 1980s, a small batch of unused stainless steel cases and dials from the 1940s were found at the Patek Philippe workshops and these were used to upgrade yellow or pink gold 1579s owned by prominent loyal Patek collectors. This one here, is one of those watches. It is known that this is one of only seven examples that appear to exist in stainless steel. The lugs and case on this watch are sharp like a scalpel. The estimate 450,000-900,000 Swiss Francs.
For more info on Phillips Watches and the rest of the lots click here.