The Christie's Important Watches Auction held in Geneva today Monday November 11, 2013 included a total of 122 amazing Patek Philippe timepieces of which only ten didn't sell. The total dollar amount fetched by all watches sold at the auction exceeded $30 million, of which Patek Philippe made more than half of it.
For this in-depth review of what happened at the auction around the Patek Philippe timepieces, we have picked the twenty Patek Philippe watches that fetched the highest amounts —all of them above a quarter of a million dollars each— and which all combined, sum up a total amount of $12,020,680 USD. All hammer prices are in USD and are inclusive of the buyer's premium. All images from Christie's.com
1. The star of the auction and the watch that fetched the highest amount was the Patek Philippe 18K Pink Gold Perpetual Calendar Chronograph with Moon Phases ref. 2499 manufactured in 1951 and encased in 1957. According to the Patek Philippe archives, the watch was originally sold on December 15, 1960. This reference is one of the most legendary Patek references and features raised hard enamel printings of all elements on the dial. Hammer Price $2,160,544.
2. Patek Philippe 18K Gold Split Seconds Chronograph ref. 1563 with Luminous Breguet numerals, rounded pushers and screw case back from 1947 that was originally sold on June 30, 1950. Few complicated Patek Philippe references are as rare as this reference of which only three examples are known to exist. Hammer Price $1,572,789.
3. Patek Philippe 18K Gold Perpetual Calendar Chronograph with Moon Phases ref. 2499 with Cartier on the dial —probably a unique piece— from 1966 originally sold on April 29, 1968. The watch was sold with Cartier's certificate of authenticity stating that the watch was delivered to Cartier New York in 1968. Hammer Price $1,024,218.
4. Patek Philippe 18K Pink Gold Perpetual Calendar Chronograph with Moon Phases ref. 1518 with an ultra rare two-tone dial —possibly a unique piece dial— from 1950 and originally sold on December 16, 1952. What makes this watch even more desirable is the two-tone silvered dial fitted on this watch, that has never been seen before on any other ref. 1518. The two-tone dial provides a unique visual effect depending on the lighting conditions and the angle at which the light hits the dial. Hammer Price $1,024,218.
5. Patek Philippe 18K Gold Perpetual Calendar with Moon Phases ref. 3448 Blue dial —probably a unique piece— with raised gold markers from 1978. The watch originally sold on November 10, 1978. The uniqueness of this watch —besides the beautiful color of its dial— comes from the fact that it is known that only four watches ref. 3448 were fitted with color dials —other than the traditional silvered— and while three feature champagne dials, it appears like this is the only one with a blue dial. Hammer Price $684,626.
6. Patek Philippe 18K Rose Gold Chronograph ref. 530 sold by Astrua Torino in 1941. The ref. 530 was launched in 1937 and it is one of the rarest Patek chronographs, furthermore, the Astrua ref. 530 is one of the most impressive oversized chronographs by this manufacture and it is known that this is the only ref. 530 featuring the Astrua marking on the dial. Additionally, this is the first time that it's been offered at auction and the case and dial are as sharp and original as it gets. Even the lugs still display the original satin finish pointing towards the strap. Hammer Price $658,503.
7. Patek Philippe Calatrava 18K Pink Gold Dual Time Zone ref. 2597 with independent adjustable second time zone hand manufactured in 1963 but originally sold until January 8, 1981. This particular reference is one of the rarest Pateks ever and it was such unpopular that it was discontinued quite quickly. Interestingly enough, this watch —among other four of this same reference in pink gold— is living testament of that unpopularity as it sat unsold for 18 years after its production. This watch is also the only example to feature luminescent material on its hands. This watch was auctioned in mint unworn and unpolished condition. Hammer Price $501,769.
8. Patek Philippe Stainless Steel Chronograph ref. 1463 with Breguet numerals and rounded pushers manufactured in 1945 and originally sold on July 29, 1946. The Breguet numerals on this watch are ultra rare —less than twenty examples in stainless steel known to exist up to date. Described by Italian collectors as the "tasti tondi" for its rounded pushers, this watch was also featured in the book Patek Philippe Steel Watches by John Goldberger, pp. 286 - 287. Hammer Price $501,769.
9. Patek Philippe 18K Pink Gold Split Seconds Chronograph ref. 1436 with pink dial from 1940 and originally sold on April 13, 1942. This pink gold reference is one of the rarest Pateks sold at auction and less than ten examples have sold at auction in the last 30 years —only four were fitted with pink dials. Additionally, the watch is a only two-owner watch. Hammer Price $423,401.
10. Patek Philippe 18K Gold Minute Repeater ref. 2524/1 manufactured in 1954 and sold on August 11, 1960. This watch is one of four examples that does not have a seconds sub-dial at 6 o'clock and its repeater lever mechanism is activated by pushing it downwards. Hammer Price $397,279.
11. Patek Philippe 18K Gold Perpetual Calendar with Moon Phases ref. 2497 with box and papers manufactured in 1953 and originally sold on September 8, 1956. This rare example features a sweep center seconds hand which is very uncommon for this Patek reference. Hammer Price $384,218.
12. Patek Philippe 18K Pink Gold Perpetual Calendar with Moon Phases ref. 1526 with pink dial manufactured in 1948 and originally sold on October 18, 1949. It is known that of this very rare reference in 18K pink gold only a little bit over 200 watches were ever made by Patek and even fewer feature a pink dial like this one. Furthermore, this watch remains in unpolished condition. Hammer Price $345,034.
13. Patek Philippe 18K Pink Gold Split Seconds Chronograph ref. 1436 with two-tone silvered sector dial manufactured in 1950 and subsequently originally sold on November 1, 1952. The Split Seconds Chronograph is a very rare Patek and this particular watch features a sector/aviator dial that was added after its original purchase to enhance its look even more —completely stunning in our opinion. Hammer Price $331,973.
14. Patek Philippe 18K Gold Perpetual Calendar with Moon Phases ref. 2438/1 with box and service papers from 1954 and originally sold on June 23, 1958. This watch just like the ref. 1436 that sold for $428,406 is also a only two-owner watch. This reference is fitted with a screw case back to make it water-resistant. Hammer Price $305,850.
15. Patek Philippe Stainless Steel and 18K Pink Gold Chronograph ref. 130 with two-tone pink dial from 1947. The watch was originally sold on June 25, 1948 and its reference marks the first chronograph to be fitted with calibre 13 and in production from 1936 until 1964. This two-tone model is known to be quite rare and up to date there are only other seven pieces to be known to exist. Hammer Price $305,850.
16. Patek Philippe 18K Gold Split Seconds Chronograph ref. 1436 manufactured and sold in 1946. This watch was auctioned with an additional silvered dial that the previous owner had purchased to give the watch a more current look. Hammer Price $292,789.
17. Patek Philippe 18K Gold Minute Repeater ref. 3979 with white porcelain white dial with box and papers. The watch was originally sold on March 30, 1992. This reference was launched in 1989 to commemorate Patek Philippe's 150th anniversary, discontinued only nine years later and replaced by ref. 5078. Hammer Price $292,789.
18. Patek Philippe Platinum Flared Sides ref. 2442 with diamond-set dial manufactured in 1949 and originally sold on February 11, 1950. This watch is powered by a rare rectangular movement with only 150 watches ever made of which only three examples of the platinum model are known to exist. Hammer Price $292,789.
19. Patek Philippe 18K Gold Openface Keyless Lever Tourbillon Pocket Watch with Breguet numerals and Bulletin d'Observatoire manufactured in 1930, encased in 1951 and originally sold on December 21, 1951. This watch comes with a certificate from the Geneva Observatory attesting that the pocket watch participated in a timing contest in 1946 obtaining the third prize. for Hammer Price $266,667.
20. Patek Philippe 18K Gold Openface Minute Repeater Perpetual Calendar Split Seconds Chronograph ref. 658 Keyless Lever Pocket Watch with Moon Phases and box manufactured in 1931, encased in 1955 and originally sold on July 18, 1955. This watch is known to be one of only five examples of this reference. Hammer Price $253,605.