Tue, Nov 15, 2016

Art & Auctions
Rare watch sells for record $11m

A rare stainless steel Patek Philippe Reference 1518 wristwatch has become the most expensive watch ever sold at auction, fetching a little over $11 million.

The sale, titled ‘Geneva Watch Auction: Four’ was held on November 12 and 13 and saw collectors from across the globe competing for the world’s finest timepieces. 

The weekend sale was held by British auction house Phillips in association with Bacs & Russo and saw as many as 177 watches sold for a total of CHF27.5 million ($27.7 million). 

The sale’s top lot, the Patek Philippe reference 1518 in stainless steel, established a new world record for any wristwatch at auction, the auctioneer said.

A trilogy of Patek Philippe 1518s sold for a combined total of over CHF13 million, including the stainless steel model with its record price of CHF11 million ($11.06 million), a pink gold model for CHF1.47 million ($1.48 million) and a yellow gold model for CHF598,000 ($601,000). 

The sale attracted from buyers across six continents, reflecting the global appeal of this important collecting genre. 

The Patek Philippe Reference 1518 ignited a bidding war of 13 minutes, eventually selling for CHF11 million ($11.06 million), more than three times its pre-sale estimate. 

One of only four examples known, this extremely rare Patek Philippe perpetual calendar chronograph was made in 1943 and has a moonphase indicator and tachymeter scale.

Senior Consultant Aurel Bacs said: “It was a privilege for me to offer the stainless steel Patek Philippe reference 1518. It was breathtaking to stand in front of a packed saleroom with over 400 people and another 500 passionate watch enthusiasts from around the world following the auction online or over the phones – it was simply electric. Its world record result is a strong testimony that the watch market is universally accepted as an important pillar of the international art collector community, and that Phillips’ strategy focusing on watches of the finest quality is the winning formula.” 

Phillips in association with Bacs & Russo will present ‘Rolex Milestones: 38 Legendary Watches That Shaped History’ in Hong Kong on November 28. 

This evening sale will be followed by ‘Hong Kong Watch Auction: Three’ on November 29.

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