Record Prices for Watches at Sotheby’s

 Thompson pocket watch. Patek Philippe & Co. 1914. Estimate CHF 400,000–600,000. Sold for CHF 1,868,000. Important wristwatches and watches. Sotheby’s, Geneva. May 16

On May 16 in Geneva, an auction house Sotheby’s held sales titled «Important Watches and Wristwatches». The auctioned collection comprised timepieces produced by the major international companies: Patek Philippe, Rolex, Breguet, A. Lange & Sohne Union Glashütte, Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet and others.

The important sales featured 208 lots and totaled staggering $4,985,838; that was the best result for wristwatches and watches auctions conducted by Sotheby’s at the Geneva branch since May 2003.

As expected, the top-lot of the sales was a custom pocket watch made by Patek Philippe for George Thompson in 1914. Estimated at CHF 400,000–600,000 the lot fetched CHF 1,868,000 ($1,541,212). The watch with two second-hands has two faces: one indicates the current date, while the other – a moon phase.

Alexander Barter, the head of the timepieces department of Sotheby’s Geneva told reporters: «We are stunned by such a result of the sale and especially by the price paid for the watch of George Thompson. There is no doubt that Sotheby’s is the international leader in the sphere of antique timepieces». Indeed, the auction house is holding the world record for clocks and watches ever sold at auction. In 1999 in New York, Sotheby’s sold an extremely rare and unique double-face watch Henry Graves Supercomplication (by Patek Philippe & Co) for $11,000,000 (CHF 17,500,000).

Speaking about the rare Patek Philippe watch sold on May 16, Barter noted that there were only five similar watches in the world. George Thompson’s watch is preserved in perfect condition. The watch was auctioned with the original wooden case and authenticity certificate. Direct descendants of Thompson put it up for sale 92 years after its creation.

Other highlights of the sale included two Rolex chronographs: the steel chronograph with tachometer and telemeter (circa 1940) fetched CHF 132,000 (estimate CHF 25,000–35,000), while the golden one made CHF 216,000 ($178,213). «Perpetual» watch by Patek Philippe (1944, includes chronograph, seconds timer, calendar and tachometer) was purchased for $339,925.

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Published in: on May 31, 2006 at 1:46 am  Leave a Comment  
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