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Sotheby's Important Watches totals $7.6 million: Robust online buying drives results
9697 FP Journe Limited Edition Stainless Steel Minute Repeating Grande and Petite Sonnerie. Courtesy Sotheby’s.



NEW YORK, NY.- A fantastic combination of modern and vintage propelled yesterday’s auction of Important Watches to a $7.6 million total, beating its high estimate of $7.3 million and with 86.1% of lots sold. With 20 wristwatches, pocket watches and clocks sold over $100,000, the top prices represented a diverse array of makers.

Katharine Thomas, Head of Sotheby’s Watches Department in New York, commented: “With top prices for a plethora of makers including Patek Philippe, F.P. Journe, Cartier, Rolex. Greubel Forsey, Audemars Piguet and more, today’s auction showcased the depth of interest in the wonderful world of watches. We were delighted to have strong results driven by international bidding for established and independent watchmakers and their vintage and modern masterpieces, as symbolized by the top lots of the sale: a Patek Philippe Ref 2526 and F.P. Journe’s Sonnerie Souveraine.”

Important Watches was led a pair of wristwatches, separated by fifty years of horological ingenuity. The vintage offerings were led by a Fine and Very Rare White Gold and Diamond Set Automatic Wristwatch Ref 2526 by Patek Philippe, retailed by the illustrious and fabled Serpico y Laino boutique in Caracas. Soaring past its pre-sale estimate of $80/120,000, this vintage wristwatch from 1956 – one of the most important models in Patek Philippe’s history – achieved $325,000. The top modern piece of the sale was F.P. Journe’s Limited Edition Stainless Steel Minute Repeating Grande and Petite Sonnerie Wristwatch with Power Reserve. Featuring what is widely considered to be the ‘most complex of horological complications’, the Grand Sonnerie, this particular example achieved $325,000.

Wristwatches from esteemed maker Rolex continue to draw interest in our New York salesroom. Of the 14 Daytonas offered, including 2 Paul Newmans, 12 fetches prices above their high estimates. The group was led by a Stainless Steel Chronograph Wristwatch Daytona Ref 6239 and a Fine Yellow Gold Chronograph Wristwatch Daytona Ref 6263, both of which sold for $162,500, above their high estimate of $120,000.

An Impressive Yellow Gold Silver Gilt Rock Crystal Lapis Lazuli Nephrite and Diamond Set Two Column Portico Mystery Clock by Cartier was the leading clock in Important Watches. From circa 1984, this mechanically and aesthetically pleasing design, in which time appears to magically float in the air, drew in over four bidders before selling to a telephone bidder for a final price of $250,000 (estimate $125/200,000). Cartier timepieces in other forms also found significant competition in the salesroom. A Fine and Rare Yellow Gold, Enamel, Diamond and Turquoise-Set Lapel Watch in the Form of an Acorn, from circa 1925, ignited a frenzy of interest in the New York salesroom. Carrying a pre-sale estimate of $20/30,000, the beautiful timepiece soared to $85,000.

The pocket watches on offer today were led by Audemars Piguet’s Fine and Rare Yellow Gold Open Faced Perpetual Calendar Split Seconds Chronograph Minute Repeating Watch with Moon Phases Ref 5543BA. Started in 1907 and completed circa 1968, the present lot sold for $100,000. Carrying the same inner mechanism but completed over five decades prior in 1912, a Fine and Rare Green Gold and Enamel Open Faced Perpetual Calendar Split Seconds Chronograph Minute Repeating Watch with Moon Phases sold for $87,500 (estimate $60/100,000).

Finally, modern timepieces made a splash in today’s auction of Important Watches. The 35 Hublot wristwatches offered by a Midwestern Gentlemen were 100% sold, with 30 of the watches achieving prices above their high estimates. The top lot of this group of mostly limited-edition watches was led by a Limited Edition Blackened Titanium and Ceramic Tonneau Form Tourbillon Wristwatch. Named the Senna, in honor of the race car driver Ayrton Senna, this striking yellow and black watch fetched $40,000 (estimate $30/60,000).

Offerings from Sotheby’s Watches Continue Online With:

• The Wish List: Jewellery & Watches
28 November – 11 December 2017

• The Panerai Experience Online
30 November – 15 December 2017










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