Geneva, May 14, 2012 - Antiquorum's May 13 auction of "Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces, Featuring the 40th Anniversary of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak" totaled CHF 7,466,737 with 148 % sold by value. This brought the total of Antiquorum spring sales in Geneva to 13,766,737 CHF
Lively bidding for the collection of 469 modern and vintage timepieces was seen in the room as well as on the phone and internet. Bidders participated from all corners of the globe including from Hong Kong, Taiwan, The Russian Federation, Germany, the United States as well as Switzerland.
The top lot of the sale was the Patek Philippe Ref. 2523 "World Time" (lot 469). The extremely rare 18K gentleman's wristwatch with guilloche dial sold for an impressive 1,190,500 CHF, over twice is low estimate. Further illustrating rare Patek Philippe timepieces are in great demand by collectors, the Patek Philippe Ref. 2526 with black dial (lot 465) was acquired for CHF 86,500.
Another high point of the sale was the aggressive bidding for the Rolex Ref. 5512, Submariner with pointed crown guards that belonged to former Mossad Director, Isser Harel. In an exciting competition for the exceptional watch, there were multiple bidders competing until it reached CHF 100,000 at which point the impassioned battle was down to two phone bidders and ultimately sold to an American bidder for a staggering CHF 248, 500, nearly nine times it high estimate and a world record for the watch.
Other Rolex watches that sold well and over twice their high estimates were the Rolex Ref. 2508 (Lot 287) and the Rolex Ref. 1587 "Jump-Hour, Prince Railway" (lot 459) which sold respectively for CHF 62,500 and CHF 60,000.
Competitive bidding was also seen for the enamel pocket watches offered in the May sale. Exceptional examples made by great makers such as Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin elicited noteworthy prices; the Patek Philippe Ref. 715/5 watch with unique miniature portratit of General Lafayette by J. Pellarin-Leroy( lot 463) obtained CHF 134,500; while the Vacheron & Constantin's "The Lacemaker" with enamel scene by Charles Poluzzi (lot 97) brought an incredible CHF 206,500, over ten times its high estimate.
The special Audemars Piguet Royal Oak chapter also saw some noteworthy results, with 159 % sold by value. The sought-after Royal Oak Jumbo "A Series", No. 88 (lot 402) obtained CHF 40,000, over twice its high estimate and the Audemars Piguet Ref. 15400ST, Royal Oak, No. 1 sold for CHF 32,500, nearly three times its low estimate.
The watches from the property of a Japanese collector (lots 76 - 100) also attained significant totals, proving once again that Patek Philippe timepieces in superior condition bring outstanding prices at auction. The Patek Philippe Ref. 3445 in white gold (lot 80), which has remained in new old stock condition, sold for CHF 37,500, over four times its high estimate; while the Patek Philippe Ref. 3580 (lot 81), thought to be the only known example of the Ref. 3580 with a round case, fetched CHF 40,000, over three times its high estimate.
Also confirming that collections that focus on quality attain superb results at auction, the property of the German Collector (lots 101 -164) fared extremely well. The well -maintained examples of time-only Patek Philippe references , some of which had not been seen at auction for years, were highly coveted by collectors across the globe.
Finally, Cartier also attracted bidders' attention with its Art Deco timepieces in the May sale. The "Cartier Montre de Poche en Cristal de Roche", the rare platinum and rock crystal skeletonized keyless dress watch from circa 1920 (lot 454), achieved CHF 51,250 and the possibly unique platinum and diamond bracelet watch (lot 455) sold for CHF 98,500, nearly twice its high estimate.
Antiquorum looks forward to its next auction on June 12 in New York which will feature rare Patek Philippe timepieces as well as an extraordinary collection of Jaeger-LeCoultre wristwatches.
The "Top Lots" of the May 13th auction are as follows:
PATEK PHILIPPE, REF. 2523, WORLD TIME, GUILLOCHE GOLD CENTER. Made in 1953, sold on October 10th, 1956. Extremely fine and extremely rare, "World Time", 18K yellow gold gentleman's wristwatch with two crowns and guilloche dial. Accompanied by the Extract from the Archives and a Patek Philippe overhaul dated May 2011.
PATEK PHILIPPE - MAGNIFICENT & HISTORIC UNIQUE TOURBILLON WATCH - ONE OF THE WORLD'S MOST ACCURATE MECHANICAL PRECISION WATCHES FROM THE 20TH CENTURY & MULTIPLE OBSERVATORY PRIZE WINNER, NATIONAL PHYSICAL LABORATORY CRAFTSMANSHIP TEST RECORD HOLDER OF 1954 WITH REMARKABLE COMPLETE DAILY TESTING RECORDS BETWEEN 1934 AND 1954.
ROLEX, REF. 5512, SUBMARINER POINTED CROWN GUARDS, METER FIRST GIFTED TO ISSER HAREL, DIRECTOR OF THE MOSSAD FROM 1952-1963. Made circa 1959. Fine and historically important, center seconds, self-winding, water-resistant to 200 m, stainless steel diver's wristwatch, the back engraved with the emblem of the State of Israel, Mossad motto and name Isser Harel in Hebrew
VACHERON & CONSTANTIN, THE LACEMAKER, SIGNED ENAMEL BY CHARLES POLUZZI. Made circa 1960. Extremely fine and unique, 18K yellow gold and painted on enamel keyless dress watch. Accompanied by the original fitted box.
THE MAGNIFICENT CHINESE PEONY FLOWER GRANDE SONNERIE CLOCKWATCH WITH TRIP REPEATING Swiss, Geneva. Made circa 1820. Magnificent and exceptionally rare, very large, three-train, 18K gold, painted and champlevé enamel, pearl-set, "quarters first" Grande Sonnerie striking clockwatch with trip quarter-repeating.
PATEK PHILIPPE, REF. 715/5, WATCH WITH UNIQUE ENAMEL MINIATURE PORTRAIT OF GENERAL LA FAYETTE BY J. PELLARIN-LEROY WITH ORIGINAL BOX AND DOCUMENTATION. The miniature by J. Pellarin-Leroy after Joseph Desire Court's portrait of Gilbert Motier, Marquis de La Fayette as Lieutenant General of 1791. The movement made in 1962, encased in 1974 and sold on December 20th, 1974. Accompanied by the original Patek Philippe fitted box and Certificate of Origin, original retailer's sales receipt of January 31st, 1975, Patek Philippe valuation correspondence from 1979-2001 and the Extract from the Archives. Extremely fine and unique, 18K yellow gold, keyless dress watch with exceptional polychrome painted on enamel miniature portrait of General La Fayette.
PATEK PHILIPPE, REF. 844, AMERICAN DIGITAL PERPETUAL CALENDAR & MINUTE REPEATER. Movement made in 1947, completed and cased in 1973, sold on December 1st, 1980. Extremely fine, very rare and elegant, 18K yellow gold, keyless, minute repeating dress watch with digital "American" perpetual calendar and moon phases. Accompanied by the Extract from the Archives.
Audemars Piguet, Genève, "Royal Oak, Automatic Tourbillon, 1972-1997", No. 01. Made in a very limited edition in 1997 for the 25th anniversary of the Royal Oak. Very fine and extremely rare, important, large, self-winding, platinum wristwatch with visible one-minute tourbillon regulator, date, power reserve indication and a platinum Audemars Piguet bracelet. Accompanied by fitted box, Audemars Piguet Certificate of Origin and magnifying glass.
CARTIER/EUROPEAN WATCH & CLOCK CO., POSSIBLY UNIQUE PLATINUM AND DIAMOND BRACELET WATCH Cartier, Paris.. Made in 1951. Possibly unique platinum, and baguette-cut diamond wristwatch with integral platinum link bracelet. Accompanied by a Cartier certificate of authenticity dated October 2011.
PATEK PHILIPPE REF. 3971, SAPPHIRE SNAP-BACK CASE, YELLOW GOLD. Made in 1988, sold on June 23rd 1988. Very fine and rare, astronomic, 18K yellow gold wristwatch with round button chronograph, registers, perpetual calendar and moon phases. Accompanied by the Extract of the Archives.