Esteemed auction house Phillips, in association with Bacs & Russo, recently concluded The Hong Kong Watch Auction: Seven. The event was a major success, achieving an impressive HK$110.3 million (US$14 million) in sales. The blockbuster event follows a similarly positive event in Geneva, cumulatively raking in US$35.3 million, and was followed by a sale of watches in New York entitled: “Styled. Timeless Watches & How To Wear Them” in collaboration with Mr Porter and The Rake.
Spanning 241 rare and collectible timepieces, the auction attracted a global set of buyers from 50 countries across 6 continents, in addition to a record-breaking 510 online bidders. Exceptional sales spanned across a variety of categories, illustration how diverse the market is, and Phillips’ ability to nimbly adapt to this dynamic and exciting landscape.
Thomas Perazzi, Head of Watches, Asia, said: “This season we saw astonishing international participation… resulting in extraordinary results across the board. The community of watch collectors in Asia showed particularly fierce competition for vintage watches, demonstrating a growing interest in the field.”
So what were some of the most impressive timepieces sold at the Hong Kong watch auction? Take a look below.
1. Patek Philippe pocket watch (Lot 840)
A major highlight of the auction was this elegant yellow gold antique open face Patek Philippe pocket watch, which received the first class prize at the Geneva 1929 Observatory timing competition. The item significantly surpassed its appraisal value, achieving triple its estimate at HK$3.28 million.
2. Patek Philippe perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch (Lot 1049)
Achieving the same price as the yellow pocket watch above was Lot 1049: a Patek Philippe with a platinum perpetual calendar with moon phases and additional silvered dial with Breguet numerals.
3. Rolex “John Player Special” (Lot 876)
Another star lot was the Rolex “John Player Special”, a yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with a black “Paul Newman” dial displaying contrasting gold registers — an extremely rare variant of the original “Paul Newman” model cased in 18K yellow gold. New to market, the watch sold far above its low estimate, achieving an astounding price tag of HK$6.1 million.
4. Patek Philippe white gold perpetual calendar wristwatch (Lot 834)
Lot 834, a Patek Philippe white gold perpetual calendar wristwatch with moon phases and inverted date numerals, also exceeded all estimates, attaining a winning bid of HK$3.22 million. The rare dial features pearled minute divisions, applied gold indexes and inverted date numerals around the moon.
5. Patek Philippe wristwatch in stainless steel (Lot 888)
Finally, another standout showing came from the Patek Philippe wristwatch in stainless steel with a perpetual calendar and moon phases (Lot 888). With the piece achieving a total of HK$4.3 million, it was yet another example of Patek Philippe’s rare and fine timepieces sparking intense competition amongst buyers at the watch-centric auction to achieve record sales.