Antiquorum's end of the year sale - Celebrating 35 Years of Making History in Time, on December 9 at its US headquarters in New York City - was a massive success.
Sales totaled an astounding $9,237,600; of which 85% were sold by lot with 135% sold by value based on the low estimates.
The auction room was filled to capacity with collectors and dealers alike, aggressively bidding on the 402 exceptional vintage and modern timepieces on offer.
In the end, the undisputed star of the sale was the extremely rare and highly sought-after Patek Philippe ref. 3974.
Also popular was the Rolex Double Red Sea Dwellers, formerly owned by renowned world record holding 'Comex' divers, Patrice Chemin and Robert Gauret.
Unsurprisingly, 2009's final Antiquorum attracted bids from across the globe, including China, France, Italy, Germany, Martinique, The Middle East and The United States.
The outstanding 3-dial Patek Philippe ref. 3974 in Platinum eventually sold for a world record price of $1.2m, having sparked intense worldwide competition in the auction room, including telephone and online bids.
Many other fine examples of Patek Philippe timepieces also sold exceptionally well. Notably, the Patek Philippe ref. 5101P 'Ten Days Tourbillon' retailed by Tiffany & Co, which brought a remarkable $295,200.
The Patek Philippe ref. 3450, with crystal display case back, also achieved $270,000. Equally important was the Patek Philippe ref. 3970 in platinum, which brought an impressive $168,000.
"We are thrilled by today's results which wind up 2009 with a record breaking year-end total of over $31m in US sales, figures which would have seemed unfeasible just a few years ago," said Evan Zimmermann, President & CEO of Antiquorum, in a statement.
"Our steady growth has proven that the market for collector's watches in the United States is unquestionably a mature and integral part of the worldwide market."
Vintage Rolex sport watches were also in great demand at the Antiquorum sale.
A particular highlight was the Rolex ref. 1665 'Physalie VI' Double Red Sea-Dwellers. The watch was famously tested by the renowned divers, Patrice Chemin and Robert Gauret during their world record dive Physalie VI, in a hyperbaric chamber at 2001 feet.
Mr Chemin's Double Red Sea-Dweller sold for an extraordinary $162,000, six times its estimate, while Mr Gauret's Double Red Sea-Dweller sold for a remarkable $144,000, five times its estimate.
Other Rolex watches also attained spectacular results: the Rolex ref. 6234, with exceptional black dial bringing $182,400, while the Rolex ref. 1680 'Comex' attained a noteworthy $130,800.
In addition, the Rolex ref. 6102 'Bombay' with an extremely rare blue enamel dial, in great demand by collectors worldwide, achieved $56,400.
Moreover, the Rolex DeepSea ref. 116660 'Pro-Hunter' sold for an extraordinary $33,600.
Finally, Vacheron Constantin also achieved excellent results. The Stainless Steel Vacheron Tonneau Tourbillon sold for a surprising $135,600, while the Vacheron Constantin Malte Prepetual Calendar and Minute Repeater in pink gold sold for an impressive $216,000.
"The impressive outcome for Patrice Chemin's and Robert Gauret's Double-Red Sea Dwellers confirm that collectors in today's market are looking for prestigious timepieces associated with important historical events," observed Julien Schaerer, Watch Director & Auctioneer, Antiquorum.
"Not only are these watches of unquestionable provenance, but they will also forever be linked to their renowned world record dive, adding immeasurably to their value and desirability."
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