Christie's watch auctions realise record $43.9m total in Geneva

Christie's three-session watch auction series in Geneva on November 10-11 has achieved record results for any watch sale series ever held.

Patek Philippe ref 2499 Pink Gold
Pink gold examples of the finest Patek Philippe models are rare, and highly sought after

The sales totalled $43.9m, with the various-owner Important Watches auction making $30.7m, and the Rolex Daytona "Lesson One" sale achieving $13.2m. Over 100 auction records were set in just 24 hours.

The overall top lot was a rare 1957 Patek Philippe ref. 2499 in pink gold, which sold for $4.2m. It is one of only eight examples of the second series model known in pink gold.

Following was a yellow gold Patek Philippe ref. 1563 from 1947, one of the three recorded examples of the model known to exist. Created as a special order for Duke Ellington, it sold for $1.5m.

Rolex Daytona Paul Newman record
The combination of a black dial and screw-down pushers, which make the watch waterproof, is the most desirable for Rolex Daytona collectors

The Rolex Daytona "Lesson One" sale was held to mark the 50th anniversary of "the world's most celebrated chronograph wristwatch", with a Paul Newman model setting a new world record for any Rolex Daytona at $1m.

A stainless steel example, made in 1969, it features a black background and screw-down pushers, which is the most prestigious and sought-after model among collectors.

Christie's international head of watches, Aurel Bacs, commented: "Christie's first ever evening auction dedicated to wristwatches proved an unprecented success.

"With four hundred people in the saleroom and plenty more queuing outside, I rarely experience a similar rock concert atmosphere from the rostrum.

"Setting 50 world record for 50 watches as well as achieving an absolute record for any Rolex Daytona ever sold at auction, Rolex Daytona "Lesson One" will be remembered as a historical event."

Antiquorum also saw success, achieving a new world record for a Patek Philippe ref 5016 in pink gold on November 10 in Geneva, with the third example ever to appear at auction (and the first with a black dial) selling for an impressive $785,728.

Sign up to Paul Fraser Collectibles' free newsletter for the latest on watch collecting and more from the world of collecting.


Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock