Historic Patek Philippe watches help Sotheby's New York to 'highest total'

An auction last week (December 6) of Important Watches & Clocks at Sotheby's New York achieved $8,832,572, selling a strong 85.9% by lot. This marks the highest-ever total for an 'Important Watches & Clocks' auction at Sotheby's New York.

An extraordinary 93% of the sold lots brought prices within or above their pre-sale estimates.

"We are thrilled with today's record result for New York," commented John Reardon, Head of Sotheby's Watches department in New York.

"Our strategy as a team has been to focus on the client experience, both for our buyers and consignors, and the diverse offering we presented them resulted in a range of global interest that included top buyers from Asia to the United States, Europe and Africa."

Patek Philippe gold World Time wristwatch
The important Patek Philippe gold World Time wristwatch

The sale was dominated by timepieces from Patek Philippe - nearly one-third of the total lots sold today were by the legendary watchmaker, with marked interest in both time-only and complicated pieces.

The auction was led jointly by two wristwatches which each achieved $482,500.

Firstly, there was an exceptionally rare and historically important 18k yellow gold world time wristwatch, 1937, Ref 96 HU "Heure Universelle" that is one of the earliest and rarest world time watches known to exist.

Patek Philippe Platinum Tonneau Automatic Minute Repeating wristwatch
The tonneau automatic minute-repeating wristwatch

Secondly there was an exceptional and fine platinum tonneau automatic minute repeating perpetual calendar wristwatch with retrograde date and phases of the moon, 2004, Ref 5013P that is one of the most complex wristwatches ever made by Patek Philippe, with a total of 515 parts.

The $482,500 price for the Ref. 96 HU marks a world record for a Patek Philippe worldtime in a Calatrava case.

Last week's sale offered a strong selection of timepieces made for the Chinese market, and the group performed exceptionally well. Each of the eight lots was sold, bringing a cumulative $727,500 - more than double their overall high estimate.

Silver gilt enamel pearl watch
The remarkably decorated silver gilt enamel and pearl watch

The group was led by a fine and rare pair of complementary silver-gilt enamel and pearl centre seconds watches circa 1860 that more than tripled its high estimate of $70,000 in bringing $236,500, as well as an ormolu and enamel quarter striking centre seconds musical table clock from 1780 that achieved $134,500.

Collectors annoyed to have missed this sale and still searching for a fine watch in time for Christmas should look at this Longines men's Olympic watch which we have on offer right now.

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