Patek Philippe Ref 791 tops world’s first women’s watch auction

Some things never change. A Patek Philippe has topped the first auction dedicated to women’s watches.

The Swiss manufacturer’s Ref 791 sold for $70,000 at Artcurial’s January 18 sale, comfortably surpassing its $61,000 estimate.

Patek Philippe women's watch

Patek Philippe's museum houses another of these rarities

The hugely rare 1962-made timepiece features sapphires and 18 karat gold.

The landmark auction, which took place in the sumptuous surroundings of the Monaco Yacht Club, aimed to prove there is an appetite among collectors for women’s watches.  

Talking prior to the sale, Geoffroy Ader, watch consultant at Artcurial, said: “I have worked in the auction business for a long time and people have been discussing the idea of holding a thematic sale dedicated to women’s watches for years without actually making it happen.

“We have decided to finally do it because more and more brands are putting forward mechanical watches for women and, although I don’t believe women collect watches with the same degree of fervor that men do, they are becoming increasingly interested in good quality, mechanical pieces and are nowadays more likely to want to buy them for themselves.”

The second-most valuable watch at the Les Temps est Feminin auction was a 1972 Piaget Ref 3881.

Piaget watch

Piaget's Ref 3881 trebled its estimate

The 18 karat yellow gold and malachite bangle watch trebled its estimate to sell for $38,000.

Less than 30 were made, making this a rare opportunity for collectors to get their hands on one.

It will be fascinating to see if Artcurial's experiment becomes a regular feature on the auction calendar and whether other auctioneers follow suit.

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