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Fresh approach to attract broader audience nets Phillips $11.5m in New York auction


An initiative to open the intimidating world of watch auctions to a wider audience appears to have hit the mark as the latest sale by Philipps in Association with Bacs and Russo generated over $11.5 million from an event held in partnership with online retailer Mr Porter and gentlemen’s style title The Rake.

There were 600 people registered for the auction, which was titled Styled. Timeless Watches and How to Wear Them. Bids came in from more than 50 countries.

The line up of watches was curated by a team from Philipps, The Rake and Mr Porter, and promoted across the digital platforms of the three organizations.


Aurel Bacs, senior consultant, and Paul Boutros, Phillips’ head of watches, Americas, jointly said:“We were fortunate to have the opportunity to partner with Mr Porter and The Rake. It was a true pleasure to welcome an entirely new audience through our doors as we celebrated the increasingly converging worlds of watches and fashion.”

Phillips says its total sales worldwide this year for watches hit $108 million. “Collectors across the globe continue to vie for exceptional watches across a variety of styles and manufacturers and we are confident that this momentum will continue into 2019. This season was particularly remarkable.”

Toby Bateman, managing director, Mr Porter says that the auction showcased the engagement and power of the vintage watch community. “Mr Porter has gained an even broader perspective and insight into this group, and we thank Phillips, The Rake, and the teams involved in celebrating not only the timeless watches themselves, but, how to wear them,” he adds.

The top lot of the sale was a 1957 Rolex “Big Crown” Submariner that sold for $567,000. The reference 6538, immortalized onscreen by Sean Connery’s James Bond in films such as Dr. No and Goldfinger was in exceptional condition despite never having  been polished or restored. It came complete with its original guarantee and chronometer certificate.

Other top lots (described by Phillips) and sale prices were:


ROLEX. Reference 6538, circa 1957. An extremely rare, well preserved, and highly attractive stainless steel wristwatch with black lacquer “four liner” dial, big crown, bracelet, fitted presentation box, original guarantee, and chronometer certificate. Sold for $567,866.


PATEK PHILIPPE. Reference 1463, circa 1946. An extremely rare and highly attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with two-tone silvered dial with outer tachymeter scale. Sold for $495,000.


PATEK PHILIPPE. Reference 5016R, circa 2011. An extremely rare and important pink gold minute repeating perpetual calendar wristwatch with tourbillon, retrograde date, moon phase, Breguet numerals, certificate of origin, and presentation box. Sold for $399,000.


PATEK PHILIPPE. Reference 5078P-013, circa 2009. A possibly unique and important platinum minute repeating wristwatch with blue soleil dial, certificate of origin and presentation box, factory double sealed. Sold for $375,000.


PATEK PHILIPPE. Reference 2497, 1951. An early, extremely fine and very rare yellow gold perpetual calendar wristwatch with sweep center seconds and moon phases. Sold for $362,500.


ROLEX. Reference 8171, circa 1951. An extremely rare, highly attractive, and well-preserved yellow gold triple calendar wristwatch with moon phases and two-tone dial. Sold for $350,000.



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