It was another huge auction for Rolex and Patek Philippe, but they were overshadowed for once by an independent watchmaker as an Urwerk Atomic Mechanical Control timepiece sold for $2.9 million at this week’s Game Changers sale at Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo.
Urwerk devoted 10 years of research and development to create the Atomic Mechanical Control, and it is considered one of the most important horological pieces of recent years.
The clock comes with a companion Urwerk wristwatch (pictured below).
The New York auction sold every watch, netting a total of $20,169,875. It was the first time that a US auction has ever sold five watches for more than $1 million.
Demand for desirable Rolex and Patek Philippe models shows no sign of cooling. Rather, it is getting even hotter, with several several world auction records set including for a Rolex GMT-Master, a Rolex Day-Date, a Patek Philippe Reference 1518 in pink gold, and a second series Patek Philippe Reference 2499 in yellow gold.
Watches with famous owners grabbed headlines. A Rolex Day-Date Ref. 1803 owned by legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus sold for $1.22 million. 100% of the sale proceeds will directly benefit the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation.
A Rolex GMT Master owned by Marlon Brando sold for $1.952 million, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the Brando Fischer Foundation.
Top 10 hammer prices:
(descriptions by Phillips):