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The crowning (gold) jewels from Phillips in Geneva

There are countless intriguing and attractive timepieces suited to every budget at Phillips’ forthcoming Geneva Watch Auction Five, but come the day of the sale, all eyes will be on these stunning — and rather gold — headliners from industry big-hitters Rolex and Patek Philippe…

A (John Player) special Daytona 

Of the smattering of delectable Rolex Daytonas at the sharp end of the catalogue, this 14-karat gold ‘John Player Special Paul Newman’ (est. 400,000–800,000 CHF) is the one for which we’d raise our paddle, predominantly for its evocative colour scheme akin to the legendary black-and-gold early 1970s Lotus Formula 1 cars. Furthermore, it’s the only known example with its original retailer, Tiffany & Co, emblazoned on the dial.  

Trophy piece

Just what is it about the Tiffany & Co name that makes a vintage watch so desirable? This yellow gold Patek Philippe perpetual calendar chronograph (ref. 2499) also has the luxury retailer’s name on its dial. It’s one of just 349 pieces built between 1951 and 1985, and given that the sole other second-series ref. 2499 with Tiffany on its dial is secure in a private collection, this is a unique opportunity to obtain what Phillips is dubbing a ‘trophy for the world’s most discerning collector’. It’s estimated to fetch 1–2m CHF. 

The Last Emperor's Rolex

The legendary Rolex ‘Bao Dai’ is certainly the watch that’s garnered the most attention ahead of the sale, and rightly so. Purchased new by the last emperor of Vietnam, his Majesty Bao Dai, the one-of-three ref. 6062 is expected to become the most expensive watch ever sold when it crosses the block next week. 

Time is of the essence

The Patek Philippe World Time is not only one of the most beautiful watches ever made, but it is also the most important. This 18-karat yellow gold ref. 2523/1 dates back to 1963, and in addition to its immaculate condition, it’s also the only example produced with Tiffany & Co on its dial — do you see a theme emerging here? 

Sydney Rose

Aptly christened the ‘Sydney Rose’, this 18-karat pink gold Patek Philippe ref. 2497 from 1954, amazingly, wasn’t sold for six years after it was made. Reportedly unworn by its Australian owner for the last 60 years, it’s now returned to its homeland to be sold. It’s estimated at 400,000–800,000 CHF.  

Photos: Phillips © 2017 

You can find the entire catalogue for Phillips’ Geneva Watch Auction: Five, taking place on 13–14 May 2017, listed in the Classic Driver Market.