Million-wear: Patek and Rolex achieve record prices at the Christie’s Geneva watch auction
Two million for two special watches
The pricey Patek Philippe in question was the elegant and dainty cushion-shaped minute repeater commissioned by Henry Graves Jr. which, by today’s standards, would be considered too small even for the most slender female wrist. Nevertheless, it represents a milestone in the development history of the minute repeater wristwatch, and stirred up great interest in Geneva between Patek enthusiasts and serious watch collectors alike. Even if the final sale price of 1,205,000 CHF (incl. tax) was just below its lower estimate, the result still represents a new record for this sought-after watch. The other record-breaking timepiece was lot 207: the cloisonné-dialled Rolex. An anonymous bidder paid 1,097,000 CHF for the privilege of owning the Oyster Perpetual with enamel decorated by artist Marguerite Koch.
Three more top-sellers at a glance
Also achieving a headline-grabbing sum (917,000 CHF) was the Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon (lot 48), which combined twelve complications within an 18-carat gold case. Later in the sale, one buyer was clearly overcome by enthusiasm for the 18-carat gold and diamond Rolex Daytona, with their determined bidding reaching far beyond the 800,000 CHF upper estimate, and eventually settling at an impressive 905,000 CHF. Rounding off the top five sellers was a rare Breguet Montre Garde-Temps à Tourbillon pocket watch, bought new in 1809 for 4,600 French francs. The golden artifact will now complete a quasi-homecoming after being purchased by Breguet – now owned by the Swatch Group – to form an important part of its heritage collection.