On June 27-28, the Phillips Geneva Watch Auction XI was held - the first hour offline auction after the pandemic. Auction house Phillips, together with partners Bacs & Russo, organized them at the La Reserve Hotel in Geneva, where they invited only a few select collectors; another 2 thousand connoisseurs of watchmaking participated in the auction remotely. The auction was conducted by the brilliant Aurel Bax, and the most important lots came from the personal collection of Jean-Claude Biver. The charismatic entrepreneur and foremost visionary of the modern watchmaking industry led the LVMH Watches department until the fall of 2018, and is now a non-executive president.
Orel Bax © press service
The absolute bestseller was the sophisticated Patek Philippe watch (Ref. 1518) with a chronograph and perpetual calendar. The model, released in 1948, received a rare rose gold case (the main metal in that series was yellow gold) and an equally rare salmon-colored dial. It is known that this watch appeared on the market only once, when it was acquired by Jean-Claude Biver. Now luck has smiled at an unknown telephone buyer: the watch was sold for 3.38 million Swiss francs, with an estimate of 1.2–2.4 million francs.
Patek Philippe watch (Ref. 1518) © press service
The second Patek Philippe model is a perpetual calendar with chronograph and moon phases (Ref. 2499) from 1957. The total cost of 2.6 million francs exceeded the preliminary estimate of 1–2 million francs. The third hit from Patek Philippe is the Platinum Watch (Ref. 1579) from 1946. They are distinguished by blue enamel markings and unusual design of the strap ears, reminiscent of spider legs. The model also exceeded the estimate (800 thousand - 1.6 million francs) and went under the hammer for 1.94 million francs.
Patek Philippe watch (Ref. 2499) © press service
The independent Geneva watchmaker François-Paul Journe joined the undisputed favorite of all watch sales, Patek Philippe, at the Watch Auction XI. His brand FPJourne - Invenit et Fecit (Latin for “invented and made”) recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. The debut of the Souverain watch with a constant strength remontoire took place in 1999 - 20 years later, the 14th piece from the limited edition of 20 pieces was put up for sale. The Tourbillon Souverain "Souscription" in platinum was owned by the French jeweler Lorenz Beumer and now has a new owner. He paid 1.4 million francs for it with a modest estimate of 150-300 thousand francs. Another impressive result was shown by the Chronomètre à Resonance "Souscription" watch from 2000. François-Paul Journe was the first to use the natural effect of acoustic resonance in a wristwatch.The preliminary estimate of 80-160 thousand francs increased to 1.04 million francs.
1 of 2 Tourbillon Souverain "Souscription" © Press Service Chronomètre à Resonance "Souscription" © Press Service
Two more unique models have crossed the millionth milestone. Patek Philppe pocket watch with world time function (Ref. 605HU) 1950 - its dial with a map of Eurasia and Africa is executed in the technique of cloisonné enamel. Estimate was more than doubled: the total cost was 1.16 million francs.
Among the Rolexes, the most successful was the 6241 Cosmograph Daytona Paul Newman John Player Special chronograph in yellow gold with a black dial, which sold for 1.04 million francs.
Chronograph Cosmograph Daytona "Paul Newman John Player Special", Rolex © Press Service
The proceeds from the two-day auction amounted to CHF 30,072,875.>