Bidders from more than 50 countries participated in the auction — in the bustling saleroom, on the phone and online — all eager to acquire the exceptional timepieces brought to the market by the Phillips team, many of which were offered for the first time at auction.
The 1957 Rolex "Big Crown" Submariner
The top lot of the sale was a 1957 Rolex "Big Crown" Submariner, among the most impressive and best-preserved examples of its kind, selling for $567,000. The reference 6538 has been forever immortalized onscreen by Sean Connery's James Bond in films such as Dr. No and Goldfinger. Preserved in exceptional condition, having never been polished or restored, this example was offered complete with its hardly-ever-seen original guarantee and chronometer certificate.
The IWC Ref. 3705 previously in the Blümlein collection
Several lots soared past their estimates, including an IWC Ref. 3705 from the family of renowned watchmaker Günter Blümlein, which sold for an astonishing $53,750 against an estimate of $6,000-8,000, and a 2017 Vacheron Constantin "Cornes de Vache" Ref. 5000H chronograph in steel which achieved $93,750, more than tripling its high estimate.
The auction was extremely well attended, with many bidders traveling to New York to raise their paddles in person, but there was also a lot of activity on the phones and online, with nearly 600 online registrants and most lots receiving online bids.
Headed up by Paul Boutros, the New York Watches team—including Doug Escribano, Isabella Proia, Manon Bega, and Daniella Rosa—had a busy night on the phone banks
Also among the highlights was an 18 karat rose gold fresh-to-the-market Patek Philippe reference 5016, which realized $399,000. At the time of its creation, the reference 5016 was the most complicated wristwatch ever produced by the firm, fitted with watchmaking’s most prestigious complications - a minute repeater, retrograding perpetual calendar, and tourbillon.
Aurel Bacs, Senior Consultant, and Paul Boutros, PHILLIPS’ Head of Watches, Americas, jointly said, “Curated with an extraordinary degree of attention to detail, PHILLIPS’ second annual New York watch auction underscores a burgeoning American market for high-quality timepieces."
A first-of-its-kind evening sale, the four-hour auction marked the culmination of the season's partnership between Phillips, MR PORTER and THE RAKE, which curated a selection of tailored looks showcased alongside exceptional vintage and modern timepieces in both the catalogue and Phillips' New York gallery.
For more information on the sale and its top successes, read on in our press release.