14 November 2018

Phillips, the Worldwide Market Leader in Watch Auctions, Achieves CHF 66 Million, the highest annual total ever for watch auctions in Switzerland, more than all of the other auction houses combined

Including The Highest Result For Any wristwatch sold in 2018,

The “Unicorn” Rolex 6265 in white gold, sold for CHF 5.9m


The Geneva Watch Auction: EIGHT Achieves CHF 21 million

The Highest Sale Result of the Geneva November Watch Auctions

With the Highest Average Lot Value and The Highest Sold Rate, 99%

in the most curated watch auction held in Geneva this autumn


Setting Multiple New World Records Including:

The Highest Result Ever Achieved for any Rolex “Jean-Claude Killy” chronograph

Selling for Over CHF 700,000

 The Highest Result Ever Achieved for any Rolex Sea-Dweller

Selling for Over CHF 700,000

And Breaking The CHF 1 Million Mark For

A Fresh-To-Market Patek Philippe Ref. 3974 in Platinum, to Many the Most Beautiful Patek Philippe Wristwatch Manufactured in The Last 30 years


Record Participation of More than 1000 Bidders Across all Platforms in more than 60 Countries


Geneva Watch Auction: EIGHT


Lots sold: 214 | Lots offered: 222                                                                                                 Sold by lot: 96% | Sold by value: 99%


GENEVA – 14 November 2018 – The Geneva Watch Auction: EIGHT realised a total of CHF 21,359,750/$21,250,815/€18,741,044 (pre-sale estimate: CHF 12 to 21 million), confirming Phillips’ market leadership in watch sales. The result is more than 50% what its nearest competitor achieved during the same weekend, and makes this the third most successful auction of the year, behind the Geneva Watch Auction: SEVEN and The Daytona Ultimatum, all of which were organized by Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo.

Held over two days, The Geneva Watch Auction: EIGHT surpassed its pre-sale high estimate with many of the 222 lots offered selling well above their high estimate, including multiple record-breaking watches and memorable bidding battles between passionate collectors.

Leading this weekend’s results was an incredibly rare platinum Patek Philippe reference 3974 (lot 78A), one of only eight publically known in platinum, which sold for a remarkable CHF 1,032,500/$1,027,234/€905,915.

There were strong results across all models for Rolex, including a new world record for a Rolex reference 6236, also known as the “Jean-Claude Killy”. Likely the best-preserved example to ever come to auction, the steel “Killy” (lot 42) realised CHF 702,500/$698,917/€616,373 breaking its own world record in the process.

Another remarkable highlight of the evening was the extremely rare and historically important Rolex Sea-Dweller reference 1665 “Single Red” prototype in stainless steel with no helium valve case, which sold for CHF 708,500/$704,886/€621,638 therefore setting a new world record for a Rolex Sea-Dweller.

Results were notably impressive across all of the early Rolex chronographs presented during the sale in a spectacular riposte to the Daytona Ultimatum auction held earlier this year.

Watches rarely seen at auction included the Omega Speedmaster Alaska I (lot 36) and the Audemars Piguet reference 1533 chronograph, which ignited fierce and lengthy bidding between passionate collectors. The Omega Alaska I sold for CHF 193,750/$192,716/€169,996, while the Audemars Piguet reference 1533 chronograph wristwatch (Lot 101) sold for CHF 384,500/$382,539/€337,360. Both surpassed all expectations by tripling their respective high estimates.

Independent watchmakers continue to be extremely popular. Even before the auction began, Phillips received tremendous interest for the watches included in two chapters dedicated to contemporary watchmakers. Notable results include the F.P. Journe Tourbillon Souverain (lot 14), which sold for CHF 468,500/$466,110/€411,062, more than doubling its high estimate. The Jean Daniel Nicolas Two Minute Tourbillon was another highlight, selling for CHF 110,000/$ 109,439/€ 96,514.

Finally, it is impossible not to mention the tremendous results of recently made watches that are exceptionally difficult to obtain on the high street, including the brand-new Rolex Daytona ‘Rainbow’ in pink gold. The first example sold at auction since its reveal at Baselworld 2018 achieved CHF 243,750 /$242,507/€213,866.

Other notable results were achieved by modern Patek Philippe Nautilus models, including a Tiffany-signed reference 5711/1A (lot 131) CHF125,000/$124,362/€109,675 and the only publically known platinum reference 3800 (lot 105) with slate grey dial and white indexes, sold for CHF 212, 500/$211,416/€186,447

While Phillips had the immense pleasure of welcoming more than 400 enthusiasts who travelled from all over the world to bid on some of the finest watches with their paddles, online and phone bidders also made their presence felt throughout the sale. Participation was particularly strong online. The Geneva Watch Auction: EIGHT saw a record number of online bids, with more than 700 bidders actively participating online and winning almost a quarter of the lots proposed.

Alex Ghotbi, Head of Sale and Aurel Bacs, Consultant and Auctioneer of the auction, jointly comment:

“Firstly, we wish to thank all our clients, consignors and bidders alike, for their trust and for having travelled from far to attend our Geneva Watch Auction: EIGHT. It is an immense privilege to host an auction in front of over 350 clients in the room and over 700 online bidders, with hundreds more bidding via telephone. Secondly, we were thrilled to see how passionately the market reacted to our well curated sale, resulting in an unprecedented sold rate and the highest sale total of any watch auction this season. The team of Phillips watch specialists clearly understood the needs and expectations of the international watch collector’s community, an ever-growing market displaying a great degree of maturity, scholarship and passion. During the Geneva preview, highlights from the Hong Kong Watch Auction: Seven and the New York auction ‘STYLED. Timeless Watches And How To Wear Them’ were enthusiastically welcomed, intensely previewed and received strong interest. We very much look forward to welcoming the community to these two auctions”.

Phillips’s next watch auctions will be the Hong Kong Watch Auction: SEVEN on November 27, 2018 and Styled. Timeless 






Price Achieved


PATEK PHILIPPE, reference 3974

An incredibly rare and attractive platinum minute repeating perpetual calendar wristwatch with phases of the moon.

CHF 650,000 to 950’000

CHF 1,032,500

$ 1,027,234                   

€ 905,915


ROLEX, reference 1665

An extremely rare and historically important stainless-steel prototype wristwatch with “Single Red” dial, no helium valve case, formerly the property of Robert Palmer Bradley.

World record for any Rolex Sea-Dweller ever sold at auction

CHF 500,000 to 1,000,000

CHF 708,500

$ 704,886

€ 621,638


ROLEX, reference 6236 “The Outstanding Killy”

A very fine and rare, incredibly well preserved stainless-steel triple calendar chronograph wristwatch with bracelet.

World record for any Rolex “Jean-Claud Killy” ever sold at auction.

CHF 300,000 to 600,000

CHF 702,500

$ 698,917

€ 616,373



PATEK PHILIPPE, reference 530

An extremely rare, large and very attractive pink gold chronograph wristwatch off-white dial retailed by Astrua Torino.

CHF 400,000 to 800,000

CHF 672,500

$ 669,070

€ 590,051


PATEK PHILIPPE, reference 1463

An extremely rare and incredibly well-preserved stainless-steel chronograph wristwatch with Breguet numerals calendar.

CHF 300,000 to 500,000

CHF 582,500

$ 579,529

€ 511,085


ROLEX, reference 6239

An exceedingly rare and attractive stainless-steel chronograph wristwatch with “Paul Newman” dial and bracelet, retailed by Tiffany & Co.

CHF 300,000 to 600,000


$ 537,743

€ 474,234



An extremely rare, well preserved and historically important yellow gold single pusher chronograph wristwatch with vertical registers and officer case.

CHF 400,000 to 800,000

CHF 492,500

$ 489,988

€ 432,119



ROLEX, reference 6238

A fine, extremely rare and highly important stainless-steel chronograph wristwatch “Suspended T” degrade brown tropical glossy dial.

World record for this reference at auction.

CHF 250,000 to 500,000


$ 489,988

€ 432,119


F.P. Journe

Limited edition platinum tourbillon souscription wristwatch with remontoire

CHF 120,000 to 180,000


$ 466,110

€ 411,062


ROLEX, reference 6263

A very well preserved and extremely rare stainless-steel chronograph wristwatch with Mark 2 “Paul Newman” dial and bracelet with original guarantee and box.

CHF 350,000 to 550,000

CHF 444,500

$ 442,233

€ 390,004

Watches & How to Wear Them on December 5, 2018 in New York.


Click here for a selection of high-res images.


Permission for the use of any image is granted for timely reporting and auction review purposes only.

Image courtesy of Phillips / Phillips.com



The team of specialists at Phillips Watches is dedicated to an uncompromised approach to quality, transparency, and client service, achieving a sale total of $112 million in 2017 – its second consecutive year as the worldwide market leader in watch auctions.

 A selection of our recent record-breaking prices:

1.         Paul Newman’s Rolex “Paul Newman” Daytona reference 6239 (CHF 17,709,894/US$17,752,500) – New York Auction: Winning Icons – 26 October 2017 – ­­­Highest result ever achieved for any wristwatch at auction.

2.       Patek Philippe reference 1518 in stainless steel (CHF 11,020,000 /US$11,112,020) – Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR – 12 November 2016 – Highest result ever achieved for a Patek Philippe wristwatch at auction.

3.        Rolex “Bao Dai” reference 6062 (CHF5,066,000 /US$5,060,427) – Geneva Watch Auction: FIVE – 13 May 2017  


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VISIT US AT:  www.phillips.com

Phillips is a leading global platform for buying and selling 20th and 21st century art and design. With dedicated expertise in the areas of 20th Century and Contemporary Art, Design, Photographs, Editions, Watches, and Jewelry, Phillips offers professional services and advice on all aspects of collecting. Auctions and exhibitions are held at salerooms in New York, London, Geneva, and Hong Kong, while clients are further served through representative offices based throughout Europe, the United States and Asia. Phillips also offers an online auction platform accessible anywhere in the world.  In addition to providing selling and buying opportunities through auction, Phillips brokers private sales and offers assistance with appraisals, valuations, and other financial services.

Visit www.phillips.com for further information.


*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium; prices achieved include the hammer price plus buyer’s premium.


PRESS CONTACTS:                        

GENEVA – Asta Ponzo, PR Consultant                                                          aponzo@phillips.com                                   +41 79 961 85 66

LONDON - Katie Carder, Head of Press, Europe                                       kcarder@phillips.com                                  +44 20 7901 7938

NEW YORK - Jaime Israni, Senior Public Relations Specialist              jisrani@phillips.com                                     +1 212 940 1398


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