11 November 2021

Phillips Announces Highlights from The 2021 New York Watch Auction

Phillips Announces Highlights from

The 2021 New York Watch Auction


Sale on 11-12 December to be Led by a Spectacular and Historically Important George Daniels Tourbillon Pocket Watch and an Exceptional

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Paul Newman “John Player Special”, ref. 6241


Also Featuring the Omega Speedmaster ref. 145.012 Worn by

American Author Ralph Ellison, Following the Success of Invisible Man


The First Watch Auction to Take Place at

Phillips’ New Headquarters in 432 Park Avenue      





NEW YORK – 11 NOVEMBER 2021 – Phillips is pleased to release the full catalogue for The 2021 New York Watch Auction. Comprised of 165 lots, the sale will take place over two days, with lots 1-81 being offered on Saturday, 11 December, followed by lots 82-165 on Sunday, 12 December. The auction will be led by a spectacular George Daniels Tourbillon pocket watch – the fourth timepiece ever produced by Daniels, widely considered to be the most important watchmaker of the 20th century – and an exceptional, fresh-to-market 18 karat gold Rolex ref. 6241 Cosmograph Daytona Paul Newman “John Player Special.”


Paul Boutros, Phillips’ Head of Watches, Americas, said, “On the heels of our record-breaking auction in Geneva, we are thrilled to welcome our community of collectors back into the New York saleroom for the first time in two years and it is an honor to mark the long-awaited occasion with such an exciting sale.  Taking place for the first time over two days, our Saturday session features a wonderful selection of watches that could have been titled, ‘Treasures from the Americas,’ as most were sourced from American original owners and collectors. The sale includes two fresh-to-market, vintage gold “Paul Newman” Daytonas, as well as the Omega Speedmaster famously worn by the groundbreaking author Ralph Ellison, following the publication of his most-famous work, Invisible Man. Our Sunday session is led by an extraordinary pocket watch by the trailblazing, Independent British watchmaker, George Daniels. Further representing the very best of British watchmaking, an extremely fine “Series 1” watch by Roger Smith, will also be offered – with the exclusive serial number of ‘1’ – the very first example of the model made. Other noteworthy watches with serial number ‘1’ include an early F.P.Journe Octa Lune in platinum with brass movement, and a Cartier Tortue Minute Repeater in white gold from the CPCP collection.  Our fifth annual New York auction offers timepieces for collectors of all interests and we invite you to join us in our new state-of-the-art Gallery at 432 Park Avenue during our December exhibition to see these iconic works in the metal.”


Lot 102 | GEORGE DANIELS, The Edward Hornby George Daniels Tourbillon Pocket Watch

Estimate: $600,000-1,200,000

Phillips is honored to offer this spectacular George Daniels one minute tourbillon pocket watch with Earnshaw’s spring detent chronometer escapement, the fourth timepiece that Daniels ever created. Belonging to the rare, very first series of eight pocket watches fully handmade by Daniels for collectors between the years 1969 and 1974, they demonstrate his superlative genius and innovation, creating timepieces cherished for their elegance, harmony, and uniqueness. These commissions were a turning point in his career and as his earliest timepieces, are wonderful representations of the excellence of his workmanship and commitment to achieving the best possible. Measuring an impressive 62mm in diameter, the “Edward Hornby” is both an artistic and technical masterpiece. Its namesake was a lawyer and watch collector who began his collection in the 1930s. Hornby would purchase the present lot directly from Daniels in 1971. “The Edward Hornby” is a tour de force in watchmaking. Every part was created by hand, with the exception of the balance spring and crystal, and is masterfully finished to a degree rarely seen in any other timepiece.


Lot 41 | ROLEX, ref. 6241 Cosmograph Daytona Paul Newman “John Player Special”

Estimate: $600,000-1,200,000

Amongst some of the most iconic and prestigious chronograph wristwatches admired by collectors is the Rolex Daytona line of timekeepers. The Daytona model has a long history and symbiotic relationship between the Geneva watchmaker and the high-octane world of motor sport. Nicknamed “John Player Special,” the present watch is an exceedingly rare variant of the “Paul Newman” model. A requisite for tool watches was durability, accuracy and readability, but over time, the Daytona became more of a revered status symbol than an actual tool watch. In the 1960s, however, gold models were extremely rare. The reference 6241 was manufactured from approximately 1966 to 1969 and was amongst the rarest of all Daytona models ever produced. Research indicates fewer than 300 examples were cased in 18K yellow gold, and with the “John Player Special” “Paul Newman” model, far fewer are known. Never before offered publicly, the outstanding state of preservation, stunning aesthetics, and rarity of this model renders it one of the most exciting and beautiful examples of the reference 6241 to be offered at auction.


Lot 39 | ROLEX, ref. 6241 Cosmograph Daytona Paul Newman “The Krug”

Estimate: $250,000-500,000

Phillips is thrilled to offer a second, fresh-to-market gold reference 6241 Daytona – this example encased in 14 karat yellow gold and fitted with a stunning champagne-colored “Paul Newman” dial. Consigned directly by the original owner and preserved in superb overall condition, this beauty has been hidden and unworn for decades as recounted by the original owner in his provenance letter. As the General Manager of AAR Corp in the 1960s, he was given this yellow gold 6241 as a reward for excellent yearly performance. He wore it for a short while until tucking it away in a drawer, having only recently discovered its present-day value. It arrived fitted with the original Rolex strap and buckle and remains completely original – a trophy watch for the most demanding connoisseur.


Lot 165 | ROLEX, ref. 6239 Cosmograph Daytona “Pulsations Cherry Logo”

Estimate: $350,000-700,000

This December, Phillips is thrilled to offer a previously unknown reference 6239 with blue pulsations dial and red floating “Daytona” logo - only the second example found with this exact dial. Part of an extremely small batch of Daytonas made for doctors, a noteworthy design element is the modified dial layout, as a result of the space occupied by the pulsation scale. One might think the scale was simply added to an existing production dial from a standard reference 6239 of this period. Instead, the features were intentionally repositioned, demonstrating this dial variant was designed to feature the pulsations scale from its inception. This example is fitted with a black chronograph hand, as opposed to the normal silver, and white sub-dial hands for enhanced legibility - paramount for a doctor taking the pulse of his patient. The red “Daytona” logo found on this example resembles most closely the early “Cherry logo” dials seen in this era. This custom configuration perfectly fits within the Cosmograph Daytona’s design language, past and present, retaining all the product line’s visually pleasing yet sensible features admired by collectors.


Lot 95 | RICHARD MILLE, RM022 “Tourbillon Aerodyne” Dual Time

Estimate: $250,000-500,000

Richard Mille launched his first watch in 2001 and has since remained true to three key concepts, which helped redefine modern horology: the best technical innovations, the best artistry and architecture, combined with the best traditional watchmaking craftsmanship. Two industries influencing his designs were motorsports and the aerospace industry. This extremely rare RM022 manually-wound dual time tourbillon is a feat of engineering and technology with a case created from carbon nanotubes injected in to a black polymer. The result is an extremely durable material 200 times stronger than steel, while at the same time being very light.  The dial is futuristic as well, made from a new alloy, orthorhombic titanium alluminides, which has been formed into a honeycomb structure. The material was tested by NASA for use on supersonic aircraft wings due to its resistance to high temperatures and torsion. Produced in only five examples, Richard Mille’s RM022 is a sleek aerodynamic timepiece that showcases the brand’s drive to create 21st century wristwatches with a contemporary aesthetic. Phillips is proud to present this limited-edition model, with a case measuring slightly larger and with more presence than the standard RM022 model.


Lot 99 | F.P. JOURNE,  Chronomètre à Résonance “Brass Movement”

Estimate: $120,000-240,000

In the year 2000, F.P. Journe took the horological world by surprise with the introduction of the first-ever wristwatch incorporating two resonating escapements, which, when in sync, result in exceptional timekeeping accuracy. The present, first-generation model in platinum with a superb white gold dial eloquently embodies Journe’s inimitable style both in terms of aesthetics and technical mastery. Made from 2000 to 2005, the first generation Resonance models, like the present lot, feature rhodium-plated brass movements and a 38mm case. It is in extremely well-preserved condition showing very few signs of careful wear. The case is sharp, with perfectly crisp hallmarks and engravings on its caseback. Furthermore, it is complete, accompanied with its original guarantee and multi-level wooden presentation box. The present lot offers the rare opportunity of obtaining a historically important timepiece with one of the most significant horological innovations of the past decades.


Lot 100 | F.P. JOURNE, T30 30 Years Anniversary Tourbillon

Estimate: $100,000-200,000

In 1977, after finishing his studies at watchmaking school, a young François-Paul Journe apprenticed to his uncle assisting with the repair and restoration of antique clocks. At the time, no modern watchmaker was building tourbillons other than the great George Daniels. Inspired by these masters of horology, Journe began the painstaking and difficult task of building his own tourbillon pocket watch, finally completing it at the beginning of 1983.  To celebrate thirty years since this remarkable feat, Journe decided to produce ninety-nine examples of a wristwatch wholly inspired by his first tourbillon pocket watch. This T30 Tourbillon in 18 karat pink gold and silver, numbered 97 of 99, is one of the final pieces to be completed. The layout of the dial is almost exactly the same as the original pocket watch, only shrunk to fit a 40mm case. An unusual metal for use in a wristwatch, the silver here was not plated in any way to protect against the elements, and so each example of the T30 has developed its own unique patina. This example of the Tourbillon Anniversaire Historique is the first ever to be offered by Phillips, and we are honored to be entrusted with its sale. It has been consigned by the original owner, the recipient of a touching personal note written by Mr. Journe himself, which accompanies the timepiece at auction.


Lot 154 | F.P. JOURNE, Tourbillon Souverain Limited Edition “Black Mother-of-Pearl”

Estimate: $150,000-300,000

Francois-Paul Journe launched his namesake brand with the motto “invenit et fecit” (“invented and made”) in 1999, first introducing the Tourbillon Souverain Remointoir d’Egalite, known as the “T.” In 2003, Francois-Paul Journe pushed the boundaries of his timekeeping masterpiece further, upgrading the “T” to the “TN” model (“Tourbillon Nouveau”), the reference Tourbillon Souverain Remontoire d’Egalité avec Seconde Morte. “Seconde Morte,” the art of making time stand still, is the French term for “dead beat seconds”. This complication requires the utmost precision to reliably stop and restart the seconds hand as the escapement continues to beat—not moving until one second has elapsed, then jumping to the next second. Enhanced with a deadbeat seconds complication, the timepiece with constant force mechanism was designed for highly accurate, precision timekeeping. The present 40mm Tourbillon Souverain rendered in 18K pink gold may look at first glance like a coveted “Black Label” iteration – but it’s actually far more rare. Tilt the watch a few degrees towards a light source, and the wearer is instantly delighted with an array of iridescent colorations on the black mother-of-pearl dial. Produced in an extremely limited edition of just 10 examples for the Singaporean retailer, Sincere Fine Watches, it is offered by its original owner – an important aficionado of independent watchmaking.


Lot 101 | ROGER SMITH, Series 1 “Number 1”

Estimate: $120,000-240,000

Roger Smith’s path to becoming a master watchmaker is a testament to his resilience, focus and drive. Upon graduating from watchmaking school in 1989, he met George Daniels, from whom he was determined to learn. After six years and two attempts at creating a timepiece to win over Daniels, he finally earned a spot as his apprentice in 1998. In 2001, Smith decided to set out on his own. In his stand-alone workshop on the Isle of Man, the Series 1 was born, offered in a rectangular case. After the production of the rectangular Series 1 followed the Series 2, a round wristwatch with a power reserve display. Then, in 2013, Smith created a unique piece for the GREAT Britain campaign, which launched him to stardom. He became inundated with requests for a time-only piece and thus, the new Series 1 was born, displaying only the hours, minutes, and seconds via a subsidiary seconds dial. It was meant to be the quintessential gentleman’s watch, with all the refinement, experience, and heritage of three hundred years of British watchmaking distilled into a single 38 or 40mm round timepiece – all painstakingly hand-built and hand-finished by Roger Smith and his few trusted colleagues. The present Series 1 measuring 40mm is also, remarkably, number 1 – hence, the very first produced, assembled, and likely delivered of this new generation of Series 1. The 2021 New York Watch Auction marks the first time the watch is being sold, hailing directly from the collection of the original owner.


Lot 135 | A. LANGE & SÖHNE, Pour Le Mérite Tourbillon

Estimate: $160,000-320,000

In 1845, Ferdinand Adolph Lange established his own workshop in Glashütte, Saxony, which flourished for close to 100 years until the factories were sadly destroyed on the final day of World War II. Decades later, in 1990, Ferdinand’s great-grandson re-established the Glashütte-based brand. The first collection of four watches – the Lange 1, the Arkade, and the Saxonia, the Pour Le Mérite Tourbillon – was launched in 1994, revitalizing German watchmaking and leading to global recognition of the brand. Of the four, the most complicated and technically aligned with the pre-WWII Lange & Söhne manufacture was the Pour Le Mérite – the world’s first wristwatch to incorporate a fusée chain for improved accuracy. The precision of the movements, quality of finishing, and the Teutonic design principles were well-received by collectors and the present example is one of only 24 known to have been made in pink gold. This especially rare example combines two unusual factory-original elements: a brushed caseband and the replacement of upright Arabic numerals for hour  indexes with faceted diamond markers.


Lot 138 | OMEGA, ref. 145.012 Speedmaster Professional “Ralph W. Ellison”

Estimate: $10,000-20,000

Phillips is humbled and honored to present the cherished Speedmaster of Ralph Ellison, an icon of American literature. With the completion of Invisible Man in 1952, the only book to be published during his lifetime, Ellison’s legacy as one of the 20th century’s greatest authors was cemented.  His work encompasses not only the Black experience in America, but the American experience itself, with the problem of invisibility not belonging to one particular race or culture. Ellison sought to transcend the narrow definition of what he was supposed to be writing and for who he was supposed to be writing for, and the magnitude of his impact across American literature, culture, and even fine art, cannot be understated. For example, renowned contemporary artist Kerry James Marshall has created important paintings inspired by Invisible Man, with the ideas of visibility and invisibility in society influencing his artwork. Beginning in the summer of 1968, an Omega Speedmaster reference 145.012-67 – the present lot – could be found on Ellison’s wrist. He would wear it for the remainder of his life until his death in 1994.  The watch would eventually be sold at a small auction house in Long Island City in 2016, where it was purchased, unexpectedly, by the current consignor who was merely looking for an all-original example of the reference, rather than a monumental and historical wristwatch. Following a deep dive within in the Ralph Ellison Archives kept at the Library of Congress, the extraordinary provenance of the watch was confirmed and it is now being sold almost exactly as it had been worn by Ellison for the twenty-five years it was in his possession.


The “Ride the Wave” Collection

Phillips is delighted to offer and present “Ride the Wave” – a collection of superb, water-resistant watches consigned by a renowned American surgeon, whose extraordinary collection reflects two of his greatest passions outside of work – watch collecting and surfing. Though, it may seem like there is no association between the two, after hearing him speak with such passion, one soon understands how surfing and watch collecting evoked the same emotions, with so many common traits shared between them. Accordingly, the collection of watches offered here were manufactured as early as the 1940s, which were also the formative years of surfing in popular American culture. Just as surfboards continue to evolve until the present day, so have wristwatch cases – whether it’s their sizes, materials, pusher and crown innovations, etc. The 18 watches of the “Ride the Wave” collection comprise a diverse range of brands, materials, and styles – and all are of exceptional quality. Each is supremely collectible including coveted sports watches such as a Paul Newman Daytona, a tropical dial, early reference 6263 with Mk 1 millerighe pushers, to an incredible, water-resistant platinum Patek Philippe ref. 2526 with enamel dial for dressier occasions.



ref. 6262 Cosmograph Daytona “Paul Newman”

Estimate: $100,000-200,000


ref. 1463 “Tasti Tondi”

Estimate: $200,000-400,000


ref. 2526 Platinum “Heavy Hitter”

Estimate: $100,000-200,000


Auction: 11-12 December | Location: 432 Park Avenue, New York


World Tour:

Tuwaiq Palace, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: 12-13 November

Hong Kong: 23-25 November

New York: 3-10 December

Click here for more information.





The team of specialists at Phillips Watches is dedicated to an uncompromised approach to quality, transparency, and client service, achieving a sale total of $133 million in 2020.  In November 2021, the company set a record for the highest total in watch auction history, when the Geneva Watch Auction: XIV achieved CHF 68.2 Million / USD 74.5 Million.


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 vintage 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 vintage Patek Philippe wristwatch at auction.




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:            

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NEW YORK - Jaime Israni, Public Relations Director, Americas           [email protected]                            +1 212 940 1398


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