Sotheby’s concluded another strong year of watch and clock auctions yesterday evening in New York, with a sale of Important Watches that totaled $6,481,375. The auction was led by a Highly Important and Rare Yellow Gold Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Wristwatch with Register and Moon-Phases, Ref. 2499 made by Patek Philippe in 1968, which fetched $353,000 (est. $250/350,000). Produced from 1950 until 1985, Ref. 2499 is recognized as one of the most important wristwatches made by Patek Philippe. The example sold yesterday had remained in the same collection for more than 30 years.
Katharine Thomas, Head of Sotheby’s Watch department in New York, commented: “We were privileged to offer a number of historically, technically and artistically exceptional pieces, many appearing at auction for the first time, and some even unknown in scholarship until now. Our top results demonstrate a demand for such outstanding pieces across a wide range of makers and periods: from the extremely rare and possibly unique Ref. 4261 minute repeating wristwatch by Vacheron Constantin that brought $197,000, to a previously unknown pocket watch made by Charles Frodsham & Co. in 1917 for John Pierpont Morgan that sold for $203,000, to a group of three contemporary wristwatches by Patek Philippe featuring gorgeous enamel dials that together achieved $405,000. Bidding reflected the global interest we have seen in our sales throughout the year, with private collectors and dealers participating from Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the Americas.”
Sotheby’s Important Watches auction in New York this December 10th promises to cultivate enthusiastic interest from collectors with a diverse set of offerings across many categories, from vintage to modern wristwatches, as well as several spectacular single owner collections of the highest quality. Leading the sale is a rare Patek Philippe, Reference 2499, 18k yellow gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon-phases, made in 1968.
Another highlight will be the single owner collection, Contemporary Classics: A Gentleman’s Passion, featuring fifty-five superior examples of contemporary wristwatches by Audemars Piguet, IWC, and Panerai. Other highlights from the upcoming sale include a Limited Edition Pink Gold and Carbon Fiber Tourbillon Wristwatch with 31 Days Power Reserve by Jacob & Co., an extremely rare Rolex Yellow Gold GMT Master Ref. 6542 with Bakelite bezel, a Previously Unknown Yellow Gold Open-Faced Minute Repeating Split Seconds Chronograph Watch with One Minute Tourbillon and 60 Minute Register, Presented to Thomas Cochran by John Pierpont Morgan by Charles Frodsham & Co., a Yellow Gold Minute-Repeating Wristwatch Circa 1966 by Vacheron Constantin, and a Patek Philippe, Platinum and Diamond-Set Wristwatch Ref. 3445. Additional highlights include a fine selection of modern and vintage Patek Philippe wristwatches, vintage Rolex Daytonas, and a fine selection of modern lady’s wristwatches.