It’s Been a Jaw-Dropping Auction Season

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It’s Been a Jaw-Dropping Auction Season

A month and a half ago, we gave an early-season report of the fall watch auction season. And we updated that report a couple of weeks ago. Little did we know just what surprises were still in store.

Records, records, and more records.

We wrote about the stunning result the Tudor Heritage Black Bay One yielded at Only Watch on November 7, while pretty much ignoring the all-time record price ever paid for a wrist watch set at the same sale. That was the Patek Philippe ref. 5016A-010, which brought CHF7,300,000 ($7,323,000).

And note that both of these watches, like all watches in Only Watch, are new pieces made especially for the sale. Usually, records are set by rare vintage pieces. I don’t know about you, but that fact made me go, “Hmmm…”

(And frankly, I’m dubious of any auction result where the proceeds are going to charity. I think tax advantages and charitable emotions may well push prices higher than they’d otherwise go. Not that it’s a bad thing. Far from it. But I think the results need an asterisk and a caveat.)

And now the Omega Speedmaster 50 sale at Christie’s last evening. And yet another record set. This time, for $137,000, the most ever paid for a Speedmaster at auction. The watch in question was a pristine, barely worn, reference 2915-1, produced in 1957.

Interestingly, the record breaking 2915-1 landed midrange between its low and high pre-auction estimates. The next lot, a ref. 2915-2 from 1958, achieved nearly the same result, gaveling at $118,750, but outstripping its high pre-auction estimate by nearly 50%. I don’t know what that says, other than even the professionals don’t have all the answers.

While not in Rolex or Patek Philippe territory, the Speedys did pretty well last night. All in all, the 50 watches realized $1,304,125, including buyers premiums. Our guy, Shane Griffin, summarized the sale nicely here.

And in other news, Antiquorum and Sotheby’s both held their New York auctions recently.

Antiquorum’s was yesterday and wrapped in time for folks to sprint across town to the Speedy sale. Notably, the two high-selling lots of the sale, Patek Philippe references 5970, a white gold chronograph perpetual calendar, and 5101, a ten-day platinum tourbillon, both closed at $130,000, well below their low pre-auction estimates of $150,000. People saving their $$ for the Speedy sale?

Over at Sotheby’s last Thursday, people had to wait for the last lot of the sale to see the high point of the day – a Patek Philippe (what else?) ref. 3448 – go for nearly a half million dollars. The watch, a perpetual calendar with moon phase in white gold, had a most interesting sidekick. Another case along with dial, hands, crown, AND buckle, all factory supplied and documented, and done in yellow gold.

We at Everest Bands know all about guys changing out watch straps to change the look of a watch. We think changing out the case, dial, and hands might be a bit much.

The post It’s Been a Jaw-Dropping Auction Season appeared first on Bezel & Barrel written by Ed Estlow.

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