Geneva Watch Auction XVII Set to Display Rare Timepieces from 20th and 21st Centuries

Around 200 watches have been chosen for their quality, rarity and overall relevance. What’s more, the auction will have something for every budget
Geneva Watch Auction XVII Set to Display Rare Timepieces from 20th and 21st Centuries
April 13, 2023
Geneva Watch Auction XVII Set to Display Rare Timepieces from 20th and 21st Centuries

Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo is set to display a remarkable collection at The Geneva Watch Auction: XVII, featuring rare timepieces from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Catering to all kinds of budgets, the preview will be held in Geneva on May 10. The auction will be organised on May 13-14 at Hôtel La Réserve in Geneva. Highlights will be on a post-auction tour of New York, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore and London.

In a joint statement, Alexandre Ghotbi, Head of Watches for Continental Europe and the Middle East, Phillips, and Tiffany To, Head of Sale, Phillips, said, “The Geneva Watch Auction: XVII is probably the most tightly curated auction we have had the pleasure of organising at Phillips. We have selected around 200 watches for their quality, rarity, interest and overall relevance. We have something for every budget, from the budding enthusiast to the most seasoned collector.”

A pink gold Patek Philippe reference 2499 from the second series

To begin with, the Phillips Geneva Watch Auction XVII will put on display watches from Patek Philippe, featuring some of its most iconic timepieces of the twentieth century. Among them is the perpetual calendar chronograph reference 2499, regarded by collectors as a highly coveted watch. The auction house will also present a first series in yellow gold from the original owner's family (estimated at CHF 800,000-1,600,000). 

Other notable pieces include an exceptional second series in pink gold, a third series, formerly belonging to American voice actor and radio personality Mel Blanc, and a white gold reference 3448 perpetual calendar with its certificate of origin. Additionally, there will be three impressive modern Patek Philippe timepieces: reference 5016 in pink gold, reference 5074 in platinum and reference 5531 in pink gold with a world-time minute repeater and polychrome enamel dial. Prices range from CHF 250,000 to CHF 1,800,000.

The Rolex offerings at the auction will include the rarest and most coveted models of the brand. Take, for example, the yellow gold manual Daytona reference 6270 with lavishly set diamonds, estimated at CHF 1,200,000-2,400,000, and reference 6541 Milgauss in exceptional condition, originally made for scientists at CERN and worth CHF 500,000-1,000,000. Additionally, the auction will showcase the reference 6232 two-counter chronograph in pink gold, which is one of Rolex's most elusive models, valued at CHF 150,000-300,000.

Among other highlights is the white gold 222 ‘Jumbo’ watch from Vacheron Constantin, estimated to be worth CHF 100,000-200,000. It is the only known model made of this metal and comes with a Certificate of Authenticity. The auction will also feature an exceptionally well-preserved yellow gold chronograph from Audemars Piguet (photo reference 831), with full calendar indications. Of this, only eight examples exist and the watch in question is valued at CHF 150,000-300,000. A rare platinum Datograph, created as a 10-piece limited edition for Milan-based retailer Pisa in 2004 by A. Lange & Söhne, is another standout piece (estimated at CHF 100,000-200,000). 

Other highlights from the auction

Additionally, Phillips will offer a selection of independent watchmaking creations, including the Philippe Dufour Grande & Petite Sonnerie pocket watch N°1, which is the very first watch made by master watchmaker Dufour and holds significant historical relevance for Audemars Piguet. The watch is estimated to be worth CHF 400,000-800,000. Also on offer is the Observatoire timepiece from Kari Voutilainen, featuring the revered and restored Peseux 260 caliber movement. Notably, the Naissance d’Une Montre 2, an elusive white gold wristwatch with a constant force-regulating system, made entirely by hand using traditional techniques, will be offered for sale. All proceeds from the sale of this lot will go to the Time Aeon Foundation to support traditional watchmaking. 

The auction will also feature important watches from other high-end brands, such as Cartier, Zenith and Omega.

Image Credits: Phillips