Antiquorum’s December auction of “Important Modern and Vintage Timepieces” in New York on Wednesday fetched more than $3.5 million with 83 percent of the 356 timepieces sold by lot and 119 percent sold by value, based on the low estimate. In addition to the telephone, room, and commission bidders, there were 419 registered Internet bidders competing for timepieces. Bids came in from across the world including, Australia, Italy, China, Hong Kong and United Kingdom.
The highlight of the sale was the FP Journe set of platinum watches (lead photograph). The “Invenit et Fecit” collection of six wristwatches with champagne dial sold for a notable $200,500.
Greubel Forsey also attained an important result with its white gold “Double Tourbillon 30° Vision” (above right) selling for $160,000. An A. Lange & Sohne Flyback Datograph sold for $74,500 (above left).
Patek Philippe achieved strong results with the ref. 3971 (left) selling for $ 98,500 after heated competition among bidders. Also achieving noteworthy prices were two Patek Philippe ref. 5146; the pink gold example achieved $27,500 while the white gold brought $26,875. The Patek Philippe lapel watch sold for $21,250 to a Chinese bidder for nearly three times its high estimate.
Vintage Rolex watches continue to achieve strong results at auction. At Wednesday’s sale, the Rolex ref. 6263 sold for $35,000. The Rolex 14K gold ref. 6238 “Paul Newman” (left) and the Rolex ref. 6239 steel “Paul Newman” each sold for $64,900. The Rolex ref. 6204 obtained $57,500—three times its estimate.
“We are delighted by the recent increase in strength in the vintage Rolex market with exceptional examples once again achieving significant prices as seen by the Rolex ref. 6204 in today’s sale,” said Charles Tearle, auctioneer, director and watch expert, Antiquorum USA.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo “A Series” sold for $23,750—more than four times its high estimate. Also, Richard Mille obtained a noteworthy result for the RM010 in 18K white gold, selling for $43,750.
Watches with exceptional provenance continue to generate interest. The Rolex GMT that belonged to Captain Don Walsh, who co-piloted the Bathyscaph Trieste to the deepest part of the world’s oceans at 35,800 feet, sold for $30,000. Also, Joe DiMaggio’s Imexal clock, which was presented to him as the Casey Stengel Award in 1974, attained $13,125, more than four times its low estimate.
A Girard Perregaux vintage 1945 Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges (left) sold for $57,500 while the Girard Perregaux World Time Perpetual Calendar with special order dial sold for $ 22,500.
Finally, in keeping with current trends, certain modern limited edition examples are drawing attention from the collector community and realizing strong prices at auction. An excellent example of this is the Jaeger Le-Coultre Aston Martin limited series wristwatch in titanium sold for $17,500—more than double its high estimate.
This was the last auction 2010 for Antiquorum. Its next auction will be held Feb. 26, 2011, in Hong Kong.