The expectations for this Geneva Auction weekend where high, much higher then we have seen before. This season the auctioneers had do their utmost best to come with an interesting Geneva catalogue. I’m not saying they had to beg for great watches but I got told it was very difficult. Hardly any super rare and fresh to market watches came up for sale, many where already known and collectors rather liked to wait to offer theirs. Why? Because the big question that is hanging in the air since the last season is: Are there signs of a bubble and will the top watches market collaps and the results disappoint? The answer is NO!

Personally I think some guys where overreacting and don’t see the whole picture. Vintage watches are no stocks you trade. That being said in general we saw that vintage watches are slowing and the market is correcting the steep price explosion from last years a bit. To me thats a very positive sign! Perfect watches still smash the estimates, the collectors market is now passion driven. Rare quality sky rocket last years and now we come to the point where speculators step out and only collectors continue to buy with dedication, so logically prices stabilize for average condition.

All watch brands had a push by the increasing value and attention of vintage Rolex & Patek. Over sudden it became cool to collect sport and tool watches besides complicated and many other brands have made great examples. As always when demand is much higher then supply we see a price explosion. Heuer, Omega, Longines, Universal etc. went up very fast.  Since we didn’t see a massive slaughter this weekend I can only assume we’re in a healthy market heading to the next stage, which is one with more maturity.
Lets be realistic, we saw most of the top lots perform well. We saw a new world record price for a wristwatch at 31million and every auction room I attended was packed and 1000’s of online buyers from a round the world joined us. Asia is still buying strong, as is the US. A world record price at 1.9 million for a pink 6062 Stelline and also 1.9 million for the rolex Split 4113. All over Phillips sold most lots above average estimate. It wasn’t crazy as many spectators in the room wanted to see but it was far from being bad! The topmost all went to online bidders or on the phone.
Geneva Watch Auction Report November 2019
A world record price at Chf 1.9 million for a pink 6062 Stelline, picture above and also 1.9 million for the rolex Split 4113.
Discussions about to what degree restorations are allowed provide more transparency and trust. As it’s all about the details and perfection that make the price and since dial & case restoration have become even better these days, any work done should be stated in the condition reports. All over matching patina on all original parts is the ultimate goal to collect. But this doesn’t mean that if some parts are serviced or swapped the watch becomes unsellable. Everything has a price but the difference between good and great is bigger then ever. We see the same reference sell for 10K and for 100K. It’s tempting to think that your watch is great but maybe it might only be in good condition. Probably this is reason why some are a bit disappointed about the results and unsold lots. Next round the estimates for good average quality will be lower for sure to make it move again.
Phillips did Chf 16.4 million with their Geneva X sale & Chf 6,7 million for their Double Signed sale. Same can be said about Christies and Sothebys. Christie’s sold for 12.6 million  (and 38 million without commission for Only Watch) and Sotheby’s for 8.4 million & 6.4 million with the pocket watch auction. Some 50 million in total watch sales by the top 3 houses. In volume thats little less then previous times but no reason at all to panic, we are in a healthy and more realistic development.
Gold Ref 6239 JPS sold for CHf 512.000,= at Sotheby’s.
Cherry Ref 6264 sold for Chf 435.000,= at Christie’s.
Gold Paul Newman solde for Chf 471.000,= at Christie’s.
Since the Hong Kong auctions look very promising with a great sale by Christie’s and little later Phillips has a important auction in New York, the auction stage has become much more global and not Geneva focused only. All over it’s an exciting season, i’m enthusiastic and confident we will continue to see great results for great watches. I mean the asian collector who bought the Only Watch Patek for 31 million spend more then half of  the 50 million from the top 3 auction houses sold on watches together. Brilliant marketing and worldwide exposure for collecting watches, imagine the potential….
This is what 31 million looks like…
Rolex Oyster Paul Newman Ref 6263 MK1 sold for CHF 412.500,= at Sotheby’s
Paul Newman Ref 6241 sold for Chf 200.000,= at Sotheby’s.
Quartet of Rolex Big Crowns…
The exhibition of Mr Bivers watch collection…
The super crisp Rolex Padellone sold for CHF 1.000.028,= or Euro 910.000,= all in..
Spotted in the wild…
 Charles Le Clerc at Only Watch…
If you have 2 million to spend, whats your favorite? The Ferrari 288 GTO above or the Split 4113 below…
Can you explain me why the RCO at Phillips didn’t sell? Is it because of the little chip on the dial behind 7 seconds against the edge? I’ve seen that little chip as wel, you will notice it also when you scroll down. I think it’s a combination of facts why it got stuck at 300K. Is it the current market? Another RCO sold for 1.1 million in Geneva. Is it that every year we see more RCO’s pop up? Last week I got a Mk1 RCO offered from original owner. Or is it because this one got serviced? Are they maybe out of fashion and overpriced? Or is it just bad luck and actually a bargain nobody snapped? Time will tell.
Sothebys’ preview at Mandarin Oriental in Geneva..
New interesting book by Helmut Crott about watch dials…
Pucci Papaleo’s new Perpetual Dayton a book was on display at Phillips…
Spotted in the wild, transitional prototype for automatic Daytona, a blend of old graphics and new case…
Spotted on the wrist, Tiffany Lemon Paul Newman..
At Christies Des Bergues Hotel…
 
Ref 6234 black SOLD FOR CHF200,000,= at Phillips
Glossy Milgauss Ref 1019 SOLD FOR CHF131,250,= at Phillips.
 Ref 6241 Paul Newman SOLD FOR CHF200,000,= at Phillips.
The Killy SOLD FOR CHF287,500,= at Phillips.
The steel Day Date SOLD FOR CHF100,000,= at Phillips.
This Air King “Ten Year Safe Driver” SOLD FOR CHF10,625,= at Phillips.
Rare Rolex Monometer with split logo sitting next to me..
The Philippe Dufour Simplicity SOLD FOR CHF325,000,=
The Patek Philippe 1463 “Tasti Tondi” did not sell with estimate of 300-600.000,=
PPC 3448 didn’t sold either..
Last June 2019 these sold at Christie’s NY..
This small gem Ref. 3652 Patek Philippe minute repeater double name Golay Fils & Stahl SOLD FOR CHF572,000,=
Always a must see when you’re in Geneva, the Patek Philippe Museum!
Sold for CHF1.010.000,= at Sotheby’s Watches..
Nice little gem at Sothebys, sold for 15K
Cool little guy!
Julie Kraulius incredible handwork..
Christies Watches Preview..
6200 above didn’t reach low estimate and 5510 below sold for Chf 125.000,=
Here’s the reason why, dial is far from being perfect, luminous as well, 280 would have been 350K all in, which is a good price imho.
Spotted in the wild..
And this stunning Leonidas..
Many excepted that this pink gold Patek Philippe 2499 Trucchi would fetch more then the Chf 1.580.000,=
Disclosure of restauration in the Phillips catalogue. The Pink 1579 Freccero finnnaly sold for Chf 162.500,=
Another restoration disclosure at Phillips, “the Serpico Y Laino signature was reapplied”. The 1463 SYL failed to sell.
Obligatory lunch..
Phillips x Zenith Party..
Buddy Jean Paul Menicucci looking great!
On the wrist of Geoff Hess..
More lunch..
Octopucci Oman sold for c hf 100.000,= at Sotheby’s.
Big Crown at Sothebys failed to sell with estimate of 150-300K
Nice black Tudor Monte Carlo at Antiquorum.
Minerva Split coming up at Koller Zurich..
Spotted in the wild..
AP REF. 14790.OO.0789ST.01 sold for CHf 45.000,=
The crisp Asprey Daytona went high at Chf 187.500,=
Stella’s are still performing well as did any Gerald Genta design…
Preparing the next auctions in Hong Kong and New York.
Upcoming Hong Kong auction by Phillips…
Upcoming New York auction by Phillips, the Marlon Brando GMT..
And a Lemon Paul Newman Daytona..
Nice small crown coming up at Sothebys New York.
It was great seeing you all, till next time, save travels!
Rolex Passion Report