My Geneva May 2015 Watch Auction Report


Again the sky is still the limit. See above the most expensive Rolex ever sold at auction, the ex Eric Clapton Albino Daytona from my dear italian friend who believed in it already many years ago, which finally reached 1.32 million all in…RPR_IMG_6583

Sitting in my garden rethinking about what happened in Geneva last auction weekend I come to the conclusion that the market is still healthy developing although some big players where very aggressively buying this time. Nicknamed “number one” was solo buying more then 50 % of the Phillips Day Date sale and day later also very strong buyer at their sale “ONE”. Almost nobody had a chance to overbid him on the top lots as it seems that he and his wealthy clients are pushing unlimited funds into vintage watches.

Now lets be realistic, when Christies sells a single Picasso for $179 million, it’s no comparison with the total watch sale results of some 50-60 million by all auction houses last weekend. Meaning the über rich can influence the watch auctions quite easily and thus this is actually happening, hence we see very strong results.”cornering the market” seems better for them then “money on the bank”.


Therefor it’s not a surprise that those rare watches in great quality went even higher in price then estimated, something I’m telling you since many years, honest patina, no matter the reference or brand, is the future in collecting. Was I surprised this weekend? Yes of the crazy result for the mono pusher Patek Philippe where bidding took like 40 minutes before it reach 4 million hammer, all in that’s CHF 4,645,000,=!!  As you see below its a attractive design but not really great in condition, therefor I was surprised to see it triple the already high estimate.



Only 4 examples of the Albino are known in the market so far. Up close we see a interesting handset, MK1 bezel and pushers, lume dots missing at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock..


Here’s the moment at 1.1 million swiss franc Aurel Bacs hammered it down…RPR_IMG_6914

Ultra rare platina Day Dates, from the special Phillips – Pucci Day Date auction of 60 exceptional examples going for 4 times low estimate making it a huge succes. Although i’m a vintage Rolex addict, most collectors know that I’m not very in love with this reference, somehow I like the look but would never actually wear one and as that’s my essence, I think that these results will not easily be beaten in the future. The maximum has been achieved and it will take many years from now to come even close  the results we saw now.



500.000 for a Day Date, the Big Kahuna with engine turned dial with diamonds…RPR_FullSizeRender-51

Complicated “old school” Patek versus bright Day Dates in the back, the fashion in collecting makes some results difficult to explain, emotion vs ratio..RPR_IMG_6273RPR_FullSizeRender-46

Bling Daytona on the wrist of a great collector and leaving Geneva city by boot below to La Reserve where Phillips auction was… RPR_FullSizeRender-49

Red Depth Explorer I – Ref 6610 still with it’s original hangtag


After strong bidding battle of the titans, this pink Stelline ref 6062 hit 1 million!


I stopped posting my personal remarks online before the watch sales but that doesn’t mean I’m not sharing my thought with you after the sales 😉 Now for instance have a good look at this nice 8171 you see below, then focus on the luminous radium dots. You clearly see they are not intact anymore, neither do their have their original shape. Around the dots you see dark spots on the grenee surface of the dial. Now ask yourself how is it possible that the luminous is so dirty and the rest of the dial id not…RPR_IMG_6276

On the case back the numbers and hall marks where visible, it finally sold for CHF 341,000,=


Plate Brasserie Lipp..



Pink on pink on pink Patek Philippe ref 1518 for 1.4 million euro…RPR_IMG_6207

Black dialed Ref 6238 Pre Daytona going over 300K euro!..


From the wrist of a great collector friend, never seen before white sundial on black Tiffany & Co Daytona in 14 carat…RPR_FullSizeRender-4

Patek Philippe Ref 1463 with breguet numerals. What I personally don’t still understand and i’m happy if somebody way more knowledgable then me on Patek Philippe can explain me is the following. The PPC dials are made in much better quality then we saw for instance at Rolex. For instance instead of printing the text with a cliche, the text on this waterproof iconic chrono has been engraved and then filled with black enamel. Now if we examine PPC dials up close we see many times that the dials have been damaged, randomly on the surface, in the sub-dials and below you see it’s damaged on the È. So how come these dials got damaged I wonder. Was it during a service? Is the material aging by itself or where some dials kept outside the watch as some damages compared to the condition of the case, doesn’t make any sense to me. When I spot them in picture I post in the future, I will show you. We know Patek services their vintage in detail, cleaning dial and re-polishing the cases back to factory standard.


All results from Phillips you find over here and the special auction from the Day Date over here.

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Then this happened… A so far unique Patek Philippe Ref 2585 in stainless steel, estimated 80-120K and former owned by John Goldberger who also published it in his “Stainless steel Patek Book”. The final result, it sold for CHF 785,000,= !!


Much nicer in designer then above, the iconic ref 565 in waterproof case…RPR_FullSizeRender-30

Lovely “Briggs Cunningham” ref 565 with patinated sub-dial fetching 90K..RPR_FullSizeRender-31

Not so long ago, one of these ref 6269 sold for twice the value it fetched now; 450KRPR_IMG_6288

Tiffany & CO Pre Daytona..RPR_FullSizeRender-26

Two lovely Audemars Piquet Chronograph’s front and backside picture..RPR_FullSizeRender-35 RPR_FullSizeRender-38

A crisp “Beyer” Ref 2499 Patek Philippe..RPR_FullSizeRender-34

A very late white gold PPC 3448 and it’s backside showing you the hall marks…RPR_IMG_6240


The gold 6062 Rolex Stelline of which the dial had been swapped, which was quite easy to detect as the moon disc is blue instead of rarely seen black, finally hammered at 420K going back to the trade, which is still a great result, all in SFR 509,000,=


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The fresh to the market Killy not going very strong because the luminous wasn’t great on the dial, not matching hands and polished case, unless that its selling for SFR 203.000,=RPR_IMG_6239

All auctioned Comex went kind of low, seems that great provenance examples don’t come for sale at auction anymore. Missing numbers in the case back, no Hudson letter or any diver provenance makes them sell for average prices…


Now this one I really liked, wonderful case and almost perfect salmon dial went crazy in price, over 200K hammer there where the estimate was 50K. Congrates to the nice US collector who finally won it, happy for you!


The Military 5513 are selling high since some 1 year. The results at auction are not in line with the prices in the market, it seems that collectors are having difficulty finding a correct matching one in the wild and therefor bid strong at auction. The “secrets” around these special Rolex references make starting collectors wanna bid safe at auction, assuming the specialist are aware, this one was CHF 118,750,=


Below we see the Phillips Oyster Newman on the right, of which seemed that the luminous was intact, having matching hands, case, early pushers and bakelite bezel fetching a strong 350K all in. The next day a obvious relumed Oyster Newman sold at Christie’s for 190K, still a very strong result! So correct luminous is making 160.000 euro difference. It’s all about detail!RPR_IMG_6205

Some sports models that kind of disappointed… The bright blue service bezel not having any radium anymore, UNSOLD!RPR_IMG_6228

the stained surface of the 5510 spoiled a great result, making just 70 hammer..RPR_IMG_6262

The speckled Kissing L Explorer Submariner, just over 100K..RPR_IMG_6258

The brown Milgauss hammered at 200K because the dial was having some white spots as you see below coming through the honeycomb…


Then the 6200 small logo, which lost it’s glossy look and had damaged dirty luminous still making 200K hammer!..


Also 200 hammer for this yellow gold Monobloc ref 3525RPR_IMG_6280

Here’s € 4.6 million all in…RPR_IMG_6256



“Flat dial” ROC on a dealers wrist, something I would NOT buy..RPR_IMG_6403

Tropicals are still much search after and fetching high prices when the patina matches all over…RPR_IMG_6285

Great lining at Phillips Day Date show cases…



And special boxes made by Buddy Jean Paul Menicucci…RPR_IMG_6345 RPR_IMG_6335


A proud friend of Pucci Papaleo carrying the new Day Date Book which was on display and will be for sale soon..


You find more information about this new Day Date Rolex bible and other books Pucci made so far on: RPR_IMG_6384 RPR_IMG_6388



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If you are interested in this Rolex Day Date book with excellent picture and description, covering 167 exclusive different examples, please contact Pucci Papaleo directly RPR_IMG_6431

Pucci, his son Cosmo and Giorgio heading up to Geneva just before we broke the boot 😉RPR_FullSizeRender-6 RPR_IMG_6414


I spotted a possible new fashion, from 1 watch on each wrist to 2 watches on 1 wrist…RPR_IMG_6979

Shelby at Christies..


Solo Daytona, now let me tell you that those examples that have been found fresh in the market where never in a oyster case, 6240 like you see here but in a 6238 Pre Daytona case. I agree this dial looks much more sexy in this early screw pusher case but it was not born in there in my opinion… Nevertheless this one from Phillips sold over 200K there where the one from Antiquorum sold under 100K, 96 actually.RPR_IMG_6373

SFR 116.500 all in for this fresh find Explorer Submariner Kissing LRPR_IMG_6368

Sfr 183.750 all in for this honest Stelline in yellow gold…RPR_IMG_6376

100K for this “common” yellow Ref 1463..RPR_IMG_6374

Mc Laren P1 making many people stop…RPR_FullSizeRender-58

sfr 207.750,- all in for this gold Paul Newman 6239 of which the luminous was not perfect…RPR_IMG_6377


Patek Philippe Ref 2599 Tifany, sold for 471,750 CHF


The Panerai ref. 3646 did not sell…RPR_IMG_6366

The Paul Newman for Tiffany fetched 231,750 CHF..RPR_IMG_6363

Universal Nina Rind. Who the f*ck is Nina Rind I hear you think, it’s a chrono that you could easily buy last year for 2-3000,- and now is trading for 15-20.000RPR_IMG_6372 RPR_IMG_6356

Sfr 75.000 all in for this discolored Daytona, which personally didn’t convince me.. RPR_IMG_6354

Pink Stella with diamond are rare birds…RPR_IMG_6451


The Sky Moon from Patek Philippe didn’t fetch 1 million but got stuck little under the magic number..RPR_IMG_6558 RPR_IMG_6559 RPR_IMG_6561

Lots of Italian politic emotion in my hand with this gold ref 3525…RPR_IMG_6564

Big Egyptian Panerai coming up for sale soon..RPR_IMG_6619Rare Oman A serie AP..


POW with straight logo…RPR_IMG_6408

175 anniversary PPC Geneva on the wrist of a charming lady collector..RPR_IMG_6410

Only 2 knownRPR_IMG_6409


Watch the difference in size..RPR_FullSizeRender-67 RPR_IMG_6413 RPR_IMG_6215

A little dent in the dial didn’t stop collector bid it up..RPR_IMG_6200RPR_IMG_6183


Whitegold Ref 570 sold for CHF 96,250,=RPR_IMG_6209

Beautiful Longines in all original condition given by Lindberg himself…Sold for CHF 143,000,=RPR_IMG_6221

Due tones waterproof Longines… sold for CHF 50.000,=RPR_IMG_6245 RPR_IMG_6246

Sunny Geneva..


6 million euro costing belt from private sale at Christie’s. The brown 60 carat diamond is set into a Ronald Iten .RPR_IMG_6940 RPR_FullSizeRender-1RPR_FullSizeRender-14 RPR_FullSizeRender-20 RPR_FullSizeRender-19


Fetching 370K all in for a second serie Gold Oman Rolex Seadweller ref 1665 is a strong result!RPR_FullSizeRender-18

Prototype Zenith El Primero hammering for 55KRPR_FullSizeRender-17

Hottest brand from last year, after Longines all attention goes to Universal this year!RPR_IMG_6570

Comex Seadweller ref 1665RPR_FullSizeRender-59 RPR_FullSizeRender-61

This so called prototype just sold at Sothebys for 200K hammer, 250K all in…RPR_FullSizeRender-60

Ex Eric Clapton pink 5970 with possible unique breguet numerals… CHF 406.000,=RPR_FullSizeRender-55

The split didn’t sold, estimated 180-220K…RPR_FullSizeRender-56 RPR_FullSizeRender-57 RPR_FullSizeRender-63


Red Depth Rolex Big Crown ref 6538 with super interesting provenance didn’t went crazy due to stains on the dial, hammer 15oKRPR_FullSizeRender-62

Ben Clymer from Hodinkee is “pushing” the result with his articles on rare watches due to Aurel Bacs, Ben is doing a great job for our community and he happend to be a cool guy as well!RPR_FullSizeRender-5

Like new Ref 2499 PPC for CHF 380KRPR_FullSizeRender-53

Super interesting triple split Longines for CHF 17.500,=RPR_FullSizeRender-54RPR_FullSizeRender-45 RPR_FullSizeRender-48

UAE GMT Master ref 1675 going for 60K…RPR_IMG_6549

Nice early gold Rolex black dialed Oyster with logically a later “Swiss Made Service” dial..RPR_IMG_6554

Still the reference 4 digits and serial number 5 digits visible after all these years it was made..RPR_IMG_6555

Bakelite Ref 6542 GMT Master with a crack in the bezel..RPR_IMG_6547 RPR_IMG_6545

The Breguet diver, off which I don’t really like the luminous, went high anyway, 100KRPR_IMG_6591


It was hammered around 200K, although it had a chip at 6 o’clock and a stain of oil on the dial..RPR_IMG_6585

And the “Asprey” stamp in the case back was not visible any more…Longines is still hot..RPR_IMG_6578


Then I was flabbergasted to see how high this Rolex ref 2508 went, almost 280K! The dial did not convince me at allRPR_IMG_6612 RPR_IMG_6614

Coming up for sale in Hong Kong at Christies, this PPC 1518..RPR_IMG_6618

Paul Newman 6241..RPR_IMG_6616

And this prototype Panerai again..RPR_FullSizeRender-74

Breakfast in paradise @LaReserve



Enjoying the old city of Geneva with our regular cheese fondue GTG 😉



As always, it’s all about the correct details..RPR_FullSizeRender-25

Black Tudor Monte Carlo..


And Blue Stella Day Date..RPR_FullSizeRender

Many thanks to all the great friends from a round the world who made it to Geneva! It was really nice meeting you all again!! With a dramatic sky i’m off to the airport heading home again, safe travels to you all and see you next occasion! Best regards, Philipp