For 18 months, Aurel Bacs leaving Christie’s has disappeared, and it is difficult to hear anything about him in the market. Finally, in Geneva from May 9th to 10th, Oriel Backus hosted the debut of the independent watch auction department of the new independent watch auction department of Phillips, and the former king returned.
The wait is undoubtedly worthwhile. After returning to the first show, Oriel Bucks set a new record with a crushing trend. With a turnover of nearly 30 million Swiss francs, Phillips dwarfs that of Antiochuren’s 6.5 million Swiss francs, Sotheby’s 9 million Swiss francs and Christie’s 15.5 million Swiss francs. The debut of this rising star has become the biggest highlight of this spring’s auction season in Geneva. The unprecedented contrast of power has clearly revealed the weaknesses and even weakness of the industry peers.
Phillips, a new dominant force
This set of data comparisons is sufficient to prove that a total of 1,434 lots were sold in Geneva this spring, with a total price of 60.7 million Swiss francs (equivalent to 42,000 Swiss francs / piece). Specific to a single auction house, the average values of Antigoron, Sotheby’s and Christie’s are 19,500 Swiss francs, 38,700 Swiss francs, and 52,200 Swiss francs, and this figure of Phillips is as high as 103,000 Swiss francs!
Patek Philippe Ref. 130 single-button chronograph steel watch
Although the number of lots offered is only half that of Antigoron, the turnover is more than five times. The overshoot ratio is another clear signal: 33% (168/504) of Antigoron, 30% (99/332) of Sotheby’s, 5% (17/314) of Christie’s, and only 2.5 of Phillips % (7/284).
Behind these figures is the particularly aggressive and efficient business strategy that Phillips has adopted.
The first is the number of lots. Oriel Bacchus has been troubled by the number of ‘bloated’ lots on many occasions, so this time, he chose to go against the competition and reduce the number of lots to less than 300.
The second is shooting quality. Only high-quality lots can pass rigorous screening.
Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 rose gold watch
The third is the lot structure. To be honest, the historic museum-grade lot is not Phillips’s patent. Of the auction lots offered by Rolex, Rolex accounts for 15% to 28%, while in Phillips this proportion climbs to 69%. Add 16% of Patek Philippe, these two brands alone account for 85% of the total lot.
The fourth is rational planning. The auction is divided into two nights on the 9th and 10th, both of which are short and exquisite, and one night is dedicated to 60 Rolex Day-Date treasures. The order of the lots is reasonably planned, and the scene is in place. The whole process is tense and brisk.
Rolex Cosmograph ‘Albino’ chronograph steel watch
One last detail that can’t be ignored: Phillips specially prepared manual catalogues (Auction One and Glamorous Day-Date) have two pages for each watch to show enough detail close-up, compared to other auction houses Each 3 watches can share a page. In this regard, many guests said that this is the best lot catalogue they have seen for a long time.
Four lots sold for more than one million francs
Unsurprisingly, this auction held by Phillips set a record for this spring’s auction season. Four of the lots sold above the million francs mark:
(No. 123) Patek Philippe Ref. 130 single-button chronograph steel watch (another similar sister watch was received at the Patek Philippe Museum), produced in 1927, this is a doctor pulse watch. Estimated to be 1-2 million Swiss francs before the auction, and finally captured 4.645 million Swiss francs, setting a new world auction record for steel watches.
Rolex tri-calendar rose gold watch
(No. 165) Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 rose gold watch, equipped with multiple complex functions such as perpetual calendar, chronograph and month, produced in 1948. The pre-sale estimate was 800,000-1.4 million Swiss francs, with a transaction price of 1.445 million Swiss francs.
(No. 214) Rolex Cosmograph ‘Albino’ chronograph steel watch, produced in 1971, was once owned by Eric Clapton. The pre-sale estimate was 500,000-1 million Swiss francs, with a transaction price of 1.325 million Swiss francs, setting a record high for Rolex watches.
(No. 118) Rolex tri-calendar rose gold watch with moon phase function is very rare. The pre-sale estimate was 250,000-450,000 Swiss francs, with a transaction price of 1.001 million Swiss francs.
Patek Philippe Ref. 5002P Platinum Double-sided Moon Phase Tourbillon Watch
In other auction houses, Christie’s was the only one that broke the million francs mark. It is a Patek Philippe Ref. 5002P platinum double-sided (the bottom of the table is the northern hemisphere / southern hemisphere map) Moon Phase Tourbillon Watch (No. 136), produced in 2006, has 12 items (Tourbillon, perpetual calendar, monthly calendar, leap year cycle , Week, month, date, flyback, three questions, sky map, moon phase and moon track) complex functions, and finally hammered down at a price of 1.085 million Swiss francs.
The atmosphere of the Rolex Day-Date auction is equally exciting. In just two hours, all 60 Rolex models were successfully sold, with a total turnover of 6.2 million Swiss francs, equivalent to 103,000 Swiss francs / piece.
Rolex Day-Date ‘Big Kahuna’ Platinum Watch
‘Big Kahuna’ (No. 43), produced in 1958, set a new Rolex Day-Date world auction record at 473,000 Swiss francs. This is a platinum watch, only two in the world, with an estimated value of 100,000-200,000 Swiss francs before the auction. .
In contrast, other major auction houses rarely match. There are still half of the seats in the auction halls of Antigoron and Sotheby’s, and Christie’s has actually sold only a handful of models that surpassed the estimate. For example, this Audemars Piguet Ref. 5528 18K yellow minute repeater watch (No. 204), produced In 1951, it was very rare. Estimated 150,000-250,000 Swiss francs before auction, sold for 605,000 Swiss francs.
Audemars Piguet Ref. 5528 18-karat yellow gold repeater
In the world or at least in Switzerland, the development of watch auctions can be described as colorful and meteorological. From the everyday second-hand watch market to the million-swiss auction held for rich collectors, everyone now has the opportunity to enjoy watch collection at the right price.