It’s a first for any auction house in history
Thanks to its latest event, Phillips can now call itself a record holder in not one, but two new categories.
Over the weekend, the house hosted the New York Watch Auction: Seven that featured 175 rare and important timepieces, including a special selection of 17 pieces for the new TimeForArt initiative. The sale realised US$21.1 million overall, with US$1.2 million raised for the Swiss Institute’s latest venture. This brings the annual total for Phillips’ New York watch auctions to US$51.5 million, a world record for the Americas. The event also marks two consecutive years of Phillips Watches selling 100 per cent of its timepieces—a first for any auction house in history. In 2022 alone, Phillips has held over 13 auctions, live and online, and sold nearly 1,700 watches.
“The results from the New York Watch Auction: Seven reaffirm the strength of the market across all levels, with collectors vying for timepieces that spanned the true breadth of the category,” Paul Boutros, the company’s head of watches for the Americas, and Isabella Proia, the auctioneer’s head of sale for watches in New York, said in a joint statement. “The sale saw strong international participation, with collectors from across six continents bidding in the sale, and we were fortunate to welcome so many from our global community through our doors at 432 Park Avenue to raise their paddles in person.”
New world records and high sales from F. P. Journe, Grand Seiko, George Daniels, Patek Philippe and Urwerk contributed to the success of the auction. Leading the pack—and more than quadrupling its estimate—was an example of F. P. Journe’s Tourbillon Souverain in platinum with a rose-gold dial. This version is one of only six known to have been produced with such a dial; expected to fetch a minimum of US$300,000, the timepiece was purchased for a whooping US$1.24 million, tying the previous world record sale of the model.
Another standout includes a pièce unique from Grand Seiko. The Kodo Constant Force Tourbillon marked the brand’s very first mechanical complication that combines a tourbillon and a constant-force mechanism as one unit on a single axis—a first in watchmaking history. The model went on to sell for US$478,800, setting a world record for any Grand Seiko timepiece sold at auction.
In addition, a one-of-a-kind piece by Urwerk and contemporary artist Cooper Jacoby, set a new world record price for an Urwerk wristwatch. The headliner of the TimeForArt charity auction, the UR-102 “Reloaded” notched an estimate of only US$40,000 to US$80,000 but ultimately sold for more than 10 times that, bringing in US$403,200 to benefit the Swiss Institute.
How’s that for some records broken?
This article was first published on Robb Report USA