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 Rolex and Patek Philippe outperform among rare watch investments  






The following article was written by David Brough, IJL's Precious Metals and Gems Editor, for IJL (International Jewellery London):

Renowned high-quality brands such as Rolex and Patek Philippe outperform among investments in rare vintage watches, while provenance can give further impetus to value.

At the Christie’s “Rare Watches” auction in Geneva on May 13, Rolex and Patek Philippe again saw robust demand from collectors around the world, with many lots fetching prices well above pre-sale estimates. Provenance gave a further boost in the sale of an extremely rare and highly attractive stainless steel and pink gold Rolex that had once belonged to artist Andy Warhol. It sold for a hammer price of 380,000 Swiss francs (CHF), well above a pre-sale estimate of 200,000 to 300,000 CHF.


Christie’s Rare Watches – Rolex ‘Stainless Steel and Pink Gold Chronograph Wristwatch

“Provenance can enhance value of high-quality rare watches — and the sale of the Rolex that formerly belonged to Andy Warhol, is a case in point,” said Rahul Kadakia, Christie’s chief auctioneer in the sale. “Rolex’s did particularly well throughout this sale: they are very popular among young people also,” he told IJL.

Patek Philippe also flourished in the auction, a reflection of the extraordinary craftsmanship and longstanding and illustrious history of the brand. One standout result was the sale at Christie’s of a large and fine 18K white gold automatic Patek Philippe wristwatch for a hammer price of 50,000 Swiss francs (CHF), at the top end of the 30,000 to 50,000 CHF pre-sale estimate.

Among other brands, Richard Mille has emerged as a top performing rare watch brand in the auctions market, Kadakia said. At the Christie’s sale, a very rare and impressive 18K pink gold and titanium automatic semi-skeletonized flyback chronograph Richard Mille wristwatch garnered 110,000 Swiss francs (CHF), versus a pre-sale estimate of 80,000 to 140,000 CHF.

At the Sotheby’s sale in Geneva on May 12, vintage icons won the day, with two 1950s showstoppers by Patek Philippe taking centre stage and Rolex Daytona’s from the 1970s confirming their star status. The sale was led by a superb example of the highly sought-after Patek Philippe reference 2497, featuring a rare case made by Emile Vichet, which realised 980,000 CHF, a record for this reference in pink gold.

Some 1,100 watch aficionados from 70 countries participated in the Sotheby’s Geneva “Important Watches” auction, which brought a total of 9.1 million CHF, with 81 percent of the lots sold and almost half of them achieving prices above their high estimate.


Christie’s Rare Watches – Rolex ‘The Pink Stelline’
Sotheby’s “Important Watches” Sale

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