Demand for vintage timepieces continues to tick ahead

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Investors who love luxury and luxury stocks are smart to shy away from luxury watch companies as the adoption of ‘smartwatches’ sends shock waves through the wrist watch market.

Instead, savvy players are looking to the past to make a few bucks as vintage luxury anything has become the next hot ticket in luxury investing. Cars, watches and handbags all continue to break records at auction houses and market leader Philips has recently completed a set that brought in the largest haul for any timepiece auction in Asia recently.

The cliche, what’s old is what’s new, is definitely an algorithm for investors looking for a unique place to park their money. Read more from Phillips:

Phillips, The Worldwide Market Leader in Watch Auctions, Achieves HK$106.9 Million During The Hong Kong Watch Auction: FOUR

The Highest Sale Total for any Watch Auction in Asia this Season

HONG KONG – 31 MAY 2017 – Phillips, in Association with Bacs & Russo, concluded the spring season of sales in Asia with The Hong Kong Watch Auction: FOUR, achieving HK$106,925,000 / US$13,718,478 – the highest sale total for any watch auction held in Asia this season. Over 340 collectible timepieces of the finest quality, spanning three centuries of watch making, attracted collectors from 45 countries across six continents, including 450 online bidders. Particularly strong results were achieved for vintage Patek Philippe timepieces, with four watches exceeding US$500,000, along with spirited bidding that brought noteworthy prices for vintage Rolex watches. Amongst the highlights of the sale was Laurent Picciotto’s private collection. A renowned collector and watch industry visionary, Picciotto’s 43 Watches & Encounters sold in excess of the high estimate, illustrating the collector community’s appreciation for rare and important contemporary timepieces.

Edward Dolman, CEO of Phillips, said: “In only the third year since our watch department’s inception and following the outstanding results of the fourth Hong Kong watch auction season, Phillips’ watch department has clearly established itself as the world’s leading watch auction house. Our international team consistently delivers exceptional offerings that attract extraordinary attention across the globe. Phillips is fully committed to expanding our presence in Asia and offering best-in-class service to collectors in the region.”

Aurel Bacs, Auctioneer and Senior Consultant, said: “Following our blockbuster sale in Geneva that achieved well over US$32 million, the highest sale total for any watch auction in Europe this season, the Hong Kong Watch Auction: FOUR totaled an impressive HK$106.9 million – the highest sale total for any watch auction staged in Asia this season. With consistently strong sell through rates, we saw many remarkable results throughout a nine hour marathon auction in a fully packed saleroom. The top ten is dominated by Patek Philippe, with vintage watches leading the list.

Laurent Picciotto’s private collection of contemporary watches sold with massive support in the room, on the telephones and online, pushing lot 1033, a unique Richard Mille, into the auction’s top ten. This success is down to the collector himself, a visionary who championed new, innovative brands, which consulted him at early stages and were guided by him during their first years of activity. Many of the timepieces were ‘Number 1’s’ of limited editions or unique pieces that Mr. Picciotto kept for himself, and the market greeted these exclusive contemporary watches with enthusiasm. In this passionate and international marketplace, Phillips welcomed over 1000 bidders this season, and continues as the market leader for the first half of 2017.”


Lot Description Estimate Price Achieved
1071 PATEK PHILIPPE, Ref. 2481

A pink gold wristwatch with ‘Jungle’ cloisonné enamel dial and pink gold Gay Frères bracelet

HK$4,000,000 – 8,000,000 HK$5,900,000


1069 PATEK PHILIPPE, Ref. 2499

A yellow gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon phases

HK$2,700,000 – 4,000,000 HK$5,000,000


1076 PATEK PHILIPPE, Ref. 530

A stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with original certificate

HK$4,000,000 – 8,000,000 HK$4,880,000


1074 PATEK PHILIPPE, Ref. 3448

A white gold perpetual calendar wristwatch with moon phases, luminous indexes and hands, original certificate and fitted presentation box

HK$2,400,000 – 4,000,000 HK$4,040,000


1111 ROLEX, Cosmograph Daytona, Ref. 6263

A stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with ‘Paul Newman Panda’ dial and bracelet

HK$1,500,000 – 2,500,000 HK$3,920,000


1086 CARTIER, Table Clock

An extremely rare and unusual silver and marble magnetic floating table clock

HK$600,000 – 1,000,000 HK$3,800,000


1077 PATEK PHILIPPE, Ref. 866/30

A yellow gold openface pocket watch with enamel miniature painted by Suzanne Rohr with original certificate and fitted presentation box

HK$1,800,000 – 2,500,000 HK$3,200,000


1033 RICHARD MILLE, Ref. RM008

A unique DLC-treated titanium split seconds chronograph tourbillon wristwatch with guitar, golf balls, framed drawing of the present movement, original certificate and fitted presentation box

HK$2,000,000 – 3,000,000 HK$2,840,000


1105 ROLEX, Sea-Dweller Ref. 1665

A stainless steel wristwatch with gas escape valve and dial with golden Khanjar, made for the Sultanate of Oman

HK$2,200,000 – 4,000,000 HK$2,720,000


975 PATEK PHILIPPE, Ref. 5004

A platinum perpetual calendar split-seconds chronograph wristwatch with moon phases, leap year indicator, special black dial, and original certificate

HK$1,600,000 – 2,400,000 HK$2,240,000


By Doron Levy Courtesy TheTopTier Digital Media / PHILLIPS

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