Phillips, in Association with horology specialists Bacs & Russo, will present “The New York Watch Auction: Six,” the company’s first-ever spring watch auction in New York. Featuring 163 lots, the auction will take place over the course of two sessions. On Saturday, June 11, lots 1 to 82 will be offered, and lots 83 to 163 will be offered the following day.
Paul Boutros, Phillips’ Head of Watches, Americas, and Isabella Proia, Head of Sale, in a joint statement, wrote: “The New York Watch Auction: Six [is] one of our most ambitious auctions to date, the sale offers a tremendous selection of rare, fresh-to-market timepieces with impeccable provenance.”
Phillips achieved a global auction sale total of $209.3 million in 2021, the most successful year for any auction house in watch auction history. Some of the house’s other record-breaking prices include the Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona reference 6239, which sold for US$17,752,500 in 2017 – the highest result ever achieved for any vintage wristwatch at auction. Another is the sale of Patek Philippe reference 1518 in stainless steel for US$11,112,020 a year earlier – the highest result ever achieved for a vintage Patek Philippe wristwatch at auction.
This year’s Watch Auction: Six will be led by a fresh-to-market Rolex Paul Newman Daytona Lemon ref. 6264 “El Limoncito” (Lot 111), estimated at $600,000 to 1.2 million. “An exceptionally well-preserved Rolex… which has remained in the same family collection for over half a century, and features the rarest exotic dial for the model,” according to Boutros and Proia.
“El Limoncito,” a nod to the Mexican origins of the family who owned this watch since its production in 1969, retains its original Mark I bezel, with inner caseback stamped 6241. To add to its authenticity, most Rolex Paul Newman Daytona’s with “Lemon” dials in 18K yellow gold appear in the same serial number range as the one offered here, beginning with 2’357’XXX. Also, the current example is within 20 digits of several other confirmed pieces.
Another predicted star of the sale is a George Daniels Anniversary wristwatch in Platinum (Lot 12), estimated at $500,000 to 1 million. For enthusiasts and collectors, the rarity and importance of any George Daniels-signed watch cannot be overstated.
Revered as a horological master whose ingenious co-axial escapement had a profound impact on the history of mechanical timekeeping, Dr George Daniels produced only 24 unique, entirely hand-made pocket watches and just two unique, hand‐made wristwatches. Only two serially-produced, limited-edition models were developed under his leadership and bearing his signature – the George Daniels Millennium, launched in 1998 with just over 50 examples made, and the George Daniels Anniversary watch, launched in 2010, with just 47 examples completed.
The Daniels Anniversary Watch “00” is the very first platinum Anniversary out of the four examples ever produced. The watch is accompanied by a signed and dated letter by Dr George Daniels to the original owner, along with a guarantee, presentation box and setting pin. A portion of the proceeds will benefit The George Daniels Educational Trust, The Alliance of British Watch and Clock Makers, and the Horological Society of New York.
The supporting cast of watches includes a superb selection of top-quality vintage and modern Patek Philippe watches, led by the legendary ref. 5016 minute repeater with perpetual calendar and tourbillon in 18 karats rose gold (Lot 19, est. $300,000 – 600,000), and an “incredibly well-preserved” vintage reference 3450 perpetual calendar with factory sapphire exhibition caseback (Lot 90, est. $250,000 – 500,000), and comes with box and original certificate.
In addition, there is a selection of vintage and modern Nautilus models, including an 18 karat “Jumbo” ref. 3700/1 retailed by Gubelin (Lot 88 est. $120,000 – 240,000) – one of only three ever offered publicly; a ref. 5976/1G 40thAnniversary from 2016 (Lot 48, est. $150,000 – 300,000); and a now-discontinued ref. 5711/1A-014 Nautilus with green dial (Lot 163, Est. $80,000 -160,000).
Here is a selection of some standouts models from Independent and other sought after collectors’ brands….
- Lot 116: A very early F.P.Journe Tourbillon Souverain with serial number 035/99T (est. $300,000 – 600,000).
- Lot 10: An extremely rare F.P.Journe 40mm Tourbillon Souverain model with jade dial (est. $200,000 – 400,000).
- Lot 117: A unique Harry Winston Opus 1 Chronomètre à Résonance – a collaboration between Harry Winston and F.P.Journe from 2001 (est $300,000 – 600,000).
- Lot 49: A. Lange & Söhne’s Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerksunst – one of only 20 examples made (est. $120,000 – 240,000).
- Lot 11: A Roger Smith Series 2 Open Dial in platinum (est. $150,000 – 300,000).
- Lot 8: A De Bethune Titan Hawk V2 with serial number 000 (est. $25,000 – 50,000).
- Lot 137: A Greubel Forsey Double Tourbillon 30-degree Technique Blue with serial number 1 (est. $120,000 – 240,000).
In addition, the sale will also feature several important and historically significant timepieces from Audemars Piguet, Richard Mille, Cartier, Omega, Heuer, and Zenith, among others; Chapter II of a special collection of watches known as “Ride the Wave,” comprising nearly 20 “extremely well-preserved” vintage and modern watches from “a renowned American surgeon, surfer, and collector;” and watches from the personal collection of Academy Award-nominee James Garner.