Antiquorum Geneva May AuctionExcellent prices for vintage Reverso Watches
Antiquorum's May auction of "Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces", held on Sunday, May 16 at the Geneva Mandarin Oriental, totaled 7,675,999 CHF, with 80% of the lots sold. This brought the total of Antiquorum's spring sales to 14,133,936 CHF. In addition to strong in-room attendance, there were many telephone and Internet bidders, with international participation coming from Hong Kong, Singapore, The Netherlands, Belarus, China and Japan. The top lot of the auction was the unique and exceptional Vacheron & Constantin "30 days, Constant Force" clock made in 1933 (lot 579). This Art Deco masterwork brought an impressive CHF 242,500.
Other outstanding clocks achieving noteworthy results were the Breguet silver humpback carriage clock sold to the Marquise de Béthisy (lot 549), the most complicated known Breguet humpback clock, which sold for CHF 200,500; and the Cartier rock crystal desk clock (lot 578) which attained CHF 100,900.
Etienne Leménager, Director & Watch Expert at Antiquorum Geneva, noted: "The results obtained today for these exceptional clocks show that highly technical movements combined with perfect aesthetics continue to have a strong appeal for sophisticated and demanding collectors the world over".
Another of the sale's highlights was the Louis Audemars "La Russe II" (lot 451). One of the most important complicated watches of the 19th century with Julian & Gregorian double perpetual calendar, two time zones, minute-repeating and chronograph functions, it sold for CHF 200,500. Rolex sports watches obtained excellent results. Lot 384, the Rolex COMEX Oyster Perpetual, Ref. 5514, went for an impressive CHF 170,500, while the Military Submariner Rolex, Ref. 5517, made in 1972 for the British Military (lot 159) was hammered down at CHF 134,500. The Rolex Oyster Perpetual, Comex, Ref. 1665 (lot 160), attained CHF 122,500; and the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date, Explorer II, Ref. 1655, "Spade of Oman" (lot 535) brought CHF 110,500. Collectors of Audemars Piguet timepieces bid actively on the Royal Oak Offshore Automatic "End of Days", No. 428/500 (lot 268), which went for more than double the low estimate at CHF 60,000. This limited edition was made in 2000 with the collaboration of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Patek Philippe wristwatches also achieved remarkable prices, with the Ref. 130 (lot 567), selling for CHF 170,500, the white gold Patek Philippe Ref. 5970 G (lot 512), reaching CHF 116,500, and the Ref. 3970 E second generation (lot 440) going for CHF 86,500.
The second session opened with a special "Reverso Chapter", celebrating the 80th anniversary of the iconic watch. The selection of 35 exceptional Reverso watches drew great interest from collectors, leading to an outstanding total of CHF 618,875, with all lots sold. Bidding was fierce, particularly for the original watches from 1931, which achieved incredible results including several record prices. The highlight was undoubtedly the 1931 steel Reverso Ref. 201 with red lacquered dial (lot 225), which reached the astounding record price of CHF 35,000 - over 6 times the low estimate.
The 1933 Staybrite Reverso Ref. 201 with chocolate dial (lot 226) obtained an impressive CHF 30,000, or almost 5 times the low estimate. Lot 229, the King's Royal Rifle Corps Reverso Ref. 201, made in 1936, was hammered down at CHF 31,250. Modern Reverso timepieces also did extremely well: the Limited Edition "Reverso Four Seasons" Set No. 01/25 made in 1996 (lot 255), was acquired for CHF 134,500. The only Reversos to be made with enamel dials, these watches were sold exclusively by Jaeger-LeCoultre; it is extremely rare to find an entire set that has remained complete.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre "Reverso - Tourbillon Platinum Number Two", made in a limited edition of 500 pieces in 2003 (lot 253), went for CHF 50,000, while the "Reverso - Répétition Minute", made in a limited edition of 500 pieces in 1994 (lot 252), brought CHF 31,250; and the "Reverso Septantième - 8 Days", made in a limited edition of 500 pieces to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the legendary "Reverso" model in 2002 (lot 254), sold for CHF 30,000.
Julien Schaerer, Managing Director & Watch Expert of Antiquorum Geneva, commented: "We are delighted that our collaboration with Jaeger was such a tremendous success. This sale, along with Jaeger's launch of their Tribute to Reverso watch, have shown a spotlight on the fantastic history of the Reverso and have given collectors new understanding and appreciation for this iconic wristwatch, which richly deserves the amazing results obtained."
Antiquorum's next auction will take place on Wednesday, June 8 in New York,