Sotheby's Important Watches sale brings $7.5 million in New York



2015-12-14 11:52:10

The latest Sotheby's sale of Important Watches saw strong results in New York, with more than 300 timepieces crossing the block for a total of $7,531,252.

Leading the sale was a Patek Philippe watch described as "veritable unicorn" – the world's only-known 'convertible' Ref. 3448.

Originally sold with a white gold case in 1966, the watch became unique in 1986 when its owner ordered a yellow gold Ref. 3450 case and a new matching Ref. 3448 dial. Patek Philippe then gave permission for the movement to be transferred back and forth between the two cases, for the first time in the company's history.

This watch had remained unknown to experts and collectors alike until recently, and sold in New York for $472,000.

Another Patek Philippe highlight was a Ref. 5020 platinum cushion-form perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon phases and registers. Released in the 1990s, the watch was known as the 'Television Set' due to its large size and cushion-form case, and proved unsuccessful at the time.

Twenty years on, and the oversized watch is now seen as being ahead of its time. Described as "a trophy for any modern wristwatch collection", the Ref. 5020 soared above its high estimate of $180,000 to sell for $322,000.

The sale also included a truly historic gold split seconds stop watch created in the 1820s by Abraham Louis Breguet, one of the most influential watchmakers in horological history. One of four split-second stop watches ever produced by Breguet, the timepiece exceeded its estimate to sell for $346,000.

Further notable results included an iconic Rolex Ref. 6241 ‘Paul Newman’ Cosmograph Daytona, circa 1968, which more than doubled its top estimate to sell for $250,000; and a rare Jules Audemars Tradition D’excellence platinum wristwatch, one of only 20 examples made in 2001, which sold for $187,500.

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