Independent watchmaking breaks records at auction

On 5 and 6 November 2022 in Geneva, Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo achieved a white glove sale at “The Geneva Watch Auction: XVI”, amounting to 44,979,370 Swiss francs. The star of the lot was the Spring Case Tourbillon in yellow gold by George Daniels, which sold for more than 4 million Swiss francs.

Isabella Hübscher

By Isabella Hübscher08 novembre 2022

The auction took place on 5 and 6 November 2022 with over 300 collectors in attendance and 1650 online (Phillips)
The George Daniels Spring Case Tourbillon: a unique, historically important double sided yellow gold wristwatch from 1992 with power reserve, day and date (Phillips)

An impressive white glove sale: 226 watches offered, and 226 pieces sold. This auction was achieved by Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo at “The Geneva Watch Auction: XVI”, which resulted in an impressive 44,979,370 Swiss francs the equivalent of 45,073,827 US dollars. This grand total more than doubled the pre-sale estimate of 19.9 to 37.5 million Swiss francs. “The Geneva Watch Auction: XVI (…) attested of the incredible appetite of the watch community for rare, high quality collectible vintage and contemporary pieces that reflect horological history”, stated Alexandre Ghotbi, Head of Watches, Continental Europe and Middle East and Tiffany To, Watch Specialist and Head of Sale. The Result concludes a gound-breaking 2022 for Geneva, with all auctions selling 100% of lots offered, and a market leading annual sale total of almost 112,000,000 Swiss francs.

The auction was held over two days on 5 and 6 November 2022 at La Réserve Hotel, with more than 300 collectors present in person and 1,650 bidders competing online. Participations came from over 75 countries.

The sale was led by the exceptionally rare Spring Case Tourbillon in yellow gold by George Daniels, considered the founding father of independent watchmaking. Indeed, after an intense three-minute bidding war, the unique watch which was estimated at CHF 1 million at pre-sale, finally sold for 4,083,500 Swiss francs, marking the highest price ever achieved for a wristwatch by a British maker. The momentum for George Daniels continued, with the yellow gold Anniversary limited to 35 pieces which sold for 693,000 Swiss francs, and the yellow gold Millennium limited to 48 pieces selling for 828,600 Swiss francs.

Another star lot of The Geneva Watch Auction: XVI was the unique A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Chronograph “Hampton Court Edition” which broke the record for any any A. Lange & Söhne watch at auction. This time, a nine-minute bidding war set the selling price at 1,058,500 Swiss francs, the proceeds of which are going to The Prince’s Trust.

Another world auction record was set by the Philippe Dufour Simplicity in white gold, which sold for 1,022,200 Swiss francs. This timepiece represents an exceptional piece, thanks to its case/dial configuration which has never been seen on the market before, as well as the slate grey dial, full pink gold Breguet numerals and pink gold hands.

A unique Zenith x Voutilainen x Phillips wristwatch sold for 315,000 Swiss francs with full proceeds going to charity, and more remarkable results were achieved for traditional historic brands such as Patek Philippe, Rolex, Vacheron Constantin and Audemars Piguet, making this weekend a game changing milestone for independent watchmaking.

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