Rare watches from the two manufacturers went over and above expectations
It was a busy weekend for timepiece collectors as Sotheby’s and Phillips held rare and vintage watch auctions on Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15, 2016 respectively.
The weekend also proved to be a highly expensive one, especially since each of the both auctions managed to break a record.
Sotheby’s started things off with its Important Watches auction. The highlight of the auction was an exceptionally rare musical automaton clock in the shape of a bird cage. In the end, though, TAG Heuer stole the show when one of its vintage watches was sold for CHF 225.000 (more than US$ 230.000), which is 10 times its estimate. The watch is indeed deserving of the price, considering the history behind it.
The 18K-gold Heuer Carrera chronometer (the watch manufacturer didn’t change its name to TAG Heuer until 1985) with Calibre 12 Manufacture movement was a gift for Swedish Formula One driver Ronnie Peterson from Jack Heuer; the latter even engraved the case back with the words “Success Ronnie Peterson from Jack W. Heuer.” The watch is completed with a gold ingot to commemorate the award Peterson won at the 1972 German Grand Prix at Nürburgring race track.
Meanwhile, at the Start-Stop-Reset auction, held by relatively new auction house Phillips on the next day, the Rolex Antimagnetique Reference 4113 wristwatch went for CHF 2.4 million (almost US$ 2.5 million). The Start-Stop-Reset is an auction for watches with steel chronographs only; meaning, the case of the above-mentioned Rolex is steel, and not metal, which is considered more precious, so the fact that it was sold at such a high price should baffle most people.
Then again, research shows that the watch is one of only 12 pieces ever made; it is believed that Rolex used to present them to drivers or owners of racing teams it was sponsoring. The 44MM manually wound split-seconds chronograph comes with a silvered matte dial, rose-gold raised Arabic numerals and baton hour markers.