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Highlights From The Geneva Watch Auction: Six


GENEVA - 25 September 2017 - Following another record-breaking Spring auction season, which furthered Phillips’ standing as the global market leader in watches, Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo is delighted to announce an action packed weekend for watch collectors taking place November 11 -12 in Geneva, at Hôtel La Réserve. The weekend will kick-off with a one-of-a-kind vintage Heuer sale, followed by sessions of the Geneva Watch Auction: SIX over two days.

Headlining the sale will be "The Crosthwaite and Gavin Collection," a selection of 42 watches which represent, without any shadow of a doubt, the most complete collection of vintage Heuer chronographs made during the Jack Heuer era. A historic event for Heuer collectors, the auction constitutes a long overdue tribute to one of watchmaking’s great men. The Heuer session will conclude with the sale of a brand new Autavia, designed by Jack Heuer himself, with all the proceeds going to ‘Save The Children.’

The Heuer sale will be immediately followed by an evening session of The Geneva Watch Auction: SIX which will conclude on Sunday. Most notably, collectors will be given not one, not two, but three opportunities to acquire some of the rarest complicated Patek Philippe wristwatches ever produced. Included in the sale are a pink gold reference 2499 third series, one of six known examples, a white gold reference 2497, one of three examples made in this case material, and an absolutely mint yellow gold reference 2523, previously unknown to the market.

In addition to this spectacular Patek Philippe triumvirate, Phillips will be offering a stunning selection of wristwatches from Rolex, including an über-rare pink gold reference 6062, a watch that redefines scholarship on this reference as it is the second example in rose gold with a dramatic two-tone dial to be discovered, as well as an Explorer worn by George Band OBE during the 1955 British expedition of Kangchenjunga, which comes to us directly from the Band family.

Auction Calendar:

Thematic sale „The Crosthwaite & Gavin Collection” devoted to Heuer watches, Saturday 11 November | 6pm
The Geneva Watch Auction: SIX part 1, Saturday 11 November | 7.30pm
The Geneva Watch Auction: SIX part 2, Sunday 12 November | 6pm
Location: Hôtel La Réserve, Bellevue, Geneva

In total, the auction house will present a highly compact and exciting auction of approximately 160 rare timepieces, many of which will be offered to the public for the first time. Phillips is pleased to present the following, exceptional highlights that will also be offered on 11 & 12 November:

PATEK PHILIPPE, Perpetual Calendar Chronograph
Reference: 2499

There are times when a particular complication is associated immediately with a brand. The perpetual calendar chronograph is unmistakably part of Patek Philippe’s genetic code. With the present reference 2499 superlatives are hard to find. Reference 2499 replaced reference 1518 in 1951 and was made for a period of 34 years, until 1985, in four different series. A total of 349 pieces were made, making this a highly exclusive reference in the company’s history. Made in 1971, this watch is in immaculate condition. Only six examples of the reference 2499 third series in pink gold like the present gem are known. The present example with its two sided baton markers and large pyramid indexes is only one of two known. Estimate: CHF1,500,000 – 3,000,000

ROLEX,Cosmograph Daytona, The "Big Blue"
Reference: 16528 inside caseback stamped 16500

When launched in 1988, it was not only the first time Rolex used an automatic caliber for the Daytona, it was also the first time that Rolex used an ebauche supplied by a third party for one of its automatic movements. Caliber 4030 was based on a heavily modified Zenith El-Primero movement. Therefore the Daytona’s case size was increased to 39 millimetres to house the new movement. The present reference 16528’s striking good looks are the result of a potent formula, consisting of a ritzy yellow gold case and a superb galvanic blue dial with a sunray pattern. These dials were never mounted on reference 16528, but gifted by Rolex to partners, suppliers and senior management. Offered in spectacular condition, the watch is one of the rarest and exclusive Daytonas ever created and a crown jewel for the discerning Daytona collector. Estimate: CHF100,000 – 200,000

ROLEX, Explorer
Reference: 6150

An attractive and historically important wristwatch made in circa 1953 with centre seconds, black lacquer "explorer" dial and bracelet, worn on the 1955 Kanchenjunga Expedition by George Band.

Estimate: CHF50,000 – 80,000

ROLEX, Triple Calendar
Reference: 6062, 6063 also stamped inside the case back and then struck through by Rolex

An exceptionally fine, rare and important pink gold triple calendar wristwatch with moonphases and two-tone dial made in circa 1953. Reference 6062 is one of only two Rolex models ever to feature a full calendar paired with the indication of the phases of the moon, together with reference 8171. The reference 6062 embodies what Rolex stands for without a shred of compromise. Only two models in pink gold with the Arabic numerals at 3 and 9 o’clock were known, one with grené dial auctioned by Phillips on May 10, 2015 in Geneva and the other with two-tone dial published in John Goldberger’s 100 Superlative Rolex Watches. The present reference 6062 redefines scholarship on this reference as it is the second example in rose gold with a two-tone dial to be discovered. Estimate: CHF400,000 – 800,000

Reference: 2523/1

It is interesting how certain complications are immediately associated with certain brands, and the worldtime and Patek Philippe are indissociable. This extremely rare, important and attractive yellow gold dual crown world time wristwatch with 24 hour from 1964 features a Louis Cottier movement. Patek Philippe stopped the production of world time watches in the late 1960s with the passing away of Louis Cottier and this complication came back into the Patek Philippe catalogue only in 2000 with the reference 5110. The present lot from stands out thanks to its superb condition - according to research, nine references 2523/1 were known all case metal and dial combinations...until now. It is exhilarating to have discovered the tenth reference 2523/1, fresh to the market and part of the earlier models made. Estimate: CHF700,000 – 1,400,000

OMEGA, Tourbillon
Reference: Unique Prototype

The present watch, in superb condition, is not only magnificently attractive but has immense significance in horological history. In 1947 Omega created twelve Calibre 30 I tourbillon movements of only 30mm in diameter to run in the „wristwatch” category of the Geneva, Neuchatel and Kew‐Teddington Observatory trials. In these movements the tourbillons had a rotation rate of 7.5 minutes as opposed to the more habitual 60 seconds. Whereas it was always believed that these movements had only been created to participate in Observatory trials, illustrations and information contained in letters preserved at the Omega Museum showcase plans for a 30mm tourbillon movement to be housed in a wristwatch. The present watch is proof that at least one pre‐series model with the 30mm. tourbillon was, in fact, produced, making this watch superbly and historically relevant. Estimate: CHF100,000– 200,000

PANERAI, Luminor „Panerai L”
Reference: 6152/1

This extremely rare, large and historically interesting stainless steel wristwatch with rotating bezel, movement and case by Rolex, formerly owned by Admiral Birindelli, is from circa 1955. The present watch impresses with its "complete" nature. It retains its dust cover and polycarbonate see-through bezel, graduated to five minutes. These bezel covers were made to measure a period of time independently of normal time. Incredibly fragile, most examples have perished over the years. It is only one of four known reference 6152/1s that still retain its original bezel. Estimate: CHF80,000 – 160,000

Reference: OT.14.166

A very rare and attractive pink gold wristwatch with ruby-set hour markers, presumably made for the Crown Prince of Ethiopia. Its historical importance aside, the present Omega is a striking watch with its large pink gold case, immaculate cream dial and round and baguette ruby hour markers. The Omega Extract of the Archives indicates that the watch was delivered to Ethiopia in 1949, the case back is engraved with the Imperial Crown of Ethiopia and the Crown Prince’s initials. Estimate: CHF30,000 – 60,000

Reference: 16753, inside caseback stamped 16750

The GMT Master was created by Rolex in the second half of the 1950s in collaboration with Pan Am. This watch, reference 16753, is a rare variant within the GMT family as it is cased in both stainless steel and yellow gold. This specific watch was offered to the Formula 1 engineer Gérard Ducarouge by the pilot Elio de Angelis on his first pole position with the Lotus-Renault 94T during the 1983 European Grand Prix. Estimate: CHF8,000 – 12,000

Reference: 3646

The present watch is one of the best-documented Panerai's known to the market. Classified as "Type C", it is characterized by its comparatively longer fixed lugs. The inside case back furthermore displays the signature "Rolex S.A.", along with the reference number followed by the seven digit serial number. According to scholarship, approximately 211 examples are known of reference 3646. The present watch from circa 1942 is notably fitted with the anonymous "sandwich dial". It is highly possible that Panerai created these dials during the war years to avoid recognition, lest an enemy found the watch. This historically interesting and well-documented stainless steel wristwatch with movement and case by Rolex, was formerly owned by combat swimmer Helmut Rösel. Estimate: CHF60,000 – 90,000

PATEK PHILIPPE, Perpetual Calendar
Reference: 2497

A truly landmark model, reference 2497 is the first serially produced Patek Philippe perpetual calendar wristwatch to feature centre seconds. First introduced in 1951, it is considered one of manufacture’s most beautiful designs ever made. This extremely rare, beautiful and historically important white gold perpetual calendar wristwatch with centre seconds and moon phases is from 1954. Research shows that a combined 179 examples of reference 2497 and its water resistant sibling 2438/1 were produced during their 12 year production period. Whilst yellow gold and pink gold examples are rare, even superlative specimens, those cased in white gold enter „unheard of” territory. In fact, no more than merely three examples cased in white gold have graced the market so far, including the present watch. Estimate: CHF1,500,000 – 3,000,000