Watch auction history was re-written this past Saturday at the sixth edition of the biennial Only Watch auction, where a steel Patek Philippe ref. 5016A sold (to a standing ovation) for $7.3 million. The transaction was the highest price ever paid for a wristwatch sold at auction.
The charity auction, conducted in Geneva by Phillips in association with Bacs & Russo, realized total sales of $11,268,000, the event’s highest ever. The auction offered forty-four unique watches, each donated by a leading watch manufacturer, with all proceeds of the auction benefit research into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The auction took place in a packed sale room at La Reserve Hotel in Geneva, and followed an international touring exhibition which showed the watches in Monaco, Beijing, Hong Kong, New York, London and Geneva.
In addition to the record-breaking Patek Philippe sale, the final auction price for Tudor’s entry, a unique Heritage Black Bay One, manufactured in homage to the Submariner 7923 of the 1950s, sold for $375,000, more than 100 times its low estimate.
It has been a privilege for us to have hosted the 6th edition of Only Watch, and to have been able to play a part in supporting such a worthy cause, said Aurel Bacs of Phillips. This project has seen the world of watches come together with incredible generosity, not least the 44 manufacturers who donated unique timepieces.”
A full list of results from the auction can be found here.
The Only Watch top prices, including those noted above, were:
* Patek Philippe: The first and only stainless steel reference 5016A-010 sold for $7.3 million, the highest price ever paid for a wristwatch at auction. Offered with an estimate of SFr. 700,000 to 900,000, the watch was subject to an intense nine-minute bidding battle between two telephone bidders, before eventually selling to a standing ovation.
* Richard Mille: A prototype Tourbillon RM 27-02 worn and tested by Rafael Nadal during Rolland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open in 2015, sold for $650,000.
* FP Journe: A Tourbillon Souverain Bleu, representing the first time a tourbillon has been cased in tantalum, sold for $550,000.
* Tudor: A unique Heritage Black Bay One, manufactured in homage to the Submariner 7923 of the 1950s, sold for $375,000).
* Voutilainen: The first GMT-6 cased in stainless steel, fitted with an enamel dial, sold for $145,000).
Photo of Only Watch Auction taken by Ian Bell.