One heck of a record… and that’s just about all there is to say about the autumn session of watch sales in Geneva. Over four days, November 12th to 15th, close to 1,400 watches and clocks changed hands for the modest sum of CHF 54.6 million in all. Such a relatively strong result can only go some way towards masking the rather gloomy atmosphere that prevailed over the sales, which mobilised the four leading auction houses of Antiquorum, Phillips, Christie’s and Sotheby’s. (Almost) no outstanding lots, nothing weird or wonderful to jazz up this autumn session or pull in the crowds. The usual plethora of recent and in some cases very recent pieces – certain lots were from 2016! – found buyers though without any great enthusiasm among bidders, scraping in at their estimate and sometimes below.
Confirming their heavyweight status, Patek Philippe and Rolex made a significant contribution to the final total. Overall, 17.5% of lots were by Patek Phillipe and 19% by Rolex; the two brands thus represented over a third (36%) of all lots between them. In terms of bidding, Phillips, in association with Bacs & Russo, claimed the honours for highest average hammer price at CHF 140,375, followed by Christie’s (CHF 46,526) then Sotheby’s (CHF 22,362) with Antiquorum (CHF 9,505) bringing up the rear.