For the third time, Phillips put independents front and centre of its sale, headlined by George Daniels. Connoisseurs packed the saleroom for the British auction house's May date, with the hammer coming down on several record-breaking lots.
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Ventes aux enchères
Gifted to him by RCA Records in 1961 for 75 million album sales, Elvis Presley's Omega comes up for auction this May.
The autumn session revealed the inimical atmosphere behind the scenes of the Geneva sales: for the second time, two houses clashed dates, putting paid to a thirty-year-old gentleman's agreement and possibly creating grounds for the State of Geneva to review its taxation policy.
“Heuer Parade: The Crosthwaite & Gavin Collection” realises CHF 1.4 million ($ 1.5 /€ 1.3). The Geneva Watch Auction: SIX realises CHF 22.5 million ($ 22.6/€ 19.4). With a combined total of CHF 23.9 million ($ 24.1/€ 20.6), Phillips get the highest result for any auction house this season in Geneva.
For the Fall session, Christie’s Geneva held two sales at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues. They realised a combined total of CHF 23.5 million ($ 23.6/€ 20.3).
Paul Newman’s Rolex “Paul Newman” Daytona Sells for $17.8 Million, surpassing Phillips’ own world record. Phillips’ Inaugural New York Watches Auction – Winning Icons – Legendary Watches of the 20th Century – achieves $28.8 Million, the highest total for a Watch Auction in US History.
On November 12th, Phillips auction house sold a stainless steel Patek Philippe wristwatch from 1943 for CHF 11 million, a record at auction. Aurel Bacs, the man wielding the gavel, was at Dubai Watch Week, where he gave this interview.
Watchmaking and art have always gone hand-in-hand, conspiring and inspiring, a source of sometimes mutual influence, even jealousy. Yet is this longstanding "flirtation" with the world of art, and the fact it employs artists, enough to call watchmaking an Art in the full sense of the word?