Geneva has certainly lived up to its reputation as the center of the watch universe this month.
In addition to hosting GemGenève and the GPHG award ceremony, the Swiss city saw Antiquorum’s Important Modern and Vintage Timepieces auction notched $9 million (including buyer’s premium). Over the two days of sales from November 5 to 6, more than 1000 bidders registered online with a majority coming from Europe, the Middle East as well as from North and South America, Hong Kong and Singapore. Of the 480 lots, the top two from Rolex and Patek Philippe sold for over $500,000 each while the auction closed out with a Nautilus Ref. 5711/1A-014 that fetched nearly $400,000.
The highest grossing lot from the Geneva auction was number 470, a Rolex Ref. 6263 Oyster Sotto Paul Newman. This ultra-rare variation is notable for its unusual dial configuration, which features the word “Oyster” placed under the word “Cosmograph,” giving the watch its name Oyster Sotto, meaning “under oyster.” Fewer than 10 examples of this particular configuration are known to exist, and this marks the first ever to be offered at auction. It comes as no surprise that this highly collectible timepiece fetched the highest sale of the auction at $514,745.
A close second came in at the end of the first day with lot 200, a rare stainless steel Patek Philippe Ref. 1463 with Breguet numerals. Patek initially introduced the Ref. 1463 in 1940 as its first water-resistant chronograph. This particular example was originally sold in 1951 and went on to sell for just over half a million at the Antiquorum auction.
Patek continued to dominate the sale with an example of the highly coveted Nautilus Ref. 5711 closing out the auction. The steel and olive green iteration debuted at Watches and Wonders in 2021 and has continued to beat records at auction ever since. This example came in just under $400,000, almost eleven times its original retail price.