Over the weekend, the auction Phillips in Association With Bacs & Russo held has reached $74.5 million, breaking multiple records worldwide. The amount collected is currently the highest ever total money collection in the watch auction history. The previous highest record before the auction took place is only at $41,496,000, which is almost half of the total amount collected by Phillips in Association With Bacs & Russo. The watch auction sale just confirmed that many people are willing to pay a hefty price just for a single watch; it is a market where money is never an issue.
The most expensive watch ever sold was the Dufour’s Grande et Petite Sonnerie, sold at $5,182,109. The Philippe Dufour Grande et Petite Sonnerie wristwatch has a yellow gold band and represents a world record price for a Philippe Dufour watch. It is also recorded as the most amount paid for a watch by an independent maker. About four Philippe Dufour timepieces were auctioned at the event, and all of them were sold in the auction for the first time. Aside from the Dufour Grande et Petite Sonnerie wristwatch, they also sold a pocket watch of Dufour Grande et Petite Sonnerie, a Duality model no. Eight and Simplicity No. 57. The total amount collected from the sale of the four Philippe Dufour timepieces was $12,448,800.
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One of the most notable pieces sold on the auction is the 64-year-old Omega Speedmaster which was the most intriguing and surprising because of its tropical (patinated) dial. The Omega Speedmaster, also known as Broad Arrow, was sold for $3,399,633. Spectators at the auction were shocked at the Omega Speedmaster’s final price because it was only estimated at $130,000. Even the company principal and auctioneer Aurel Bacs was surprised by the amount the watch was sold for and thinks it is indeed a world record for the sale of Omega Speedmaster.
The bidding for the watch was swiftly done, and about a $1 million bid was made early on for the watch. However, at the end of the bidding for the Omega Speedmaster, the increments for the bidding became slower, and it was as if somebody was squeezing out a lemon. Many bidders participated in the bid, including enthusiasts from Oman, Bahrain, Hong Kong, and Texas. But ultimately, the Hong Kong bidder was in the heavens when they finally won the bid and got to take home the Omega Speedmaster. It is indeed the highest amount paid for an Omega watch, celebrating its 65th birthday next year. The previous record for the highest amount paid for an Omega watch was sold for $1.8 million, which was the Omega watch that Elvis Presley used to own.
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The company principal, Aurel Bacs, has attributed the soaring high interest in luxury watches to a lot of factors. One factor for it was the pandemic, a lot of activities were stopped during the pandemic, but the interest in purchasing a watch has become much higher. The enthusiasts believe that it is reasonable to spend five, six, and even seven-figure amounts for a single watch. Watches have reached the level of just art or real estate, where people love spending money.
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Sources: Watch Pro, Robb Report, Hodinkee
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