Antiques & The Arts

31 Million USD: Crazy Record Patek Philippe & Other Lots at Only Watch 2019

Hello, welcome back on TheWATCHES.tv and what
a crazy moment we just lived here in Geneva during the 8th edition of Only Watch, the
charity auction held every two years collecting funds to fight muscular dystrophy diseases,
so without further ado let’s re-live together a moment of history, 31 million for a steel
wrist watch, no ordinary watch for sure, but still and we’ll come back after this on
its meaning and the very good overall performance of the auction, a real revelator on who’s
hot or not. But now pleasure time. Ok, wasn’t this simply crazy, but what an
amazing powerful message sent out there by Patek Philippe. Previous record for a wrist watch was held
by Rolex for Paul Newman’s very own Paul Newman Daytona sold for an astounding 16 million
for an industrially produced watch but of exceptional provenance, but now that record
had been shattered, torn to pieces, almost doubled and just putting back Patek back on
that first march by a stratospheric difference. I’ve often mentioned Patek being in a league
of their own, well this demonstrates it quite bluntly, nothing comes close and I doubt we
will see anything come close anytime soon, but as Thierry Stern was just telling me after
the auction, records are meant to be broken, so we’ll see, liked the attitude regardless
😉 but what an incredible marketing coup, a touch of genius reminding all Patek owners
in which club they belong, even if most Patek watches obviously can’t be compared to this
unique incredible steel Grand Master Chime and also demonstrates Patek’s capacity of
nurturing nicely its collector community. Bravo and by a mile bravo, crazy. But other lots worked really well too, most
of them performing much higher than estimates, I will come back on this in a second, but
today one can say that Only Watch has become a brand of its own, with a huge power of attraction
to collectors and all this for a good cause, everyone playing the game, brands offering
their pieces, no supplier taking any fees from the event, Christie’s auction house
not taking a dime, but what a communication platform now for them repositioning them back
at the very top of auction house business in a spectacular record manner. At the end all stakeholders of the project
are winners, but most importantly and this by far those suffering from the Duchesne muscular
dystrophy disease, for which Only Watch has already managed to pull 40 million Swiss francs
going towards research during the last 7 editions and now almost doubling this number with the
staggering 38 million Swiss francs collected this weekend. So a massive congratulations to Luc Petavino,
the founder of the auction, whose perseverance and inspiring attitude made it all this possible. Having personally gone through the sad consequences
of this disease and the loss of his son, Luc has transformed this enduring experience into
something beautiful, inspiring, something which was acknowledged by the watch community
during the last GPHG since he received a special jury award for his accomplishments, award
plus standing ovation actually. And the great news about this is that the
various research teams involved with finding a cure for this disease have made some very
serious breakthroughs and are the verge of starting clinical tests and this is just amazing
to know. But let’s get back on the auction itself
and on some results witnessed there. The next big lot was this spectacular FP. Journe and I liked how things went, starting
with a “reasonable” 400’000 Swiss francs price and a collector in the room just didn’t
want to waste any time and immediately set the bar at 1.5 million, this was actually
quite amusing and final price ended at 1.8 million, a pretty remarkable price and a new
record for a FP Journe piece. As mentioned this auction is also a good revelator
of who’s hot or not and most brand enjoyed significant price increases compared to normal
retail prices. But this of course needs to be taken with
a bit of caution, because you do not always know to what extent the brands are not helping
this a bit by themselves. Again at the end it’s for a good cause,
so that’s fine, but some lots might have gotten a little extra help here and there,
nevertheless overall good results for almost everyone. Akrivia hit the roof with 360’000 francs
for the Chronometre Contemporain, but since this was the only way of getting your hands
on this much appreciated timepiece, it’s just well deserved and really highlights how
hot they are, especially considering that this was the last lot of the auction but the
audience still had resources. Congrats to Rexhep Rexhepi and his team, our
good neighbours here in the Old Town of Geneva. Kari Voutilainen’s piece made with his daughter,
the only pocket watch of the auction, went for 110’000 Swiss francs, a very good price. The Tudor Black Bay ceramic went for a crazy
price of 350’000.-, cool piece, but crazy price nonetheless and though we’re talking
a lot of money that ping pong game happening in the auction room went fast, starting at
5’000 and in a matter of seconds reached 350k. 1 Million for the Audemars Piguet Code 11.59
openworked tourbillon, quite a number and stopping at 1 million zero zero mark just
seemed a bit odd but why not and someone was happy. 280’000 francs for the Bovet Recital 23
was a really good performance, especially when you consider that it was the lot that
followed the Patek record timepiece. So we had all lived some kind of immense climax
and for this piece to be next was quite a challenge, but good price seriously and beautiful
piece. 210’000 for the Hermes L’Heure de la Lune,
a massive price, almost ten times its retail price, but such a cool watch and there too
it was the only way of getting your hands on this piece, they had all been sold out. 300’000 for the original and super cool
collaboration between URWERK and De Bethune, really do like this one and that’s a true
example of what a “unique piece” is all about. Talking about unique piece, Konstantin Chaykin
Selfie Joker watch went really well and fetched 70’000.-, quite a remarkable amount, but
he really took the time and effort to come with something totally original for the auction. Montblanc split second chrono monopusher went
for 100k, really really good performance there. 130k for the two Chanel J12, again great achievement. 210k for the very nice Breguet chocolate Type
XX, again super good result. 85K for MB&F and L’épée special version
of T-Rex, really good performance. 280 for the Louis Vuitton Escale Spin time
bought by Mr Biver himself 75’000 for the Zenith, but then we there
were a few watches that didn’t perform that well and must have created some disappointment
among a few brands. Won’t go too much over them, but for instance
60’000 for the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar coming with this unique
chestnut enamel dial, nice watch, but considering retail price of 55’000 for the blue version
we had seen at the SIHH this year, well I doubt Jaeger will be too happy with this. Even Richard Mille was a bit disappointing,
ok this RM 11-03 McLaren did fetch 320’000, more or less 40% above retail, but seriously
nothing too spectacular and I think that the fact that they didn’t really do anything
special, there was nothing really unique about this timepiece apart that you could buy it
without having to buy a McLaren car, well I guess that for collectors this was probably
seen as not enough. But then for some brands, results came lower
than retail price and this is obviously not good, not a positive sign sent out and sometimes
even a bit surprising, for instance for Ferdinand Berthoud or Armin Strom and this despite being
really great timepieces. Anyhow, this edition of Only Watch was truly
a fantastic moment to live, fantastic for the cause, fantastic for the brands, a fantastic
moment of marketing brilliance, fantastic for Christie’s, a historic moment and thanks
to all the various players for making it possible and can’t wait for the next edition in a
couple of years. Well this is it for our coverage of the 2019
Only Watch auction, we will still let you enjoy a bit of the ambiance of this edition,
all the very best to all and Viva Watchmaking for a good cause.

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