Sotheby’s Jewelry Watch Auction Sells Out in Under an Hour

All 24 items on offer at the first gender-free live auction of bejeweled and embellished vintage timepieces at Sotheby’s found buyers, with the entire group selling in less than an hour.

The top item at the sale, called Rough Diamonds, was a Patek Philippe Ref. 3290 bracelet watch, ring and necklace set, created in 1962 by Gilbert Albert, decorated with enamel and pearls. The set sparked a more than six-minute battle between seven bidders, finally selling for CHF 393,700 ($435,727), over seven times its high estimate, Sotheby’s said Friday.

In total, the April 11 auction garnered CHF 1.2 million ($1.3 million), nearly twice its upper presale price.

“Rough Diamonds was born from the desire to bring to market a concept watch sale that truly resonated with collectors,” said Josh Pullan, global head of Sotheby’s luxury division. “The results of tonight’s sale, with all 24 lots selling to such a diverse and enthusiastic group of buyers, has validated that vision. The fact that the Gilbert Albert-designed Patek Philippe — the most idiosyncratic and extravagant lot in the sale — has become the most valuable lot sold tonight proves that there is a definite appetite amongst buyers for nonconformist and boldly eccentric timepieces, presented in a differentiated context.”

Other items that performed well included two Audemars Piguet watches. The first, a Cobra Royal Khanjar from 1985, brought in CHF 165,100 ($182,724), while a car-shaped white gold, diamond and emerald-set wristwatch from 1995 fetched CHF 107,950 ($119,474). Both pieces smashed their high estimates. Meanwhile, a Patek Philippe bangle watch from 1976 more than doubled its upper price tag, going for CHF 63,500 ($70,279).

Source: Rapaport