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Highlights from the Geneva Phillips Watch Auction Two – Including another crazy Steel Patek Philippe Split Chronograph and a real James Bond Rolex Submariner

| By Brice Goulard | 8 min read |

Together with all the unique watches that are about to be actioned for Only Watch 2015, Phllips Auction will also hold its second sale, with classical vintage and important watches. The Auction Two will take place at Hôtel La Réserve, Geneva, on the evening of Saturday 7 November, continuing on Sunday 8 November. 200 watches are listed for a total estimate of $14 million (€12.5 million), which means that again, the quality of the selection will be hardly debatable. Here are the highlights from the Geneva Phillips Watch Auction: Two – Including another crazy Steel Patek Philippe Split Chronograph and a REAL James Bond Rolex Submariner.

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Another crazy Steel Patek Philippe – The Split Seconds Chronograph Ref. 1436

Patek Philippe Steel Split Seconds Chronograph Reference 1436 3

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During their first sale, Phillips auctioned one of the two known Patek Philippe Ref. 130 Single Button Chronograph in stainless steel for no less than $5 Million / CHF 4.65 Million (with an estimated price of CHF 1,000,000 / CHF 2,000,000), a watch that is now famous for being the most expensive steel watch ever sold and the third most expensive wristwatch ever. With the November Auction Two, Phillips might have another record breaker, in the name of the Patek Philippe Steel Split Seconds Chronograph Reference 1436.

The ref. 1436 is one of the finest Patek ever and one of only two vintage split second chronograph references produced by the “old maison“. Normally, these were cased in yellow gold, and only a very small number were completed in pink gold. However, based on researches, only two stainless steel editions were produced during the 1940s.

The Patek Philippe Steel Split Seconds Chronograph Reference 1436 to be auctioned here is thus one of only two known reference 1436 in stainless steel, made and completed in the 1940s. It was first sold in 1949 and it has only seen three owners since its original purchase. Furthermore, the overall condition is stunning. It is estimated to CHF 1,500,000 / CHF 3,000,000 and could thus, potentially, break the previous record of the Ref. 130.

A Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Reference 2499 First Series, the unique yellow gold edition with Champagne dial

Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Reference 2499 First Series 1

The References 2499 (whatever the series) are grails for collectors. When it comes to First Series, we’re in front of dream machines, because less than four dozen were produced. Remember at the Patek Philippe 175th anniversaryOne of the four Ref. 2499 in pink gold achieved CHF 2,629,000, a watch that happened to be unique because of the French calendar inscriptions. The Ref. 2499 that Phillips is about to auction is at least as interesting and rare, as it is also a first series and also a unique edition because it is the only one to be born with a champagne dial (a fact that is attested by the Extract of the Archive).

Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Reference 2499 First Series 2It again comes in a stunning condition – look at the lugs and the dial and you’ll know what we mean here (it could well be unpolished). The case is made of 18k yellow gold. Considering the rarity and the beauty of this watch, the estimation is high at CHF 800,000 / CHF 1,400,000 – but not too high, and we could see again another record breaker.

An über-cool and REAL James Bond Watch – the Rolex Submariner 5513 from 007 movie “Live and Let Die”

Rolex James Bond Submariner from Live and Let Die Reference 5513 1

Clearly, this is a stunning watch! Itself, a Rolex Submariner 5513 is a nice vintage watch. However, when you know that this example was modified and then worn by Sir Roger Moore in 007 movie “Live and Let Die”, the story becomes to be really unique and exciting. Forget about the so-called “James Bond” Submariner Ref. 6538, Phillips is about to auction a TRUE James Bond watch – and yes, it does come with the gadgets. It you look closely, you’ll see the specific profile of the bezel, a buzz-saw bezel to be precise, that spun and could cut through rope. Another (imaginary) feature of this watch was an hyper intensified magnetic field with the ability to deflect bullets (or to unzip dresses) – features that are explained on the sketch below. (note that this watch was highly modified, including the movement that lacks its second hand).

This piece of pure coolness, produced in 1972, is signed inside the caseback “Roger Moore 007” (signed by hand, by him) and has an estimation of CHF 150,000 / CHF 250,000 (an estimation that could easily be exploded, considering the price reached by more classical Rolex Submariners).

Rolex Daytona “Solo Quicksilver” Reference 6239

Rolex Daytona Solo Quicksilver Reference 6239 1

What’s so special about this Rolex Daytona that could justified its CHF 250,000 / CHF 500,000 estimation? This edition is in fact called the “Solo Rolex Quicksilver”, because unlike every other reference 6239, the model name “Cosmograph” is missing. You can search, whatever the colour of the dial (silver or black) or the edition (classical or Paul Newman), the “Cosmograph” inscription is (nearly) always present.

This possibly unique watch was on the the cover of Ultimate Rolex Daytona, written by Italian collector Pucci Papaleo. This “Solo Rolex” Daytona is part of the rarest editions possible and could also be sold at a greater price than its estimation (remember this Albino Daytona 6263 owned by Eric Clapton sold at CHF 1,325,000).

A possibly unique double-signed Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Paul Newman Ref. 6241, Retailed by Hermes

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Paul Newman Retailed by Hermes Reference 6241

Itself, a vintage Rolex Daytona, whether a “normal” edition or an “exotic” Paul Newman version, is not extremely rare. Of course, you won’t see one everyday but it’s not the rarest piece of watchmaking existing on earth. However, there are few things that can make a Cosmograph Daytona more special than another (like for instance the solo signature seen before). First, having a Paul Newman dial makes it kind of cool (but not extremely rare though). Then, having one in full yellow gold (including the original bracelet) is again a good sign – it becomes to be less “usual“. Being a Ref. 6241 (thus with a bakelite bezel and non-screwed, pump pushers – possibly the most beautiful edition) again brings some fanciness. So what we could have here is a very nice Rolex Daytona, in very good condition and, admittedly, a piece of pure vintage coolness.

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Paul Newman Retailed by Hermes Reference 6241

BUT, there’s more on this watch… Something that makes it possibly (in fact, most certainly) unique: a double signature – but this time, not on the dial, like we’re used to see on other double-signed watches. The caseback of this Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Paul Newman Ref. 6241 is engraved with the name of the French retailer “HERMES”. Additionally, the caseback is stamped with French gold import marks and the stamp of Rolex France. Confirmed by Hermès in Paris, this very watch was retailed by Hermès and sold on 30 November 1971.

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Paul Newman Retailed by Hermes Reference 6241

You’ll be totally allowed to say that is just a tiny detail. However, in the world of collectible watches (and even more in the world of collectible Rolex watches), these kind of details make a huge difference and (sort of) explain the high estimation (CHF 300,000 / CHF 600,000). Like the “Solo Quicksilver” above, this double-signed Hermes / Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Paul Newman Ref. 6241 is a sort of trophy for collectors, a grail that no one else can have.

A 1920s Audemars Piguet Minute Repeater retailed by Cartier

Audemars Piguet Minute Repeater retailed by Cartier 1

If there’s something that Audemars Piguet was good at, it was minute repeaters. They even showed recently that they are still very good at it (with the crazy Concept RD1). However, you probably ask yourself why we’re talking AP, as the watch showed here has Cartier written on the dial. Cartier, like Tiffany or several other jewelers, used to be retailer for several watch brands (like Patek or Rolex) and this timepiece was manufactured by Audemars Piguet and branded Cartier. It’s a perfect example of a 1920s watch, with a tortue-style case in platinum and (stunning) Breguet numerals. What is properly amazing is the size of the case and the thinness of the profile – look at the thickness modern repeating watches…

Audemars Piguet Minute Repeater retailed by Cartier

This 1920s Audemars Piguet Minute Repeater retailed by Cartier was originally purchased by Henry Haven Windsor, Jr., the son of the founder of Popular Mechanics magazine. It is estimated at CHF 300,000 / CHF 600,000 (and yes, not only Patek and Rolex watches can have crazy estimations).

A Vacheron & Constantin “Cornes de Vache” Chronograph Reference 6087 in pink gold

Vacheron & Constantin Cornes de Vache Chronograph Reference 6087

This watch couldn’t be more actual, as Vacheron-Constantin just launched a re-issue, in a more modern way. It’s an important watch for Vacheron-Constantin as it was the last chronograph made by the manufacture until 1989. As reported by the Hour Lounge (Vacheron-Constantin’s own blog), the 6087 was produced in only 36 pieces (28 in yellow gold, 6 in pink gold and 2 in platinum – note that the 2 platinum editions were made later, in the 1990s, with a different case) and it is one of the rarest and most collectible watches from Vacheron-Constantin. The 6087 came with a 35mm case with these typical cow horn lugs, round pushers and a water resistant case. Inside was ticking the Calibre 492.

The one offered today is one of the six made in pink gold, making it an extremely rare watch – thus reinforcing the importance of this reference for collectors. It has an estimated price of CHF 50,000 / CHF 100,000 (something that remains extremely low compared to some vintage Patek, with a lower pedigree and rarity… this 6087 deserves much more).

Bonus – One of the 3 known Patek Philippe Nautilus 3700/1A, retailed and signed by Gübelin (with original box)

patek philippe nautilus 3700:1A retailed by gubelin

The early Nautilus is certainly one of the most sough-after modern sports watches. With its design created by Gerald Genta, the Reference 3700/1A was in production for less than a decade and is the most coveted reference of the Nautilus product line, affectionately known as the “Jumbo” by collectors. According to scholarship, this example is one of the only three examples adorned with the Gübelin retailer signature, making one of the rarest Nautilus possible.

patek philippe nautilus 3700:1A retailed by gubelin

The Patek Philippe Nautilus 3700/1A still retains its original cork box, and furthermore is accompanied by an extract from the archives.

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