An initiative to open the intimidating world of watch auctions to a wider audience appears to have hit the mark as the latest sale by Philipps in Association with Bacs and Russo generated over £9 million from an event held in partnership with online retailer Mr Porter and gentlemen’s style title The Rake.
There were 600 people registered for the auction, which was titled Styled. Timeless Watches and How to Wear Them. Bids came in from more than 50 countries.
The line up of watches was curated by a team from Philipps, The Rake and Mr Porter, and promoted across the digital platforms of the three organisations.
Aurel Bacs, senior consultant, and Paul Boutros, Phillips’ head of watches, Americas, jointly said:“We were fortunate to have the opportunity to partner with Mr Porter and The Rake. It was a true pleasure to welcome an entirely new audience through our doors as we celebrated the increasingly converging worlds of watches and fashion.”
Phillips says its total sales worldwide this year for watches hit £84.6 million. “Collectors across the globe continue to vie for exceptional watches across a variety of styles and manufacturers and we are confident that this momentum will continue into 2019. This season was particularly remarkable.”
Toby Bateman, managing director, Mr Porter says that the auction showcased the engagement and power of the vintage watch community. “Mr Porter has gained an even broader perspective and insight into this group, and we thank Phillips, The Rake, and the teams involved in celebrating not only the timeless watches themselves, but, how to wear them,” he adds.
The top lot of the sale was a 1957 Rolex “Big Crown” Submariner that sold for £444,476. The reference 6538, immortalised onscreen by Sean Connery’s James Bond in films such as Dr. No and Goldfinger was in exceptional condition despite never having been polished or restored. It came complete with its original guarantee and chronometer certificate.
Other top lots (described by Phillips) and sale prices were: