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Phillips Auction

HK$166 Million/ US$21.3 Million for The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XVIII

Phillips Auction

Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo Achieves HK$166 Million/ US$21.3 Million for The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XVIII

Two Museum-Quality Art Deco Cartier Clocks from a Prestigious Private Collection Achieved a total of HK$18 Million/ US$2.3 Million

“La Pendule Magnétique” Water Clock Sold for HK$15 Million/ US$1.92 Million, Marking the Most Valuable Cartier Clock Sold in Asia

Five Important Pocket Watches Hailing from a Prestigious Family Collection Amassed a Total of HK$13 Million/ US$1.71 Million

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XVIII, 24-25 May, 2024

TOTAL: HK$166,348,130/ US$21,309,195

Lots sold: 274 | Lots offered: 277
Sold by lot: 99% | Sold by value: 99%

Hong Kong – 25 May 2024 – Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo realised HK$166 million/ US$21.3 million in The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XVIII held on 24 – 25 May at the company’s Asia headquarters in the West Kowloon Cultural District. The sale saw collectors and enthusiasts participating from across 55 countries worldwide, with 64% of the lots offered acquired by online participants.

The star lot of the sale was a unique and precious “La Pendule Magnétique” Water Clock by Cartier, which ignited a tense 25-minute bidding war with 75 bids, eventually selling for HK$15 million/ US$1.92 million, more than seven times of its pre-sale estimate, breaking the world auction record for a magnetic water clock. This museum-worthy treasure is one of the four magnetic clocks known that was ever made by Cartier’s most talented horologist Maurice Couët, and it is the only one bearing the chimera. Another exquisite piece of horological art by Cartier from the collection was the jade panel table clock, showcasing a beautifully carved landscape inspired by Emperor Qianlong’s imperial court painter in the Qing Dynasty and a poem by the Emperor, which fetched HK$2.9 million/ US$374,180.

Five important pocket watches hailing from a prestigious family collection achieved a total of over HK$13 million/ US$1.72 million. The leading lot from the collection, a possibly unique Patek Philippe ref. 767 in yellow gold which is the only known example to feature a double-split chronograph mechanism, sold for HK$10 million/ US$1.3 million, more than three times of its pre-sale low estimate. Another remarkable example of the collection was Charles Frodsham’s minute repeating split-seconds chronograph open-faced pocket watch in yellow gold, which sold for HK$1.4 million/ US$178,956, nearly three times of its pre-sale estimate. In 1902, the present lot underwent a time trial at the Kew Observatory and achieved the highest A certificate with 78.4 marks, ranking 8th out of 13 watches in the "Complicated watches" category.

Another notable highlight in this sale was the Patek Philippe Nautilus ref. 3700/1 in white gold made for the Sultan of Oman, which soared to over HK$9 million/ US$1.17 million, more than double of its pre-sale low estimate. Vintage Rolex models continue to attract the attention of the most seasoned collectors, with a highlight of the sale, ref. 6263 Cosmograph Daytona “Paul Newman Panda MK 2" from 1972 sold for HK$3.8 million/ US$488,061.

Thomas Perazzi, Deputy Chairman and Head of Watches, Asia, Phillips, and Gertrude Wong, Head of Sale Hong Kong, Phillips jointly said, “From museum-quality clocks, historically important pocket watches, vintage examples to contemporary wristwatches, we are proud to conclude Phillips’ most diverse sale ever in Asia which reflects the market’s current trends. These timepieces represent the masterful skills of watchmaking and craftsmanship by their respective makers, possessing somewhat timeless appeal that extends across generations and collecting categories. We extend our sincere gratitude to collectors who entrusted us with their horology collections and to the watch-collecting community and beyond who participated in the two-day sale. We look forward to keeping the momentum in The New York Watch Auction: X on 8-9 June which two other Cartier clocks and important English pocket watches will be offered.”

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