It is auction season again and the most recent results are proof positive that investing in timepieces has its just rewards. In fact, at last week’s Antiquorum Important Modern and Vintage Timepieces auction in New York, more than $2.5 million was spent on watches.
“Watches continue to be a smart investment, as so many of the top timepieces sold today hold their value, and some even go up in value over time,” says Roberta Naas, 30-year veteran journalist on the subject of watches.
Lot 272, a rare astronomical watch from Patek Philippe (Ref. 5102)
There is no steadfast rule on which watches will be most coveted by watch collectors years down the road when you may be ready to sell your watch, but the best rule of thumb is to buy what you are going to wear first and foremost. Then, keep your eye on auctions around the world to see the brands and styles that continue to sell. Pilot, dive and military watches are all desirable, as are complications, calendars and astronomical watches.
For instance, the top seller at last week’s auction was Lot 272, a rare astronomical watch from Patek Philippe (Ref. 5102) with night sky chart of the Northern Hemisphere. That watch, which was made nine years ago in 2006, is a self-winding watch in 18-karat white gold with a stunning enamel dial. It sold for $231,750.
In the complicated watch realm, Lot 163 – an A. Lange & Sohne Richard Lange Tourbillon Pour Le Merite (Ref. 7604) was auctioned for $159,750. The watch is a tourbillon that had been made just two years ago in 2013.
Further underscoring the demand for tourbillons on the auction market, a Girard-Perregaux Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges (Lot 80) sold for $63,500. This watch was made about eight yeas ago in 2007 and is an 18-karat pink gold rendition.
Rolex Paul Newman watch
Demonstrating a continued interest in watches with a “car related” history, Rolex also made a strong showing. Among the 272 pieces up for auction was a vintage Rolex Ref. 6239 Paul Newman Daytona (Lot 262). That watch raked in an incredible $111,750, and a Honeycomb Tropical Milgauss sold for $99,750.
While these watches garnered a lot of competitive bidding, a host of other pieces from a variety of top-name brands also sold — and continue to sell — for very strong auction prices. Will your next purchase be the quarter-million-dollar watch in years to come? If you have questions, don’t hesitate to come in and talk to us.