World record achieved in the fine watches, wristwatches and clocks auction at Bonhams New York

December 2011

At the Fine Watches, Wristwatches and Clocks auction at Bonhams on December 8, there was active and determined bidding from around the globe, possibly in preparation for the upcoming holiday season. The sale’s 163 lots achieved a sale total of $1.58 million, which includes a world record that was surpassed and achieved by a stunning Patek Philippe chronograph wristwatch ref. 5020P.

Jonathan Snellenburg, the Director of Watches at Bonhams, stated about the sale, “We were pleased to have such an enthusiastic presence in the auction room as well as from online bidders. A lot of interest was generated during our preview tour of highlights in Hong Kong which was reflected in our results.”

Taking the top honours of the sale was the world record-breaking Patek Philippe chronograph ref. 5020P. The top lot of the sale, claiming $338,500 against a pre-sale estimate of $280,000-350,000, was a fine and very rare platinum cushion-form perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch.

The second top lot of the sale was a Patek Philippe very rare and fine 18-carat rose gold chronograph wristwatch ref. 5070R, retailed by Tiffany & Co., claiming $104,500, against a pre-sale estimate of $90,000-100,000.

Elsewhere in the sale five of the top lots came from an impressive private and distinguished collection of 25 highly sought-after watches. From this particular collection the top lots include a Vacheron Constantin fine 18-carat rose gold tourbillon wristwatch, selling for $80,500 (pre-sale est. $70,000-80,000); a Breguet 18K gold tourbillon wristwatch, selling for $74,500 (pre-sale est. $60,000-80,000); a Patek Philippe 18-carat rose gold chronograph ref. 5070R, selling for $68,500 (pre-sale est. $60,000-70,000); a Patek Philippe fine automatic centre seconds wristwatch ref. 5056P, selling for $35,000 (pre-sale est. $28,000-32,000); and an Ulysse Nardin fine gold automatic wristwatch with a planispheric astrolabe, selling for $27,500 (pre-sale est. $20,000-25,000).

Also in the top ten were two rare chronographs by Rolex that embody 1960s car racing and film legend Paul Newman. The first was a fine and rare Cosmograph Daytona, Paul Newman 14-carat gold chronograph and bracelet which claimed $84,100 (pre-sale est. $80,000-120,000). The other was also a fine and rare Cosmograph Daytona, Paul Newman Rolex in stainless steel claiming $63,700 (pre-sale est. $40,000-45,000).