Sotheby’s 2012 Global Watch And Clock Auctions Record An Astounding 43% Growth From 2011

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January 2013

Among the stellar offerings presented by Sotheby’s international Watches team are Watches from the Collection of the Late Reginald H. Fullerton, Jr. and his Grandfather Henry Graves Jr. (June, New York), the Patek Philippe Ref. 5002P Sky Moon Tourbillon (October, Hong Kong), The George Daniels Horological Collection (November, London) and the Duc d’Orléans Breguet Sympathique (December, New York), to name just a few.

Tim Bourne, Worldwide Head of Watches, notes, “We are delighted with the fabulous results achieved in 2012. With the reconstruction of the department we have seen tremendous and unprecedented growth in the Company’s watch and clock auction and private sale business, with record-breaking results in Hong Kong, New York and London, and clients participating from nearly 70 countries around the world. We look forward to bringing more extraordinary timepieces to the market in 2013, starting with the Hong Kong Spring Sale to take place on 7 April. ”


Sotheby’s watch sales in Europe totalled US$30.3 million in 2012, and were highlighted by the landmark auction of The George Daniels Horological Collection in November which achieved a total of £8,285,139 / US$13,249,594, exceeding by far the pre-sale estimates of £3.8 - 5.8 million. As four centuries of watches and clocks went under the hammer, a remarkable 98.5% of the 137 lots belonging to the great British horologist sold when buyers battled for the highly prized timepieces.

Left: George Daniels' Space Traveller's Watch - Right: Patek Philippe Ref. 2524 / 1 retailed by Tiffany & Co
Left: George Daniels’ Space Traveller’s Watch - Right: Patek Philippe Ref. 2524 / 1 retailed by Tiffany & Co

All of the nine watches made by George Daniels saw strong demand, selling above their high estimates. The top lot of the sale was George Daniels’ Space Traveller’s Watch (Est. £400,000 – 600,000) which fetched £1,329,250 / US$2,125,737– establishing not only a new Record for Daniels at auction, but also a record for an English watch and for an independent watchmaker at auction.

Sotheby’s Geneva Spring and Autumn auctions were led by rare models of vintage and modern wristwatches, including a most probably unique example of Patek Philippe Ref. 2524 / 1 retailed by Tiffany & Co, which doubled pre-sale expectations (Est. CHF 250,000 – 350,000) and sold for CHF 542,500 / US$571,328 in November. A further highlight was the sale in May of a 1825 carriage clock by the celebrated watch and clockmaker, Breguet, which was bought for CHF 422,500 / US$452,202 (Est. CHF 350,000 – 450,000) by the Breguet Museum, Paris.

For further information (including results for Asia & North America), click HERE

Source: Sotheby’s