Phillips is dialing up the traditional watch auction with its upcoming Styled: Timeless Watches and How to Wear Them. The watch auction, which will take place December 5th in New York City, is getting something of a makeover. Phillips’s latest offering of vintage and modern timepieces to be shown with curated, tailored looks from e-commerce luxury menswear giants like Mr Porter to illustrate how the watches should be worn when they’re not sitting in the safe. The styled looks will be shown through an international tour, in London, Geneva, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong, ahead of the sale in December.
The watches will be sorted into a dozen style categories that include what to wear on an evening out, the weekend, at the office, and around sporting and automotive events like Wimbeldon and Goodwood.
The top lots from the auction include a Rolex ‘Big Crown’ Submariner Ref. 6538 with a “four liner” glossy dial circa 1957 in the original box (estimate $300,000-$600,000) and a Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 6239—because it wouldn’t be a 2018 watch auction without another important Paul Newman Daytona up for grabs. This one was awarded to the winner of the 1969 Daytona 500, LeeRoy Yarbrough, and dates to circa 1967 (estimate $150,000-$300,000). A Patek Philippe “Tasti Tondi” Chronograph Ref. 1463 circa 1946 (estimate $300,000-$500,000), sought after by collectors as the watchmaker’s first waterproof chronograph, is being offered in a rare stainless steel model—this reference was predominately made in yellow gold. A Patek Philippe Ref. 5078P-013 platinum self-winding minute repeating wristwatch (estimate $250,000-$500,000) with a blue “soleil” dial with the original boxes, papers, and certificates will also be put on the block.
Outside of the pervasive Rolex and Patek Philippe offerings is an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Ref. CW1 circa 2004 (estimate $90,000-$120,000) that is a limited-edition tourbillon timepiece with a dynamographe—a technical featured developed by the watchmaker that indicates when the watch needs to be wound—and an IWC Portugieser Ref. 325 circa 1942 ($80,000-$120,000), an original wristwatch developed initially for the Portuguese civilian market during WWII.
While these timepieces are the highlight for collectors, there will be watch offerings from Phillips starting at $4,000. The idea, according to Phillips’ senior consultant, Aurel Bacs, and head of watches for the Americas, Paul Boutros, is to present the world of watch collecting to seasoned collectors and novices alike. The auction house aims to offer watches across the spectrum and present them to prospective clients with a new eye courtesy of menswear e-tailers Mr Porter and The Rake. Both of the e-commerce menswear sites sell their own watches and menswear offering, with arguably very similar clientele, so the new collaboration with Phillips is not only a forward-thinking approach by the auction house, but also a buzz-worthy, cross-pollination of two multi-brand retailers targeting a similar audience.
Tour dates begin in London on October 26th through the 29th, followed by Geneva on October 8th through 11th, Los Angeles on November 16th and 17th, Hong Kong on November 22nd through the 27th, culminating in New York on November 30th where the tour will remain until the auction on December 5th.