Watch collectors shelled out more than $64 million for watches at auctions over the weekend in Geneva, at sales by Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo. The Phillips auction included the highly-anticipated $5.9 million sale of a Rolex Daytona nicknamed “The Unicorn,” representing the highest price paid for a Rolex since the Paul Newman Daytona sold for $17,752,500 million in October. The Daytona, the hottest vintage watch on the market, was the sole focus of Phillips’ “Daytona Ultimatum” sale, which totaled sales of over $22 million. Five Daytonas sold for more than $1 million.
Rolex took in top dollars at Sotheby’s sale of Important Watches as well, which took in a total of $6,566,165, with the top lot 1969 Rolex Paul Newman Daytona Ref. 6239 selling for $950,292. The Paul Newman Daytona was a model worn by iconic actor Paul Newman in the 1970s and nicknamed after him in the 1980s. It is distinguished from other Daytona models by its “square lollipop” ends on the subdial markers, its Art Deco font, contrasting colored seconds scale, and position of the Daytona signature. It was produced in six different series between 1963 and the late 1970s.
Following its Daytona Ultimatum auction, Phillips held its Geneva Watch Auction: Seven, which took place May 13, totaled sales of $23,012,948 including a $1.8 million Omega watch owned by Elvis Presley, which set the record for the highest price ever paid for an Omega timepiece. Finally, the May 14 sale of Rare Watches by Christie’s in Geneva totaled $12,241,750, with the top lot, a Patek Philippe Ref. 5208P-001, selling for $749,442. Here is a look into the top ten lots sold in these auctions over the weekend.