Patek Philippe watches sold for record prices

A unique Patek Philippe stainless steel watch fetched a record $7.3 million when it went under the hammer in Geneva over the weekend, with the proceeds going to charity, the Phillips auction house said.

Patek Philippe watches sold for record prices
Photo: Phillips

The Swiss watch, which had been listed with an asking price of only 700,000-900,000 francs, sold on Saturday for 7.3 million francs ($7.3 million) after nine minutes of intense bidding by two anonymous telephone bidders, the Phillips auction house said.
That is “the highest price ever paid for a wristwatch at auction,” it said in a statement, adding that once the hammer fell the sale had been greeted by a standing ovation in the room at the luxury La Reserve Hotel in Geneva.
The Patek Philippe piece, with its manual winding, minute repeater and perpetual calendar with moon-phase display, was one of 44 unique timepieces created for the “Only Watch” auction by luxury watchmakers and jewellers, including Patek Philippe, Blancpain, Harry Winston, Piaget and Chanel.
In total, the auction took in $11.2 million (10.3 million euros), Phillips said.
All the proceeds of the charity auction goes towards research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a tragic muscle-wasting disease that occurs in roughly one in 3,500 males.
“This fantastic result will allow us to strengthen our efforts in targeting a cure for this severe disease,” said Luc Pettavino, head of the Monaco-based AMM association dedicated to finding a cure for the disease and founder of the “Only Watch” auction.
The charity auction is held every two years under the patronage of Prince Albert II of Monaco.

On Sunday, Phillips' Geneva Watch Auction sold another Patek Philippe wristwatch, a stainless steel model made in 1945, for 3.3 million francs, a record for that type of watch, a split-seconds chronograph.

Over two days, the auction house realized total sales of 27.8 million francs in sales.

Among the more celebrated timepieces sold was a Rolex watch worn by Roger Moore in the James Bond film “Live and Let Die”, which went for 365,000 francs, Phillips said on Monday.
The estimated price for the stainless steel watch, made in 1972, was between 150,00-250,00 francs.

The buyer's name was not disclosed.
In the film, the watch is used to create a magnetic field which deflects bullets fired at the MI6 agent. At another point, Bond uses this magnetic force to undress a woman.
At a Sotheby's auction in Geneva this Wednesday, two pieces owned by another ex-Bond star will go under the hammer.
Scottish actor Sean Connery is selling a 15.4-carat pink and orange diamond, which could fetch above $2 million and a ring boasting 5.18 carats of diamonds, with an estimated sale price of $250,000.


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Marie Antoinette’s exquisite jewels up for auction in Geneva

Diamonds and pearls that once belonged to French King Louis XVI's Queen Marie-Antoinette and have never been seen in public are to go on sale.

Marie Antoinette's exquisite jewels up for auction in Geneva
A diamond parure composed of 95 diamonds, including five solitaire diamonds that belonged to Marie-Antoinette. Photo: Sotheby's/AFP

Sotheby's said the auction of more than 100 lots, all owned by the Bourbon-Parma family, will be held in Geneva on November 12th.

“This is one of the most important collections of royal jewellery ever to come to market,” said Daniela Mascetti of Sotheby's Europe.

“Kept out of view, never seen in public, this extraordinary collection offers a fascinating glimpse of the life of this family in centuries gone by,” she added in a statement. 

Photo: An inside view of the Queen's Hamlet, in the Versailles Castle estate, built for Marie-Antoinette between 1783 and 1787, after restoration work. Photo: AFP

Marie Antoinette's diamond pendant with an exceptional natural pearl is expected to fetch up to $2 million (€1.7 million).

A necklace of more than 300 natural pearls has been valued at up to $300,000 (€255,000) and a pair of pearl drop earrings 50,000 dollars.

“Renowned for her extravagance and the splendour and lavishness of her court, Marie Antoinette is very often portrayed wearing pearls,” Sotheby's noted.

The sale will include jewels from other royal families up to the fall of the Austro-Hungarian empire, all owned by the Bourbon-Parma family.

A parure of 95 diamonds, including five solitaires once in the queen's possession and valued at up to $500,000, will go under the hammer.

An opulent diamond tiara offered by Emperor Franz-Josef to his great niece the Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria on her marriage in 1902 to Elias of Bourbon, Duke of Parma, has  an estimated value of up to $120,000.

When Louis, Marie Antoinette and their children tried to flee the French Revolution in March 1791, the royal jewels were smuggled out of the country into the trust of a confidant in Brussels.

He sent them on to her nephew the Emperor of Austria who later gave them to Marie Antoinette's only surviving child Marie Therese of France.

“Most of the jewels in the collection were given to Robert I (1848-1907), the last sovereign Duke of Parma and Piacenza, by his mother, Louise of France (1819-1864), grand-daughter of King Charles X of France and great niece of Marie Antoinette,” Sotheby's said.

On October 16, 1793, Marie Antoinette was guillotined as the revolutionary Reign of Terror raged. The following month Louis XVI met a similar fate. 

Read also: Diamond once set in crown of French kings to be auctioned in Geneva