The state of the world economy does not seem to be much more than a minor annoyance in the luxury watch world, despite reports of the opposite being true. JamesList friend and blogger Ariel Adams sat down a couple of weeks ago to closely inspect two of real gems that were being put up for auction on September 17, at Antiquorum's third 2009 auction. Among the highlights were the aforementioned goodies from Patek Philippe, four platinum minute repeaters from the Yoshiho Matsuda collection, three of which were completely unique.
As expected, the auction, titled Important Collectors’ Wristwatches, Pocket Watches & Clocks, was a success. So much so that two new world records were set: The PP Ref. 5016 fetched $780,000 while the Ref. 3939 in platinum sold for $684,000, an unparalleled price for both those references (both watches pictured below).
The grand total of the auction was no less than $9,214,974. Even considering how amazing the record-breaking Pateks were, I couldn't help myself from being primarily drawn to some of the other pieces offered. Nothing wrong with Patek Phillipe, but they do tend to always be the focus of these events. Among my personal favorites were the Vacheron Constantin given to no one else than Marlon Brando by Zsa Zsa Gabor, allegedly when "On The Waterfront" was released in cinemas. Other than me being a rabid Brando fanboy, and considering "On The Waterfront" to easily be Brando's most impressive performance (just before he decided that method acting meant mumbling, that he didn't need to read scripts, or that he didn't need to actually show up for shooting and that Mars bars were a terrific choice for a diet), the watch just speaks to me. In typical Antiquorum fashion, the watch was estimated to fetch a conservative $3,000 - $8,000 (obviously, it was sold many times its estimate - $18,000 in fact).
Last but not least, a pair of real lookers from Breguet fetched no less than $564,00. Made in 1996, this awe-inspiring gilt bronze astronomical 8-day going clock features phases and age of the moon, equation of time, centigrade thermometer, annual calendar with month and date, days of the week, power reserve indication, and 5-seconds remontoire winding spring detent chronometer escapement (phew!). Coupled with it was "just" an 18K yellow gold tourbillon wristwatch with regulator-type dial and power reserve, with matching numbers.