Antiquorum - auction "Important Modern and Vintage Timepieces"
“All must change in order for things to stay the same.” The phrase from the Gattopardo, the famous novel written by Tomasi di Lampedusa, is also perfectly suited to the world of luxury watches, although in this case there is no political implication to be attributed to the enduring challenge that has always existed between two of the most famous maisons – Patek Philippe and Rolex - ever since the beginning of International watch auctions. The Antiquorum Auction held on December 11, titled “Important Modern and Vintage Timepieces” - brought in five million dollars… and of this amount, unless our math is completely off kilter, about half was earned by 8 watches out of a total of 343 – 5 Patek Philippe and 3 Rolex. These are the two names that always stand out in all auctions and what was most obvious in this most recent as in previous Antiquorum auctions is the fact that a Patek Philippe (complicated, especially the perpetual calendar) is constantly at the top of the list for all great collectors who are willing to pay increasingly higher prices.
If it’s true that at one time this applied only to vintage models, now more than ever we see that it also applies to modern models, justified by the exclusivity of the Patek Philippe collection, few in number but of great manufacture. And though there are other maisons with productions that are just as exclusive, none are more “desirable” than a Patek Philippe. And if it’s not a Patek Philippe that incites the desire of a great collector, then it’s Rolex, with the ever enduring Daytona Paul Newman, an allure that never goes out of style, a watch of such extraordinary expressive power and technical merit that we often wonder whether Rolex may not perhaps re-propose it, even in a highly limited number.
It’s really no coincidence that it is only (or almost) these two names that are always in the limelight; Patek Philippe and Rolex are two complementary maisons. Patek Philippe is the leader in pluri-complicated watches (gold or platinum) and Rolex has no competitor in the field of sports chronographs. The amount of 183,750 dollars paid for reference number 6263, in steel (lot 152), at this Antiquorum's auction, is simply extraordinary:
Something that will no doubt please anyone who has carefully preserved the precursor of the Diver reference in today's collection. But this should not surprise anyone who is familiar with the history of Longines and the great value, including historical, of several milestones of this maison, especially the original Lindbergh Hour Angle and the single push-button chrono caliber 13.33Z dating to 1913!
(Photo credit: Google, Antiquorum Auctioneers official press release)
Federico N. @Horbiter®