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Watch Auction Madness

The world of watch auctions is a crazy one. Sitting down last month with Aurel Bacs, watch auctioneer-extraordinaire, we got to talking about his vision of the future. Bacs was in town ahead of the Geneva Watch Auction: Seven, and shared with AUGUSTMAN a little about the pieces that would be up for auction.

Now that the auction, alongside the Daytona Ultimatum (which was held on the 12th of May), is over, records have been broken. AUGUSTMAN takes a look at some of the most interesting pieces that made bank that weekend.

Omega Beats Its Own Record

Perhaps one of the most surprising was the Omega museum’s winning bid on Elvis Presley’s Tiffany & Co-signed 18k white gold Omega set with 44 brilliant-cut diamonds on the bezel. The watch, a gift from VCA records, marked his sales achievement of 75 million records. The watch was hammered at CHF 1.8125 million (including fees), beating the previous stainless steel prototype Omega tourbillon that went for CHF 1.4 million. Apart from the link to celebrity, one might be hard-pressed to find anything truly remarkable about the watch.

Then again, it did have contact with The King so who are we to judge?

A. Lange & Söhne Joins the Fray

We first saw the 1815 Homage to Walter Lange earlier this year in SIHH and when it was announced that a unique stainless steel piece would be auctioned off to benefit the Geneva charity Children Action, there was a collective sigh of relief. It was the perfect way to honour Walter Lange, a simple man with great ambition for his family’s brand. The watch that features an independent jumping seconds hand and black enamel dial, was hammered at CHF 852,500, making it the most expensive A. Lange & Söhne timepiece just yet (or at least until someone finds the mythical stainless steel Tourbillon Pour le Merite from Lange’s 1990s collection.

The Crown Does What The Crown Does

The other auction of the weekend, the Daytona Ultimatum, saw CHF 22.2 million in total sales, over 32 timepieces. Now, we’re not that surprised given the Daytona’s standing among watch collectors, but that’s an incredible average of CHF 688,000 per piece. If you’re looking for the piece that spiked up the average, look no further.

Introducing, the Unicorn. Hammered at CHF 5.94 million (almost a quarter of the entire night’s proceeds), it now holds the record for the second-most expensive Rolex to be sold, after Paul Newman’s own Daytona and right before the triple calendar with moonphase Bao Dai. What makes the watch so special? It’s the only known Daytona reference to be in white gold, driving its value up. The watch was donated by famous timepiece collector John Goldberger and the proceeds were donated to the same Children Action charity that benefited from the A. Lange & Söhne lot.

The full list of timepieces can be found here – Geneva Watch Auction and the Daytona Ultimatum.

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