The Geneva May auction results

The Geneva May auction results

The auctions by the Big 3 (Antiquorum, Sotheby's and Christie's) held in Geneva have now ended and the main conclusion is that the spenders are not spending that much! The really big exceptional pieces sell...and sell well but the more "mainstream" watches are not doing as well as the market hoped. Is this due to the economic downturn, low dollar or the fact that Antiquorum and Sotheby's were holding their sale on the same day?

In this bizarre climate VC did rather pretty good, granted that the brand is comming from far its prices are rising but still good value (especially the modern pieces) for someone who does not wish to pay list price. This is even more true for those  paying in Euros!

Herebelow is an overview of some of the more interesting pieces (prices include buyer premium but not VAT)

Antiquorum May 10-11

This was the 1st time the Saint Gervais and the Patrimony Excellence platine appeared for sale. Where the Saint Gervais did extremely well the Patrimony EP went for a rather low price IMHO.

Lot 4 Patrimony Contemporaine Excellence Platine No. 22/150, Made in a limited edition of 150 pieces in 2006 as part of the “Collection Excellence Platine”. Estimate:CHF 8,000 - 12,000 (EUR 5,000 - 7,500) (USD 8,000 - 12,000)
sold over double its low estimate at CHF/$ 18000 / €11000

The Geneva May auction results

Lot 74 Saint-Gervais :No. 15/55, Made to mark the occasion of the Quarter Millennium of Vacheron Constantin in 2005. Extremely fine, rare and important, water-resistant platinum wristwatch with 250-hour autonomy and powerreserve indication in 2 sectors, visible one-minute tourbillon regulator, perpetual calendar, leap year indication and white and silver guilloché dial Estimate: CHF 350,000 CHF - 450,000 (EUR 220,000 - 285,000) (USD 350,000 - 450,000) sold for CHF/$415,000 /€ 255,750

The Geneva May auction results

Lot 142 Toledo 1952 WG triple date, moon phase. Estimate: 15,000 CHF - 20,000 CHF  (EUR 9,500 - 13,000) (USD 15,000 - 20,000)  sold for its high estimate at CHF/$ 21,600 / €13,300
The Geneva May auction results

Lot 189 Malte Chronograph (RG):   Estimate: 13,000 CHF - 18,000 CHF (EUR 8,200 - 11,000) (USD 13,000 - 18,000) sold above its high estimate at CHF/$ 21,000 / €13,000

The Geneva May auction results

Lot 249 Malte Tonneau Tourbillon (RG) Estimate: 70,000 CHF - 90,000 CHF (EUR 45,000 - 57,000) (USD 70,000 - 90,000) sold for CHF/$ 86,400 / €53,250

The Geneva May auction results

Sotheby's May 11

Lot 15: Chronographe Historique in YG estimated at 10,000—15,000 CHF sold over its high estimate at CHF/$ 16,250 / €10,000

The Geneva May auction results

Lot 16 :Chronographe Historique in plat salmon dial  estimated ate 10,000—15,000 CHF sold way over its high estimate at CHF/$ 25,000 / €15,400

LOT 102 A rare curved rectangular watch in platinum from 1928. Estimated at 15,000—20,000 CHF it almost doubled its low estimate and sold for CHF/$ 28,600 / €17,630

The Geneva May auction results

Lot 103: Cioccolatone (manual wind, YG, mesh bracelet)  estimated at 12,000—15,000 CHF it doubled its low estimate at CHF/$ 32,200 / €19,850

The Geneva May auction results

Lot 107 ref 4072: RG chronograph with rare pulsations, respirations and tachometer indication dial. Circa 1945 Estimated at CHF30,000—40,000. A dial with pulsations is rare, combined with respirations is even more rare and this is the 1st time I'm seing one with a tachometer as well! It had a rather conservative estimate of 30,000—40,000 CHF and the buyer got one hell of a good deal at CHF/$ 35,800 / €22,000

The Geneva May auction results


Christie's May 12

Christie's often saves its more exceptional and rare VCs for its New York auctions. But here are two interesting watches with not less interesting prices!

Lot 228 Malte perpetual Calendar Chrono (YG) estimated at CHF30,000 - CHF40,000 ($29,954 - $39,939) it was probably the bargain of the show selling for a very reasonable  CHF/$ 39,400 / €24,300

The Geneva May auction results

Lot 277 Malte perpetual calendar retrograde (PG) a gorgeous piece estimated at CHF20,000 - CHF25,000 ($19,970 - $24,962) which more than doubled its low estimate going for CHF/$ 44,200 / €27,300

The Geneva May auction results

Thanks for the info, Alex...
05/13/2008 - 17:59

Do you know how Lot 341 Jubilé 1755 in yellow gold :Estimate: CHF 25,000 - 35,000 (EUR 16,000 - 22,000) (USD 25,000 - 35,000) limited to 500 pieces performed?

In general, I can tell they were quite all reasonable prices . I guess Cioccolatone  didn't play the part.

It was unsold! The problem with the Jubilé 1755 models are that
05/13/2008 - 18:15

sellers are getting a bit greedy and putting rather high reserve prices and this one did not hit reserve!

It is really weird that the Chrono historic is capted at 10 (and a
05/13/2008 - 18:21

real bargain)

the watch came without box and papers and maybe
05/13/2008 - 18:32

it wasn't in great condition: overpolished, scratches, dings etc...?

It came with box & papers
05/14/2008 - 08:02

in the catalog it made it seem like it did not, but in the days before the auction they put out a notice showing most of the items did in fact have the box and papers.

the online catalogue does not indicate B&P. Anyway the funny thing is
05/14/2008 - 10:47

that the Chrono Historique is indicated as being in the Malte collection! You would expect these guys to do a little bit of research before instead of selling watches as if they were runniing a groccery store!!!!

Many thanks for keeping us posted on the results
05/13/2008 - 19:48
Economic downturn and too many back to back auctions adversely affected the results.The European Nobleman in particar took all the appetite and made other auctions rather dried up with disappointment. Look at Dufour Sonnerie-- it sold yesterday just over CHF400K, which is a lot less than what most people anticipated. It's the best buy for the lucky bidder, and his investment is probably safe IMHO. It's interesting to see what will happen to subsequent auctions taking place in the next one or two months. Will the downturn continue? Maybe it's the market for buyers now.
Patrimony platinum price ?
05/13/2008 - 21:39

Good evening dear VC aficionados,

Would someone remember how much was the new Patrimony Platinum limited when issued ?

Many thanks,


if I recall correctly it was around
05/14/2008 - 00:26

euro 22k.

Re: if I recall correctly it was around
05/14/2008 - 00:30

Hey Alex,

That means about half price ?

The different manufactures must be mad at that sale with new or close to new items : don't you think ?

enjoy your evening,


well if you add
05/14/2008 - 01:03

the 20% European VAT which is included in the list price I gave you (and what you would need to pay to import the watch in Europe) it would mak the watch around euro 13k: basically 35% off list which is still a great price but not as fantastic as it may seem considering the watch is second hand with no box.

Furthermore, this watch apart from its platinum dial exists as a regular production piece so maybe collectors are less inclined in paying a premium for its limitedness?

As for the manufactures being mad, VC (and I don't know if it is a good thing or bad thing) are definately not involved in the auction markets to drive the prices high so they more or less have to accept the market's position.

Finally as this was the very first time the Patrimony EP was sold on the auction market we can't really say if there is a trend or not, we need to wait and see...

Thanks Alex...was curious as to how the Patrimony EP would do
05/14/2008 - 06:06

Hi Alex,

I guess in general the economic downturn, exchange rates, and successive auctions have all worked against the momentum that was present in recent years.  It does mean that it might be the right time to buy.

Having recently been bitten by the Patrimony bug, I was very curious as to how the Patrimony EP would do.  I think the PT dial of the EP lends a special touch compared to the opaline dial of the regular productions.  I'd love to have one but I must admit the premium over the gold versions seems a bit much.


Thank you Alex for summarizing the results.
05/14/2008 - 02:09

I am very surprised about the Malte perpetuel chrono!, but also with the vintage 4072 too...

Difficult to understand which trend the market will follow within the short future.