get your check books out, heat up those credit cards auction season is


The 2008 auction season begins with Antiquorum's traditional Geneva sale of 15-16 March.  An amazing 46 lots of Vacheron Constantins will be on sale from the most simple to the most complicated but with only vintage watches! 46 lots is huge compared to the sales only a few years ago when it was considered a good sale if it featured 10 timepieces from Vacheron Constantin!!!

Here is a quick preview of some of the rarer pieces offered

Lot 570: Made in 1931, 18K white and yellow gold jump hour, wandering minutes made for Alexander I Karagjordgevic, King of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.  Estimate: 18,000 CHF - 25,000 CHF  (USD 16,000 - 23,000) (EUR 11,000 - 16,000)

Doc this one's for you!!

get your check books out, heat up those credit cards auction season is

Lot 657:  Ref 7778 Vacheron Constantin alarm watch. Made in 1966. To the best of my knowledge this is the only wrist watch with alarm made by VC. Estimate: 17,000 CHF - 22,000 CHF (USD 15,000 - 20,000) (EUR 11,000 - 14,000)

get your check books out, heat up those credit cards auction season is

Lot 662: Stainless Steel and Pink Gold Medical Chronograph. Made in the 1940s and one I would LOVE to own!

Estimate: 30,000 CHF - 35,000 CHF (USD 27,000 - 32,000) (EUR 20,000 - 22,000)

get your check books out, heat up those credit cards auction season is

Lot 665: Pink Gold Minute-Repeater with 3 tone pink dial completed and sold in 1943. VC made only 36 examples of minute-repeating wristwatches, in pink, yellow, white gold and in platinum: 17 examples beginning in 1942, 9 beginning in 1944 and 10 beginning in 1951. Estimate: 220,000 CHF - 250,000 CHF  (USD 200,000 - 225,000) (EUR 135,000 - 155,000)

get your check books out, heat up those credit cards auction season is

Antiquorum's Hidden Costs
03/06/2008 - 21:28

I've never participated in an Antiquorum auction but some of those great vintage Vacherons are hard to resist.  After checking out their site, I must admit that the hidden costs are a bit of a concern.  First there is the 20% auction commission, then one must pay Swiss taxes up front and apply for a rebate after the watch is exported, plus Antiquorum uses their own currency exchange rate from Swiss francs to US dollars which is significantly higher than bank rates...what else is hidden in there?

Any Antiquorum veterans out there?  What is it really like to deal with them and how was the experience?

I would be more worried about your own customs
03/06/2008 - 22:11

Well, there is also shipment cost and wire transfer fee, but that's peanuts compared to the actual cost of the item.

For the Swiss sale, it looks like you get re-imbursed the 7.6% VAT if they get an export declaration, which would be needed to get the item shipped outside Switzerland anyway. Where you might really get into trouble is at Customs at your own border control when they see an item of high value coming in. They might make you pay your own country's tax, which might be a lot more. Did this happen to anyone?

For sales from New York, it used to be 18% comission under $XXXX (can't remember). You also pay directly in dollars, so no conversion costs, and you have no customs problems.

So my advice: wait for a sale in New York, unless you see a superb item you cannot live without.

Re: Antiquorum's Hidden Costs
03/06/2008 - 22:42

Nico summarized quite well the procedure.

I think the best is to buy directly in the US, in US$!

The other auction houses work on the same basis, and I think Christies is a bit more expensive for small amounts (but I cannot remind the limit price level).

Re: Antiquorum's Hidden Costs
03/06/2008 - 23:23

I have bought a number of watches from Antiquorum in Geneva and NYC.

I will relate my experiences later. I have to get back to work to earn some money for my next watch purchase


Re: Re: Antiquorum's Hidden Costs
03/07/2008 - 05:32

Perhaps, on 2nd thought, I won't say too much on a public forum.

Suffice it to say that AQ in Geneva and NYC were very accomodating to my requests for handling/shipping the watches.

They are very nice people to deal with, and I have aquired a few nice pieces from them VC and non-VC.

Their premium is about 18% which is still better than Sotheby's which is an outrageous 25%.

But as with anything you have to know the value of what you're bidding on and not get sucked in to paying much more than you planned. Its not that hard to do.

Good luck to all who will be bidding!


This is how it works!
03/06/2008 - 23:25

I have been live at the auctions and visited many bidding "live over internet".

The later is better than in the auctionroom actually,

you get a better overwiev on internet.

So I bought watches in Hongkong, NY and Geneva.

One good thing is that if you for instance buy a watch in Hongkong,

you get it delivered from Geneva.

The hammer price is 20% (still?),

then it's 7.6 % VAT.

Then you have to pay the import tax to USA, UK, France,

Germany, Sweden or wherever you live,

since Switzerland is not member in EU !


not hidden costs, this is how all auctions work, you pay a
03/07/2008 - 09:38

buyer's premium (between 18%-25% on hammer price) + VAT which depends on country of sale. The prices in $ and euros are given for information only since payments should be in Swiss francs since the sale takes place in Geneva (or US$ or HK$ depending on place of sale)

The Minutes Repeater is so nice!!!!!
03/06/2008 - 23:29

Have you got more pics (just curious LoL) of this watch Alex?

The King's watch does seem like a good bargain (nt)
03/07/2008 - 12:05


Loungers, I sent tick-talk a private email ! (nt)
03/07/2008 - 12:23