Head scratching results at Antiquorum's June 18 New York auction

Yesterday, June 18, Antiquorum New York held the last watch auction of the season and the results for Vacheron Constantin watches left me somwhat scratching my head. Many interesting vintage watches either went unsold or for their low estimates  however some modern watches, especially the Mercator (a big surprise, I guess my ranting about how fantastic these watches are didn't go unheard Head scratching results at Antiquorum's June 18 New York auction) and a skeleton perpetual calendar went for unexpectedly high prices (compared to what they were selling for not too long ago)

Here's a brief overview of some of the more intersting pieces:

LOT 211 Corps of Engineers U.S.A.: Silver cased pocket chronograph made for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers circa 1918. Estimate: 2,500 USD - 3,500 USD (1,600 EUR - 2,300 EUR) sold for $3000

Head scratching results at Antiquorum's June 18 New York auction 

LOT 242: Made circa 1930 a helm-shaped, chrome desk clock on a wooden mount. the top handle used as the winder and to set time. A really cool looking and unusual watch Estimate: 5,000 USD - 7,000 USD (3,200 EUR - 4,500 EUR) and went Unsold! 

Head scratching results at Antiquorum's June 18 New York auction

LOT 243: Deck Watch with Guillaume Balance. Made for the British Hydrographic Service, circa 1942. The present watch was one of a series of 150 pocket lever chronometers made by Vacheron & Constantin in the 1940’s. Estimate: 4,500 USD - 6,500 USD (3,000 EUR - 4,200 EUR) Unsold

Head scratching results at Antiquorum's June 18 New York auction

LOT 245 Yellow Gold Chronograph with Tachometer made in the 1950’s. Estimate: 28,000 USD - 34,000 USD (18,000 EUR - 22,000 EUR) Unsold! 

Head scratching results at Antiquorum's June 18 New York auction

LOT 260: Made circa 1924. Yellow gold chronometer with split-seconds chronograph and instantaneous 30 minute register. Estimate: 8,000 USD - 12,000 USD  (5,200 EUR - 7,800 EUR) sold for a bargain considering the complication for $ 6,240!

Head scratching results at Antiquorum's June 18 New York auction

LOT 387 Ref 4838 Chronomètre Royal: Yellow gold Chronomètre Royal made in 1953 housing the gorgeous cal 1008/BS. Estimate: 5,000 USD - 7,000 USD 53,200 EUR - 4,500 EUR) sold for  $ 7,200.

Head scratching results at Antiquorum's June 18 New York auction

LOT 389 Mercator: Made in 1993 this platinum Mercator features an engraved and enameled dial representing Africa/Europ/Asia. Estimate: 20,000 USD - 30,000 USD (13,000 EUR - 20,000 EUR) sold for $31,200.

Head scratching results at Antiquorum's June 18 New York auction

LOT 390 Mercator Thailand: Platinum Mercator with dial engraved and enameled representing Thailand. The rarity of this watch other than its production of 20 pîeces is the fact that it is to the best of my knowledge the only model made for a specific market with an engraved dial (usually these special requests came only with a polychrome enamel dial). Estimate: 25,000 USD - 35,000 USD (16,000 EUR - 23,000 EUR) sold for $ 36,000

Head scratching results at Antiquorum's June 18 New York auction

LOT 391 Ref. 43032: Platinum skeletonised perpetual calendar made in 2001. Estimate: 25,000 USD - 35,000 USD (16,000 EUR - 23,000 EUR) sold for a whopping 66,000 USD!

Head scratching results at Antiquorum's June 18 New York auction 

BIG Thanks for these results, seems that VC is FAR FAR FAR away from
06/19/2008 - 15:00

PP

Except if it was the same for PP (then the cause seems to be the wolrdwide economique situation)

PS, the Lot 242 looks weird

Is that good or bad? (nt)
06/19/2008 - 15:51

e

Good to buy BUT bad to have already bought (nt)
06/19/2008 - 18:19

.

not really! Just take the price of the platinum Mercator it could have
06/19/2008 - 18:38

been bought for $15k 2-3 years ago!! The platinum skeleton perpetual was seeling in the $40-45k range not too long ago.

I think we should compare apples with apples. The Pateks which did
06/19/2008 - 17:09

really well at the auction were all ultra complicated repeaters the rest went for the low estimates.

I'm happy to see that VC is getting more and more reciognition but then again as a collector and not as a flipper I'm happy to see that certain pieces can still be had a decent prices. The price of modern watches are becomming so high (especially in the US) that sometimes the only way to buy is second hand or at auction.

Just my 2c 

Re: Antiquorum
06/19/2008 - 19:02

Hi Alex,

I followed the auction but didn't bid on anything.

Apart from a few pieces which were probably very desired by individuals or investors, (be they VC or PP or whatever), I thought the prices were a bit soft compared to the past.

And I think that the prices reflect the general economic climate.

Those with a ton of money are relatively immune to this situation and can bid up the prices but most are not and have become somewhat more careful and selective focussing perhaps on 1 or 2 pieces we really want.

We'll see if the same story repeats soon enough with Sotheby's, Christies and Bonhams.

Joseph

Regarding the split-seconds chrono pocket watch ...
06/19/2008 - 21:16

Hi Alex,

In addition to some flaws on the dial, the pocketwatch unfortunately had replacement minute and sub-seconds hands, which for some pocket watch collectors, is a huge negative.  From what I understand, serious pocket watch collectors require originality  most especially in three areas - 1. dial, 2. hands, and 3. escapement. 

A surprising result for the skeleton perpetual, but it sure is a remarkable watch!

Best,

Paul

thanks for the heads up Paul, good to see you here :-) (nt)
06/19/2008 - 21:27

e

I'm surprised too,
06/23/2008 - 23:42

but I would agree with Joseph's feeling: a trend is maybe starting with more quality and discernation asked by collectors.

To be confirmed at the fall season!