Mark the time and place: 28 November, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Hong Kong. One can safely assume that the Phillips auction that day – Rolex Milestones: 38 Legendary Watches That Shaped History – will go down in watch lore as a sale that set new records. Of course, one says that about all Phillips sales of late, but they are only part of a perfect storm. The other element that defies nature is the near-vertical increase in vintage Rolex values, regardless of which house is doing the selling.
For this particular sale, Phillips – again working with Bacs & Russo – has collaborated with watch authorities John Goldberger, Pucci Papaleo and a team of experts to assemble a monumental selection of Rolex rarities. Here are but five of the notable highlights: