Phillips Watches is back with the eighth edition of their watch sales in Geneva. This Fall season’s auction is set to take place on the 10 and 11 of November 2018, at the Hôtel La Réserve. The catalog lists 220 lots comprising of the usual suspects, with a healthy divide between the vintage and contemporary. Let’s just say that the catalog lists both a 1665 “Single Red” and a 2018 ref. 126710 steel Pepsi GMT.

Highlights from the sale are already on tour in Asia and are bound for New York, London and, finally, Geneva just ahead of the auction dates.

New-York: October 19 to 22

Phillips Office
50 Park Avenue
New York NY 10022

London: October 26 to 29

Phillips HQ Office
30 Berkeley Square
London W1J 6EX

Geneva: November 8 to 11

Hôtel La Réserve
Bellevue
Geneva

Right then, on to some picks from the pieces announced thus far.

Day-Date steel prototype ref. 1803

Rolex Day-Date steel prototype ref. 1803 (Image: @PhillipsWatches)
Rolex Day-Date steel prototype ref. 1803 (Image: @PhillipsWatches)

Day-Dates, from the get go, are only known to exist in precious metals — regardless of references. So, when a steel one turns up at reputable auctions, you’re either looking at a funky prototype or, something from a watchmaker’s drawer that’s not technically meant to be out and about.

Phillips reminds us in their press note that it’s the ref. 6611 steel Day-Dates that’ve turned up among collector’s circles that are most sought after. But consider the present lot — an 1803, with Roman numerals and the gold crown that proudly sits at 12 o’clock — no doubt, a super handsome piece.

But, what’s to say that this isn’t just an instance of someone having re-housed an existing Day-Date movement? You would be right to raise such a question, because the present instance, in fact, doesn’t bear a serial number. The movement within, however, does bear a serial number: 0005073. And the way that we know that this isn’t some one-off sleight of hand, is that a near identical example is listed in John Goldberger’s, 100 Superlative Rolex Watches with the movement number 0004547.

Beyond this, the caseback of the watch has the typical insignia engraved to mark it as a true piece from the Rolex factory; albeit not serially produced.

F.P. Journe Tourbillon Souverain Souscription (16/20)

F.P. Journe Tourbillon Souverain Souscription, no. 16 of 20 (Image: @PhillipsWatches)
F.P. Journe Tourbillon Souverain Souscription, no. 16 of 20 (Image: @PhillipsWatches)

The next highlight watch that’s sure to get a few informed collectors, stand up and take notice, is a brass F.P. Journe. As much as Journe’s contemporary watches are all known for their beautiful rose gold movements, the master watchmaker’s earliest pieces are identified by their brass movements.

How early was this? This was back in 1999. Journe didn’t necessarily have the capital to construct tourbillon pieces back then. But a friend reminded him of the subscription system. Therein, pursuing said system, Journe secured down payments from 20 friends and/or clients and created 20 Tourbillon Souverain timepieces.

Considering 20 people in the know, paid to have these pieces made, it’s safe to say that few would be willing to let theirs go, unless they absolutely had to. An opportunity to see one, hold one and, finally, acquire one, therefore, forms a very rare chance occurrence. Add to that, the fact that, this is after all a piece that is said to have launched — and skyrocketed — one of the most important contemporary watchmakers of the 21st century and the matter of the piece’s collectability becomes crystal clear. The last time Phillips had an instance of the watch on sale was back in 2015; number 9 of 20. The example on offer here is number 16 of 20.

The “Broad Arrow” Family

The "Broad Arrow" Family: the ref. CK 2913 Seamaster 300, ref. CK2914 Railmaster, ref. CK2915 Speedmaster and the ref. CK 2990 Ranchero (Image: @PhillipsWatches)
The "Broad Arrow" Family: the ref. CK 2913 Seamaster 300, ref. CK2914 Railmaster, ref. CK2915 Speedmaster and the ref. CK 2990 Ranchero (Image: @PhillipsWatches)

In light of the fascination that the Revolution team has had with the Speedmaster as of late, you have to excuse us for our excitement for this quartet.

Essentially, Phillips has gathered up the original watches that make up the ’57 collection Omega reissued in 2017, as a way to celebrate the Speedmaster’s 60th birthday. Except that these are all proper 1957 pieces: the ref. CK 2913 Seamaster 300, ref. CK 2914 Railmaster and, of course, the ref. CK 2915 Speedmaster.

The curve ball in the mix, is the CK 2990 Ranchero. Phillips’ research, with the help of the Omega Museum’s, Petros Protopapas’s, has revealed that this was a reference offered by the brand, in 1958, as an alternative to the trio of professional pieces. The Ranchero is said to have been in production for a very brief period of time. Add to this that like all of Omega’s watches from the era, these were all worn with little or no sense of reverence and, therefore, are hardly ever found today in any sort of decent condition.

To be able to find all four references is feat. To be able to find all four references, in pristine condition, up for sale at the same auction — now that’s a bit of a dream. And if that’s not enough, Phillips has sneakily mentioned that there’s also a ridiculous chocolate dial 2915-1 deep inside the catalog.

The complete catalog has yet to be published, but there’s enough now to keep your appetite going. For more details, keep an eye on this space and, of course, www.phillips.com/watches

A ref. CK2915-1 Speedmaster with an incredible tropical dial (Image: @PhillipsWatches)
A ref. CK2915-1 Speedmaster with an incredible tropical dial (Image: @PhillipsWatches)