Phillips Watches’ ‘Styled’ auction in New York totaled an impressive $11,523,500 selling 96 percent by lot and 96 percent by value. If you’d like to find out more about the top lots, you can do so on the online sale catalog with a simple filter, to arrange the lots for highest priced to lowest.
At the top of the list, the culprits are familiar — Rolex and Patek Philippe — with the No.1 spot going to Lot 77, a Rolex ref. 6538 Big Crown Submariner, circa 1957, which sold for US$460,000 (US$567,000 with buyer’s premium). Second, Lot 14, a steel Patek Philippe ref. 1463 with a two-tone silver dial that sold for US$400,000 ($495,000 with buyer’s premium). Third, Lot 7, a pink gold Patek Philippe ref. 5016R minute repeating perpetual calendar wristwatch with tourbillon, which went for US$320,000 (US$399,000 with buyer’s premium).
But the Lot that the watch community will be having many more conversations over will, no doubt, be Lot 71: the ref. 3705 IWC ceramic and steel chronograph wristwatch, which was not too long ago the property of the family of the industry legend, Günter Blümlein.
The story as it is recorded in the Styled auction catalog, says that Mr Blümlein had bought the watch for his wife; a romantic sentiment that is sure to tug at the heartstrings of the watch collecting community. It’s therefore not surprising that when Aurel Bacs opened the lot for bids, there was fierce competition over the phones, on the floor and over the internet.
Finally, when the gavel came down, the winning bid stood at US$43,000, or US$53,750 with buyer’s premium. And this considering the estimate for the watch was a conservative US$6,000-8,000.
The 3705 was made from 1994 to 1998 with 999 pieces made in that time.
The other lot worth talking about — at least for us here at Revolution — is Lot 75, the Omega Speedmaster, “Ultraman” ref. 145.012-67 SP, which sold for US$76,250 (with buyer’s premium). Surprising? Considering the upward trajectory of vintage Speedmasters in recent days, perhaps not.
Earlier in May of 2018, at Phillips Watches’ Spring Geneva auction, a Speedmaster ref. 2915-1 Broad Arrow went for US$408,500. And now one of the rarest instances of the Speedmaster, the Ultraman, is on an upward trend.
It is known that 28,000 or so pieces of the ref. 145.012-67 were produced, already a super cool watch, being the last Speedmaster powered by the legendary Calibre 321/Lemania 2310. The 18.8mm, special orange chronograph hand is thereafter known to occur within watches with movement numbers 26.076.xxx – 26.079.xxx, which makes for just about 3,000 watches. And of those 3,000 watches, only 50-odd Ultraman watches are known to exist.
Other characteristics that set the Ultraman apart include an unusual pure black, satin varnished dial. Ultimately, a great Speedmaster rarity that has, no doubt, gotten more attention after the recent launch of the 2018 Ultraman limited edition Speedmaster.