On this evening, the Phillips Auction house’s watch department has set the record for the highest price paid, at an auction, for ANY wristwatch.

With Aurel Bacs, managing the gavel at the auctioneer’s podium, the recent darling of the auction world — a steel Patek Philippe ref. 1518 — hammered for an astronomical CHF 9,600,000. Or CHF11,002,000 after buyer’s premium.

Whichever figure you choose to etch into your consciousness, the fact is, Bacs and team have again set new standards for the auction world to abide by. Phillips’ initial estimate on this, now, feels like an incredibly docile and conservative CHF 3,000,000 in comparison to the price secured.

While the highlight of the evening is signed sealed and delivered, the night is not over yet and mind you — this is only night one. We’re watching the hammer numbers for Ken Kessler’s 15 top lots at the auction on Instagram and, I assure you, the drama is real. It’s going to be highly interesting to see how the OTHER pink gold 1518 will perform (lot 196, tomorrow evening) in light of tonight’s developments. The yellow gold 1518 on hand (lot 100), hammered tonight for CHF 598,000. Stay sharp. Stay tuned.

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