“Small detail, my mistake — you have to turn it on,” said Aurel Bacs as he turned on his microphone, after having forgotten to do so, once he took the auctioneer’s podium. He greeted the room and announced that John Goldberger was, in fact, in attendance, however, the other great Rolex scholar who had made the night’s collection possible, Pucci Papaleo, was not in the room because the man’s got a fear of flying.
38 milestone Rolex watches were up for auction tonight with Phillips Watches as part of their two-day Hong Kong Watch Auction: Three spectacular.
The pieces amassed by Sam Hines and his team were unquestionably top notch and really did hit every rung of vintage Rolex collecting interest that one can imagine. What was a little odd about the evening, though, were the bids. No records were set or broken tonight. Okay no, there was one record: highest price for a Rolex at auction in Asia. And that was that. Very uncharacteristic of a Phillips Watches auction affair. Never the less here are the top 5 performers.
1. Lot 823: Ref 8171 Rolex stainless steel triple calendar wristwatch with moonphase
The highest score of the evening went to lot 823 at HK$7,880,000 (after buyer’s premium). This is also the one that rings in as the record for the highest price for a Rolex at auction in Asia. The watch did sell for significantly higher than its estimate, however, I’d be quick to hold my tongue before saying that Phillips Watches has all the luck with rare steel watches because number two on the list does throw a spanner in that theory.