“My goodness”, exclaimed Aurel Bacs from behind the auctioneer’s podium. With a heavy downpour hammering away overheard, The Geneva Watch Auction: Four session two, took its course through lots 101 to 196 earlier today. Bacs was even having trouble hearing bids for the floor at times. But other than lot 102, which was removed before the auction began — and 10 other lots that were withheld due to unsatisfactory bids — all pieces now have happy new owners.

Atmosphere within the auction hall was somewhat subdued today, Bacs, however, was again in top form — moving swiftly from lot to lot. Such atmosphere was quite inevitable, considering the storm that Phillips Watches brought upon the auction world with their record setting sale of the steel ref. 1518 Patek Philippe yesterday.

But moving on to roundup performance figures of the remaining watches from Ken Kessler’s list of 15 today, it’s obvious that Ken put his finger on some of the better performing pieces. No surprise there, Ken does have impeccable taste when it comes to watches.

Lot Number Description Sold For
120 Breguet “Peseux 260” CHF 52,000
123 Breguet Ref. 267 “Full Calendar Chronograph” CHF 286,000
134 Patek Philippe Ref. 565 “The Night Watchman” CHF 322,000
163 Rolex Explorer Ref. 1016 “Astrua” CHF 18,750
170 Rolex Daytona Ref. 6239 “Linz Paul Newman” CHF 874,000
185 Rolex Chronograph Ref. 2508 CHF 125,000
191 Patek Philippe Ref. 1463 “Cartier” dial CHF 162,500

Subdued as it may have been, things took a turn towards a heightened note of suspense once lot 170, the ref. 6239 Paul Newman Rolex Daytona with the “Linz” dial came onto the block.

A three-way bidding war broke out once the bids hit the CHF 400,000 mark with a further sense of anxiousness added on by Bacs allowing long silent pauses in between each increment.

So silent that I had to keep checking that my live feed hadn’t simply frozen up on me. The watch eventually hammered for CHF 720,000 (after buyer’s premium: CHF 874,000) to the sound of cheer and applause for its and Bacs’ performance.

Top 5 Figures from the Night

The top lot tonight was a given. Lot 196, the last of the trio of Patek Philippe ref. 1518s gathered for The Geneva Watch Auction: Four, hammered for the only six figure sum this evening, coming in at CHF 1,474,000 (after buyer’s premium).

Next on the list is the “Linz” stamped Paul Newman Dayton (lot 170), followed by the yellow gold Rolex ref. 6085 with the dragon-cloisonné enamel dial (lot 157), which was sold for CHF 670,000 (after buyer’s premium).

Fourth in the rank was lot 195, the 1946 stainless steel Patek Philippe ref. 1463 chronograph retailed by E. Gübelin. This one was sold for CHF 466,000 (after buyer’s premium).

Fifth on the table then is lot 139, the platinum Patek Philippe ref. 3939H minute repeating tourbillon watch with the red Patek Philippe signature on its deep black dial. This sold for CHF 370,000 (after buyer’s premium).

With 177 of the 196 lots, amassed for The Geneva Watch Auction: Four, bearing the “Sold For” tag at the conclusion of the evening — Bacs and his team has attained top marks at Geneva with 90% of lots sold.

But auction season isn’t over for the team just yet because now they must head to Hong Kong (29 November) for the Phillips Hong Kong Watch Auction: Three, where yet another 300 lots, including wristwatches and other objects of time, will be auctioned off.

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