Heading into this public sale season, there was no watch that snared my consideration greater than this prototype Patek Philippe Aquanaut supplied by Antiquorum. The watch form of had all the pieces – tons of curiosity, greater than a bit intrigue, and lots of traits that might make it a near-perfect storm for at the moment’s collectors. I spent the previous few weeks asking mainly anybody who would weigh in what they considered it, and you’ll learn all about my findings right here. The TLDR model is straightforward although: There was no clear consensus and folks I belief mentioned all the pieces from “this shall be the watch of the Might 2019 auctions” to “it is a pretend and I would by no means inform somebody to bid on it.” I actually had no thought whether or not it might promote for large cash or go altogether.
Nicely, at the moment we acquired a little bit of readability, with the watch promoting for a complete of CHF 401,000 (roughly $396,000) simply after 6:30 PM CET as Lot 726. There was about 15 minutes of bidding earlier than the hammer dropped at CHF 330,000, with a lot of the bidding after CHF 100,000 coming from two folks (I used to be watching on-line, so I do not know precisely who they had been). Keep in mind, the estimate on this was CHF 50,000-80,000, in order that’s an over-performance of greater than eight occasions the low estimate. So far as I’ve seen, that is the primary watch this weekend to go loopy like that.
One factor to remember with this watch, as with all distinctive and strange items, is that it is essential to not extrapolate the outcomes too far. Does this imply that the market shall be extra accepting of rarities with less-than-perfect documentation? Does this imply that Aquanauts are about to shoot up in worth? Does this imply that there are extra bizarre Patek prototypes on the market ready to be discovered? The reply to all of these is a extremely certified “perhaps.” What we study from this sale is that this watch, and solely this watch, was seen as respectable and extremely fascinating by a handful of collectors and, as such, it introduced huge cash.
Now we simply have to attend and see how the restored Rolex ref. 6062 at Christie’s fares tomorrow…