The Asprey Becomes the Most Expensive Watch Auctioned This Year

The Asprey sold for a staggering $3.9 million at a Sotheby’s recent auction held in Geneva — and set a record by selling the most expensive watch this year. Regarded as one of the world’s most important vintage watches ever presented at auction, “The Asprey” fetched CHF 3,915,000 ($3,879,834).

Around 900 bidders from 54 countries attended the auction with nearly a quarter of buyers choosing to buy online. At least, 30 percent of participants were new to Sotheby’s. International collectors were excited by the quality and expertise they found in the sale, which also drove the final total of the “Important Watches” sale to CHF 12,208,000 ($ 12,098,372) — the second highest total in 10 years for a Sotheby’s watch sale in Geneva (est: CHF 9.8m – 16.9m / $9.7m – 16.7m).

Nearly 81 percent of lots sold, with almost half of them selling above the high estimate. Four bidders on the phone and two in the room competed for the watch.

“Manufactured in 1952 and sold in 1956, the Patek Philippe 2499 1st series was retailed by Asprey of London in 1956. It is the most complicated Patek Philippe sold by the prestigious London jeweler. The dial is double signed by both the manufacture and Asprey, the case is stamped with London hallmarks and the date letter for 1955 and the inside case back too bears London import marks and the Asprey stamp. A legend amongst the market and collecting community, the watch has remained in the same private collection since first coming to auction in 2006 (lot 220 estimate CHF 2,000,000 – 4,000,000 / $ 2,020,000 – 4,040,000),” writes Sotheby’s.

Sam Hines, Global Head of Sotheby’s Watches, commented, “The enthusiasm we felt from international collectors before the sale has translated into strong bidding today, in recognition of the world class quality pieces we offered, including of course the legendary ‘Asprey.’ This watch is the ultimate 2499: enormously rare, absolutely pristine — a dream for watch lovers. In 2018, we have seen some of our best results in years, and we are delighted that our approach, seeking out the very highest quality and focusing on expertise, has resonated with collectors.”

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Founder: Louise Blouin  

 

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