Phillips Geneva May Sales Preview

by Ross Povey - Apr 28 2016

We talked about the Phillips auction last week and picked some of our personal favourites from the catalogue to share with you. On Saturday evening, as part of the ‘Issued London’ weekend event, we attended a Phillips Geneva May sales preview  of selected highlights of both the Geneva Three and ‘Start Stop Reset’ sales. And we were not disappointed by what we saw…

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The Phillips London building is on Berkley Square and boasts one of the nicest wrap around terraces in the city, with spectacular views across the city. We were greeted by champagne and cold beer and spent a relaxing hour viewing some of the lots from the sale. As I expected, the quality of the vast majority of the watches was superb with some incredible watches from Rolex and Patek in the Geneva Three sale. There really is such a vast selection of watches in the sale that will appeal to an equally broad spectrum of collectors.

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Stars of The Show

There are some star lots in the sale, such as the Breguet numeral Patek, which was a personal highlight for Mr Bulang. I have to admit that having looked at the watch in the catalogue, it wasn’t until I actually saw it live that it hit me just how special a watch it is. The black dial is truly stunning and the hour markers set it off beautifully. Stainless steel Patek is hot right now and I’m not sure there is any hotter than this watch.

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Another superstar is the tropical ‘Oyster Sotto’ that I talked about last week. This watch is epic! The quality really is quite superb and it was the watch that I kept going back to look at. Of course it garnered a lot of attention from everybody and justifiably so. The brown dial is stunning and gives the watch a unique character that looks very different to the non-tropical ‘Sotto’ that one of our fellow attendees was wearing from his personal collection.

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Another big watch (in terms of both importance and size – its 44mm!) is the Rolex Stainless-Steel Chronograph Reference 4113 Split Seconds. Less than ten of these are known to exist and it will undoubtably end up breaking the million barrier and keep going!

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Small but Beautiful

It really is very difficult to say which was my favourite, but I was quite taken by the Rolex Zerograph. I’ve always been intrigued by the mythical Centregraphs and Zerographs as there is very little information about these watches and only a handful of known examples. Whatever the history of these pieces, the Zerograph in the ‘Start Stop Reset’ was charming and whilst a small watch by modern standards it has a real presence on the wrist and I confident it will perform very well at the sale next month.

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Non-Attendees

I was a little disappointed that a couple of pieces weren’t part of the touring highlights. Firstly, the Tudor Homeplate ref 7031. For me it is great to see Tudor represented in this important sale and it will be interesting to see how much interest it attracts from bidders. Secondly the Chilean Navy issued Rolex Submariner reference 5513 was a watch I was also looking forward to seeing. One of the rarest MilSubs discovered this watch is possibly the only existing fully correct (caseback serial matching the watch) example.

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Fun Times

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We had a great time and Paul Maudsley was a fantastic host. We’ll be watching the sale with interest, that’s for sure!