Collectors, Rejoice! Ultra-Rare Patek Philippe and Roger Smith Watches Headline Two Big Auctions This Weekend

Get your bids ready. Beginning this Friday, June 9 with Sotheby’s Important Watches auction and continuing Saturday and Sunday with Phillips’ New York Watch Auction: EIGHT, it’s going to be a big weekend for collectors. Between the two sales, you can choose from a collective 270 timepieces, including models from Omega, Zenith, Philippe Dufour and F.P. Journe.

Kicking off this exciting auction weekend is Sotheby’s sale, which commences in New York at 10 a.m. EDT. While the headliner is the ultra-rare “Pink-on-Pink” Ref. 1518 from Patek Philippe, there are a couple other lots that are particularly notable.

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Patek Philippe Ref. 5531R-010 World Time Minute Repeater “New York by Day”
Patek Philippe Ref. 5531R-010 World Time Minute Repeater “New York by Day”

The first is another pink gold offering from Patek, a Ref. 5531R-010 World Time Minute Repeater, which is estimated to fetch between $1 million and $2 million. This 42mm watch is one of just 10 examples made in 2017 to commemorate The Art of Watches Grand Exhibition in New York, Patek’s 10-day retrospective. In honor of New York City, it features a miniature cloisonné enamel dial created by the artist Anita Porchet that depicts the Manhattan skyline. Among the 10 watches, there were two versions of the skyline—one in daytime and one in nighttime—and this particular lot is fitted with the “New York by Day” dial seen on just five of the produced examples. In addition, Patek announced earlier this year that it would retire the production of the Ref. 5531R in favor of the Ref. 5531G, making this model even more collectible.

Another significant lot from Sotheby’s Important Watches auction is a Rolex Daytona Ref. 116519, Paul Newman’s last Daytona gifted to him by his wife, Joanne Woodward. This watch—offered alongside a Rolex Ref. 16520 “Zenith” Daytona presented to Newman to mark his victory at the 1995 24 Hours of Daytona Race—is part of Sotheby’s “The World of Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman” series showcasing more than 300 individual items that the legendary actors’ assembled and enjoyed over the course of their 50-year marriage across dedicated live and online auctions throughout the month of June. Prior to this Friday’s sale, only two other Daytonas worn and owned by the Hollywood legend himself have been sold at auction, and both variations are expected to fetch up to $1 million.

Rolex Reference 16520 ‘Zenith’ Daytona and Rolex Daytona Ref. 116519
Rolex Reference 16520 ‘Zenith’ Daytona and Rolex Daytona Ref. 116519

“Paul Newman is a name in the world of horology that has withstood the test of time,” said Sotheby’s executive Leigh Safar. “Newman cemented his legacy with watch collectors through his influence on Rolex’s most sought after model, the Daytona. As Rolex celebrates 60 years of the Daytona this year, we are proud to share in that milestone and present two models worn and owned by the Hollywood legend, which narrates the everlasting love he shared with his wife, Joanne, and his deep passion for racing. We are grateful to the Woodward Newman family for choosing Sotheby’s to present their parent’s collection to the world, with these watches standing as one of the most coveted and highly prized in the world.”

If you don’t place the winning bid for the Patek Ref. 5531R at Sotheby’s, you have another chance to add the model to your collection at Phillips’ New York Watch Auction: EIGHT on Saturday, June 10. Here, Phillips offers an edition of the Ref. 5531R introduced as part of Patek’s official collection in 2018 with an enamel dial depicting the Lavaux Vineyard Terraces, a UNESCO Heritage site on the shores of Lake Geneva.

Patek Philippe Ref. 5531R-012 World Time Minute Repeater “Lavaux Vineyard Terraces"
Patek Philippe Ref. 5531R-012 World Time Minute Repeater “Lavaux Vineyard Terraces”

Still, the most highly anticipated lot headlining the New York Watch Auction: EIGHT is Roger Smith’s Pocket Watch Number 2 (pictured at top), one of only three pocket watches ever produced by the esteemed watchmaker. According to Roger W. Smith himself, “It’s the most important watch I’ve made, without a doubt.” The career-defining 18-karat yellow gold piece, which took Smith five years to create, allowed him to become the legendary George Daniels’ only apprentice. It features a perpetual calendar, tourbillon, moon phase, leap year indicator and spring detent escapement and remained in Smith’s personal collection until 2004 when it was sold privately to an important collector to fund the launch of his namesake brand. Saturday will mark the first time the watch has surfaced publicly, and it’s expected to fetch well over $1 million.

“Kicking off our seventh year hosting live auctions in New York, we’re truly honored to have been entrusted with an incredible selection of watches, spanning exceptional vintage and modern wrist and pocket watches from the 20th and 21st centuries,” shared Phillips executive Paul Boutros. “We are proud to present so many fresh-to-market timepieces throughout this tightly curated, two-day auction – from Roger Smith’s magnum opus pocket watch on Saturday to an extraordinary vintage Patek Philippe with cloisonné dial on Sunday. We look forward to welcoming those in New York to our exhibition in the lead up to the auction and encourage enthusiasts to join us on the evening before the auction for a fascinating conversation with Roger Smith himself, followed by a screening of The Watchmaker’s Apprentice. Marking Mr. Smith’s first visit to the United States in over a decade, it is an event not to be missed.”

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