Nine years after the launch of our department in November 2014, we at Phillips Watches remain totally committed to our founding principle: to offer the world’s finest collectors’ timepieces.
Watch lovers ourselves, our mission is to offer only watches we would want in our own collections, to ensure their long-term enjoyment by our buying clients.
The New York Watch Auction: NINE concludes our 2023 auction year with what is certainly the most diverse selection of timepieces we’ve offered in the Americas.
Featuring many unprecedented, uncommon, and even unique watches that span 20th and 21st century watchmaking, they reflect the exquisite taste and long-term passion of our consignors, and the dedication of our international team of specialists who hunt the globe in search of the very best.
What follows is a selection of my personal favorites from the New York Watch Auction: NINE, taking place on 9 & 10 December at our Gallery at 432 Park Avenue in Manhattan.
Rolex Daytona - Paul Newman Lemon, ref. 6264 in 18 karat yellow gold
The reference 6264 is the rarest of all vintage Rolex Daytona references – a short-lived model that was the last Daytona reference to be fitted with pump-style chronograph pushers, before the brand permanently switched to screw-down pushers.
When fitted with what’s known as a “Paul Newman Lemon” dial, featuring a creamy yellow dial with white-printed graphics inside its contracting black sub-dials, it becomes an ultimate trophy watch for collectors.
Housed in an 18-karat yellow gold case, the configuration is exceptionally rare having been produced for one year only in 1970.
The present watch is fresh to the auction market and has aged beautifully over the past half-century.
Vacheron Constantin Minute Repeater Perpetual Calendar, ref. 30020 in Platinum
Certainly one of the most important models ever made by Vacheron Constantin, it was the first wristwatch model ever made by the firm to incorporate both a minute repeater with a perpetual calendar and moonphase.
Directly inspired by the highly sought after vintage minute repeaters produced by the brand in the first half of the 20th century, this modern model features what was the thinnest minute repeating movement ever made at the time of its introduction.
Carrying forward the wonderful teardrop lugs and ultra-thin design of its vintage predecessor, the present watch is extremely well preserved and has an incredible-sounding chime that will no doubt impress the most discerning connoisseur.
Patek Philippe Nautilus reference 3700/1 in 18 karat white gold
Forty-seven years after its launch in 1976, Patek Philippe’s Nautilus remains one of the most iconic and sought-after wristwatches of the modern era.
As the firm’s flagship luxury sports watch, the vast majority were produced in stainless steel – especially first-generation examples like the present reference 3700/1 from 1978.
Picking this example up, one will immediately notice its luxurious heft, making it far more than meets the eye. In fact, this is one of only nine known examples of a Nautilus reference 3700 made in white gold.
In addition to its extreme rarity, the watch is in remarkable, hardly ever worn condition retaining all of its crisp, original finishing and a taut bracelet just as if it left the factory yesterday.
Hajime Asaoka Tsunami in Stainless Steel
Seeing any Hajime Asaoka watch in person is an extremely rare occurrence. A Japanese Independent maker, all watches bearing his name are designed, manufactured, and assembled by himself, resulting in very few pieces produced annually.
This classic time-only Tsunami model features his completely in-house, manually wound movement designed for maximum timekeeping precision. Visible through its sapphire caseback, observers will be mesmerized by the oversized, 16mm titanium balance wheel ticking gracefully at the center of the movement, enabling better accuracy.
The two-tone black and gray lacquer dial with syringe hands are reminiscent of a zen garden. With a 37mm stainless steel case suitable for wrist sizes of all types, this example with serial number 007 is in like-new condition, presenting a very rare opportunity for collectors.
F.P.Journe Tourbillon Souverain and Resonance “Pre-Souscription”, No. 043
Lots 110 and 111
We are thrilled to offer this fresh-to-market pair of early and stunning F.P. Journe timepieces with matching serial numbers.
Each were originally purchased by a single collector who was drawn to Journe’s early vision, purchasing them within two months of each other in the year 2000, from the same Geneva-based retailer. Not only have both been exceptionally preserved, but they have also never been serviced or opened in any way, remaining completely and entirely original exactly as they were made at the turn of the century.
Both bear all the fascinating, early hallmarks of their respective series, featuring shiny, hand-made yellow gold dials and super-silvery timekeeping sub-dials atop their brass movements.
Furthermore, they are complete with their original early boxes and guarantee cards, making them one of the finest and most important early, matched pairs of Journe’s first two, serially produced, flagship models.
To see all the lots available at The New York Watch Auction: NINE, head to phillips.com