Phillips Hong Kong, November 28 2016
Sold for HK$5,120,000
Having only re-established its international watch sales department in 2014 after a 10-year hiatus, Phillips has soared to the number one spot not only in Europe, but also in Asia – where its second horological sale, in May 2015, grossed HK$150.6m (US$19.3m) and set a record for any watch sold at auction in the region when a 1968 Patek Philippe Reference 2499 drew HK$19.7m (US$2.5).
Buoyed by its success, Phillips returned to Hong Kong in November 2016 with a regular sale, plus an additional Rolex-only event that broke new ground by being the region’s first auction dedicated solely to vintage pieces.
Comprising just 38 lots with an overall value of around US$5million, it aimed to tell the entire history of Rolex by featuring one example of every model made since the name was registered just over a century ago. As a result, it included seminal examples of the Prince, Bubbleback, DateJust and Day-Date watches, as well as sports models such as the Air King, Explorer I and II, Submariner, Sea-Dweller, Cosmograph and GMT-Master.
To ensure the authenticity and originality of each watch, Phillips employed the services of John Goldberger, an esteemed horological author who is widely regarded as one of the world’s most knowledgeable and most experienced vintage watch collectors. In addition, the auction catalogue was produced by top watch book publisher and renowned expert Pucci Papaleo.
And among the highlights was this superb Reference 6062 triple calendar watch dating from around 1952 that was tipped to realise up to HK$4.8 million, and in fact sold for HK$5.1 million. Launched at Basel in 1950, the 6062 was the first Rolex model to feature a combination of date and moon phase together with a waterproof case with screw-down back.
The Phillips example is one of the most sought after versions thanks to its rare, luminous ‘star’ hour markers which led to such watches being nicknamed the “Stelline” or “starlet”. Never before offered for public sale, this one is said to be in superb condition, with its dial being described as “incredible” for its immaculate, untainted condition. The 36mm case, meanwhile, remains sharp and original – and the matching Jubilee bracelet is date-stamped, suggesting that it has been on the watch from new.
In summary: A superb and rare watch in beautiful condition which could (and should) be worn on a regular basis.