Scott Rothstein was the ringleader of the third largest Ponzi scheme ever to take place in the USA, reportedly defrauding investors of $1.2 billion. The courts liquidated most of his ill-gotten gains such as supercars, yachts, and vacation houses rather quickly. However, his now-divorced wife, Kim, had hidden a few million dollars’ worth of baubles, which were later uncovered. And which are now up for sale.
Now, it seems fairly evident that we are on the down slope of either a cyclical correction in prices or, if one takes a less optimistic view, a permanent loss of watch value as the mechanical timepiece industry faces a variety of challenges and potential disruptions. So what’s a collector to do? And what lessons can we draw, both from recent watch auction results and the history of other luxury categories, to guide us?
Only Watch, the biennial charity auction on behalf of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research, has firmly established itself as a landmark event on the watch scene. This year’s sixth renewal of the event, serving as the kickoff for the autumn Geneva watch auction week, saw Patek Philippe donating the landmark piece for the event, a blue-dialed, steel-cased Reference 5016A-010, which hammered for more than $7 million.
It’s an extraordinary feat when some of the most established names in watchmaking and up-and-coming independents come together for a worthy cause.
The 2015 edition of Only Watch is to be held on November 7, and this sixth edition of the biennial charity auction sees the highest number of donated pieces ever: 44 in total.
Read on for a complete listing and photos, including estimates, of the all unique piece watches in the 2015 Only Watch auction.
At a preview before a Christie’s watch auction in Geneva, I found myself particularly attracted to this impeccable Louis Audemars pocket watch. It features a minute repeater, perpetual calendar, chronograph, and moon phase function, and is from circa 1880. It is 135 years old and doesn’t show a single wrinkle!
The very solid and spacious tent on the grounds of the La Reserve hotel in Geneva on May 10, 2015 turned out to be a very special time and place as the world’s most prestigious watches went under the hammer for the inaugural Phillips Watches auction in association with Bacs & Russo. Let’s have a look at how a few of the most interesteing pieces did at this premier event, which was presided over by auction guru Aurel Bacs.
Geneva was abuzz with activity just days before the first round of 2015 auctions took place in May. Once in a great while, interesting timepieces pop up at auction that would probably receive a lot more attention if the auction world wasn’t currently quite so fixated on Patek Philippe and Rolex. One such beauty is this historic minute repeater wristwatch by Audemars Piguet.
Phillips’ inaugural watch auctions were held on May 9 and May 10, 2015. A relative newcomer to the world of highly collectible timepieces, its partnership with the highly experienced Bacs & Russo team has led to an amazing array of watches on offer. However, I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I was asked to preview a selection of the stunning timepieces featuring in The Geneva Watch Auction: One. What I found took my breath away.
Auction house Sotheby’s will stage an auction in New York on June 11, 2015 featuring items from a private collection of musical automata within its sale of important watches. The auction pieces, mainly made for export to royalty throughout Europe, Turkey, India, and China, are headed up by a singing bird scent flask made by Pierre Jaquet-Droz in 1785.
A photo of soldiers hoisting the Soviet flag over the Reichstag at the end of WWII, became one of the most iconic images of the century. One of the subjects in the image was wearing two watches, one of which was removed in official reproductions of the photo. The camera used to take that iconic image, a Leica III, is to be auctioned by Bonhams, and it’s expected to fetch more than £300,000 ($500,000).