The Rolex "Big Crown" Ref. 6538 Aka "James Bond" Submariner Sold For $567,000
Phillips in Association with Bacs and Russo is pleased to announce that STYLED. Timeless Watches 8 How to Wear Them, the company's second New York watch auction, has achieved $11,523,500 / CHF11,500,453 / €10,155,661, selling 96% by lot and 96% by value. Bidders from over 50 countries participated in the auction - in the bustling saleroom, on the phone, and online - all eager to acquire the exceptional timepieces brought to the market by the Phillips team, many of which were offered for the first time at auction. The sale also saw a record level of digital participation, with nearly 600 online registrants and most lots receiving online bids.
The top lot of the sale was a 1957 Rolex "Big Crown" Submariner, among the most impressive and best preserved examples of its kind, selling for $567,000. The reference 6538 has been forever immortalized onscreen by Sean Connery's James Bond in films such as Dr. No and Goldfinger. Preserved in exceptional condition, having never been polished or restored, this example was offered complete with its hardly ever seen original guarantee and chronometer certificate.
A Patek Philippe reference 1463, known as the "Tasti Tondi," which realized $495,000, is among the most collectible and sought-after chronograph watches thanks to its oversized case, rarity, and aesthetic beauty. Released in 1941, the vast majority of examples were made in yellow gold, with less than 10% believed to have been made in steel, making the present lot exceptionally desirable. Fitted with a stunning "two tone" silver dial, it's one of only eight known with this dial variation.
Also, among the highlights was an 18 karat rose gold fresh-to-the-market Patek Philippe reference 5016, which realized $399,000. At the time of its creation, the reference 5016 was the most complicated wristwatch ever produced by the firm, fitted with watchmaking's most prestigious complications - a minute repeater, retrograding perpetual calendar, and tourbillon.
Several lots soared past their estimates, including an IWC Ref. 3705 from the family of renowned watchmaker Gunter Blumlein, which sold for an astonishing $53,750 against an estimate of $6,000-8,000, and a 2017 Vacheron Constantin "Comes de Vache" Ref. 5000H chronograph in steel which achieved $75,000, more-than-tripling its low estimate.
Top Ten Lots
1. Rolex Reference 6538, circa 1957 - Sold for $567,000/ CHF565,866/ €499,697
An extremely rare, well preserved, and highly attractive stainless steel wristwatch with black lacquer "four liner" dial, big crown, bracelet, fitted presentation box, original guarantee, and chronometer certificate.
2. Patek Philippe Reference 1463, circa 1946 - Sold for $495,000/ CHF494,010/ €436,244
An extremely rare and highly attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with two-tone silvered dial with outer tachymeter scale.
3. Patek Philippe Reference 5016R, circa 2011 - Sold for $399,000/ CHF398,202/ €351,639
An extremely rare and important pink gold minute repeating perpetual calendar wristwatch with tourbillon, retrograde date, moon phase, Breguet numerals, certificate of origin, and presentation box.
4. Patek Philippe Reference 5078P-013, circa 2009 - Sold for $375,000/ CHF374,250/ €330,488
A possibly unique and important platinum minute repeating wristwatch with blue soleil dial, certificate of origin and presentation box, factory double sealed.
5. Patek Philippe Reference 2497,1951 - Sold for $362,500/ CHF361,775/ €319,471
An early, extremely fine and very rare yellow gold perpetual calendar wristwatch with sweep center seconds and moon phases
6. Rolex Reference 8171, circa 1951 - Sold for $350,000/ CHF349,300/ €308,455
An extremely rare, highly attractive, and well-preserved yellow gold triple calendar wristwatch with moon phases and two-tone dial
7. Patek Philippe Circa 1928 - Sold for $337,500/ 336,825/ €297,439
An extremely rare and highly attractive yellow gold single button chronograph wristwatch with hinged officer-style wire lug case and Breguet numerals.
8. Patek Philippe Reference 5074R, circa 2012 – Sold for $325,000/ CHF324,350/ €286,423
A very rare and exceptional pink gold minute repeating perpetual calendar wristwatch with cathedral gongs, moon phase, 24-hour and leap year indications, with certificate of origin, and presentation box
9. Rolex Ref. 6264, circa 1969 – Sold for $281,250/ CHF280.688/ €247,866
An extremely rare, very fine, and attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with "Paul Newman" dial and bracelet
10. Rolex Ref. 6263, circa 1970 – Sold for $225,000/ CHF224,550/ €198,293
An important, very rare, and well-preserved yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with champagne dial displaying small "Oyster" designation and "floating scripts", accompanied by original boxes and guarantee