Patrizzi & Co Auctioneers held its first auction in New York City on June 4. “Important Pocket Watches, Vintage and Modern Wristwatches” was comprised of 293 timepieces of outstanding quality, provenance and rarity. Seventy three percent of the 293 lots sold for a total of $2,707,150. With 50 to 60 bidders present in the auction room, online bidders participated from Italy, Switzerland, Macao, Portugal, Japan, Dubai, and across the U.S.
“We’re finding collectors are interested in buying at auction but are more selective in the current economic climate,” said Osvaldo Patrizzi, president and chief executive officer ofPatrizzi & Co. “Sport watches, particularly from Rolex and Omega, performed well, as did pocket watches and clocks. Some timepieces sold for three to four times their estimate.”
The top seller, at $260,000, was a Patek Philippe Ref. 5959, a split-seconds chronograph in a platinum officer’s-style case with the thinnest split-seconds column-wheel chronograph movement ever made. A stainless steel Omega Pre-Professional Speedmaster from the early 1960s fetched more than $12,500 – three times its estimate – and a 1943 Rolex stainless steel Oyster Chronograph,Ref. 3525, a round-button chronograph with black dial, sold for $85,000.
The New York auction follows three highly successful Patrizzi & Co auctions in Europe — the Renaissance Clocks sale on May 24 in Milan, which reached sales of more than $3.6 million; the April 19 auction in Geneva totaling over $6.7 million with 80% of the 263 lots sold; and the Davide Blei Vintage Rolex Collection held March 22 in Milan which attained sales of some $3.7 million with 114 timepieces.
Patrizzi & Co does not charge a buyer’s commission, representing a 20 to 25 percent savings from the hammer price for the buyer. Unlike most auction houses, this means the final sale price reflects the actual value of the timepiece.
Osvaldo Patrizzi founded Patrizzi & Co last year with the goal of innovating the horological auction market by bringing transparency at auction, fully integrating online communication with the traditional auction format, eliminating fees, and simplifying the auction process. A Patrizzi & Co horological expert carefully examines and evaluates every timepiece offered for sale, which is then accompanied by a five-year guarantee of authenticity.