Auction Watch: Highlights from Phillips’ Start-Stop-Reset Chronograph Sale & Geneva Watch Auction 3

Phillips' starts its watch auction season with Start-Stop-Reset dedicated to vintage steel chronographs, followed by The Geneva Watch Auction: Three.

Phillips will hold its inaugural Geneva auctions for 2016 over two days starting with Start-Stop-Reset on May 14, a sale dedicated entirely to vintage chronograph wristwatches in the desirable but inexpensive material, stainless steel. The Geneva Watch Auction: Three (GWA3) takes place the following day, with a diverse offering of vintage and modern timepieces typical of Phillips’ Geneva auction. The two days will be keenly watched to see if Phillips still retains the momentum it gained last year at its Geneva sale (including the record-setting, US$7 million Patek Philippe at Only Watch), though that was tempered somewhat by the more subdued year-end sale in Hong Kong.

Here are ten highlights from the upcoming auctions, starting with five picks from Start-Stop-Reset.

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ref. 6239 with an extremely rare pulsometer dial. The estimate is SFr350,000 to SFr700,000. A similar watch sold at Christie’s three years ago for over US$800,000.


Longines A7, an extra-large, single-button chronograph originally made for the U.S. Army air corps in 1935. Made of chrome-plated brass and 51 mm in diameter, these were designed for aviators with the dial set at an angle so the watch could be read without letting go of the aircraft’s controls. Longines remade this as the Avigation Watch Type A-7 in 2013. The estimate is SFr50,000 to SFr100,000.

Longines A7 chronograph Phillips Geneva auction

Tudor ref. 7031/0 “Monte Carlo”, the very same watch that inspired the modern day Heritage Chrono and this specimen is accompanied by the original box and guarantee no less. It’s estimated at SFr15,000 to SFr25,000.


Omega ref. 2393/3 in stainless steel with an Art-Deco style three-tone dial featuring a triple scales, telemetric, tachymetric and pulsometric, carrying an estimate of SFr20,000 to SFr40,000.


Rolex ref. 3330 antimagnetic chronograph in steel with a salmon-tone dial featuring tachymetric and telemetric scales. It’s estimated at SFr200,000 to SFr400,000.


The Geneva Watch Auction: Three

Rolex ref. 6062 triple calendar with an exceptionally rare black dial that is made even more desirable by the star-shaped hour markers – like finding hen’s teeth while pigs fly across a blue moon. Circa 1950, this is estimated at SFr500,000 to SFr1 million.


Rolex ref. 8651 with cloisonné dial depicting a chimaera by Marguerite Koch, a Geneva-based enamellist who was one of the stars of her era and also responsible for dials supplied to Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin. The estimate is SFr150,000 to SFR300,000.


Rolex ref. 6542 GMT-Master in yellow gold with box and papers stamped Hübner in Vienna, a watch store that still remains on the Graben, the city’s famous shopping street. Estimated at SFr150,000 to SFr250,000.


Patek Philippe Nautilus “Jumbo” ref. 3700 in extremely rare white gold (the least commonly found metal aside from platinum) with a highly desirable Omani national emblem on the dial, comprised of a khanjar over two crossed swords, indicating this was made for the Sultan of Oman and gifted to someone significant. The accompanying Patek Philippe box also bears the Omani emblem. The combination of elements explains its estimate of SFr300,000 to SFr500,000.


Patek Philippe ref. 3450, circa 1985, arguably Patek Philippe’s most concise perpetual calendar and rare in itself, but this one with an uncommon “Tiffany & Co.” signature, meaning it was sold by the oldest Patek Philippe retailer in the United States. Estimate is SFr180,000 to SFr200,000.

Phillips GWA3 and Start-Stop-Reset

Auction details

Start-Stop-Reset: 14 May 2016, 6:00pm
GWA3: 15 May 2016, 6.00pm

Auction and viewing location: Hôtel La Réserve, Genève

Geneva viewing: 12-14 May 2016
Additional viewings before the sale will take place in Hong Kong (2 to 4 April), New York (15 to 18 April) and London (23 to 26 April).

Correction March 15, 2016: Added Longines A7 chronograph and removed Vacheron Constantin that will not be in the sale.

Correction March 17, 2016: Auction start time amended.

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You Get to Choose the Next TAG Heuer Autavia Chronograph

TAG Heuer will conduct a public vote for fans and collectors to choose the next Autavia chronograph from a selection of historical models.

On March 17, the opening day of Baselworld 2016, “The Autavia Cup” will go live. A poll open to anyone who registers, the online vote will determine the design of the upcoming TAG Heuer Autavia chronograph slated to be launched at Baselworld next year. Voters will be able to choose from 16 vintage Autavia models from the 1960s. The selection will be whittled down over three rounds – a public vote for eight candidates, another public vote to determine the last four, and then the final selection by a TAG Heuer committee led by chief executive Jean-Claude Biver.

Visit on March 17 to cast your vote.


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Introducing the Hautlence Labyrinth, a Board Game for the Wrist That Doesn’t Tell Time

Hautlence unveils an inevitably controversial board game for the wrist featuring a tiny, solid gold maze along with a platinum ball.

Inspired by ball-in-a-maze puzzles that require the player to manoeuvre a tiny sphere across a labyrinth into a goal, the Hautlence Labyrinth shrinks the game and puts it on the wrist, executed in solid gold and platinum. Behind the maze is a crown-activated mechanism that raises the ball back into the labyrinth. The labyrinth puzzle is contained inside a 43.5 mm wide watch case in titanium, the same case used for the trademark Hautlence HL01. Made of either white or red gold, the maze has a brushed finish on the top of the walls, with polished bevels all along the corridors. The single ball is made of platinum.

Hautlence Labyrinth 02

Once the ball drops into either hole at six o’clock, a nine-jewel mechanism visible through the display back returns the ball back to the maze. Conceived as the first of a series of wrist-borne board games, the Labyrinth is limited to 18 pieces each in red or white gold. This toy will certainly be contentious, especially for traditionalists, and it will cost SFr12,000 before taxes, equivalent to about US$12,000.

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