Philippe Dufour Simplicity Sells for US$258k – For the Second Time in Two Days

A benchmark for the Simplicity has been established with three having just sold at auction.
Phillips HKWA3 Dufour Simplicity 4

Yesterday Christie’s sold a Philippe Dufour Simplicity, a 37mm in white gold, for HK$1.98m, or about US$256,000, all fees included. Today Phillips just accomplished the same for its pink gold 37mm specimen that sold for HK$2m, about US$258,000.

Moments later a white gold 34mm Simplicity in the same Phillips sale sold moments later for HK$1.75m, or about US$226,000, indicating the increased desirability of the larger case size.

The slight variation in price between the two 37mm examples is down to a slightly different fee structure between the two auction houses; the hammer price for both watches was the same HK$1.6m.

Phillips HKWA3 Dufour Simplicity 6

The three sales over the last two days have established a surprisingly high  benchmark for the value of Philippe Dufour’s best known wristwatch. The is despite the fact that Mr Dufour has continued to produce additional watches past the original run of 200, meaning that supply is growing, albeit excruciatingly slowly.

Such prices will certainly draw out other sellers of the Simplicity. How that influences the prices in the future will be worth keeping an eye on.


 

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Record Set for Most Expensive Rolex Sold in Asia, at Just Over US$1m

A Rolex ref. 8171 "Padellone" triple calendar sells for just over US$1m, the high point of Phillips' evening sale.
Phillips Rolex 8171 Padellone steel

Rolex Milestones: 38 Legendary Watches That Shaped History, Phillips’ evening sale on November 28 was its first thematic auction in Asia, becoming a milestone in itself, just a year after another record was set for a Patek Philippe ref. 2499.

A total of HK$60.9m or US$7.84m was raised during the sale, with the stainless steel Rolex ref. 8171 “Padellone” accounting for HK$7.88m or US$1.02m, all fees included, setting the record for the most expensive Rolex sold at auction in Asia. It went to an prominent Asian collector, who was bidding on the phone via Sam Hines, Phillips’ watch chief in Asia.

Translating as “frying pan”, the Padellone gets its name from its wide, 38mm case. The specimen at Phillips was in stainless steel, the most desirable metal of an already rare model.

Produced for a brief period in the 1950s, the steel ref. 8171 was in immaculate condition, with a pristine case and dial, explaining the million dollar price. In fact, last night’s Padellone surpassed the SFr905,000 (equivalent to US$892,000) fetched by a similar example at Phillips’ Geneva sale a year ago.

Phillips’ senior consultant Aurel Bacs wielding the gavel during the sale

With 95% of lots sold, the auction was a smash hit, though the momentum in the room curiously appeared to peak with the Padellone, as if a spell had been broken. Several lots that came after, mostly Rolex chronographs, still sold for enormous amounts of money, but modestly compared to comparable examples before.

Take for instance the Daytona “Paul Newman” ref. 6263 “Oyster Sotto”, a watch considered the most desirable of all Daytonas due to a quirk in the dial lettering. It went for HK$5.84m or US$752,776, less than the million dollars or so typical for this model (a “tropical” example sold for about US$1.96m last year).

Daytona “Oyster Sotto”

Daytona “UAE Eagle”

Similarly the Daytona ref. 6263 “UAE Eagle”, named after the emblem of the United Arab Emirates on its dial, went for HK$ 1.75m or US$225,575. In contrast, a near identical watch also made for the ruler of Dubai in the 1970s sold for US$597,000 in November 2015.

The action continues today with The Hong Kong Watch Auction: Three, a 300-lot strong offering – see the full catalogue here.


 

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Patek Philippe 2499 Becomes Most Expensive Watch Ever Sold in Asia

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Hublot Facelifts the Big Bang Ferrari Unico, Making it Sleeker and Sharper

The watchmaker's tie-up with Ferrari produces yet another trio of limited editions that stick to the same successful recipe.
Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Carbon

Hublot‘s collaboration with Ferrari has been a fruitful one, spawning several dozen wristwatches including the exotic, engine-shaped MP-05 LaFerrari. That list just got longer with the launch of the redesigned Big Bang Ferrari Unico.

The new Big Bang Ferrari is a variation on the previous generation, with the same mix of automobile-inspired elements in the design, like a wheel rim-shaped rotor and brake pedal chronograph pushers. But the new models have added detail on the dial and case, for instance bezel screws set in recesses, as well as more fluid lines on the case.

Hublot Big Bang Ferrari King Gold 2

Hublot Big Bang Ferrari King Gold 1

The case remains 45mm in diameter, with a quick-release system for swapping straps. And the movement is the Unico, Hublot’s in-house chronograph calibre.

Hublot Big Bang Ferrari King Gold 3

Hublot Big Bang Ferrari King Gold 4

Three versions of the new Big Bang Ferrari are available (pictured below from left): a 1000-piece limited edition in titanium, 500 pieces in carbon composite, and another 500 pieces in 18k King Gold.

Hublot-Big-Bang-Ferrari-Unico-2016a

Price and availability 

The Big Bang Ferrari will be available starting early 2017 from Hublot retailers and boutiques.

Titanium ref. 402.NX.0123.WR – US$26,200
Carbon ref. 402.QU.0113.WR – US$28,300
King Gold ref. 402.OX.0138.WR – US$42,000


 

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