Auction Watch: Philippe Dufour Simplicity Sells for Record US$662,000

At Sotheby's Hong Kong auction.

Sotheby’s fall watch auction in Hong Kong included a diverse selection of independent watchmaking, including two examples of the Philippe Dufour Simplicity, both with silver guilloche dials.

The first to go on the block was a 37 mm specimen in white gold with a movement number of 68. It sold to a client represented by Joey Luk of Sotheby’s watch department for HK$3.528m including fees, which is a little over US$455,000. That was substantially above the US$250,000-300,000 range that the Simplicity had generally sold for, setting a new record for the model.

The next lot was a 34 mm Simplicity in platinum, numbered “100”. And then the record was broken.

After a few minutes of back and forth between an online bidder, as well as phone bidders represented by Ms Luk and John Chan, also of Sotheby’s watch department, Mr Chan’s bidder triumphed with a bid of HK$4.1m. Inclusive of fees, the total was HK$5.136m, or about US$662,000, well over double the most recent high for the Simplicity.

Part of the reason behind the price is rarity, not only absolute but also relative to other Simplicities. Platinum is unquestionably the rarest metal version for the watch, and 34 mm examples is are regarded to be fewer than 37 mm. The record price for both watches bode well for the Simplicity 20th Anniversary “00/20” – fresh from maker and offered by Mr Dufour himself – that will be sold at Phillips’ November auction in Geneva.


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