The holiday season is well on its way and many well-heeled holidayers have made their way down to the Côte d’Azur. For many it’s the time of year to relax and enjoy, but for local French auction houses, it is the busiest time of year. The July auctions in France are a fantastic, overlooked opportunity for everyone as they offer the complete range of lots. From the affordable starter vintage pieces to the highly complicated rarities and even some ultra-high-end pieces.
Over the summer, we will be publishing a series of articles highlighting the favourite watches up for auction in France, selected by The Collectors Index team members. In total there are the big three we wish to focus on for their watches:
Artcurial, 17th July
Boule Auction, 18th July
Antiquourm in collaboration with
Gros & Delettrez and Monaco Legend Group, 19th July
18:00, July 17th, 2017
Hôtel Hermitage, Salle Belle Époque, Square Beaumarchais
271 lots are to be offered on the 17th of July during Artcurial. Starting the auction off, are the chronographs, all with a noticeably high estimate. We will let those be for what they are and skip right ahead to lot number 59, the Longines “Fly Back”, n° 11826895. At first sight, a lovely correct watch, featuring the eviable French gold casing, made specifically for the French market and with the auction being in Monte-Carlo logic would suggest its correct, but the catalogue notes:
“Originally, the serial number 11’826’895 corresponding to a stainless-steel wristwatch chronograph with the reference 5966 delivered on October 28, 1963 to the SFL company (Société Française Longines) retailer for France.”
At some point in time, it would appear, the watch has been re-cased. An important tip for auction buyers, always try to check these types of details with the watch brands archives before bidding or seek out a specialist.
Moving along to the rather exciting Patek Philippe Amagnetic, ref. 3417, n° 2633173 / 732837. Not only a super collectable Patek Phillip, but within the brand itself a cult-like following due to two nifty features. The first being the second inner case back, giving the movement that extra protection, but the other feature is the ‘Amagnetic’ or anti-magnetic escapement components. In essence, this watch is therefore hailed as the only ‘tool’ watch within the Patek Phillip collection.
The condition is far from perfect and noticeably, this lot is under a temporary import license, meaning 20% VAT will be added on their adjudication price. Nevertheless, with an attractive low estimate of €7,000-10,000 bidders are sure to be attracted. Finally, a quick search in our database finds that in December 2016, Bonhams sold a ‘good condition’ example for 56,250 GBP.
The Cartier signed Patek Philippe Calatrava ref. 96. With an extract from the Patek Philippe Archives confirming the sale on November 17, 1943, some helpful documentation.
However, looking at the wonky Cartier signature, we have our suspicions suggesting it is an aftermarket signature. Although the case was retailed by Cartier due to the 5 digit number engraving on the back side of the lug, which has been added by Cartier for their internal archive.
A big selling point of this reference 96 is to be consider the radium hands and dial, making it very rare to find. However, judging by the images provided by the auction house and not having tested it with a UV light, it is highly suggested that the hands have been relumed at some point. The estimate of €2,000 -€3,000 is a good and suitable estimate on this watch.