Vogue Watches

Patek Philippe Steel Sonnerie Minute Repeater

After a drawn-out controversy, much of it playing out on social media, the Only Watch auction that had been scheduled for November 2023 was finally took place in Geneva today.  high quality replica watches

As we reported last month, during the delay the Only Watch organization completed a financial audit and revised its structure and governance. Meanwhile, 16 brands that had been slated to participate in this edition of Only Watch – including Audemars Piguet, Tudor, Chopard, and Biver – dropped out. Still, 47 pieces remained in the sale, headlined by the unique Patek Philippe 6301A Steel Sonnerie Minute Repeater, Rexhep Rexhepi’s Chronometre Antimagnétique, and unique submissions from Bulgari, Genta, Journe, Richard Mille, as well as indies like Petermann Bedat/Auffret, Voutilainen, and Grönefeld.
In our Hodinkee Radio auction preview, we talked a bit about how the controversy surrounding Only Watch has changed its perception among collectors. Now, we have some results to look at.
Of course it couldn’t be that simple with Only Watch because apparently nothing is anymore. As I woke up to live stream the sale in Geneva, I discovered the entire Christie’s website and app were down for the auction. This meant no online bids were taken and all bidding was done via phone or in the auction room in Geneva. As I later learned, Christie’s sent out an email to clients prior to the auction that they had “identified an IT security issue” that required them to take its website offline the night before the sale. The email notified potential bidders that the Only Watch auction would go ahead as scheduled, but that online bidding would not be available. The website remained down throughout the entire auction.

“We are taking all necessary steps to manage this matter, with the engagement of a team of additional technology experts,” a Christie’s spokesman said to the New York Times, which has since covered the ongoing outage. “We will provide further updates to our clients as appropriate.”

Without Christie’s, I relied on WhatsApp messages from friends in the room to get the on-the-ground vibes of the sale before finding Only Watch’s YouTube live stream that peaked at about 1,000 viewers.

First impressions: Look at the photo above and compare it to our 2021 report and you’ll see the room is less full than three years ago. With fewer lots and the auction only re-confirmed a month ago – in addition to the aforementioned controversy – this isn’t exactly a surprise.

In all, Only Watch 2024 raised CHF 28,320,000, about the same as the 2021 edition. As you’ll see below, more than half of this came from one Patek.

A note: Since this was a charitable auction there was no buyer’s premium, so the final price you see below is the same as the hammer price. Patek Philippe 6301A: CHF 15.7 Million ($17.3 Million)
As with most years Patek was the headliner at this edition of Only Watch. First, Patek didn’t disappoint, delivering a unique sonnerie and minute repeater in steel with a hand-guilloché dial. Christie’s and Only Watch placed an estimate of CHF 1.5–1.8 million on the unique Patek. A quick note that auction estimates are particularly meaningless in Only Watch land, where the charitable component (just write it off!), in addition to the unique nature of each watch, means that the auction floor can get particularly frothy as bidders foam at the mouth for the Only chance at many of these watches.

Bidding opened at CHF 5 million, quickly jumping to 8 million and then 10 million before it slowed down and ultimately closed at CHF 15.7 million. It sold to a bidder in the room, who we’ve confirmed is Zach Lu, who you may recognize as the winner of the $6.5 million Tiffany & Co. Patek 5711 back in 2021.