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Sotheby’s Jewelry Watch Auction Achieves Remarkable Success, Selling Out in Less Than an Hour

In a groundbreaking event, Sotheby’s hosted its first gender-free live auction featuring a collection of bejeweled and embellished vintage timepieces, all of which were eagerly snapped up by buyers within the span of under an hour.

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Among the 24 items offered, the standout piece, “Rough Diamonds,” captivated bidders’ attention. This exquisite Patek Philippe Ref. 3290 bracelet watch, ring, and necklace set, crafted in 1962 by Gilbert Albert and adorned with enamel and pearls, sparked a fierce bidding war lasting more than six minutes. Ultimately, it sold for an astounding CHF 393,700 ($435,727), surpassing its high estimate by over seven times, as confirmed by Sotheby’s in its announcement on Friday.

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The entire auction, held on April 11, achieved remarkable success, raking in a total of CHF 1.2 million ($1.3 million), nearly doubling its upper presale price.

Josh Pullan, global head of Sotheby’s luxury division, expressed satisfaction with the outcome, stating, “Rough Diamonds was born from the desire to bring to market a concept watch sale that truly resonated with collectors. The results of tonight’s sale, with all 24 lots selling to such a diverse and enthusiastic group of buyers, has validated that vision.” Pullan further noted the exceptional performance of the Gilbert Albert-designed Patek Philippe, emphasizing the growing appetite among buyers for nonconformist and boldly eccentric timepieces presented in a unique context.

Other notable highlights from the auction included two Audemars Piguet watches. The Cobra Royal Khanjar from 1985 fetched CHF 165,100 ($182,724), while a car-shaped white gold wristwatch adorned with diamonds and emeralds from 1995 sold for CHF 107,950 ($119,474), both surpassing their high estimates. Additionally, a Patek Philippe bangle watch from 1976 exceeded expectations, more than doubling its upper price tag by selling for CHF 63,500 ($70,279).

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