A 1946 Patek Philippe just became the highest-value watch ever sold in Australia

A 1946 Patek Philippe just became the highest-value watch ever sold in Australia

Jamie Weiss

One of my weekly little rituals is checking out the lots at First State Auctions, an Australian auction house that frequently holds liquidation auctions and the like where cool watches frequently pop up. Every week, dozens of timepieces go under the hammer with First State, but often they’re relatively pedestrian – Rolex Submariners, Hublot Big Bangs, Breitling Navitimers, you get the picture. There are often quite good deals to be had and I’ve almost pulled the trigger a few times on a few pieces.

However, this week saw a particularly special watch go under the hammer with First State in Sydney: an extremely rare Patek Philippe ref. 1436 from 1946 in pretty tidy condition, which ended up selling for A$450,000 (including buyer’s premium), breaking the record for the highest-value watch ever sold in Australian auction history.

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While definitely pre-loved, this ref. 1436 appears to be in pretty good condition, having been serviced by Patek and boasting an extract from the archives. First introduced by Patek in 1938 and continuously produced until 1971, the ref. 1436 is a manual-winding split-seconds chronograph of which less than 200 were ever made. It was made in stainless steel, pink gold and yellow gold: this example is one of the latter, and features a clean look with batons and sans-serif numerals at 12 and 6.

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However, it must be pointed out that as much as A$450,000 is a lot of money, this was a comparatively small result by international standards. A 1939 version of the same model sold for over A$2.6 million at Christie’s in Hong Kong earlier this year, for example. A$450,000 was also on the lower side of First State’s own estimate of A$400,000-800,000. In that sense, you could argue that this Australian sale represented pretty good value for the new owner, an anonymous Melbourne-based collector – as much as an almost half-a-million dollar watch can be considered ‘good value’.

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For the record, the most expensive watch ever sold at auction remains the Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime ref. 6300A-010, which sold for a whopping 31,000,000 CHF in Geneva, also by Christie’s, in 2019. Indeed, of the five most expensive watches ever sold at auction, four are Pateks, with the number three spot being held by a 1968 Paul Newman Rolex Daytona ref. 6239 owned by Paul Newman himself which sold for US$17,752,500 at a Phillips auction in New York in 2017.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Jamie

Watch meme of the week: keep calm and carry on buying watches

 

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Why worry about trifles like being “financially responsible” when the world’s going to shit anyway? Live fast, die young and leave a beautiful corpse (and watch collection), I say.

Wrist shot of the week: on the artist’s wrist

otis wrist roll

On Wednesday night, I was lucky enough to be invited along to a lavish Longines event in Sydney for the launch of their newest collection, the Mini DolceVita, alongside its first local collaboration with Australian Indigenous artist Otis Hope Carey. I had the chance to meet Otis and have a chat with him – he’s a really lovely, down-to-earth guy – as well as snap a quick shot of the watch on his wrist, the Longines HydroConquest GMT on the black version of the NATO strap he designed. It’s an awesome collaboration and even more awesome to see it on the wrist of the man himself.

Time+Tide Shop pick of the week: NOW Magazine Issue #8

issue 8 with coffee

Issue #8 of Time+Tide’s NOW Magazine is out now, featuring 164 of the year’s best new watches plus a deep dive into the legacy of Abraham-Louis Breguet, how watch brands are finally paying attention to cricket and an exclusive interview with Louis Vuitton’s Jean Arnault. This issue’s cover star is the new TAG Heuer Carrera Chronosprint x Porsche, one of 2023’s most racy releases (sorry, couldn’t help myself).

Order now in the Time+Tide ShopPrice: A$19.95

Our favourite Time+Tide coverage of the week

VIDEO: Andrew explores two pieces of Louis Vuitton’s horological art

What’s life, without a bit of fun? Louis Vuitton’s watchmaking division certainly sees things this way, and despite their most recent escapades focusing on a suave integrated-bracelet look, they’ve proven their horological mettle with complications. Strolling through their Alpine lodge-like retreat – outfitted with LV-monogrammed skis, no less – our own Andrew McUtchen talks you through two of the brand’s latest, complicated offerings: the insanely complex Tambour Opera Automata and adorable, but still mechanically impressive Tambour Slim Vivienne Jumping Hours.

The Time+Tide team pick their favourite Dubai Watch Week 2023 releases

MBandF HM11 Architect Front Blue Black Hres

Approximately 20 new watches made their debut during Dubai Watch Week 2023. A lot of the releases were quite strong, so the Time+Tide team wanted to highlight some of their favourites – and making these picks was definitely not easy with so many great options to choose. See what the team picked here.

Why is the Alpine Eagle not an L.U.C watch? We ask Chopard president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele all the tough questions

karl friedrich scheufele chopard president portrait feature

Andrew makes up for a journalistic faux pas – forgetting to hit ‘record’ on one’s dictaphone when interviewing one of the most interesting figures in luxury watchmaking – by sitting down for a ‘re-interview’ with the man himself, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, at Dubai Watch Week to rehash their previous hard-hitting conversation. Read the full write-up here.