Alittle before 10:30 AM ET in New York, the Patek Philippe ref. 5711/1A-018, with a Tiffany & Co.-signed dial, hammered for $5,350,000, with an all-in price tag of $6,503,000. This was a last-minute addition to the auction – announced earlier this week – with all proceeds from the sale benefitting the Nature Conservancy. This was the first live watch auction hosted by Phillips in New York in two years, and the first live watch auction in the company’s new space at 432 Park Avenue. We were in the room, and here’s what we saw.
Aurel Bacs presided over the podium for precisely 14 minutes and 39 seconds. Bidding started at – a yes, laughable – $20,000, where it then jumped to $50,000 (retail price), and then to $500,000, which I believe was the previous record for a steel 5711. Tiffany To in London brought bidding up to a million bucks, and then we saw bidding increase in $500,000 increments, all the way up to $3.5 million. Bidding began to slow, ever so slightly, around four million, edging upward in $100,00 increments.