Roger Smith’s Pocket Watch Number Two sold for $4.9 million during the Phillips New York Watch Auction Eight held June 10 and June 11, setting a new record for any British timepiece while marking the fourth highest price ever achieved for a pocket watch at auction.
The English watchmaker worked for five years to create the watch by hand in order to win the approval of the late George Daniels and secure an apprenticeship in Daniels’ legendary workshop on the Isle of Man.
As Phillips explains “With Pocket Watch Number One rejected by Daniels, it was the perfection of this timepiece – Pocket Watch Number Two – that led Daniels to proclaim to Smith, “You are now a watchmaker.”
In addition to the Roger Smith sale, two Patek Philippe watches sold for more than $1 million, including the Ref. 2481 Pristine Forest (which sold for $1.1 million) as well as the Philippe Dufour Simplicity 37, which sold for $863,600.
An Audemars Piguet Grande Complication pocket watch in platinum, completed in 2011, sold for $635,000, more than ten times its low estimate.
Watches from Zenith also did well, including a tropical A384 El Primero which sold well past its $6,000-$12,000 estimate to $50,800, setting a new record for a vintage El Primero model. Zenith’s Chronomaster Original Pink “Unique Piece” for Susan G. Komen” sold for $30,480, of which 100% of proceeds, including Buyer’s Premium, will be donated to the breast cancer organization.
The auction realized total sales of $26.4 million, selling 100% by lot and 100% by value. See the Phillips website for full results and details.