The Phillips Hong Kong Watch Auction: Five concluded the fall season in Asia on November 28, with a total of $14 million in sales, which is the highest result for any luxury watch auction held this year in Asia. An outstanding selection of 167 lots was put up for sale for the delight of collectors and enthusiasts, including some of the rarest and finest examples of Rolex and Patek Philippe watches, with estimated prices ranging from $2,500 to $2,500,000 for a piece. There were many exceptional examples of vintage and modern timepieces, but the following five appeared to be the best of the best, setting new records on the Asian stage: 

1. Patek Philippe Ref. 2523 Two-Crown World Time (1953)

The Two-Crown World Time Ref. 2523 is undoubtedly one of the most collectible, sought-after, and appreciated Patek Philippe watches available for sale these days. Estimated at $1.2 – 2.5 million, this iconic 18k yellow gold model was sold for almost $2.9 million, becoming a new auction record for a wrist watch sold in Asia.

Patek Philippe Ref. 2523 Two-Crown World Time (1953)

2. Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 6241 “Lemon” (c. 1969)

Being among the rarest Cosmograph Daytona models in the world, this attractive 14k yellow gold Rolex wrist watch with a tropical Paul Newman “lemon” dial was a true find for any luxury watch collector. Estimated at $200,000 – 400,000, it went under the hammer for an impressive $635,000.

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 6241 “Lemon” (circa 1969)

3. Patek Philippe Ref. 5004/1G Perpetual Calendar Chronograph (2008)

Being the company’s first serially produced perpetual calendar wrist watch with split-seconds chronograph, the Patek Philippe Ref. 5004/1G was doomed to success. Moreover, this 18k white gold model is even more special due to its monogram dial and unique bracelet. Estimated at $350,000 – 700,000, it was sold for $605,000, becoming the most expensive white gold Patek Philippe Ref. 5004 in the world.

Patek Philippe Ref. 5004/1G Perpetual Calendar Chronograph (2008)

4. Patek Philippe Ref. 5073P-001 Minute Repeater (2011)

This rare platinum minute repeater with a perpetual calendar complication, decorated with diamonds, is one of those Patek Philippe watches that you cannot simply buy online as it is available only upon special request and only for the most valued clients. Estimated at $400,000 – 700,000, it went under the hammer for $582,000.

Patek Philippe Ref. 5073P-001 Minute Repeater (2011)

5. Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 6265 “Paul Newman” Panda (c. 1972)

Vintage Rolex watches always come with impressive prices, and this stainless steel Daytona with a distinctive “Paul Newman” Panda dial is not an exception. It was sold for a staggering $428,000 while being estimated at only $150,000 – 250,000.

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 6265 “Paul Newman” Panda (circa 1972)

Among other important luxury watches auctioned by Phillips in Hong Kong are:

  • Patek Philippe Ref. 2499 Perpetual Calendar Chronograph (1976) – sold for $412,000
  • A. Lange & Söhne Ref. 704.048F Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst (2014) – sold for $224,000
  • Philippe Dufour Simplicity (2012) – sold for $224,000
  • Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Ref. 276.1.62 Four Seasons Set (c. 1995) – sold for $99,000 

It’s interesting that the Rolex Ref. 5100 Beta 21 (c. 1972) estimated at $44,000 – 70,000 remained unsold. Expensive quartz watches, even such outstanding as this Rolex, are apparently not as sought-after as it was expected.

Photo credit: Phillips/