An Ultra-Rare Daytona JPS Ref. 6264 in 18-carat gold soars to £1.2m ($1.5m) in a London single-lot online sale
- Record for a watch sold in an online auction –
- Record for a Daytona JPS -
- Record for a wristwatch auctioned in the UK –
London, 31st July 2020 – Today, Sotheby’s once again broke its own record for a watch sold in an online auction - for the third time since April. An ultra-rare Rolex Daytona JPS reference 6264 in 18-carat gold - one of just a handful known to exist - soared to £1,215,000 ($1,545,723) in a London single-lot online sale. The 1969 ‘John Player Special’ - named after the legendary 1970s Formula 1 livery, because of its black and gold “Paul Newman” dial - also set an auction record for a wristwatch sold in the UK, a record for a Daytona JPS and one of the highest prices ever paid for a Daytona. In accordance with its iconic status on the vintage market, the watch, which had never appeared at auction before, received 17 bids from 5 bidders. Together, they drove the final price well above pre-sale expectations (est. £320,000-650,000 / US$ 400,000-800,000).
This sale rounds off a season of online successes and innovations, placing Sotheby’s as market leader, ahead of the competition in the watch category this year. Since the beginning of 2020, the company's watch auctions have brought a combined total of $48 million.
These results were driven by numerous records for modern and vintage wristwatches, historic benchmarks for antique pieces and the strong performance of new auction formats, including the fast and dynamic ‘Watches Weekly’ sales launched in April, which have since attracted a large number of young and new participants from around the world.
Sam Hines, Worldwide Head of Sotheby’s Watches, said: “Time hasn’t stopped for us this season. It has been a transformative few months. In the past couple of weeks, we have auctioned two of the most valuable Daytonas ever sold, and together with collectors, we are rewriting the rule book of watch auctions. The record-breaking sale of this Daytona JPS summarises in many ways the takeaways of this pivotal season: the eagerness of collectors to embrace new ways to transact with us, their resolute confidence to buy and sell high-value lots online and, of course, the unabated appetite for freshness, quality and rarity. It has been thrilling for us to steer this transformation and we look forward to continuing to shape the market with collectors and sharing our passion with them in the second part of the year.”
Daryn Schnipper. Photo credit: A Collected Man
Daryn Schnipper, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s Watch Division, commented: “Resilience, reinvention and vision are cardinal virtues for watchmakers and have been the driver of many revolutions in the field of horology. In a year that has seen so many successes for Breguet, including a record for a Tourbillon by the watchmaking genius at $2m, these values were certainly present in our minds. Many myths have been debunked, in particular the assumption that historic timepieces won’t sell well online: our “Masterworks of Time” sale in June - the first ever online auction of world-class pocket watches - was 100 % sold and set some of the highest prices of the season. It’s been fascinating to see antique pieces generating so much passion online and on social media - further proof that historic timepieces are so relevant today. They transcend the function of mere timekeeping to tell us the history of the modern world.”
A SEASON OF AUCTION RECORDS
Record for an Automatic Daytona
A possibly unique Cosmograph Daytona, Reference 16516 platinum chronograph wristwatch with lapis lazuli hardstone dial, circa 1999, sold for HK$ 25.4m (US$ 3.3m) in Sotheby’s Hong Kong ‘Important Watches’ live auction on 11 July (lot 2236, est. US$ 500,000 – 1m/ HK$ 4m – 8m).
Record for a Daytona JPS
Record for a watch sold in an online auction
Record for a wristwatch auctioned in the UK
An ultra-rare Rolex Daytona JPS reference 6264 in 18-carat gold soared to £1,215,000 ($1,545,723) in a single-lot online sale, opened for biding 24-31 July (est. £320,000-650,000 / US$ 400,000-800,000).
Record for a Tourbillon by Abraham-Louis Breguet
King George III’s Tourbillon watch - one of the most important watches created by Abraham-Louis Breguet - sold for £1.6m ($2m) at Sotheby’s London on 14 July. Lot 28 in the ‘Collection of a Connoisseur’ sale, the gold four-minute tourbillon watch was secretly sold to the King of England in 1808, in the midst of the Napoleonic Wars (est. £700,000-£1,000,000 (US$ 895,000-1.3m).
Highest Total for an Online Watch Sale & White Glove Sale
In June, the third instalment of the landmark collection ‘Masterworks of Time’ – and the first online sale ever dedicated to world-class pocket watches - totalled USD 4.5m (CHF 4.4m), far surpassing the pre-sale expectations (est. CHF 2-3.1m). 100% of the 125 lots found a buyer.
Record for a pocket watch sold in an online auction
The top lot of the ‘Masterworks of Time’ sale was the Dent ‘Ultra Complication’, one of the most sophisticated watches ever made, which eclipsed its pre-sale estimate to sell for US$ 832,240 / CHF 800,000 (Lot 34, est. CHF 300,000-500,000).
THE SEASON IN FIGURES
New sale formats