Phillips Sold 100% of the Watch Lots It Put Up for Auction in 2021
The results came during a record year for the auction house.
The auction house said its watches department saw a white glove year in 2021, meaning it sold 100 percent of the lots offered at auction across Geneva, Hong Kong, and New York, totaling $209.3 million, both of which are a first for it.
Its top watch lot this year was a Patek Philippe Ref. 2523, a yellow gold world-time wristwatch with two crowns and “Eurasia” cloisonné enamel dial that sold for $7.8 million in Geneva in May.
Those watch auction results are just part of a larger story for Phillips this year, in which global auction sales were up 35 percent compared with pre-pandemic 2019 to $993.3 million.
Private sales, meanwhile, were up to $208.2 million, pushing Phillips past the $1 billion mark in total global sales for 2021 to mark its most successful year yet.
Phillips’ total jewelry auction sales numbers for 2021 nearly doubled year-over-year, up 91 percent to more than $40 million.
The auction house achieved a record year for jewelry auctions in Asia, as per a separate press release, with two live auctions—“Jewels & Jadeite” and “Sensational Jewels from a Prominent Middle Eastern Collector”—achieving a combined total of $18.7 million, a 108 percent increase over last year.
In the “Treasures from Zambia: An Exceptional Emerald Collection” sale, a 56.87-carat Zambian emerald and diamond pendant necklace (pictured below) sold for $1 million to lead the sale.
Other notable highlights for the auction house in 2021 are that its sell-through rate was 91 percent and that 50 percent of buyers in both online-only and live auctions were first-time buyers.
Additionally, 100 percent of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) have sold, a category helping the auction house reach and engage with a new audience, it said.
Online-only auction totals were up 417 percent over 2019 and 68 percent over 2020, marking a record year for the channel.
Along with this success is the news that Phillips will open a new state-of-the-art exhibition space and salesroom in Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District next fall.
Its new headquarters in the WKCDA Tower will comprise more than 48,000 square feet over six floors, including three lower retail floors, two upper floors of exhibition space, and one floor for offices.
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All proceeds up to $25,000 will benefit the It Gets Better Project, a nonprofit that supports LGBTQ+ youth.
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