Antiquorum History

Antiquorum History

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Antiquorum History

The Art of Fine Timepieces

Antiquorum, The World's Premier Auctioneers of Modern and Vintage Timepieces, is proud of our fine reputation and the industry knowledge of our internationally recognized staff of watch experts.

Established in Geneva in 1974, Antiquorum has carved its own unparalleled niche in the auction world by cultivating a thriving collector's market for timepieces worldwide and consistently obtains the highest prices for timepieces, auctions timepieces with exceptional provenance and rarity and has set many world records.

A perpetually innovative source for collectors, in the early 1980s Antiquorum pioneered the sale of wristwatches at auction, creating a new and exciting market. Next came the thematic auction devoted to a single subject, the first of which was the Art of Patek Philippe held in 1989, the 150th anniversary year of that prestigious watchmaking firm. Antiquorum regularly offers thematic sales at which enthusiasts may enrich their collections and, through Antiquorum's authoritative and informative catalogues, acquire invaluable knowledge on each specific subject. In 2005, the historic thematic auction “The Quarter Millennium of Vacheron Constantin” achieved a total of US$ 15,110,000 (SFr. 18,123,069). A record for Vacheron Constantin, this was also the second best result, after Patek Philippe, for a single-brand sale. Among the world records: the “Tour de l'Ile”, at US$ 1,564,000 (SFr. 1,876,250), set a world record for a contemporary wristwatch and the “King Fouad I”, at US$ 2,755,000 (SFr. 3,306,250), achieved the highest price ever paid for a Vacheron Constantin watch.

In 2006, the Mondani Collection of 309 Rolex Wristwatches realized the astounding total of SFr. 11,037,278. Several world records were set, most significantly by Ref. 4113, a fly-back chronograph that sold for SFr. 738,500, the highest price ever attained by a Rolex watch.

The total for the Omegamania auction in April 2007 was SFr. 6,536,911 (US$ 5,540,000), three times the overall estimate. Numerous world records were achieved, including the highest price for an Omega watch at auction, for the 1958 “Platinum Constellation Grand Luxe”, which sold for SFr. 413,700 (US$ 351,000). In 2008, Antiquorum obtained the impressive total of 8,515,260 USD for its Rolex thematic sale, “Revolution: The Evolution of Rolex Sport Watch.” A total of nine world records were reached including a remarkable price of $248,800 that was achieved for the Comex Sea-Dweller.

In 2002, Antiquorum set the all-time world record for a wristwatch at auction, selling a unique 1939 platinum Patek Philippe World Time Ref. 1415 for US$ 4,026,524 (SFr. 6,603,500) - more than double the previous world record.

Additionally, in October 2008, a world record was obtained for a Longines wristwatch that belonged to Einstein; it sold for an astounding $ 596,000. Also, a world record price was established by the “Royal Presentation Mirror-Image Pair” of pocket watches in the November 2008 auction, selling for an impressive total of CHF 2,608,000. The following year, a world record price was achieved for Mahatma Gandhi's Zenith pocket watch (accompanied by his glasses, sandals, bowl and thali) selling for US $2,096,000.

In 2012, we set six additional world records: a Patek Phlippe Ref. 2974 platinum minute-repeating perpetual calendar sold in April for US $902,500 in New York; a Rolex Ref. 5512 previously owned by Mossad Director Isser Harel sold in May for CHF $248, 500 in our Geneva auction; an Omega Black Dial Constellation Calendar previously owned by Elvis Presley sold for $ 52,500 in New York's June auction; a Patek Philippe Ref. 5004P Split-Seconds Chronograph with Perpetual Calendar and Custom Ordered Platinum Bracelet sold in Hong Kong's June auction for HKD 3,260,000 and in November, an extremely rare Rolex Single Red Prototype, Ref. 1665 Sea-Dweller Submariner (lot 126), appearing for the first time at an auction fetched an astounding CHF 490,900, more than 400% its pre-sales estimate. This sale set two world records for the highest price ever paid for a Rolex sportwatch and for a Sea Dweller.

Resolutely avant-garde, Antiquorum was the first auction house to offer full online service at www.antiquorum.com. There, clients may place absentee bids or register to bid in real time during the auction. The site also offers access to auction catalogues (complete with images and condition reports), sales results, a watch database, and biographies of its experts, as well as information on books published by Antiquorum Editions, and Antiquorum's activities worldwide.

Antiquorum holds approximately ten auctions a year, in Geneva, New York, and Hong Kong, with previews held in major cities worldwide. In addition to its auction centers in Geneva, New York, and Hong Kong, Antiquorum maintains offices and agents in Paris, Milan, London, Munich, Shanghai, Tokyo, and Moscow. With its internationally recognized staff of watch experts providing unsurpassed expertise and services and its dedicated pursuit of innovative auction methods, Antiquorum continues, more than ever before, to make history in time.