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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Hodinkee Geneva Watches Auction Preview Spring 2024

TT: I love these ’50s Rolex watches, but I also bring up this pre-Daytona because it seems to be from the “OAK Collection,” which is interesting because last November they did the first part of the OAK collection as a single-owner sale. And before that there was the exhibit and tons of media coverage about this collection of vintage watches. By all accounts, last fall’s sale didn’t perform well and everyone was curious what would happen next. 

So this season, there are at least a handful of OAK watches at Christie’s Geneva, and they’re not really mentioning it except for saying in the provenance as “from a highly important European private collection.” People that know are obviously aware – these watches were on very public exhibition, so it’ll be interesting to see how all the drama surrounding the OAK collection unfolds this season. 

But, beyond that, I do think this is a cool watch. It’s kind of like the famous 6062 Rolex “Dark Star” that has a very similar patina on the case.

MC: I don’t always understand why anybody wants anything patina. I think it just looks like it’s been left in the fire.

RF: The patina here is giving credence to the case not being touched, but I think it’s kind of unattractive looking. But when you’re a vintage person, you want, a case with its original lines, hopefully not polished. 

MC: If I were looking for something vintage – not a watch – I’d want it to be in as good condition as possible. I suppose the same reasoning doesn’t work for clothes. Like, ‘let me get these really amazing vintage Yves Saint Laurent beaded pants from the 1970s and they’re just threadbare.’ I just wouldn’t do that. 

RF: Typically, when a watch has this type of patina it’s pointing to the case not being polished, but this case is also kind of soft-ish, though the hallmarks look sharp in photos. So maybe this is a case where the patina is detracting from the watch.

TT: Okay, so you guys hate my watch. Anyway, it’s got an estimate of CHF 100–200,000 this time around. It sold back in 2012, as part of famous collector Gordon Bethune’s collection, for $146,500, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it fails to match that. 

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