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Geneva auctions attract the big collectors

Weekend auctions of rare watches and clocks in Geneva have brought in impressive results, despite the ongoing global financial crisis.

Antiquorum, the world's leading watch auctioneer, reported an "extraordinary" result of SFr15,209,600 ($12,765,086).

A world record price of SFr2,208,000 was paid for the star of the sale, The Royal Presentation Mirror-Image Pair, a set of gold pocket watches painted on enamel.

The pair was made around 1815 for presentation in the name of King George III to the Chinese Emperor Jiaqing in 1816.

There was also enthusiastic bidding for a pink gold Patek Philippe perpetual calendar chronograph made in 1950, which fetched SFr1,376,000.

"The extraordinary results... indicate that the passion for rare and important watches continues despite worldwide economic concerns," said Antiquorum chairman Robert Maron.

A sale on Sunday evening at Sotheby's brought in SFr6,834,750. This brought the total for 2008 to SFr17,738,750 – the best result ever for Sotheby's watch sales in Geneva.

The top lot of the sale was another Patek Philippe, which went under the hammer for more than SFr1.8 million.

The company's deputy worldwide head of watches, Alexander Barter, said the sale had demonstrated that "rare timepieces in excellent condition continue to perform well in these uncertain economic conditions".


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