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Auction by Phillips featuring masterpieces from the Jean Claude-Biver collection and a rare Rolex

Updated: Sep 25, 2020

Phillips auction house will be hosting a very special watch auction with some important pieces up for grabs in Geneva in June. Happening during a peculiar time in human history it is rather pleasing to see some rare pieces hit the market this year. This auction will be especially exciting as it will feature several historically important pieces from Jean Claude Biver’s collection. If you watch his Hodinkee Talking Watches episode you will understand that he is the owner of a few of the greatest Patek Philippes ever made. His reasoning for that was that while he was working at Audemars Piguet it only made sense for him to own the best watches of his competition!

The auction will be called The Geneva Watch Auction: XI between 27 – 28 June 2020 at Hôtel La Réserve and viewings currently happening in Hong Kong’s St George House until May 27th. Some of the important pieces on show are:

A highly rare pink gold Patek Philippe from the Biver collection

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Jean-Claude Biver is putting up 4 masterpiece watches up in auction this year and one of them is this very important and highly historically relevant Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 1518 in pink gold. The watch first launched in 1941 and was nothing short of the first Perpetual Calendar wristwatch to be made. Only 281 pieces of the 1518 were made and most were with silver dials and yellow gold cases and so this makes this 1518 very special with only 13 examples known in pink dial and pink gold case. This could be referred to as the “Pink on Pink“1518.

A yellow gold 2499 Patek Philippe from the Biver collection

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The 2499 is no 1518 but it sure is a landmark Perpetual Calendar that put their Perpetual Calendar range as both a commercial and engineering success. The 2499 from 1951 onwards were produced in 4 different series until 1985 with only 349 watches ever being made in the 34 year history – that is pretty much 10 watches a year! This second series 2499 from the Biver collection would be a signature piece in any watch collection. These are extremely rare as yellow gold for the second series only has 20 known pieces made.

The Rolex Submariner Ref. 6200:

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The 6200 is very important for the Submariner as when Rolex launched this diving watch in 1954 it came out in three references: the 6204 and 6205 with a water resistance of up to 100m and the 6200 a very well-engineered professional diving iteration that was water-resistant for up to 200m. What is unique about these Submariners is the “Big Crown” aspect which is an 8mm “Brevet” crown which on a design engineering perspective allows the watch to be water-resistant. The above iteration features the rare Explorer 3, 6, 9 dial which is derived from the earlier Explorer reference 6298 and 6250. Definitely a true Rolex collector grail timepiece. It is worth noting that this piece is not from the Biver collection.

Ilkay Olmez

Co-founder & Editor

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