The hammer falls: Omega smashes records at Phillips Geneva
The weekend of 12 and 13 May witnessed two highly anticipated watch auctions from Phillips — the Daytona Ultimatum Auction and Geneva Watch Auction. Since last year’s record-breaking sale of Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona for $17.7 million, Phillips’ upcoming watch auctions rode on high expectations with its star-studded list, such as the Rolex “Unicorn” and Elvis Presley’s Omega. The diamond studded […]
The weekend of 12 and 13 May witnessed two highly anticipated watch auctions from Phillips — the Daytona Ultimatum Auction and Geneva Watch Auction.
Since last year’s record-breaking sale of Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona for $17.7 million, Phillips’ upcoming watch auctions rode on high expectations with its star-studded list, such as the Rolex “Unicorn” and Elvis Presley’s Omega.
The diamond studded Omega Caliber owned by Elvis Presley and first generation Speedmaster smashes presale estimates, breaking new grounds for Omega and collectors.
While this 18-karat gold and diamond Omega caliber 510 sold through Tiffany & Co. may not have the most complex mechanics, it captures an absolutely heirloom-worthy history.
Owned previously by Elvis Presley, this timepiece represents a milestone in music history — it was a gift to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll for breaking a sale of 75 million records in 1960. While the record sales was broken on Christmas Day of that year, Elvis was presented with the watch in February of 1961 when he performed live for the first time in two years after returning from the Vietnam War.
With all factored in, Elvis’s Omega Caliber sold for $1,812,500, despite the relatively quiet response after the official announcement in February before the auction. This impressive 7-digit sale is almost 18 times of the pre-sale estimate of $106,000 as upper limit. This breaks the brand’s record for any publicly sold model, including the $1.4 million rare Omega tourbillon that was just sold last year November at the Phillips Geneva: Six auction.
Beyond the spotlight on the epic 7-digit sales of Daytonas and celebrity glitz of the Caliber, the Phillips Geneva also celebrates a new record set for Omega — a first generation of the Speedmaster reference 2915-1 “Broad Arrow”.
Omega’s best-known and most collected sports watch, the Speedmaster smashes its the previous record of US$275,508 at Bukowski’s in Sweden last year with a record price of US$408,500. While the prolific Phillips Geneva has observed numerous exceptional auctions, this performance truly exceeded its estimate that was only at CHF 80,000 -140,000.
With such impressive performance by Omega in the recent round of Phillips’ auctions, there seems to be an appreciating trend of the brand’s vintages valued more than memorabilia. While watch makers such as Rolex and Patek Philippe are known for their steady performance at auctions, Omega timepieces have also gained significant traction in vintage sales in recent auctions.
For perspective on the value of watches, read on our take on how luxury watches can be your next investment. Of course, the value behind the ownership of a watch, be it a Omega or Rolex, should also be derived from the collector’s emotional investment more than just appreciation numbers.