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"Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without." - Confucius

Last week Phillips announced its new venue for Geneva watches and jewellery auctions. From this spring onwards, these sales, exhibitions and previews will be held at Hotel President Geneva. 

Before the spring auction season Phillips announced a significant shift in venue for its watch and jewellery auctions in Geneva. After nearly a decade of holding sales events at the La Réserve Genève Hotel, Phillips embraces a growing auction calendar and expanding audience by relocating to the prestigious Hotel President Geneva this May. Phillips will unveil a 500 square meters of daylight-flooded exhibition space on the pool terrace of the hotel, featuring a glass structure with stunning views of Lake Geneva. 

The move celebrates the tenth anniversary of Phillips’ watch auctions in Geneva (see a short history of the auction house below) and the recent expansion into the jewellery category. The inaugural The Geneva Jewels Auction: ONE was held in November 2023. 

Hotel President Wilson, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Geneva, pool side

The Geneva Watch Auction: XIX

The Geneva Watch Auction: XIX is set for 11 & 12 May 2024, now in the Hotel President Geneva. The sale covers pieces from A. Lange & Söhne, Rolex and F.P. Journe to Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe and independent, contemporary watchmakers like Rexhep Rexhepi. Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo shared in February that the esteemed Italian watch collector, scholar and publisher, Guido Mondani, has consigned over 40 wristwatches from his private collection as part of this auction. 

The Rolex ‘La Caravelle’ Enamel watch Ref. 6102 with a ship decoration on the dial is among the highlights (lot 219). Originally, the caravel is a small, highly maneuverable sailing ship developed in the 15th century by the Portuguese, but on the dial the ship looks more like a Viking vessel. The cloisonné enamel dial was made by Marguerite Koch, a famous artist from Geneva who at the time was also designing and creating dials for Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin and Stern Frères. Since the establishment of Stern Frères in 1898, it has become one of the essential suppliers of watch components such as lacquered, precious metal and jewellery dials. In 2015 Rolex ‘La Caravelle’ Enamel watch was sold for CHF 1,235,000.

As usual, the highlights of the auction will travel to different locations: 

New York: 3-5 April, location: Phillips, 432 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022

Hong Kong: 3-6 April, location: Phillips, WKCDA Tower, West Kowloon District, No. 8 Austin Road West, Hong Kong

Dubai: 18-20 April, location: MAD Gallery, First Floor – Unit FF, 290 – 269 Financial Center Rd, Downtown Dubai

London: 19-21 April, location: Phillips, 30 Berkeley Square, London, W1J 6EX

Singapore: 26 – 28 April, location: The St Regis Singapore, 29 Tanglin Rd, Singapore 247911

Rolex Ref. 6102 with ‘Caravel’ Cloisonné enamel dial

The Geneva Jewels Auction: Two

The second live jewellery auction of Phillips will be organised on 13 May 2024, 3pm, with the international tour dates: Hong Kong: 23-28 March, New York: 3-5 April, London: 12-14 April, Taipei: 19-21 April, Singapore: 26-28 April. The locations are same as above, except Taipei: Marriott Hotel Taipei, No. 199號, Lequn 2nd Rd, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 10491.

The story of the Phillips Auction dates back to late 18th century. It was founded by Harry Phillips, formerly a senior clerk to James Christie (yes, he was the founder of auction house Christie’s) in 1796. Phillips gained international recognition by selling paintings from the estate of Queen Marie Antoinette and household items from Napoleon Bonaparte. It was a family business for quite a long time, but in 1999, the company was acquired by Bernard Arnault, the chairman of LVMH Moët-Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the French luxury goods conglomerate. The portfolio was widened with watches, jewels and design alongside Impressionist, American, Modern and Contemporary works of art.

In 2001, Bonhams & Brooks merged with the UK operation of Phillips Son & Neale forming a new company, Bonhams. 


In the early 2000s there were some changes in ownership – in 2002, Simon de Pury acquired a majority stake of Phillips. In 2008 a majority stake of the company was acquired by the Russian luxury retail group, Mercury. By the end of 2012, the acquisition was completed. 


The Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo was launched in November 2014, which has become one of the market leaders for the finest collectors’ watches at auction and known for several record-breaking watch sales. Since its first auction in May 2015, Phillips Watches has garnered a total of $1.3 billion in global watch auction. 


The auction house had its first auction in Hong Kong in 2015 (we were there, please see more about the inaugural auction here) and since then it presents all categories including art, design, jewels and watches, in the Asian market.


Earlier this year, Phillips CEO Stephen Brooks has stepped down after nearly three years at the helm of the auction house, and Edward Dolman, Phillips’s executive chairman became acting CEO.

Source: Phillips press release. Photo credits: Hotel President Wilson. Loupiosity.com
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