Most Notable Watches Auctioned in November 2021

Last month, major global auction houses Antiquorum, Christie’s, Phillips, and Sotheby’s held watch auctions which saw notable movements within the watch industry. Records were broken and trends emerged. Watch Manila breaks down some of the notable pieces sold in this two-part special.

Clearly, Rolex still emerged as the strongest brand in the auction month. Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet also continued to deliver solid numbers. Aside from the said brands, it can be observed that there are winners across the board. Cartier, Omega, and Vacheron Constantin are some of the other winners. The watch market continues to display strength despite the pandemic.

Let’s look into some of the interesting watches sold during the November auctions. 

  1. Cartier Crash

Auction House: Sotheby’s

Estimated Price: CHF200,000-300,000 (P10.9M-16.4M)

Price Sold: CHF806,500 (P44.1M)

The Crash has been produced by Cartier sporadically and in limited numbers. This said model was one of the first ones ever produced. There is a rumor that says that the design of the Crash was brought about by a damaged and melted Cartier Baignoire from a crash. The watch was recently brought to the spotlight by Jay-Z and Kanye West.

2. Vacheron Constantin Ref. 222

Auction House: Christie’s

Estimated Price: CHF20,000-40,000 (P1.09M-2.18M)

Price Sold: CHF93,750 (P5.12M)

The Vacheron Constantin Ref. 222 is the ancestor of the Overseas. The 222 was released in 1977 to commemorate Vacheron’s 222nd anniversary. This watch and the Overseas have long been overlooked by collectors. In the 2010s, watch collectors became obsessed with the stainless steel-unibody watches especially from Patek Philippe (Nautilus) and Audemars Piguet (Royal Oak). As supply of Patek and AP became difficult, collectors started to realize the true value and beauty of Vacheron Constantin. With more people collecting the Overseas, the demand for the 222 has also increased. Watch Manila was one of the publications which recognized that the Overseas was a hidden treasure in the watch world.

3. Vacheron Constantin Ref. 4261 Minute Repeater

Auction House: Antiquorum

Estimated Price: CHF100,000-200,000 (P5.4M-10.9M)

Price Sold: CHF287,500 (P15.7M)

Watch Manila has observed that the watch industry in the 2010s has been dominated by a shift towards simple watches in stainless steel. With the demand heavy on the said watch class, the demand for fine watches with complications dropped. Watch Manila believes that as more collectors mature and get over the hype stage, the same crowd will start to go for undervalued fine timepieces. This Vacheron Constantin Minute Repeater in gold is a watch which could symbolize the potential up and coming resurgence of fine timepieces with complications.

4. Rolex Daytona “John Player Special Paul Newman” Ref. 6264

Auction House: Sotheby’s

Estimated Price: CHF800,000-1,200,000 (P43.7M-65.6M)

Price Sold: CHF891,200 (P48.7M)

The Rolex Daytona “John Player Special” label originated from the 1970s when John Player & Sons sponsored the Lotus F1 team. According to collectors, the JPS Daytonas are reminiscent of the design of John Player & Sons. Sotheby’s noted that most of the Ref. 6264 Daytonas were made in stainless steel. There are approximately only ten known pieces in yellow gold. From the ten, there are even fewer Daytonas fitted with the JPS dial. 

5. Rolex Daytona “John Player Special Paul Newman” Ref. 6241

Auction House: Phillips

Estimated Price: HKD4,650,000-9,400,000 (P30.1M-60.8M)

Price Sold: HKD13,560,000 (P87.8M)

In addition to the details mentioned in the previous item, it is worth noting that this is the third most expensive Rolex Daytona sold in auction. With many people being fascinated with Paul Newman Daytonas, collectors are zeroing in on John Player Specials since they are rare as well.

6. Rolex Day-Date in Stainless Steel 

Auction House: Phillips

Estimated Price: CHF50,000-100,000 (P2.7M-5.4M)

Price Sold: CHF113,400 (P6.2M)

When the Day-Date was launched in 1956, it became the ultimate Rolex watch. The Day-Date was only available in precious metals: gold and platinum. This notwithstanding, the watch sold at the recent Phillips auction was one of a few Day-Date prototypes produced by Rolex in stainless steel.

7. Steel Rolex GMTs

a.) Rolex GMT-Master II “Pepsi” Ref. 126710BLRO

Auction House: Christie’s

Estimated Price: CHF12,000-18,000 (P656k-984k)

Price Sold: CHF25,000 (P1.36M)

b.) Rolex GMT-Master II “Batgirl” Ref. 126710BLNR

Auction House: Christie’s

Estimated Price: CHF12,000-18,000 (P656k-1.094M)

Price Sold: CHF27,500 (P1.5M)

These watches do not need an introduction. The two watches are two of the hottest Rolexes in the market. In their current iteration, they retail for around P517,500. But it is almost impossible to pick one up at your authorized dealer. What’s important to note is that these watches still have strong demands as they both sold for more than double their retail price. The hunt for the steel Rolex watches continues to be tough.

8. Philippe Dufour Simplicity

Auction House: Phillips

Estimated Price: CHF250,000-500,000 (P13.6M-27.3M)

Price Sold: CHF792,300 (P41.3M)

Philippe Dufour is one of the most sought-after independent watch brands. Its pieces command high prices due to the limited production and due to the high quality of watchmaking. The watch which was recently sold doesn’t feature any major complication and doesn’t even feature a date. However, this watch is an example of how Philippe Dufour perfected the “simple” watch. What is amazing is that the winning bidder paid a mind-blowing P41.3M for the said watch.

Stay tuned for part 2 of the notable watches in the recently concluded November auctions.

Images are courtesy of the auction houses: Antiquorum, Christie’s, Phillips, and Sotheby’s.

The Watch That Every Serious Collector Should Have

Currently, it can be said that the most sought-after watches are the Patek Philippe Nautilus ref. 5711, Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, and the Rolex Daytona. Some may have a longer list, but globally, the three watches are some of the hardest to get. The three watches have made their contentions on why the watch collecting world wants them. However, there is one watch which I believe many people are missing out on. I’m talking about the Vacheron Constantin Overseas.

Vacheron Constantin ref. 222. Image from Phillips Auctions.

The story of the Overseas started in 1977 with the launch of the sports watch Vacheron Constantin ref. 222. The reference is in relation to Vacheron Constantin’s 222nd anniversary. The watch was designed by then 24 year old Jorg Hysek. The 222 was produced in a limited run of 500 pieces in all metal and dial variations. One of the highlights of the 222 is that it features a small Maltese cross (the logo of Vacheron Constantin) near the 5 o’clock marker, outside of the bezel.

The first Vacheron Constantin bearing the model name “Overseas”. This had a production run from 1996-2004.

In 1996, Vacheron Constantin launched the Overseas. This watch was the successor to the 222. It was more refined and it was the first model which had hints of the Maltese cross on its bezel. Noticeable in this model is that the bracelet looks like an ordinary watch bracelet, without any unique design. Internally, it still did not feature an in-house movement.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas from 2004-2016. Image from Monochrome Watches.

In 2004, the Overseas was updated again. Aesthetic improvements include the newer bracelet and a stronger accent of the Maltese cross on the bezel. The 2004 update features for the first time the middle part of the bracelet having some design elements of the Vacheron Constantin logo integrated in it. At this point, mechanisms are still modified movements of other brands, including Jaeger-LeCoultre.

The current Vacheron Constantin Overseas ref. 4500V/110A-B128

The current iteration of the Vacheron Constantin Overseas was launched in 2016. The model has perfected the integration of tradition with modernity. The current Overseas models range from the simple self-winding ones up to the complicated models with tourbillons, perpetual calendars, moon phases, and more. The Overseas now feature in-house movements. All the movements feature the Hallmark of Geneva, or the “Geneva Seal”. Watches given the Geneva Seal have been thoroughly tested for quality.

Some of the gold models of the Overseas.

Commonalities of the Royal Oak, Nautilus, and Overseas

It is important to note that the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, the Patek Philippe Nautilus, and the Vacheron Constantin Overseas (previously 222) shared three notable things: decade of launch, base of movement, and unibody design.

All three watches were launched in the 1970s, during the time when quartz seriously threatened the Swiss watch industry.

All three watches used movements based on Jaeger-LeCoultre’s caliber 920.

Lastly, the Nautilus, Royal Oak, and the Overseas all had a unibody design wherein the metal bracelet was integrated to the watch case.

Why should every serious watch collector have a Vacheron Constantin Overseas?

Made by Vacheron Constantin

Anything made by Vacheron Constantin is guaranteed to be of the highest standards. Vacheron Constantin leaves no aspect undone, both externally and internally. The materials used in the case and the bracelet are solid and are of quality. The movement, as mentioned earlier, features the coveted Geneva Seal.


You receive a metal bracelet, a rubber strap, and a leather strap when you purchase an Overseas.

When you purchase the Overseas, you get a metal band (steel or gold), a rubber strap, and a leather strap. Switching is made easy through a quick change mechanism. The best part of it all is that the Overseas looks good in all of the bands. With the inclusion of the three bands, you have a watch which can adapt to any situation.


Despite the long lines for the Patek Philippe Nautilus, Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, and the Rolex Daytona, these watches can be seen all over the place. There’s just an irony that it is unavailable but then many people have it. Due to the increasing prices brought about by speculation, these watches have lost some intrinsic value as they have become commodities and trading items for some. The Overseas does not suffer from the problem of long lines and price speculation. You will be able to purchase and obtain an Overseas in a similar time as you would with any Vacheron Constantin piece. You will also be secured in knowing that there are not much people who purchase and flip the Overseas for a higher price. And lastly, you will be happy to know that you will likely be the only person wearing the Overseas in a room at any given time.

People are asking why the Overseas has not reached the same level of cult-like following as with the Nautilus, Royal Oak, and the Daytona.

The easiest answer would be that Vacheron Constantin is not as aggressive in marketing the watch. Another answer is that there are much fewer celebrities and known personalities wearing the watch.

But then again, does Vacheron Constantin really want that attention? I would say that the attention is not needed. Watchmaking perfection is not dependent on the attention a watch gets. Watchmaking perfection depends on the craftsmanship of the watch combined with the appreciation of a person. Given this, I can say that the Overseas is truly a masterpiece and it remains a watch reserved for those with greater discernment in watches. There is absolutely no need for a cult-like following to understand that the Overseas is an absolute treasure.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas is available through its boutique. Starting price of the quartz model (33mm) is at P770,000. Starting price of the self-winding models are at P1,050,000. (37mm) and P1,130,000 (41mm).