Over $400,000 Could Be Raised at Auction For Philippe Dufour's Last Simplicity Watch

Over $400,000 Could Be Raised at Auction For Philippe Dufour's Last Simplicity Watch
Courtesy of Phillips

There are only 21 pieces of this 18-karat rose gold watch, which is a new creation from the master watchmaker.

There will be an opportunity for you at Phillips' “Retrospective: 2000-2020” sale, which takes place on November 8 in Geneva, to have an opportunity to acquire one of the most coveted timepieces from one of the greatest living masters of watchmaking. Philippe Dufour has created 21 copies of his famous Simplicity watch for the 20th anniversary of its creation, a three-hand model famous for its next-level finishing and decoration, and Phillips will be auctioning number 00 on this occasion, in a major coup for Phillips.

It's likely however that the rest of the watches will only be available to a select group of Mr. Dufour's elite collectors who are already deeply ensconced in the watchmaker's fold of elite collectors. These watches will be the last Simplicity models that the watchmaker will ever offer.

In an effort to bring this horological genre to the mainstream of horology, a watchmaker has chosen to represent independent watchmaking in a way that has gone from being reserved for the cognoscenti to one that is now competing in the same league as the power players: independent watchmaking," said Alex Ghotbi, Phillips' watch director in continental Europe and the Middle East, and Thomas Perazzi, Phillips' watch director in Asia, according to a joint statement.

The Simplicity of the present time does not only offer a watch of the same fabric as the dreams of collectors, but it also offers an opportunity for collectors to obtain one of the most important, most sought after, and most luxurious timepieces created by a living legend.

In spite of the fact that Dufour, as with most of the greatest living watchmakers, including F.P. Journe, started his career by restoring antique and vintage watches, he has since made only 230 watches by hand throughout his lifetime, and that is not hyperbole. It is estimated that he has produced only eight timepieces per year. Some of these were Simplicity pieces, while others were high-horology one-off pieces, such as the grande sonnerie pocket watch and the petite sonnerie pocket watch.

Courtesy of Philipps

It was his first series produced watch in 2000. According to Phillips, two hundred pieces were produced from 2000 to 2014, but at least 205 are thought to exist. A platinum version sold at Phillips' "Game Changers" auction in December 2019 for $325,000 with an initial estimate of $150,000-$300,000. Available in 34mm or 37mm, they come in white lacquer or silver guilloché dials with white lacquer or silver guilloché dials.

In addition to the hinged caseback and crown embellished with Dufour's initials "PD" and located at the 12 o'clock position of the watch, there are several other features on the new Simplicity models as well.

Limited to seven watches each in platinum, 18-karat rose gold or 18-karat white gold, it features a gray dial and Breguet numerals. Dufour will keep one platinum model for himself, which means that only six of that model will be available to collectors. The 00 model offered at Phillips comes in 18-karat rose gold with an estimated price of CHF 200,000-400,000 or approximately $219,740-$439,480 at current exchange rates.

Courtesy of Phillips

The Phillips 00 Anniversary model should outperform its top estimate based on Simplicity watch auction sales this year. HKD 3,528,000 or approximately $455,210 for a white gold version from 2004 and HKD 5,136,000 for a platinum piece from 2005 were sold at Sotheby's "Important Watches" auction in Hong Kong on October 9.

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