The Autumn auction season is fast approaching! On Saturday the 31st of October, things will officially kick off with Monaco Legend Group’s auction, which will take place at the Hôtel Hermitage in Monte Carlo. Here at IWS, we’ve selected our Top 10 lots that we would bid for, and we’re thrilled to talk you guys through them all!
Simply put, when we first flicked through the catalogue, we were stunned. Not only for the rarity of some of the pieces, but for the overall selection, too. It’s a great ensemble with lots of variation – but above all – every single lot is in pristine condition. This is no doubt thanks to the curator of this auction: the legendary collector (and owner of the house!) Davide Parmegiani and his associate Claude Cohen.Fabrizio Bonvicino, IWS Co-Founder
Auctions nowadays are pretty much defined by two watches: Daytonas and Pateks. So, for our Top 10 picks, we decided to branch out and get a diverse range. Fair play to Monaco Legend Group for their broad selection of many different types of watches in sensational conditions, and at sensible prices.
In this article, you’ll find a brief description of the lot as well as its estimated price. For more photos and information (i.e. year, kit/box & papers, dimensions) you can always refer to the online catalogue or the auction Instagram page.
Background to Monaco Legend Group
Before we dive into the list, we wanted to give some context behind the Auctioneers. Even though it’s a new face in the world of auctions, Monaco Legend Group has soared through the ranks in a very short space of time, hosting a multitude of auctions, including ones for fine art, classic cars, jewellery and, of course, watches.
Based in the heart of Monaco, the auction house really upped their watch game in 2019, when famed collector Davide Parmegiani bought a 50% stake in the company. Given his expertise and reputation in the horological world, Parmegiani took the helm with a vision to increase the organisation’s foothold in the market through high profile and rare watch auctions (like this upcoming one), aided by his experienced and knowledgeable team.
So, what should we expect from this auction? Above all, tasteful selection, as well as rarity, in a very picturesque Monegasque setting, all hosted by the friendly faces of Davide Parmegiani and Claude Cohen.
Without further ado, let’s begin!
#10 – Lot 062 | An Oversized Doxa Chronograph
If the keyword is “condition”, look no further than this pristinely preserved Doxa Chronograph. As we mentioned before, chronographs (one model in particular immediately springs to mind) have dominated the auction scene, and we have a feeling that at Monaco Legend Group’s event, this impeccable piece will be no exception.
Lot 62 certainly brings a lot to the table: an oversized and stepped case, a well-structured steel bracelet, pump-style pushers and a beautiful dial featuring a telemetric scale. If we look at the estimated price, it’s pretty much a no-brainer. So don’t walk. Run.
Estimated price: € 8,000 – 16,000
#9 – Lot 038 | A Patek Philippe Pocket Watch
Us Italians are familiar with the term “Understated” as a concept, but in practice? A little less so. It’s kind of like the “typical” Milanese elegance: no big brands and logos in your face, but rather a cream-coloured turtle-neck with a blue blazer. However, they’re both in Loro Piana cashmere.
This Patek Philippe pocket watch is perhaps the perfect embodiment of that example in a horological context. It’s easy to get caught up in a myriad of rare, flashy and eye-popping timepieces, so sometimes these types of watches fly under the radar, but they’re no less attractive…. on the contrary!
At the same time though, this watch knows that a sensible person with very good taste will at least acknowledge its presence, and appreciate its beauty.
We are before a no-nonsense, elegant chronograph, with a simple and clean dial, featuring a 60-second track, indicated by expertly and intricately crafted hands. The pink gold case measures in at 48mm across, and houses a magnificently finished movement.
With the resurgence of pocket watches in today’s times, it would be unwise to let this opportunity to pass you by.
Estimated price: € 15,000 – 30,000
#8 – Lot 219 | A Rolex Yacht Master in full yellow gold
This certainly isn’t your average Rolex, no sir: the white dial, black indices and Tritium-filled triangular plots help this full-gold Yacht-Master give a new meaning to luxury sportswatches. Many would look away from this hefty chunk of gold, describing it as gaudy and loud… but we love it.
Let’s take a better look at those golden triangles, because it’s a rather unusual feature for any Rolex to have. The Yacht-Masters of that time featured precious stones for hour markers, or they were simply black, as is the case for this exemplar. So, in order to improve luminosity and legibility, Rolex designers decided to keep these original hour markers, and add these inner tritium-filled triangles.
Straight out of Mondani’s private collection, this isn’t this ref. 16628’s first rodeo: we last saw it up for auction by Antiquorum in 2006. Credit to its previous owners for keeping it in NOS conditions!
Estimated price: € 10,000 – 20,000
#7 – Lot 158 | An Agassiz World Timer
If this article were up to our Editor-in-Chief Andrea, all 10 of these picks would be Lot 158 – this one here. How come? In his own words: “world timer complication; historic watchmaker and manufacturer; breathtaking bracelet and a classic 1940s design. What more can I ask for?”
Indeed, this one watch alone embodies many of the qualities of the high-end watchmaking pioneers (like the Patek 1415).
It’s not the first time that we’ve talked about this famous complication on IWS (in fact, we wrote a couple of articles it: here, and here!), but this has to be one of the very few times when we’re left speechless and stunned by just how elegant this Agassiz is.
This is a watch that is filled with value, history, charm, and above all, genius: invented by Louis Cottier, this hyper-technical complication is usually accompanied by an out-of-this-world pricetag, but in this case, we’re – again – stunned by the estimate price for this world timer. If you have even the slightest of common sense, you’d definitely raise your paddle when Lot 158 reaches the auction block.
Estimated price: € 30,000 – 60,000
#6 – Lot 143 | Rolex Pre-Daytona ref. 6234
Pre-Daytona aficionados certainly aren’t few and far between, but what they seek certainly is, especially when it comes to a perfectly preserved 6234 like this one. Whether it be the tastefully lacquered black dial or the “T-Swiss-T” signature upon it, or even just how well the bracelet has maintained its structure, this exemplar that Monaco Legend Group is auctioning is most definitely one of the best that’s ever been made (of which there are only 3000).
Estimated price: € 200,000 – 400,000
#5 – Lotto 264 | Rolex Daytona ref. 6265
Right – picture this: take a manually-wound Rolex Daytona. Now, pair it with the caliber 727, and mount it on a full yellow gold case with a matching riveted bracelet. Add a deep black dial and – why not – contrast it with some eye-popping champagne signatures, and sub-dials with black indices and hands. Then, the icing on the cake: add in its original box, papers, warranty and all the other cool bits and bobs, and hey presto! You’ve got yourself this stunning Lot 264 in Monaco Legend Group’s auction.
A cornerstone when it comes to non-automatic Daytonas, the 6265 is a super cool reference which is soaking in its time in the spotlight, and this yellow gold exemplar isn’t planning on stepping out of it anytime soon. What else can we say? You can clearly see from the photos that it’s in exceptional NOS conditions.
The lot comes with all-original-everything, including an additional champagne dial. Trust us when we say that you will never see something like this anytime soon.
Estimated price: € 100,000 – 200,000
#4 – Lots 118 & 184 | Patek Philippe Tasti Tondi 1463
Not to sound melodramatic, but the Patek Philippe ref. 1463 “Tasti Tondi” is much more than a watch. Sure, I mean, aside from being one of the most famous chronographs to be manufactured by the most prestigious watchmaker on Earth, it also represents a historic partnership between Patek Philippe and pioneering casemakers Borgel/Taubert, the product of which is manifested by these two jaw-dropping pieces, whose anti-slip surface treatment to their pushers and crowns are identifiable from miles away.
(By the way, you can read the story of Taubert and Borgel in this article here!)
This watch is so nice, on the 31st of October, Monaco Legend Group will offer it twice: yep, two Patek 1463s are up for auction. Have a look at them side by side, and begin the endless debate as to which one you like more.
NB: as is almost customary nowadays, steel (yes, steel) is king when it comes to estimated price.
Both exemplars are accompanied by official Patek Philippe archive extracts.
Estimated price: € 250,000 – 500,000 (Rose Gold, 118)
Estimated price: € 280,000 – 500,000 (Steel, 184)
#3 – Lot 170 | Antonio Carattino’s Rolex 6036
Horology has always been, and will always be intertwined with navigation and exploration, especially from a maritime point of view. What links John Harrison with Antonio Carattino? Their love for watches, the sea, and success.
For the most part, watch collectors mainly look for two things when it comes to timepieces: quality and history (synonyms include: character, personality, sentiment…), and this Rolex 6036 ticks both boxes, and then some.
Antonio Carattino was Max Oberti’s trusted skipper to S/Y TWIN VI, who won the Coppa Italia in the unforgiving seas off the coast of Helsinki. In doing so, he brought the trophy back home.
For us Italians in particular, this is (again, this will be the second time I say it in this article) much more than “just” a rare Rolex, but it represents Italian national pride and victory. On a personal note, this is exactly what we at IWS love about watches: they’re symbolic of something much bigger than wealth or fashion… they’re vessels to store memories, too, and that’s exactly the case for this ref. 6036.
Whoever lands this Italian National Heirloom following Monaco Legend Group’s auction, we wish them all the best, and hope that they treat it with great care and respect.
Estimated price: € 180,000 – 360,000
#2 – Lot 155 | Audemars Piguet Chrono Ref.5518
What? An Audemars Piguet that’s not a Royal Oak? Indeed!
The brand from Le Brassus is much, much more than the watchmaker that brought you the Royal Oak: it has a very rich history which spans long before the flagship model’s release.
Lot 155 is a perfect example of this: one of the very few Audemars Piguet chronographs that was made before the 60s (one of 307, to be precise, 52 of which were made in steel, like this one). Although these production numbers aren’t too far off those of today (how long is the waiting list again?), back then, AP was a totally different brand.
But let’s just take a minute to appreciate this truly magnificent ref. 5518, because it’s not just an ordinary vintage AP chronograph, oh no: given their long-standing association with the sporting world, just 8 of these watches were awarded to the winners of the renowned “Épreuves Internationales de Ski” event.
In 1960, the Swedish legend Bengt “Silver-Bengt” Eriksson was the winner of this prestigious competition, and consequentially, the recipient of this timepiece.
This victory follows his silver medal at the Winter Olympics in Cortina d’Ampezzo, an event he wasn’t even meant nor expected to compete in.
Sticking to the auction’s theme of impeccable conditions, the timepiece displays a peculiar patina and a crystal-clear engraving on the caseback. But, when you think about it though, the story alone would make us want to have this watch. Normally, “condition is everything”, but with a history like that? My word.
Oh, and if that’s not enough, it is thought that this piece is the only one ever to feature a rose gold crown and pushers.
Estimated price: € 100,000 – 200,000
#1 – Lot 100 – | Rolex Paul Newman RCO
Okay, I know, I said that the auction scene was dominated by the Rolex Daytona, but there was no way this wasn’t going to take the number one spot, especially since it’s a 6263 “Paul Newman“.
Sure, there are some watches in this list which are have a more intriguing story behind the individual piece itself, but none are as rare quite like this one: it’s an “Oyster Sotto”
Literally, it means “Oyster Below” – as you can see, the “Oyster” signature is located below the “Chronograph” writing. At first read it might not be all that exciting, but you have to remember that this dial variation is so incredibly rare, that, up until now, literature suggests that less than 20 exemplars exist.
The entirely factory-original and coeval dial features a “T-Swiss-T” marking, as well as a red “Daytona” writing, tri-colour-schemed sub-dials and “Millerighe” chronograph pushers – the complete package, basically.
But that’s not even close to everything: some of the documents that accompany this lot is an additional guarantee from one of the previous owners of this rare piece. In 2011, a very important collector sold this timepiece to none other than the auctioneer-in-chief himself, Davide Parmegiani. They’ve been reunited at last, but not for long!
Could this be the Holy Grail? I mean, it’s not Paul Newman’s Paul Newman, but this is pretty damn close.
Estimated price: €500,000 – 1,000,000
To view the full catalogue for the October 31st Monaco Legend Group Auction, click here!
There are a multitude of ways you can participate in this auction; you can find all the terms and conditions on the site.
Need a quick refresher on your auction knowledge? Have a read of our article which guides you through auction etiquette and lingo!
Written by Andrea C. and Fabrizio B, translated by Patrick R.