Time for Change: Sotheby’s Underground, Gender-Free Watch Auction

Time for Change: Sotheby's Underground, Gender-Free Watch Auction

An underground auction of vintage watches, held in a Geneva wine cellar, raised $1.3m, almost double its pre-sale high estimate.

Sotheby’s offered 24 avant garde an innovative timepieces, all of them described as “gender-free” – available for anyone to wear.

Highlight of the sale, entitled Rough Diamonds, was a 1962 Patek Philippe set, Reference 3290 (pictured), designed by Gilbert Albert featuring a bracelet watch, a ring and a necklace with each piece created in yellow gold, decorated with enamel and set with pearls. It sold for $436,000, eight times its high estimate.

Sotheby’s said the lots represented an “extraordinary selection of avant-garde and overlooked bejeweled and embellished vintage watches which, like rough diamonds, were waiting for their time to shine and be (re)discovered… Crucially, all watches needed to look and feel gender-free through a 2024 societal lens.”

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