While many people look at a Rolex watch as an unnecessary luxury, others view these classic timepieces as smart investments. As it turns out those in the latter group may be on to something.
Many fine Rolex timepieces have become collector’s items, with some of the rarer and most unique watches selling for many times their original values. Those with an eye for style have long understood the lasting value of these fine timepieces, and many collectors have done quite well buying and selling within this unique venue.
In fact the market for collectible timepieces is so strong that these fine items have their own auction houses. From what we hear, one of the most exciting is the Patrizzi and Company. Founded in 2008, they are headquartered in Geneva with offices in Milan and New York.
On March 22, 2009 Patrizzi and Company auctioned the David Blei Vintage Rolex Collection of rare vintage and classic Rolex watches. By many it is considered to be in the same class as the famous Mondani Rolex collection, which was auctioned in 2006 by Antiquorum and set several world records.
Experts say that the Blei collection, although smaller, contains watches of higher quality and rarity than other past collections. Mr. Patrizzi, who is the founder of this auction house, was also the co-founder of Antiquorum. He left Antiquorum in 2007.
The Mondani Rolex collection contained 309 Rolex watches and brought $9.4M USD. Guido Mondani, a renowned Rolex expert, was well known for his attempts to create the world’s largest collection of Rolex watches and other related materials.
The Blei collection is different in scope and in style, focusing more on rarer watches, timepieces and other Rolex items. The collection of Davide Blei contained 114 watches and sold for $3.7M USD. This was the hammer price since Patrizzi and Company does not charge a buyer’s premium.
Mr. Blei, who is from Italy, did not start collecting Rolex watches until he was 41. He has long prided himself on his eye for classic collectible watches, and this auction was the ultimate reflection of his taste and style.
Watch aficionados, collectors and auction enthusiasts certainly turned out for this outstanding group of Rolex watches. It is reported that there were over 100 bidders participating in real-time online bidding as well as 200 plus bidders on the actual floor of the auction house.
The top lot was a stainless steel 1953 Rolex Oyster Perpetual that sold for $268,637.
04/03/2012 by Anne Benedetto