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A Unique Grand Seiko Sells for a Record $478,800 at Phillips

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A unique, brand-new Grand Seiko fetched US$478,800 at a Phillips auction in New York on Sunday, setting a world record price for a timepiece by the 62-year-old Japanese luxury brand.

The timepiece from 2022, with reference number SLGT001, is the first Grand Seiko watch that combines a tourbillon and a constant-force mechanism as one unit on a single axis, a concept movement that the watchmaker has been refining since 2020. 

The model was named Kodo Constant Force Tourbillon. Kodo means heartbeat in Japanese. 

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the watch, accompanied by an exclusive trip to Japan to meet its creators, were donated to Children’s Heart Foundation, an Illinois-based organization dedicated to funding congenital heart-defect research. 

Phillips’ 179-lot watch sale in New York over the weekend realized a total of US$21.1 million, with a 100% sell-through rate.

F.P. Journe Tourbillon Souverain in platinum with a pink gold dial sold for US$1.24 million.

Courtesy of Phillips

The highest price achieved at the sale was a timepiece by F.P. Journe in platinum with a pink gold dial. Believed to be one of only six Tourbillon Souverain watches by the Swiss watchmaker with handmade pink gold dials, the 1999 wristwatch sold for US$1.24 million, more than quadrupling its presale estimate.

The sale also included the inaugural edition of TimeForArt, an initiative launched by New York-based nonprofit Swiss Institute to benefit contemporary art through watch auctions. 

Seventeen watches donated by various brands were either collaborations with leading contemporary artists or world-renowned artisans, examples of innovative craftsmanship, or limited-edition timepieces, according to Phillips. The auction raised a total of US$1.2 million for the Swiss Institute.


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