This year’s Melbourne Cup is over, but now there’s an exciting new race, with the runners and riders taking horological form. That’s because this Sunday, Phillips is hosting the Hong Kong Watch Auction: XI. There’s a drool-worthy collection of pieces up for grabs, including watches from Patek Philippe, A. Lange & Söhne and many more. But there are also some eyebrow-raising inclusions with lots 813-817 dedicated to Rolex’s new range of Oyster Perpetuals in a veritable sorbet rainbow of colours.
These lots stand out, not because of the eye-popping colours, but because of the fact that these stainless-steel pieces are all brand new. Swiss made fake Rolex only revealed the collection on September 1. Yet Phillips have already deemed these OPs – which aren’t even limited – to be sufficiently valuable to be worthy of auction. We’ll get onto the broader implications of this for the watch world later.
There’s no doubt the bright lacquered dials of this rejigged collection have met with predictably massive demand. The vivid hues felt like a welcome dose of feel-good energy and playful fun – sorely needed after what’s been, let’s face it, a pretty grim year. But which colour will prove to be the most popular? Phillips’ decision to auction off these pieces may be controversial, but as potential buyers place their bids, it will offer a fascinating insight into which specific colour has the highest market value. Putting on our tipster hat, here are Time+Tide’s predictions as to how things might play out on the day.
Admittedly, that we’re even speculating about any of this represents the madness of the current situation. Auction houses, after all, specialise in trading the most rare and valuable goods that cannot be bought through standard retail channels. In listing this Oyster Perpetual family, Phillips are flatly acknowledging that brand-new, stainless-steel replica Rolex watches are now similarly unattainable.