The ‘Doctor’ Is In: Ultra-Rare Watches from Phillips’ Geneva Sale


Words by: JPS for duncan quinn

We recently waxed poetic on a ludicrously cool Breitling Duograph coming up for auction by Phillips in Geneva

on May 14. Turns out that’s far from being the only tremendously lust-worthy timepiece in the epic sale. The event at the posh Hôtel La Réserve will run for two days and give many collectors conniptions if they’re too slow with the paddle and chequebook. Here are our top picks from the sale:

1.    Rolex Daytona Ref. 6239 “The Doctor”, up to $780,000

Bet you thought all Daytonas were made for the racetrack. Nope. This ultra-rare example, custom ordered for a VIP client, features a pulsometer scale in place of the usual tachymeter so that it’s owner, a doctor, could quickly calculate a patient’s heart rate. Made in 1966 and one of less than a handful known to exist with such a dial, Phillips calls it “one of the rarest treasures in the revered Rolex Daytona family.”

2. Rolex Submariner Ref. 5513 “Double Swiss”, up to $83,000

Launched in the early ‘60s, the 5513 had the longest production run of all Submariner models. This highly unusual example features two ‘Swiss’ markings, one printed in gilt, the other with white ink, the first time such a features has been seen on 5513 dial. Made in 1963 Phillips also cites its “magnificent and original glossy dial”.

3. Patek Philippe Ref. 1463 “Freccero”, up to $575,000

We’ve noted our predilection for ultra-rare Patek sports models, and this water-resistant steel chronograph from 1955 may the coolest of the them all. Featuring a two-tone silvered dial, applied Arabic and baton hour markers, outer tachometer scale and bracelet, it was retailed by the famed firm of Freccero & Cia.

4. Omega Speedmaster Ref. 145.012-67 SP, up to $62,000

One of the rarest and most valuable Speedmasters ever, this example features “lyra” style twisted lugs with an asymmetric case incorporating crown guards and a tachometer scale on the bezel. The incredibly scarce matte black dial known as the “racing dial” is one of just ten examples known to exist.

5.  Zenith EL Primero Ref. A3818, up to $12,500

In 1969 Zenith first debuted their ‘El Primero’ line as the firm’s first chronograph featuring an automatic movement, but in 1975 foolishly decided to destroy the machinery necessary to make it in favor of quartz equipment. One man hid some of the equipment however and in 1984 the saved tools were put back to work and the production of the ‘El Primero’ resumed. This is one of the originals.

Words by JPS for duncan quinn