At Sotheby's Hong Kong auction yesterday, the original hand-painted design of a specific watch was sold for $610,586. In case you didn't know, this was the design that would go on to become the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak.
Due to the reputation of Gerald Genta as a modern-day luxury watch designer, the price tag is not too surprising. Asides from the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, Genta was responsible for the design of watches like the Patek Philippe Nautilus and IWC Ingenieur. He is also responsible for the Omega Constellation, the Universal Geneve Polerouter, and the Bulgari Bulgari, among others. He gracefully painted several of the watches he designed during his watch designing career.
Thirty bidders competed for the painting in the first of Sotheby's Gerald Genta: Icon of Time auctions that is to be held this year. Subsequently, the auctions will feature 100 of Genta's original designs, each accompanied by NFTs giving biographical information on the late designer.
$163,544 was also paid for the initial draft of the Royal Oak prototype. This draft was not the same as the final production model.
The Nautilus original design will be auctioned in Hong Kong in March. This will be followed by designs of "Retro Fantasy" Disney character watches in New York in April. Then, finally, may would see the series finale, where Genta's personal Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watch will be auctioned off.