By Michelle Graff
New York--A Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref. 1665 that once belonged to oceanographer and filmmaker Philippe Cousteau Sr. exceeded its pre-sale estimate when it sold for $183,750 at Antiquorum Tuesday. 

The rare, stainless steel diver’s chronometer wristwatch, which originally was expected to sell for up to $150,000, features center seconds, a helium escape valve, a double-red Sea-Dweller logo, date and Rolex Oyster fliplock bracelet.

“As demonstrated by (the) auction, collectors continue to zealously bid on rare timepieces with importance provenance,” said Antiquorum President and CEO Evan Zimmermann. 

Overall, the auction house’s 229-lot New York sale of Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces totaled $3.7 million, with international participation from China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States.

Leading the sale was a very fine and unique set of Vacheron Constantin Metiers d’Art Les Masques from 2008, made in 18-karat yellow, pink and white gold and platinum, which sold for $603,750 to a Chinese collector.

Patek Philippe timepieces also achieved strong results, with a Ref. 3979 minute-repeater with a possibly unique Breguet dial selling for $351,750. Two examples of a Patek Philippe Ref. 5004 also sold, in pink gold for $219,750 and the platinum version for $231,750.

Antiquorum USA Watch Director Saori Omura said the auction house is “very pleased” with its first auction of the season. 

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