It was only a little over 24 hours ago that we told you today’s Heritage auction had a few crazy rare pieces hitting the block. One of those pieces was an incredible Tudor Big Crown Submariner ref. 7924 that was causing lots of chatter in watch collecting circles. We knew the results would be worth paying attention to, but it turns out they’re even better than we anticipated – this watch commanded a price of $162,500, including buyer’s premium, making it the most expensive vintage Tudor ever sold at auction.
For a little context, the previous record holder is a bit of a nontraditional example. The ref. 7923 is the very first Tudor Sub, from 1953) and the only reference powered by a hand-wound movement. This example surfaced on eBay back in April 2017 and ended up pulling down $99,999 – that number might look a bit suspicious, but it’s the max that eBay will let you bid without going through special protocol, so things ended there naturally. It popped up for sale immediately after from a reputable dealer for a great deal more.
Adding one more wrinkle to the story is the Black Bay One, a unique modern diver produced by Tudor for the 2015 Only Watch auction. This piece pulled in a monumental CHF 375,000, more than 120 times the list price of a standard Black Bay, and it still sits at the top of the Tudor pantheon as the most expensive Tudor of all time. Two years later, the Black Bay One Bronze commanded a similarly high price of CHF 350,000 at that year’s Only Watch, again showing the results that you can achieve with a unique, modern piece from the brand. It’s hard to imagine what could unseat these two, but with the way the market is going these days, never say never.