Record €3.98 million watch auctions vault Rexhepi to top tier

The highly niche watch brand was set up by 37-year-old former Patek Philippe apprentice

Unique Rexhep Rexhepi Chronomètre Antimagnétique sold for 2.1 million Swiss francs at the Only Watch charity auction. Source: Akrivia

Three watches made by Switzerland’s Rexhep Rexhepi sold for a combined €3.98 million at auction, cementing the young Geneva watchmaker’s place among top tier collector brands including F.P. Journe and Patek Philippe.

A unique ‘Chronomètre Antimagnetique’ fetched 2.1 million Swiss francs (€2.13 million) at the Only Watch charity auction on Friday. The next day, his ‘Chronomètre Contemporain’ with a platinum case made in 2019 sold for a record 1.2 million Swiss francs including buyer fees at the Phillips Geneva auction. And on Sunday, a titanium Akrivia brand watch with a tourbillon, produced in 2015, sold for about €650,000 at Phillips.

The record results place Rexhepi among the highest price and interest levels for watch collectors. The 37-year-old struck out on his own in 2012 after working as a watchmaker at Patek Philippe and F.P. Journe. He immigrated to Switzerland from Kosovo at the age of 12 and took on an apprenticeship at Patek Philippe at 14.

“It’s a surprise for me,” Rexhepi said in an interview on Sunday following the auctions. “I couldn’t have expected this and these are really big numbers.”

From a small workshop in Geneva’s old town, the Rexhep Rexhepi brand currently produces just 40 to 50 watches per year. Rexhepi designs and produces unique movements for each watch model and the company now makes its own dials, watch cases and straps.

In comparison, top independent watch brand F.P. Journe produces between 900 and 1,000 mechanical watches per year from its operations in Geneva. Patek Philippe, the 185-year-old Swiss brand famous for its perpetual calendar chronographs coveted by collectors, makes about 70,000 watches.

A unique F.P. Journe watch featuring a rose gold movement with a tantalum case and bracelet sold for 2 million francs at the Only Watch charity auction Friday, slightly below the Rexhep Rexhepi 2.1 million franc sale.

A one-of-a-kind Patek Philippe grande and petite-sonnerie, minute repeater with a stainless steel case sold for 15.7 million francs at Only Watch, the top result in the charity auction sale.