Over 40 Watches from the Italian Scholar’s Personal Collection will be Offered During the Upcoming Geneva Watch Auction: XIX on 11 & 12 May 2024
GENEVA – 5 FEBRUARY 2024 – Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo is delighted to share that the esteemed Italian watch collector and publisher, Guido Mondani, has consigned over 40 wristwatches from his private collection as part of The Geneva Watch Auction: XIX Featuring The Guido Mondani Collection, set to take place on 11 and 12 May 2024.
Guido Mondani, a pioneering collector and prominent industry voice for nearly four decades, established a publishing house dedicated to sharing his horological scholarship in 1992. His commitment to showcasing expertise has solidified his position as a key tastemaker in the realm of vintage Rolex.
Having previously auctioned a portion of his vintage Rolex collection in 2006, which resulted in memorable results including the two most expensive Rolex wristwatches ever sold at the time, Mondani now returns to the Geneva auction stage at Phillips this May. This event marks the culmination of a collecting career spanning almost four decades, highlighting his enduring passion and contribution to the world of timepieces.
The 2024 Mondani Collection
Guido Mondani is a watch collector with few peers. His comprehensive books and guides have captured the attention and nurtured the enthusiasm of generations of watch lovers. Mondani is an elder stateman of the international collecting circuit, especially within his home country of Italy, where he’s well-known for providing advice and sharing his knowledge with anyone who asks.
Mondani will open the doors of his private collection once more during The Geneva Watch Auction: XIX Featuring The Guido Mondani Collection. The collection consists of over 40 wristwatches acquired by the Italian luminary throughout his life, including the very first watch he ever bought for himself, a Cartier, as well as a broad range of timepieces from Eberhard, Longines, Patek Philippe, and Rolex. Some of these watches are pieces that he or his family couldn’t bear to part with during the 2006 auction, while others joined his collection in more recent years as the result of his insatiable horological interest.
Highlights include the 1985 Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 6269 in 18k yellow gold (estimate: CHF 600,000 – 1,200,000) that he bought as a birthday gift for his wife while on vacation, and the pair of contemporary Rolex sport watches he acquired to commemorate the birth of his grandchildren. Mondani bought his 1955 18k pink gold Rolex Chronograph Ref. 6036 ‘Jean-Claude Killy’ (estimate: CHF 400,000 – 800,000) after a friend shared it with him seeking advice. Meanwhile, his 1938 Eberhard Rattrapante Chronograph in 18k yellow gold arrived in 1988, after Mondani purchased it off the wrist of an elderly Eberhard & Co. salesperson on their last day of work.
Now 79 years old, Mondani has decided to part with these wristwatches as a way of celebrating his past and to encourage the next generation to build their own personal collections.
Guido Mondani, collector and founder, Guido Mondani Editore, said, “I have chosen to sell the remaining part of my collection to relive the emotions of the first Mondani auction in 2006, which undoubtedly left a mark in the history of thematic watch auctions. I now feel prepared to part with the watches that I felt were too special to sell 18 years ago. This occasion is further confirmation that my continuous search for, and acquisition of, quality timepieces has brought me great satisfaction. I am excited at the prospect of seeing the watches that have marked important moments in my life go into the hands of significant collectors from around the world.”
The entire collection will go on display at Phillips’ gallery in Milan on 20 March 2024, in the presence of Guido Mondani and his entire family, who will be delighted to greet friends and collectors.
About Guido Mondani
Guido Mondani was born October 29, 1945, in Genoa, Italy. He never wore watches while growing up, eventually
purchasing a Cartier for daily wear in the 1970s. His watch collection began in earnest in 1986, after he received a Rolex with a moon-phase as a birthday gift from his wife, Franca.
From the start, Mondani has epitomized a thoughtful approach to collecting. He dedicated himself to acquiring as much knowledge as he could before making any purchases, and then taking as long as needed to find the best example of a watch possible. He never bought a watch for his collection that he wasn’t 100 percent sure was the best example he could find; he never compromised on his interest in quality over volume.
Mondani published his first book on watches, “Collecting Rolex Wristwatches,” in 1992. He’s since sold more than 100,000 copies of books published under his family’s label, “Guido Mondani Editore.” His publishing library consists primarily of dedicated works under a specific theme, such as on various Rolex and Patek Philippe timepieces, or on a topic like steel chronographs.
The first auction of Mondani’s collection, in 2006, is considered a game-changing moment in the world of both vintage Rolex and of watch collecting as a whole. The white-glove sale consisted of exactly 309 Rolex wristwatches, totaling CHF 11,037,278, including numerous world records. The results of the top two lots, a Rolex ref. 4113 split-
seconds chronograph and a black-dial Rolex ref. 6062 “Stelline,” were the two most expensive Rolex wristwatches ever sold at the time.
Aurel Bacs and Livia Russo, Senior Consultants at Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo, jointly said, “Who in the field of vintage watches, and particularly Rolex, can sincerely say that they have never heard of Guido Mondani? Guido has been at the forefront of watch collecting for nearly four decades, and the historic Guido Mondani single-owner auction in 2006, as well as the many books he and his family have published, are known to the worldwide community of watch collectors. His name is associated with knowledge, experience, and a great sense of family – not only his own family but also his role in the global family of watch collecting. After having known Guido for nearly 30 years and calling him a friend, we are honored to have been chosen to write this second chapter together and to bring some over 40 highly collectable watches from his personal collection to the market this coming spring season at Phillips in Geneva.”