Common belief about the NFT trend is that of a sharply rising fad that will eventually settle down. Till then there are mind-numbing amounts of fortunes to be made and lost in the blockchain. The world’s largest brands including adidas, Lamborghini, Nike, Louis Vuitton, Samsung, and McDonald’s have already jumped on the NFT bandwagon.
Now it’s another big name from the watchmaking industry joining the ranks. Sotheby’s announced a few months back the unique auction to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Royal Oak by the inventive Swiss watchmaker and designer Gérald Genta. Now, the original prototype design of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak from 1972 and the accompanying NFT has fetched a mind-numbing price tag of CHF 564,500 (approx. $610,000).
Original Audemars Piguet Royal Oak drawings
The auction of the highly valued collector’s item was split into three sales – the first one commencing on February 24. At the auction the original drawings of the iconic timepiece garnered the most attention.
This watch artwork from the 1970s was made on paper using watercolor and has been intricately designed to feature the intricate details of the Royal Oak timepiece. Gérald Genta has personally put up his signature on this rare collectible that gets a NFT along with digital certificates to prove its authenticity.
Sold in the penultimate moments
The artwork and the NFT had no pre-sale estimates by the auction house because of the rare nature of the collectible. At the auction, the winning bid was made by Audemars Piguet with only eight seconds left before time was over. Now, AP will put up the prototype design on display at the Bjarke Ingels-designed museum.
The personal Royal Oak Jumbo of the watchmaker is set to make an appearance in Geneva in May 2022 when the final phase of the auction will conclude. Along with the timepiece, four oil paintings by the watchmaker will also be sold. This will be a tribute to the Nautilus timepieces as well.
Part of the auction sales will go to the Gérald Genta Heritage Association which will use the money to encourage and reward young watchmakers. This will be set into motion the first edition of the Gérald Genta Prize for Young Talent.