Thu, May 18, 2017

Art & Auctions
Watches sale nets $16m

Christie’s spring sale of important watches in Geneva fetched a total of CHF16.05 million ($16.01 million) with a new record set for a Patek Philippe reference 2497, known as The Haile Selassie. 

Auctioneer and head of Christie’s Geneva watch department, Thomas Perazzi opened bidding for the watch (lot 166) at CHF400,000 and it took 15 minutes until he was able to knock down the collector’s dream at CHF2.91 million ($2.90 million). 

“Selling one of only three examples of this watch was a privilege and seeing how enthusiastic the world of watches reacted to this masterpiece was really exciting. Along the 15 minutes until knockdown new bidders entered the competition constantly, either in the room or on the phones. 

The afternoon session of the auction was dedicated to Rolex and the offering of 116 watches was again very well received with strong bidding through all channels. 

The top lot in the Rolex section was the 1972 Oyster Cosmograph, Daytona Model ref. 6263, with a green Khanjar symbol. It was sold in the presence of the consignor, today a retired British Airway pilot who flew the Sultan on one of his first State visits, from Muscat to Rome in 1974. Just before landing one of the Sultan’s ministers entered the cockpit and gave the pilot the watch as gesture of thanks. 

The timepiece sold for CHF727,500, doubling its pre-sale estimate. 

Also, a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner sold for CHF631,500, again doubling its pre-sale estimate.

The Important Watches auction was much anticipated and international interest and bidding from 44 countries – one of the highest ever - was witnessed in a packed saleroom, welcoming over 100 new clients to Christie’s. 

Furthermore, did the auction achieve the highest online participation for any watch sale conducted at Christie’s with over 470 registrants.

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