The year of 2015 celebrates Christie’s 55 years of stand-alone watch sales. The international department’s first sale of the year will be in Dubai, when Christie’s will offer 185 watches. This is the largest offering of any watch sale in the Middle East and will take place on the night of 19 March at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel. Amongst the selected lots features a Patek Philippe – ref 5104 – with an estimate of $450,000-650,000, which is the most valuable estimate ever put against a watch offered in Dubai.
The sale will include watches from all major firms starting with Audemars Piguet and ending with Zodiac – a total of 48 watchmakers from around the world will be represented in this sale and the most vintage watch dates from 1947 and the most modern watch from 2013 – 66 years of watchmaking to be discovered at Christie’s.
This is the first sale put together by Christie’s new regional specialist Rémy Julia, who has taken the role following the promotion of Frederic Watrelot to head of watch sales in Asia. Rémy came to Christie’s with more than 10 years of experience working with luxury brands in brand management and business development roles in the Middle East and India.
The top lot (illustrated above) of the sale is a Patek Philippe, ref 5104P, made in 2009 and sold from a distinguished private collection and is one of less than 6 examples to have come up for auction to date, underlining once again the true exclusivity of the brand. Patek Philippe has created a prestigious timepiece that perhaps more than any other reflects the underlying values of the last family-owned watchmaking company in Geneva: innovation and tradition; aesthetics and technology; complexity and simplicity. For the first time a Grande Complication wristwatch crafted by Patek Philippe affords more than a caseback view of the mechanical marvels inside. The 5104 features a transparent dial that reveals the normally concealed complex mechanisms on the front. It takes two years just to craft the parts, assemble the movement and adjust its rate to perfection, meaning that the Geneva based workshop can only produce 8-10 of these rare watches a year (estimate: $450,000-650,000).
Beside the Patek Philippe ref 5401P the sale offers ref 5951P by the same house, an extremely fine and rare platinum cushion-shaped perpetual calendar single button split second chronograph wristwatch, made circa 2011. The art deco styling on the case is an additional feature (estimate: $300,000-500,000). Another is the Breguet, ref 3757 is another “classic complications model” made in 2002 with a fine and rare 18k gold perpetual calendar tourbillon movement. Also including a retrograde date and leap year indication, it will be offered with an estimate of $60,000-80,000. Among the Modern Masters are vintage trophies of the future, including ref. 160.029, the Lange 1 Model by A. Lange & Söhne, made in 2008 (estimate: $25,000-35,000) and the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Grand Prix limited edition model, an oversized platinum and ceramic chronograph wristwatch. Made in 2010, it is one of only 75 ever made (estimate: $50,000-80,000). From another limited edition comes C1 Tourbillon Gravity Model made by Concord circa 2008 and number 1 out of 10 (estimate: $35,000-55,000).
Christie’s Dubai Watch Sale takes place on 19 March at Jumeirah Emirates Towers in the Godolphin Ballroom at 19pm. www.christies.com