Christie’s Watch Expert on What Timepieces to Buy at Auction


Auction. Photos: Courtesy of Christie's.
Christe’s auctioneer Rahul Kadakia in action. Photos: Courtesy of Christie’s

With the Christie’s Watches Online auction in full swing (running from November  23rd to December 7th), we decided to catch up with the their timepiece specialist, Brandon Frazin, to hear what he had to say about buying these luxury collectibles in the secondary market.

Which timepieces have seen the most appreciation in the last several years?

Many vintage watches have seen strong appreciation, notably from brands like Rolex, Omega, Universal Genève, Heuer, and Longines. They have all risen in popularity with collectors. Buyers are realizing the quality, beauty, and rarity of other brands beyond the auction mainstays of Patek Philippe and Rolex. 

Rolex Daytona, REF. 16520 All photos: Christie’s


Heuer Autavia, Ref. 2446 C

Which models within well-known brands like Rolex and Patek are the most sought after?

Patek Philippe Steel Nautilus Ref.3700/1

Some of the most desirable models from Rolex are vintage steel sports watches like the Daytonas, Submariners, GMT-Masters, and Sea-Dwellers. The most desirable models from Patek Philippe are anything in stainless steel (vintage or modern), Nautilus, time-only Calatravas, and other vintage complicated models. Collectors are looking for all original examples in excellent condition and are willing to pay top dollar for such models.

How has the auction market for watches changed from a year ago?

It is constantly changing. We have integrated a strong digital sales strategy that complements and runs tandem to our live global auctions. Nearly every month, our global specialists curate online-only auctions that offer a wide selection of fine vintage and modern timepieces from Patek Philippe, Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin, Heuer, Omega, Blancpain, Breguet, Cartier, Longines, and other brands. Offering traditional salesroom auctions and online sales, along with our digital fixed-price retail hub Watch Shop, has helped us to expand our reach and geographic footprint to fit with client interest and demand

How old does a watch need to be to have value at auction?

A watch does not have to be old. Some vintage watches are more valuable and will have stronger results but there is no age a watch needs to be in order to be considered for auction. We have some great modern pieces. for example the Jaeger-LeCoultre New York City Skyline Reverso, Ref. 277862.

Jaeger -Le Coultre New York City Skyline Reverso,Ref 277862