There’s a sale on fine watches coming up soon, and it sounds so fabulous that it’s like a trip to Disneyland for lovers of fine timepieces—especially the ones that can afford to drop big bucks on a rare and precious piece. What should watch lovers be looking for at this lavish event?
Christie’s auction house has a long and illustrious history of offering some of the most historic and expensive treasures to be found anywhere in the world, and the sale taking place on October 22 is no exception. The largest watch sale in the history of Christie’s will be held at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel in Dubai and will showcase 150 luxury watches. The anticipated take for this sale? $2.2 million in U.S. dollars.
This is the second such sale for Christie’s, which launched the event in 2013. According to Christie’s watch specialist Frederic Watrelot, “The initial sale had around 50 lots and now we have tripled this number – a sure sign of the level of interest from collectors based locally with our established collectors bidding against a new group of buyers with each season.”
The most coveted item on the auction block this time around is a Harry Winston Histoire de Tourbillon No. 1 model, one of the most expensive watches in the world. The Histoire de Tourbillon line was launched in 2009 but has since been discontinued, making the few watches in the collection even rarer and more in demand by collectors. There are just 20 limited edition pieces of this watch, which has a 48mm case crafted in Geneva from white gold and Zalium, an ultra light alloy. This Histoire de Tourbillon No. 1 is expected to go for somewhere in the neighborhood of $200,000 to $300,000.
If you miss out on one of the Histoire de Tourbillon No. 1, one of the highly prized No. 2 models can also be viewed starting October 19 and is expected to fetch $130,000 to $230,000. This style also had only 20 pieces made.
Also on display will be watches from the upcoming Patek Philippe 175th anniversary sale, which will take place this November in Geneva. At last year’s watch auction at Christie’s, a Patek Philippe brought in a hefty $341,000. This Patek Philippe featured 42 emeralds with a total weight of 3.3 carats. The never-worn beauty was expected to sell for $280,000 to $350,000, so the watch’s price lived up to the hype. Since this item was one of only ten made and the waiting list for a Patek Philippe watch can go on for years, this was an especially coveted piece.
There’s more to this luxury auction than just watches. Also going on the block will be seven opulent pens decorated with diamonds and other precious gems. The star of the collection is a white gold ballpoint from Italy’s Ancora line that is set with 10 carats of diamonds plus 20 carats of sapphires. This pen should bring a sum between $50,000 and $80,000.
All of these decadently delectable items are likely to wind up in the hands of collectors or the ridiculously rich, but the rest of us can admire the artistry and craftsmanship that goes into such rare and coveted treasures. The watches going up for auction may be viewed in the Godolphin Ballroom of the Jumeirah Emierates Towers Hotel October 19 through 22. The auction will take place starting at 7 p.m. on October 22. The e-catalogue can be viewed at www.christies.com.