Harry Winston Opus Watches Impress at Christie’s Auction
These days it’s not that easy to be impressed with the astronomical sums brought in by fine watches when they hit the auction block but the price commanded by a very special set of Harry Winston timepieces at a recent event is worth noting.
At a Christie’s Important Watches auction in Hong Kong, buyers had the rare opportunity to bid on a complete set of seven Harry Winston Opus watches. The chance to win a complete set of these legendary timepieces drove the final sale price up to $1.17 million, a sum greatly exceeding the estimate expected for this collection.
At the same auction, a Patek Philippe Ref. 5074 with pink-gold dial sold for an eye-popping $471,744, the highest price for a single item.
This Christie’s Important Watches event has to be considered a major success since 484 of the 514 available lots sold bringing in a total of $17 million.
Luxury Retailers to Join Forces for Retail Website?
One website that stocks items from most of the world’s top retailers of luxury products sounds like a dream come true for shoppers but one South African billionaire has plans to create just such a site—with a little help from the competition.
Johann Rupert, chairman of the Richemont Group, has invited LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE and Gucci owner Kerning SA to join him in the development of a luxury retail website that can compete with online giants like Amazon.
So why isn’t Rupert launching this project on his own? “We’re not big enough,” he told the audience at Monaco’s Financial Times Business of Luxury Summit this week. “What I said to them was they can come in and get equity in the company.”
Such a website would go into direct competition with the recent merger of online luxury retailers Yoox and Net-a-Porter which reported combined sales of $1.5 billion in 2014.
Rupert is aware of the challenges facing such an enterprise. Just last month he stated that Internet retail is “really a big boys’ game,” adding “It’s not for the faint of heart.”