Chinese buyers proved their economic clout in Paris Thursday at an auction of watches owned by French actor and film idol Alain Delon.
Auction house Cornette de Saint-Cyr said that the sale brought in $590,300 as collectors and fans bid in excitement and Chinese buyers bid via phone.
Delon was not present for the sale of 100 watches he had collected for more than 50 years. His collection included top brands like Rolex, Cartier, Blancpain, Audemars-Piguet, Vacheron Constantin and Breitlin.
Before the sale, the auctions were on display in Hong Kong, where Delon is immensely popular (explaining the influx of Chinese buyers).
An Audemars Piguet “Royal Oak” was the jewel of the sale, worn by Delon films “Comme un boomerang” (1976), “Parole de flic” (1985) and “Ne reveillez pas un flic qui dort” (1988). It went to a Chinese buyer for 68,750 euros, well above the expected sale price of 2,500 euros.
Another star was a Cartier Tank, which also sold for 68,750 euros, depite the 1,800-euro estimate.
In November, Delon sold his wine collection for 250,412 euros—more than 2.5 the expectation.
Delon, 76, was hospitalized earlier this week for heart problems. He said that he wanted to get rid of his collections now because he “hates posthumous sales.”