Christie’s Geneva 3-Day Auction Turns Out Oppenheimer Blue Diamond at Record-Setting $57.5 million, Rare Breguet Watch at $3.3 Million and More

Throughout the past three days, Christie’s Auction House has experienced some record-setting sales of jewels, watches and wine in what may go down as one of the most successful auctions of the season. During the May 18 Magnificent Jewels Auction, the top lot sold was the Oppenheimer Blue Diamond, which reaped an incredible $57.5 million and set a new world record as the most expensive jewel sold at auction.

The Oppenheimer Blue Diamond Set a World Record -- selling at Christie's Geneva for $57.5 million.
The Oppenheimer Blue Diamond Set a World Record — selling at Christie’s Geneva for $57.5 million.

The Oppenheimer Blue diamond is a 14.62-carat rectangular cut diamond that is renowned for its deep Fancy Vivid Blue color. It was previously owned by Sir Philip Oppenheimer (of the Oppenheimer family that at one point in time controlled DeBeers Diamond Mining company), and this was the first time the stone has ever been up at auction. The sale price makes each carat of the almost 15-carat stone valued at nearly $4 million.

Oriental Sunrise earrings
Oriental Sunrise earrings

Coming in at the second-highest price of the Geneva Magnificent Jewels auction was a pair of 12.20-carat and 11.98-carat fancy vivid orange-yellow oval-cut diamond earrings. They sold for just over $11.5 million – or $476,238 per carat. Other key sales included the Pohl diamond, which sold during The Superb Jewels from the Collection of H.S.H. Gabriela Princess zu Leiningen sale. That particular diamond sold for $4.362 million dollars – or $120,876 per carat.

Pohl Diamond

The day before, on May 17, at the Fine and Rare wine Sale, Christie’s sold more than $2 million in fine wines, with the top lot (lot 91) being 10 bottles of Petrus 1982, which sold for $33,690.

Havas Breguet et Fils watch
Havas Breguet et Fils watch

On May 16, another record was set at the Auction House’s Rare Watches sale, wherein a Charles-Louis Havas Breguet et Fils Pocket watch sold for more than $3.3 million. This sale made the Breguet the most expensive watch of the spring season—and also marked the second most expensive Breguet et Fils watch ever sold at auction. The watch sold for 157 percent above its estimate.

Another strong seller during the auction was a Patek Philippe watch, lot 171, that sold for just about $1.2 million. The timepiece features a possibly unique stainless steel sector dial. The chronograph, Ref. 530, is circa 1938, and its sale set a record high for a watch with steel sector dial.

Patek Philippe, circa 1938, chronograph with stainless steel sector dial
Patek Philippe, circa 1938, chronograph with stainless steel sector dial

In total, during the spring season’s auctions, Christie’s Geneva realized combined sales of $169.2 million.

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