We caught up with Christie’s Watch Specialist, Frederic Watrelot ahead of Christie’s Watch Sale in Dubai. Watrelot gave us an inside look into some of the upcoming sale’s most alluring timepieces:
What are some of the star pieces in this auction and why?
The star pieces in this upcoming sale are numerous. With 157 lots, Wednesday’s Important watch sale is the most important and largest offering ever seen at an auction in this field in the Middle East. Rolex watches are in high demand and multiple bejeweled and plain Daytona, Oyster Perpetual, Day-Date models are on offer as well as two very exquisite watches by Harry Winston: Histoire de Tourbillon 1 et Histoire de Tourbillon 2, both limited editions of 20 which have been rarely seen on the market. In addition we are delighted to offer the Chronomètre Bleu Byblos by F.P. Journe as a charity lot, given by Mr. Claude Sfeir to mark the 20th anniversary of the Rashid Centre for Disabled.
What are your impressions of the Middle East market, its growth and development over the past several years?
In October 2013 we offered 50 watches in Christie’s first stand-alone watch sale in the Middle East (previously the sales combined watches and jewellery). Six months later the consignments were up by over 100 percent, offering 120 lots. Bow we have grown to 157 lots. The demand for unique and limited edition watches by the worldwide renowned houses is phenomenally high in the Middle East and at the same time a maturity of the market has kicked in as well as a growing interest for the rarest vintage watches. To underline these newer developments, Christie’s brought some of the finest examples from the “Patek Philippe 175 anniversary Sale” on preview to Dubai. These watches will be sold in Geneva early next month.
Why did Christie’s decide to re-launch its watch sales in Dubai and what has inspired this recent sale – the auction house’s largest yet?
Watches have always sold very well in the Middle East and we are well aware of where the opportunities lie in expanding our business in this department in Dubai. However, it was not possible to provide the appropriate level of support for our clients in the region without a dedicated specialist on the ground. Over the past 3 seasons the sale grew from 50 to over 150 lots with sale rates in the plus 90 percentile.
The Christie’s Watch Sales takes in Dubai on 22 October in Jumeirah Emirates Towers. For more information, visit www.christies.com