Christie’s: Online watch auctions now firmly anchored in USD 10 million-plus territory

Digital format resonates with the global High-end watch community.

Christie's: Online watch auctions now firmly anchored in USD 10 million-plus territory
Patek Ref. 1518
Reading Time: 4 minutes

The first online auction of the fall/winter season, the Watches Online: The Dubai Edit, which ended on October 27, passed the USD 10m mark once again. Solid follow-through after the strong online sale in spring – USD 14m (vs USD 2.5m in 2013). The Dubai sale had the highest number of registrants from all parts of the world recorded for a Christie’s online sale since January – 48% of clients (bidders and sellers) were new to Christie’s Watches.

Christie's: Online watch auctions now firmly anchored in USD 10 million-plus territory
Richard Mille Bubba Watson

Further cementing its reputation as an international hub for watches, Christie’s Watches Online: Dubai Edit auction realized a total of $10.5 million after a two-week bidding period (Oct 13-27) that saw registrations from across the world, underscoring this online auction as an event of true international stature. Of a total of 892 registrants, the Far East and North America accounted respectively for 24.4% of all bidders and buyers, closely followed by the Middle East at 22.7%, and Continental Europe at 17.7%. UK accounted for 4.9%. China, Australasia, India and South America were represented as well. With this result, Dubai confirms its status as a key international – not just regional – hub for collectable timepieces

Dubai’s online strong performance this Fall, especially after the strong results achieved in April, clearly indicates a gravitational shift. With sales well above the USD 10m mark at the event this October, Dubai has become a major hub for the watch market, and from this prime location we serve the Middle East, the Americas, Europe and Asia

In our Gallery in Dubai Financial district, we permanently showcase between 50 and 70 watches for private sale. So it is quite gratifying to see how strongly Christie’s Watches Online: Dubai Edit resonates with the global community, too. Sellers and bidders appreciate the Christie’s difference – the promise of a great experience that results from a shared passion,” says Rémy Julia, Director at Christies Dubai DIFC and Head of Watches Middle East – India – Africa.

The top lot of this online auction was Patek Philippe Ref. 1518, a gold perpetual calendar chronograph that was the first perpetual chronograph to be made in series by any watch company – only 281 examples of this reference were ever made and this particular example comes in 18K yellow gold and was produced in 1945 – achieved online USD 437,500 (Est. USD 350,000-450,000).

Sales of vintage Rolex remained buoyant as highlighted by a Daytona ‘Solo’ Ref. 6240 that realized a price of $187,500 (Est: $120,000-180,000); a Daytona Ref. 6263 with ‘Sigma Dial’ from 1974 sold for $125,000 ($100,000-120,000).

The march of modern collectable watches was lead by a rare Patek Philippe Ref. 5013P minute repeater perpetual calendar that realized $375,000 (Est. $300,000-400,000)


while a Richard Mille RM055 Bubba Watson Black Editon sold for $275,000 (Est. $150,000-250,000)

a rare Audemars Piguet tantalum and gold perpetual calendar Ref. 25829TA fetched $187,500 (Est. $150,000-250,000).

Flying the flag for the independents yet again, an F.P. Journe Octa Reserve De Marce Black Label edition realized $200,000 ($130,000-180,000).

Even accessories made by celebrated watch brands were in high demand. A rare solid gold Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse lighter Ref. 9512-1 realized $75,000 against an estimate of $20,000-30,000.

Engaging the global community of watch collectors and aficionados with a superior offering and experience – Christie’s unique combination of quality and passion continues to fuel a positive dynamic.

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