Rare and Limited Edition References from luxury watch brands lead Christie’s Watches Online: The Dubai Edit

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Dubai – This season, Christie’s ‘Watches Online: The Dubai Edit’, a bi-annual curated auction of timepieces, reaffirms Dubai as a pivotal hub in the international secondary watch market. The sale, live for browsing online 9 April and for bidding 16 to 30 April, comprises 158 vintage and modern timepieces spanning men’s, women’s and unisex references with estimates from US$3,000 – $US400,000, and the finest Swiss watch makers and independents are represented.   

The Dubai Edit – Patek Philipe 527A rare Patek Philipe 5275P with chiming jump hour. Released in a limited edition of 175 pieces in honour of the 175th anniversary of the brand in 2014.
(Estimate US$400,000-800,000)

Highlights include:

A rare opportunity to acquire a watch that is testament to the storied history of Patek Philippe (illustrated above) Patek Philippe, ref. 5275P-001, ‘175th Anniversary’. A fine Limited Edition platinum hour strike chiming wristwatch with digital jump hour and jumping minutes and seconds. Limited to just 175 pieces and celebrating the brand’s 175th anniversary, it stands out as one of six new models introduced by Patek Philippe for that significant occasion. Drawing inspiration from the vintage Ref. 3969 jump hour watch first introduced in 1989, the 5275P is driven by the manual Calibre 32-650 HGS PS with four innovative patents. A unique opportunity for the discerning collector to acquire a rare and masterfully engineered watch that highlights Patek Philippe’s dedication to innovation within an uncommon case design and complication. Circa 2014. (Estimate US$400,000-800,000).

A number of rare Rolex models that exemplify the watchmaking Maison’s unique connection with the Middle East including:

The Dubai Edit – Rolex ‘Daytona’, ref. 6265 CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2024

Rolex ‘Daytona’, ref. 6265, a rare and important stainless-steel chronograph commissioned by U.A.E. Ministry of Defence. It is rare for Rolex to forego its signature ‘Rolex Oyster Cosmograph’ branding on the dial, a testament to the unique attributes of this piece, which showcases the early Quraysh Hawk emblem of the UAE. This watch was a gift from a distinguished member of Dubai’s royal family to the consignor’s late father, a passionate watch collector. It belongs to an exclusive series of Daytona models commissioned by the UAE’s newly established Ministry of Defence, led by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the current ruler of Dubai. Circa 1976. (Estimate US$300,000-500,000).

The Dubai Edit – Rolex ‘GMT-Master’, ref 16753 CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2024

Rolex ‘GMT-Master’, ref 1675/3, a rare and important stainless steel and gold dual time commissioned by the UAE Ministry of Defence. Crafted especially for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in his capacity as the UAE’s first Defence Minister, this watch stands out as part of an extremely rare series commissioned between 1971 and 1979. Here, the ‘Quraysh Hawk’ crest, a significant emblem of the United Arab Emirates, replaces the “GMT Master” and “Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified” found on standard ref. 1675 dials. The hawk emblem is rendered in a multi-layered, three-dimensional effect, with an enamelled dhow at its heart – the UAE’s national symbol until it was updated in 2008 to feature the federation flag and seven stars symbolizing the emirates. Circa 1978. (Estimate US$40,000-60,000).

The Dubai Edit – Audemars Piguet ‘Royal Oak,’ ref. 26530TI.OO.1220TI.05_2 CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2024

Rare contemporary timepieces

Audemars Piguet‘Royal Oak,’ ref. 26530TI.OO.1220TI.05, a rare extra-thin limited edition titanium tourbillon with Eastern Arabic numerals is fresh to the market. The watch is a Middle East exclusive, limited to 25 pieces, originally offered to top clients upon launch. The salmon dial, with the “Tapisserie Evolutive” pattern that seems to escape from the flying tourbillon aperture, adds a layer of rarity with the application of Eastern Arabic numerals. The case and bracelet are crafted from titanium, a material Audemars Piguet reserves for its most exclusive creations. Originally launched in 1972 as the pioneering luxury stainless steel sports watch, Audemars Piguet has consistently utilized its iconic Royal Oak to display the brand’s prowess in high horology. Circa 2022. (Estimate US$350,000-650,000).

The Dubai Edit – Richard Mille, ref. RM35-02 ‘RAFA CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2024

Richard Mille, ref. RM35-02 ‘RAFA,’ a rare Red Quartz-TPT skeletonised automatic wristwatch.Launched in 2016 and produced in partnership with tennis legend Rafael Nadal, this piece showcases the unparalleled strength and lightness of TPT (Thin Ply Technology) quartz – highly resistant to temperature fluctuations, hypoallergenic, and capable of withstanding forces up to 5,000 Gs. The double-barrel winding system enhances torque stability while Richard Mille’s patented variable-geometry rotor enables the watch operation to be tailored to the wearer’s activity profile, ensuring optimum precision. Circa 2018. (Estimate US$200,000-400,000).

Watches Online Dubai Edit – Piaget Ref. 4072 CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2024

The auction also includes timepieces that will appeal to first-time bidders and new collectors. These include an early production stainless steel Franck Muller Master Banker Ref. 7000 CC MB AC-WH chronograph capable of tracking three different time zones independently, circa 2001, (estimate $12,000-18,000); an IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Rodeo Edition Ceramic Perpetual Calendar, circa 2022, (estimate $10,000-20,000, at retail approximately $33,000); and the popular TAG Heuer Monaco ‘Dark Lord’, circa 2023, (estimate $3,000-5,000).

Watches Online Dubai Edit – TAG Heuer Monaco ‘Dark Lord’ CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2024

There are a number of jewelled and elegant ladies wristwatches including a fine Piaget Ref. 4072, a sparkling haute joaillerie white gold, diamond and sapphire-set wristwatch, circa 1998, (estimate $10,000-20,000), and a new old stock Audemars Piguet Ref. 66532PT, a spectacular platinum and diamond-set wristwatch with a platinum braided bracelet, circa 1990s (estimate $40,000-60,000).

Watches Online Dubai Edit -Franck Muller Master Banker Ref. 7000 CC CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2024

Remy Julia, Head of Watches, Christie’s Middle East: ‘As we open the 2024 season, we are proud to see Dubai again affirming its status as the premier marketplace for rare and extraordinary timepieces in the region. The deep-rooted relationships nurtured with collectors here and further afield are pivotal, yet it’s the market’s richness, cultivated over decades and notably propelled by commissions from royal houses and ministries, that truly sets it apart.

Remy Julia, Head of Watches, Christie’s Middle East CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2024

Remy continues, ‘The Dubai Edit showcases sought-after special editions from iconic brands including Rolex, further enhanced by a distinct regional Middle Eastern heritage, but also extraordinary pieces such as the 175th Anniversary Patek Philippe, model Ref 5275P-001This online sale comes at a time when the market is stabilizing from its recent speculative fervour, presenting entry lots at attractive prices, and opening new horizons for collectors at all levels across the spectrum of bidders and buyers this season.’

Watches Online Dubai Edit Audemars Piguet Ref. 66532PT CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2024

Watches Online: The Dubai Edit will be on view at Christie’s Middle East located in the DIFC, Dubai from 23 to 29 April between 10am and 7pm.  For further information please follow the link here


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* Please note when quoting estimates above that other fees will apply in addition to the hammer price – see Section D of the Conditions of Sale at the back of the sale catalogue.  *Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium.

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