Christie’s in New York has appointed a new head of watches.
Keith Davis takes up the post this month, and is joined by Adam Victor as a new senior watches consultant.
When the pandemic struck last year, Christie’s was quick to move its sales online, holding 49 online sales from its hubs in Geneva, Dubai, Hong Kong and New York in 2020 in its luxury group segment, compared to 24 online sales in 2019.
Physical sales restarted as pandemic restrictions eased, and this blend of online and live auctions is paying off with record sales for the auction house.
Christie’s worldwide watch sales for the first half of 2021 totalled $93.7m, a record performance which exceeded Christie’s watch figures for 2020 and 2019.
Digital platforms are also opening up watch auctions for new and younger enthusiasts.
Close to 39% of buyers at the watch sales were new to Christie’s: 40% of those are under 40, and 41% are based in Asia Pacific, followed by 31% in Europe, Middle East and Africa and 28% in the Americas.
Aline Sylla-Walbaum, global managing director of Christie’s Luxury, says the appointments to the New York watch team will build on this strength.
“We are delighted to welcome Keith and Adam to our growing Christie’s Americas Watches team. This season has been an unprecedented success for the category and we see the momentum only continuing under their leadership. They both not only bring world class knowledge of horology and timepieces, but decades of experience working in the luxury sector for some of the biggest names. As we embark on the second half of the year, our global teams will continue to present a diverse array of timepieces through innovative strategies tailored to meet our clients’ evolving needs.”
Mr Davis has worked within the timepiece industry for the entirety of his professional career, having practical experience in nearly every aspect of the business.
Prior to joining Christie’s, he served as Director of Timepieces at Heritage Auctions in New York. Prior to that he was commercial director for the North American division of Vacheron Constantin and had also held senior management roles at Bulgari while serving as the technical watch trainer for their boutique and wholesale distribution.
Mr Victor has dedicated the last 30 years to researching, collecting, and consulting clients and collectors on the rarest and finest timepieces. He additionally brings 25 years of luxury experience from the fashion industry where he spent half of that time as an executive for several top American houses, as well as LVMH.