It has been a record-breaking year for the international watch department at Christie’s auction house.
The company says that in 2018, 45% of bidders in global watch auctions, both in the sale room and online, were new to Christie’s. 26% of collectors who bought in Christie’s watch auctions were from the age group 40-49, followed by 24% from the age group 50-59 and 9% from the age group 30-39.
A total of 2568 watches were sold at Christie’s in 2018, consisting of 1355 in 7 live auctions across 4 destinations – Dubai, Geneva, Hong Kong and New York, alongside 1213 watches sold in 9 online-only auctions.
The year started with the Important Watches auction in Dubai, which set a record for the most expensive watch ever sold at auction in the Middle East when King Farouk’s Patek Philippe, reference 1518, manufactured in 1944, achieved $912,500.
In November, the Geneva Rare Watches auction offered the most expensive watch sold at Christie’s in 2018: a Patek Philippe, reference 2499, first series, manufactured in 1952 and retailed by Serpico y Laino in Caracas, which realized $3,234,905. To date, no other ref. 2499 retailed by Patek Philippe’s representative in Venezuela, Serpico y Laino, is known to exist.
Earlier this month, An Evening of Exceptional Watches in New York established the highest price for a Rolex sold at Christie’s in 2018 when an early stainless steel automatic Oyster Perpetual, reference 6062, manufactured circa 1952, sold for $1,572,500.
In October, Christie’s was the auctioneer for the annual Children Action Charity in Geneva, which offered a Patek Philippe, Calavatra, Travel Time, reference 5524 T, which sold for CHF 2.3 million and set a new record for a watch sold for charity in 2018.
The top 10 watches sold in 2018, as described by Christie’s, were: