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.
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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:
Patek Philippe. An exceptional 18K gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon phases. Signed Patek Philippe, Genève, retailed by Serpico y Laino, CaracasRef. 2499, first series, manufactured in 1952. Sold for $3,234,905 at Christie’s Geneva in November 2018.
An extremely rare 18k gold automatic triple calendar Rolex wristwatch with Star Dial and moon phases. Signed Rolex, Oyster Perpetual, Officially Certified ChronometerRef. 6062, Circa 1952, sold for $1,572,500 at Christie’s New York in December 2018.
An extraordinarily rare and early stainless steel automatic Rolex with center seconds and gilt ‘Explorer Dial’. Signed Rolex, Oyster Perpetual, 200/660, SubmarinerRef. 6538, Circa 1956. Sold for $1,068,500 at Christie’s New York in June 2018.
An extremely fine and historically important 18K gold perpetual chronograph Patek Philippe wristwatch with moon phases. Signed Patek Philippe, GenèveRef. 1518, manufactured in 1944. Sold for $912,500 at Christie’s Dubai in March 2018.
An important Patek Philippe platinum minute repeating instantaneous perpetual calendar single button chronograph automatic wristwatch with leap year indication, day and night display and moon phases. Signed Patek Philippe, Genève, Ref. 5208P-001, Circa 2011. Sold for $753,277 at Christie’s Geneva in May 2018.
A rare stainless steel Rolex chronograph wristwatch with Paul Newman Mark 1 Panda dial and bracelet. Signed Rolex, Oyster Cosmograph, “Paul Newman” Model Ref. 6263, Circa 1969. Sold for $732,500 at Christie’s New York auction in June 2018.
An extremely rare 18k gold cushion-shaped minute repeating Patek Philippe wristwatch with Breguet numerals. Signed Patek Philippe & Co., Genève Movement No. 198’378, Case No. 609’358, manufactured in 1930. Sold for $708,500 at Christie’s New York in June 2018.
An extremely fine and possibly unique 18K gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon phases and tachymeter scale. Signed Patek Philippe, GenèveRef. 2499/100J T, manufactured in 1981. Sold for $668,862 at Christie’s Geneva in November 2018.
An exceptional 18K white gold and diamond-set automatic chronograph Patek Philippe wristwatch with date, degradé black dial and bracelet. Signed Patek Philippe, Genève Ref. 5980/1400G-010, Circa 2017. Sold for $614,766 at Christie’s Geneva in May 2018.
An extremely rare and fine platinum and baguette-cut diamond-set tourbillon wristwatch with torque indicator and power reserve. Signed Richard Mille, perini navi cup model RM014 AG PT, Circa 2016. Sold for $566,014 at Christie’s Hong Kong in May 2018.