Sotheby’s created weekly online watch auctions from its Hong Kong office as a way of keeping business ticking over during the Coronavirus pandemic.
They have proved such a success that there will now be two additional sales per week, curated by the New York and Geneva teams.
Weekly auctions will begin on Tuesdays from New York, Wednesdays from Hong Kong and Thursdays from Geneva. Each auction runs for seven days.
“The Watches Weekly sales were introduced to provide great responsiveness to trends in the market and a swifter turnaround between appraisal and sale. We also wanted to embrace the collectors’ increased confidence to buy high-value pieces online,” says Sam Hines, worldwide head of Sotheby’s Watches.
“The overwhelming response and results achieved in the past month have demonstrated the relevance of this approach: the sales set many benchmarks, including a world record for a watch sold in an online auction. They also attracted collectors from around the world, many of whom were young, completely new to Sotheby’s and returned time and again to participate in the weekly sales. As we gear up for a new season of live auctions and continue to develop our private and online sales, we are excited to push ahead with more innovative formats which are in tune with the collectors’ needs and aspirations,” he adds.
Josh Pullan, global managing director of Sotheby’s Watches says technology has changed the way watches are consigned and sold.
“We constantly explore new ways to connect with watch collectors and respond to this evolving market. With weekly online auctions, we can prepare, inspect and offer watches for sale almost instantly using our digital capabilities. The launch of new sales out of Europe, the US and Asia will enable us to provide even swifter and broader services to buyers and sellers in key markets.”