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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.
The sale concentrated more on volume than on headline-grabbing seven-figure timepieces, but there were some star lots including an 18ct gold Patek Philippe Calatrava, ref 570, owned by Andy Warhol, which sold for $150,000.
A fortnight of online auctions features vintage and contemporary timepieces from the world's most important makers.
Highest price paid was $3.8 million for an 18ct gold ref. 3448 "no moon" automatic perpetual calendar by Patek Philippe
Transparency of digital marketplaces like eBay is driving up trust and confidence in an increasingly sophisticated online auction industry for luxury watches.
Leading the sale was a superb Cartier Mystery clock known as “Model A” that sold for $562,500.
Six Patek Philippe watches, alone, are likely to sell for well over $3 million each at May 22 Hong Kong sale.
The late great watch designer's own brand watches have leapt in value with one piece selling for $500,000 at a Christie's online auction.
Christie's is expecting its Watches Online: Dubai Edit auction, which is live now and runs until April 8, to generate up to $15 million from sales of almost 200 lots.
Explosion of online auctions fails to compensate for loss of saleroom events during the pandemic.