Everything that could went digital in 2020, thanks to COVID-19 quarantine restrictions, and Christie's auction house is no different. Online auctions bring a vast international network of auctioneers and collectors together across continents, and if you're a luxury timepiece collector, you're gonna want to pay attention to this.
Following the success of its first online auction in December 2020, Christie's has embarked on its spring watch season with a full calendar of digital opportunities tied to physical events. March saw a stellar auction in New York, amassing an impressive 47 percent growth of new customers worldwide, thanks to the online component.
“The online auction from New York kicked off the season in the best possible way with impressive results, selling over 96 percent by lot and 122 percent by value, solid numbers showcasing the strength of the market and the international outreach of Christies’ specialists,” Christie's watch specialist Rémi Guillemin is quoted in a press release. “This also includes the success of our December Online sale in 2020, claiming the title of most important sale ever realized for an online watch auction at Christie’s. With the April and June sales, we are preparing for another very special year and are eager to present horological icons to the most exigent international collectors.”
Christie’s is currently holding an online watch auction in Dubai, which is hopes will be even more of a game changer. The 16-day auction comes to an end Thursday, April 8, and Christie's projects it to be the first-ever global watch auction to exceed $10 million.
Featuring 200 lots, collectors are looking to nab timepieces from the luxury brands Rolex, Patek Philippe, Gerald Genta, as well as a lineup of rare watches from F.P Journe’s collection, a rare double-faced Ref.5002P Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillion, and two other Patek Phillippe watches containing unique light gray and ruby gem dials.
"This has been made possible only because of our specialists’ substantial reputation in the industry," Remy Julia, Christie's Director and Head of Watches Middle East, India and Africa, is quoted in a press release. "Besides being the perfect barometer for gauging current collector demand at the global level, Dubai Edit brings together exceptional watchmaking in one innovative format and positions Dubai as a global tech hub for vintage and contemporary collectible watches."
If you missed your chance to place a bet in Dubai, there's plenty of online opportunities to come. Hong Kong plays host to two auctions from April 9 to 19, and May 19 to June 2. Timepiece capital Geneva gets its chance from May 4 to 18, and more auctions will come to New York City from April 16 to 26, and June 8 to 22.