x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Christie’s sale and it’s about time

Watches going under the hammer at the auction house in Dubai at the end of the month have a combined total value of around $1 million.

The Rolex ring, made around 1951, is expected to fetch between $5,000 and $7,000. Courtesy Christie's
The Rolex ring, made around 1951, is expected to fetch between $5,000 and $7,000. Courtesy Christie's

After an absence of two years, the auction house Christie’s is reintroducing its watch sale in Dubai – the only such dedicated sale in the region.

A total of 48 pieces will go under the hammer at the end of this month for a combined estimated value of US$1 million. Individual pieces are expected to fetch $1,000 to $80,000.

The first dedicated sale of watches was held in the 1970s, according to Christie’s. The recent soaring interest in watches means that firm now holds two watch auctions a year in London, New York, Geneva and Hong Kong.

Christie’s in Dubai is so convinced about the local interest in the category that it hired Frederic Watrelot, its own watch specialist for the Middle East, 15 months ago.

“Reflecting the taste of our Middle Eastern collectors, we have kept the sale small but perfectly formed, concentrating on leading brands at attractive prices,” Mr Watrelot said about the 8pm sale on October 29. He added that the watch sale had been reintroduced because of client demand.

So what exactly will be up for grabs?

One of the highlights is a Rolex ring. Made around 1951, it is an 18-karat pink gold ring-watch set with 17 diamonds. This is expected to fetch between $5,000 and $7,000.

Also up for purchase is an 18-carat gold tourbillion wristwatch by Breguet originally made for the 200th anniversary of the invention of the tourbillion movement by the firm. The tourbillion was created in the late 18th, early 19th century to counteract the effect of gravity that can affect accuracy. The watch is estimated at $60,000 to $80,000.

Another highlight is an 18-carat rose gold oversized skeletonised timepiece with flying tourbillion by Cartier estimated to fetch $40,000 to $60,000.

A “Haute Joaillerie” diamond-set 18-carat white gold bracelet watch by Piaget is another highlight. This is expected to bring in bids of $40,000 to 60,000. The bracelet is entirely set with 236 baguette-cut diamonds and 192 round brilliant cut diamonds.

lgutcher@thenational.ae