Christie’s Spring Important Watches totaled SFr. 16,050,875 / $16,018,773  / €14,654449, sell through rates were 92% by value and 90% by lot and the sale set a new record at auction for lot 166, the Patek Philippe, reference 2497, known as The Haile Selassie, amongst many.

Auctioneer and head of Christie’s Geneva watch department, Thomas Perazzi opened lot 166 for bidding at CHF400,000 and it took 15 minutes until he was able to knockdown this collector’s dream at CHF2,911,500 / $2905,677. “Selling one of only three examples of this watch was a privilege and seeing how enthusiastic the world of watches reacted to this masterpiece was really exciting. Along the 15 minutes until knockdown new bidders entered the competition constantly, either in the room or on the phones. The afternoon session of the auction was dedicated to Rolex and the offering of 116 watches was again very well received with strong bidding through all our channels. Experiencing strong live bidding from the room underlined the importance of Geneva to be the place to offer these kind of watch masterpieces as the city continues to attract new bidders every season,” he commented after the auction.  

The top lot in the Rolex section was the 1972 Oyster Cosmograph, Daytona Model ref. 6263, with a green Khanjar symbol. It was sold in the presence of the consignor, today a retired British Airway pilot who flew the Sultan and his entourage, on one of his first State visits, from Muscat to Rome in 1974. Just before landing in Rome one of the Sultan’s Ministers entered the cockpit and gave the pilot – as a thank you – the watch in question. The timepiece sold for CHF727,500, doubling its pre-sale estimate. Lot 271, a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner sold for CHF631,500, again doubling its pre-sale estimate.

The Important Watches auction was much anticipated and international interest and bidding from 44 countries -one of the highest ever- was witnessed in a packed saleroom from 10.00am to 5.00pm, welcoming over 100 new clients to Christie’s. Furthermore, did the auction achieve the highest online participation for any watch sale conducted at Christie’s with over 470 registrants.

Today, Tuesday 16 May Christie’s Geneva will be holding its Fine Wines auction and tomorrow, Wednesday 17 May, the Magnificent Jewels sale will conclude the Spring Luxury Sales season 2017.