Christie’s makes history in Asia on 30 May 2011 with the biggest watch sale ever in the region totaling HK$164,707,500/US$21,164,914, which is close to 70% market share over its nearest competitor. With a high 92% sold by lot and 95% sold by value, the sale reflects the demand for the best and rarest timepieces and horological works, and underscores the sophistication of the global watch market.
Aurel Bacs, International Head of Watches, Christie’s, said “No auction house responds better than Christie’s to the demanding appetite of an ever-growing group of international watch collectors. The auction in Hong Kong was highlighted by an epic bidding war between two of the world’s most connoisseur collectors who fought fiercely for more than 10 minutes to acquire the only publicly known matching pair of singing bird pistols in the world. The final winning phone bid was well in excess of the high estimate, realizing HK$45,460,000/US$5,841,610, making it not only the highest result for an individual lot sold at any watch auction in Asia, but also the most valuable achieved for an horological item ever sold at auction in Asia. Another highlight was the charity auction of the world’s first all-aluminum sport watch from celebrated watchmaker F. P. Journe – the Centigraphe Sport – to raise funds for the charities ‘100maisons100familles’ and ‘Médecins du Monde’ to aid Japan’s earthquake and tsunami victims. Ten bidders competed swiftly to over HK$1 million until thunderous applause broke out when a Japanese collector and philanthropist won the final bid online, raising HK$3,620,000/US$465,170 for this worthy cause. Given the incredible variety of makers, periods and styles on our top ten, we can see an impressive breadth and depth of the market and Christie’s savoir-faire in bringing together the finest property any auction house can offer to the world’s top collectors. ”
Sam Hines, Head of Sales, Watches Department at Christie’s Hong Kong, added, “Christie’s sale results once again reaffirm our position as the worldwide market leader for collectors’ timepieces. Beginning with a 100% sold rate in the morning session, the afternoon session picked up momentum with intensive bidding, especially from internet bidders who came from 21 countries, making up the highest number of online participants for a Christie’s Hong Kong auction. Once again Patek Philippe wrist-watches attracted competition from all continents. Lot 2403 (the mythical Ref. 2499R in rose gold, offered directly from family of original owner) and the famous Skymoon Tourbillon Ref. 5002P, the most complicated wristwatch ever made by Patek Philippe, made up two out of the top three lots that sold above US$1 million. Another highlight was Part 2 of the Garvin Brown collection, which, like Part 1 offered at Christie’s Geneva in the same month, was 100% sold. We now look forward to the blockbuster watch auction at Christie’s New York on 15 June where Christie’s will have the honour of offering Part 3 of the Garvin Brown collection and the historically important group of watches from the James Ward Packard collection.”
Images can be downloaded here:
To view the full auction results:
Singing Bird Pistols Video link::