RELEASE: 2012 - A RECORD YEAR AT CHRISTIE’S GENEVA AUCTIONS TOTALLED SFr. 248 million / $ 264 million

Christie's November auctions of jewellery, watches and wine in Geneva realised an overall total of SFr.112,100,355 / US$118,315,125 which combined with the May sales results adds up to SFr.248,345,071 / US$264,069154, the highest annual result ever achieved at Christie's Geneva.

Geneva

Geneva - Christie's November auctions of jewellery, watches and wine in Geneva realised an overall total of SFr.112,100,355 / US$118,315,125 which combined with the May sales results adds up to SFr.248,345,071 / US$264,069154, the highest annual result ever achieved at Christie's Geneva.

On 12 November, the ‘Important Watches’ auction fetched SFr. 27,042,825 / $28,557,223 / €22,445,545, selling 96% by lot and 97% by value and setting numerous world record prices.

The auction of ‘Magnificent Jewels’ was offered on November 13 and realised SFr.80,615,930 / US$85,049,806 / €66,991,837, selling 84% by lot and 86% by value.

On November 13 and 14, the sales of ‘Venerable Spirits and Fine Cigars from a Famous Private Collection’ and of ‘Fine and Rare Wines’ achieved a combined total of SFr.4,441,600 / $4,708,096 /€3,695,411, selling 88% by lot and 94% by value.

The top lot of the Geneva season was the legendary ‘Archduke Joseph Diamond’ which sold for SFr. 20,355,000 / $21,474,525, setting a world record price for a colourless diamond at auction.

Eveline de Proyart, Managing Director of Christie's Geneva: “The exceptional results achieved at Christie’s Geneva this autumn conclude a record year for the saleroom. Such an unprecedented success shows the market’s recognition of the rarity and quality of the lots offered at a variety of price levels. Our international team of specialists gathered the best of the best for each category, presenting rigorously curated catalogues including excellent Royal and rock provenances. This year we have also been entrusted with a larger than ever number of private collections whose taste and vision attracted the interest of a truly global audience”.

Important Watches

including

A Gentleman's Pursuit for Excellence, Part I  

12 November 2012 (Sale 1391)

Total: SFr.27,042,825 / $28,557,223 / €22,445,545

On 12 November, Christie's auction of Important Watches in Geneva fetched a total of SFr. 27,042,825 / $28,557,223 / €22,445,545, selling 96% by lot and 97% by value and setting numerous world record prices. The exceptionally rare platinum perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon phases, ref.2499/100, manufactured by Patek Philippe in 1987 and offered from the collection of Eric Clapton, sold for SFr.3,443,000 ($3,635,808 / €2,857,690), setting a world record price for this reference at auction (illustrated right). The top price of the sale was paid for the J.B. Champion Platinum Observatory Chronometer, a unique platinum chronometer wristwatch, ref.2458, which was specially manufactured by Patek Philippe for J.B. Champion, the legendary American watch collector, in 1952. This historically important timepiece realized SFr.3,779,000 ($3,990,624 / €3,136,570), setting a world auction record for a watch without complications (illustrated on page 1). World record prices were also set for numerous references and models in the following categories: Patek Philippe, Rolex, Omega, antique and 20th century enamels, decorative watches and contemporary watches.

Aurel Bacs, International Head of Christie's Watch Department, commented: “Christie's auction of Important Watches in Geneva performed extremely well, demonstrating great consistency at all levels in terms of watches, prices and clients. In a broad, healthy and ever growing market, where buyers demand expertise and scholarship, we offered once again the finest selection of watches and wristwatches. A packed saleroom, today’s seven-hour marathon auction welcomed some 500 registrants from five continents, generating stellar sell-through rates as well as breaking numerous records. Collectors, public and private museums, the trade and also an investment watch fund, battled out the bidding for the best watches seen at auction this season, reconfirming Christie's market leadership in every horological category. This is our recipe: sourcing top quality properties, pricing them accurately, presenting them to the right audience, in the right place, at the right time”.

Geneva Magnificent Jewels

13 November 2012 (Sale 1393)

Total: SFr.80,615,930 / US$85,049,806 / €66,991,837

On November 13, Christie's Geneva auction of Magnificent Jewels realised a total of SFr.80,615,930 / US$85,049,806 / €66,991,837, selling 84% by lot and 86% by value. This extraordinary result, combined with the total achieved for the category in May, concludes the most successful year for Christie’s Jewellery department in Switzerland, with annual sales exceeding SFr.183.9 million (US$195.2 million).

The top lot of the sale was the historical 76.02 carats cushion-shaped Archduke Joseph Diamond which sold for SFr.20,355,000 (US$21,474,525 / €16,894,650; or US$282,545 per carat), setting a new world record at auction for a colourless diamond (lot 350; illustrated on page 1). A world record price was also achieved for a Ceylon sapphire, when an antique 60.44 carats Ceylon sapphire and diamond brooch sold for SFr.1,763,000 ($1,859,965 / €1,463,290; or $26,000 per carat) (lot 349; illustrated left).

François Curiel, President of Christie's Switzerland and International Director of Christie’s Jewellery Department, said: “In the busiest saleroom witnessed at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues in Geneva in recent years, the Archduke Joseph Diamond of 76 carats sold for $21.5 million, a world record price per carat for a colourless diamond. The historical gem led Christie's jewellery auction which totalled $85 million dollars”.

Rahul Kadakia, Head of Jewellery, Christie's Switzerland and the Americas, added: “On November 13 the legendary ‘Archduke Joseph Diamond’ sold for US$21,474,525 / SFr.20,355,000 (US$280,000 per carat) at Christie's Geneva, setting a new world record for a colourless diamond at auction. Undoubtedly one of the rarest and most famous diamonds in the world, this magnificent gem combines an impressive size of 76 carats, perfect colour, and internally flawless clarity. Originating from the ancient Golconda mines in India, it was previously owned by the Archduke Joseph August of Austria (1872-1962). It was first sold at auction at Christie's Geneva in 1993 for $6.5 million ($10.1 million in today’s money), which represents a 113% increase over a 19 year period”.

Venerable Spirits and Fine Cigars

From a Famous Private Collection

13 November 2012 (Sale 4001)

Fine and Rare Wines

14 November 2012 (Sale 1392)

Combined Total: SFr.4,441,600 / $4,708,096 /€3,695,411

Christie's Geneva November sales of ‘Venerable Spirits and Fine Cigars from a Famous Private Collection’ and of ‘Fine and Rare Wines’ achieved a combined total of SFr.4,441,600 / $4,708,096 /€3,695,411, selling 88% by lot and 94% by value.

A rare vertical of Yquem from 1900 to 2000 sold for SFr.230,000 ($243,800 / €191,360), against an estimate of SFr. 150,000-200,000, becoming the most valuable lot of this Autumn sale (sale 1392, lot 151; illustrated on page 1).

A rare bottle of Grande Fine Champagne made by Saulnier Frères in 1789 - the year of the French Revolution - sold for SFr.27,600 ($29,256) (sale 4001, lot 119; illustrated above).

David Elswood, International Head of Christie's Wine Department, declared: “We are very happy with the final result of our latest Geneva auctions - following 3 sessions of sales over 2 days and a total of more than 1,100 lots - achieving a sold rate of 94% and total of Sfr.4,441,600. Over 100 registered bidders from 19 countries competed for a wide range of exquisite wines, featuring the finest d'Yquem, Burgundy and venerable old Cognacs. Top d'Yquem lot was a 92 bottle vertical offering every vintage of the 20th Century which sold for SFr.230,000; taking Burgundian gold was a 3 bottle lot of Richebourg 1978 direct from the family cellar of the descendants of legendary winemaker, Henri Jayer, which sold for SFr.80,500; while the oldest Cognac on offer, a Saulnier Frères 1789, distilled in the year of the French Revolution, achieved a top price of SFr.27,600”.

 

About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).

Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvador Mundi, 2017), for a single collection sale (the Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller, 2018), and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019).

Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace.

Recent innovations at Christie’s include the groundbreaking sale of the first NFT for a digital work of art ever offered at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), with the unprecedented acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. 

Christie’s is dedicated to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide, including achieving sustainability through net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and actively using its platform in the art world to amplify under-represented voices and support positive change.

Browse, bid, discover, and join us for the best of art and luxury at: www.christies.com or by downloading Christie’s apps. The COVID-related re-opening status of our global locations is available here.