Christie's spring auctions of jewellery, watches and wine in Geneva realised an overall total of SFr.124,276,390 / US$128,773,791 / €99,577,328.
On 13 May, the sale of ‘Important Watches including A Gentleman’s Pursuit for Excellence, Part II’ fetched a total result of SFr.21,573,075 /US$22,608,583 /€17,387,898, selling 94% by lot and 93% by value.
On 14 and 15 May, the sales of ‘Fine and Rare Wines and Cigars’ achieved a combined total of SFr.3,825,502 / US$4,024,428 / €3,087,180, selling 84% by lot and 94% by value.
The auction of ‘Magnificent Jewels’ offered on 15 May realised SFr.98,877,813 / US$102,140,780 / €79,102,250, selling 86% by lot and 93% by value, the highest total result ever for a various-owner sale of jewellery at Christie’s.
The TOP LOT of the Geneva season was the ‘winston legacy’, a pear-shaped D colour, Flawless diamond of 101.73 carats which sold for SFr.25,883,750 / $26,737,913 / €20,707,000 (US$254,400 per carat) to Harry Winston, setting a world record price for a colourless diamond at auction.
François Curiel, President of Christie's Switzerland: “45 years after our first auction in Switzerland, watch and jewellery collectors as well as wine lovers keep returning twice a year to Geneva to buy the best in all three categories. This week, a 100 carat diamond, purchased by Harry Winston was the highlight of the entire sale season attracting five major collectors from Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the US which bid intensely to acquire it."
A Gentleman's Pursuit for Excellence, Part II
13 May 2013 (Sale 1395)
Total: SFr.21,573,075 /US$22,608,583 /€17,387,898
On 13 May, Christie's Geneva auction of ‘Important Watches including A Gentleman’s Pursuit for Excellence’, Part II fetched a total result of SFr.21,573,075 / US$22,608,583 / €17,387,898, selling 94% by lot and 93% by value.
The most valuable lot of the sale was paid for a historically important white gold automatic perpetual calendar wristwatch with moon phase and leap year, ref. 3448, manufactured by Patek Philippe in 1981 (lot 131; illustrated right), which sold for SFr.1,623,750 / US$1,701,690 / €1,308,743, setting a world auction record for this reference in white gold.
Numerous world record prices were also achieved for multiple references and models across many different categories, including a new world record for any Rolex wristwatch sold at auction (lot 88 - Rolex ref. 4113, manufactured in 1942; illustrated on page 1, left).
Aurel Bacs, International Head of Christie's Watch Department, declared: “In a full and energetic room, Christie’s Geneva marathon-auction sale of important watches reconfirmed the company’s absolute leadership of the category. In an ever increasingly demanding market, our rigorously curated sale attracted buyers from 40 different countries across five continents, selling 94% by lot and 93% by value. While Asian bidders emerged as the most competitive, we never saw such strong activity from the US in a Geneva sale. Christie’s also reaffirmed their predominance in the field of Rolex wristwatches by setting a new world record price for a timepiece by the renowned Swiss manufacture."
Fine and Rare Wines and Cigars
14 & 15 May 2013 (Sale 1396)
Total: SFr.3,825,502 / US$4,024,428 / €3,087,180
The Christie's Geneva two-day sale of ‘Fine Rare Wines and Cigars’ opened in style with a private collection of rare Burgundies from the legendary producer, Henri Jayer (lots 1 to 41). The 41 lots from this collection all sold strongly, producing a total of SFr.557,505 / US$586,495 / €449,906.
Other highlights in the 991 lot sale were a bottle of Beauté du Siècle Cognac from Hennessy in a Jean-Michel Othoniel chest – which sold for SFr.210,600 / US$221,551 / €169,954 (lot 171), followed by a rare Humidor of Trinidad Cuban cigars signed by Fidel Castro which realised a total of SFr.163,800 / US$172,317 / €132,186 (lot 217; illustrated on page 1, right), record prices for both cognac and cigar lots at Christie's auctions.
In more traditional Bordeaux territory, a Vertical Collection of Mouton-Rothschild 1945-2008 in magnum was sold for SFr.257,400 / US$270,784 / €207,721 (lot 284; illustrated lef), also a new record for any Mouton-Rothschild Collection at Christie's.
David Elswood, International Head of Christie's Wine Department, commented: “An excellent result, showing the healthy global demand for truly unique and exceptional lots of wine, Cognac and Cuban cigars."
Geneva Magnificent Jewels
15 May 2013 (Sale 1397)
Total: SFr.98,877,813 / US$102,140,780 / €79,102,250
On 15 May, Christie's Geneva auction of ‘Magnificent Jewels’ realised a total of SFr.98,877,813 / US$102,140,780 / €79,102,250, selling 86% by lot and 93% by value, the highest result ever for a various-owner jewellery auction at Christie’s.
The top lot of the sale was ‘Winston Legacy’, an exceptional pear-shaped D colour, Flawless diamond of 101.73 carats which sold for SFr.25,883,750 / US$26,737,913 / €20,707,000 (US$254,400 per carat), setting a new world record at auction for a colourless diamond (lot 283; illustrated on page 1, centre).
A superb single-strand natural pearl necklace measuring from 13.7 to 10.4 mm which sold for SFr.8,187,750 / $8,457,945 / €6,550,200, setting a new world auction record for a single strand natural pearl necklace (lot 282; illustrated left). World record prices were also achieved for a red diamond, per carat for a sapphire as well as for a pair of pearl ear-pendants.
Rahul Kadakia, Head of Jewellery, Christie's Switzerland and Americas, declared: “Harry Winston acquired the most perfect diamond ever offered for sale at auction, ‘Winston Legacy’, continuing the tradition of buying and selling only the very best, a trait of the founder Mr. Winston himself. World record prices were set for diamonds, pearls and sapphires, thereby firmly establishing the international appetite for the most beautiful gems and jewels in a record-breaking $102 million auction at Christie's Geneva."
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 Salvator Mundi, 2017), for a 20th century artwork (Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, 2022) and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019). Christie's is also recognised as a reference for prestigious single owner collections, having auctioned 8 of the 10 most important collections in history.
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 use of hologram technology to tour life-size 3D objects around the world, and 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.