POST-SALE RELEASE: CHRISTIE’S ACHIEVES THE HIGHEST TOTAL RESULT FOR A SERIES OF WATCH AUCTIONS

Geneva

GENEVA NOVEMBER WATCH SALES FETCH $ 43.9 MILLION IN JUST 24 HOURS

ALL-TIME-RECORD-TOTAL FOR ANY WATCH SALE SERIES EVER HELD IN HISTORY 

  • Various-owne IMPORTANT WATCHES sale totalled $30.7M
  • ROLEX DAYTONA “LESSON ONE” sold 100%, fetching $13.2M
  • WORLD RECORD for any ROLEX DAYTONA
  • OVER 100 AUCTIONS RECORDS SET
  • BIDDERS FROM 5 CONTINENTS / 45 COUNTRIES

Geneva - On 10 & 11 November, Christie’s Geneva three-session auction of important watches realised an unprecedented combined total of $43,985,467 / SFr.40,273,663 / €32,823,824, the highest result for a series of watch sales ever held. On 11 November, the various-owner Important Watches sale totalled $30,737,300 / SFr.28,240,813 / €22,956,887, selling 92% by lot and 95% by value. The previous night, Rolex Daytona "Lesson One" –a unique single-themed evening auction featuring 50 exceptional examples of the world's most celebrated chronograph wristwatch, totalled $13,248,167 / SFr.12,032,850 / €9,866,937, selling 100% by lot and by value. Each Daytona set a world record price for the model at auction. The top lot of the week was a 1957 Patek Philippe ref. 2499 second series in pink gold, which sold for $2,160,474 / SFr.1,985,000 (Aurel Bacs, International Head of Christie’s Watch Department, pictured above while selling the watch).

Aurel Bacs, International Head of Christie's Watch Department, declared: “On 10 and 11 November, Christie's dispersed over 370 fine watches in an historical ten-hour auction marathon, which set a new record total for any series of watch sales. In the past months, we exhibited highlights in Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, New York, Paris, Dubai and in all locations we noticed an ever-growing appetite for high quality collector’s watches. This trend was demonstrated by a fiercer-than-ever competition generated by both experienced and new international bidders, in the room, on the telephone and online. Patek Philippe and Rolex were the stars, confirming that rare timepieces have to be considered as true works-of-art. Repeatedly interrupted by the applauding audience, the last exciting session of the week was crowned by a standing ovation."

TOP LOTS

The top lot of the sale was an extremely rare 1957 Patek Philippe ref. 2499 second series in pink gold, which sold for $2,160,474 / SFr.1,985,000 (illustrated left). Only eight other examples of this iconic model in the hyper-rare pink gold second series are known to date. Another star of the sale was an historically important yellow gold split seconds chronograph ref. 1563 manufactured by Patek Philippe in 1947, which fetched $1,572,738 / SFr.1,445,000 (illustrated right). Only three examples of this model are recorded to exist, all of which were made as special orders for the most prominent clients of the time. Originally created for jazz legend Duke Ellington, one of them is permanently exhibited in the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva.

ROLEX DAYTONA “LESSON ONE”

Surpassing all expectations, ROLEX DAYTONA "LESSON ONE" –a prestigious single-themed evening auction featuring 50 exceptional examples of the world's most celebrated chronograph wristwatch, totalled SFr.12,032,850 /$13,248,167 / €9,866,937,  selling 100% by lot and by value, at Christie's Geneva. Created and curated by Aurel Bacs and Livia Russo, in collaboration with the renowned scholar Pucci Papaleo, to mark the 50th anniversary of Rolex most iconic model, this unique sale presented only the best and most mythical Daytona wristwatches ever produced. The top lot of the auction was an extremely important stainless steel chronograph wristwatch, ref. 6263/6239, Paul Newman model, manufactured in 1969, which sold for $1,088,889 / SFr.989,000 setting a world record price for any Rolex Daytona (illustrated right).        

Aurel Bacs, International Head of Christie's Watch Department, commented: “Christie's first ever evening auction dedicated to wristwatches proved an unprecedented success. With four hundred people in the saleroom and plenty more queuing outside, I rarely experienced a similar rock concert atmosphere from the rostrum. Possibly the most rigorously curated watch auction ever staged, each lot was selected by Christie's watch department in partnership with Mr. Pucci Papaleo according to a disciplined approach to originality, condition and provenance. Setting 50 world records for 50 watches as well as achieving an absolute record price for any Rolex Daytona ever sold at auction, Rolex Daytona "Lesson One" will be remembered as an historical event”.

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.