New York

  • “Sleeping Beauty” Rolex, Reference 8171 “Padellone” sells for record-breaking $1.14 million
  • Multiple New Records Achieved for Models by Patek Philippe, Rolex, Richard Mille, Chanel, and Vacheron Constantin

New York – Christie’s New York saw a successful finale to the 2013 Watches auction season on December 17, with a 365-lot auction of Important Watches, which achieved a total of $12,926,175 and selling 91% by lot and 95% by value. The top lot of the sale was an exceptional Rolex, Stainless Steel Reference 8171 “Padellone,” which sold for $1,145,000, quadrupling its pre-sale estimate of $250,000 – 350,000 after a fierce bidding war that spanned across four countries and establishing a new world auction record for a Rolex Reference 8171. This result combined with the June 11 auction, brings the 2013 New York total to over US$20.8 million. After a year that saw record-breaking figures across Geneva, Hong Kong, and New York salerooms, 2013 marks Christie’s eighth consecutive year as leader of the watch auction market.

Aurel Bacs, International Head of Watches, commented: “Today’s auction was a most memorable grand finale to the most successful year of watch auctions ever orchestrated by any auction house in history. Savvy bidders, from around the world gathered to compete fiercely for a beautifully curated, intelligently estimated, and well researched selection of high-quality collectors watches. The six-hour auction went from one high to the next, showing the unlimited and international appeal of important watches. The global character of the watch market was further demonstrated by the ten collectors from four continents that were represented in the top ten lots of the sale.” Regarding his departure from Christie’s, Mr. Bacs remarked, “It has been a privilege to lead this extraordinary team over the last decade. Living with this team one record-breaking year after the next and closing the year with such a remarkable sale is the most wonderful farewell any auctioneer could have hoped for. With John Reardon and Sam Hines taking over in January 2014, this department is in the most capable hands in the auction industry, and I whole-heartedly wish the Christie’s Watches department soaring success in the future.”


  • ROLEX, REFERENCE 8171 “PADELLONE”. A stainless steel and diamond-set automatic triple calendar wristwatch with moon phases and two-toned silvered dial. Circa 1953.


Estimate: $250,000 – $350,000

Price Realized: $1,145,000

  • PATEK PHILIPPE, REFERENCE 2499. 18K gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon phases, tachometer scale, and silvered matte dial. Manufactured in 1960.

Estimate: $550,000 – $750,000

Price Realized: $725,000

John Reardon, Head of Watches for Christie’s New York, added: “Having completed my first auction with Christie’s, I am absolutely thrilled with today’s result. This sale displayed the breadth of what makes Christie’s Watches so incredibly unique in the world of horology: a community of specialists, collectors, and new buyers all coming together to celebrate their mutual passion. The bidding was spirited, aggressive, and reflects the evolving tastes of the worldwide marketplace with collectors in the room, on the phone and on Christie's LIVE™ from fourteen countries.”

Note to Editors:

*The final 2013 global total for the Watches category will be announced in January 2014 as part of the company’s annual global figures release.


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: or by downloading Christie’s apps. The COVID-related re-opening status of our global locations is available here.