• Press release
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  • Dubai
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  • For immediate release
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  • 13 February 2017

PRESS RELEASE: Christie’s Dubai leading the Middle Eastern auction watch market by celebrating five years of stand-alone Important Watches auctions in Dubai

 VINTAGE SECTION led by iconic Patek Philippe Ref. 2499/100 4th series offered with its original certificate and box as well an extremely rare Rolex reference 6263 with Paul Newman ‘Panda’ dial, warranty and box

CONTEMPORARY SECTION led by a very rare Richard Mille RM012 platinum skeletonized tourbillon nb. 30/30, two RM004 split second chronographs and for the first time at auction the highly coveted RM35-01 Rafael Nadal

Important Private Collection of Number 1 Cartier Timepieces

A Breguet made for King of Morocco Hassan II

Dubai – 2017 marks five years of stand-alone watch auctions held by Christie’s in the Middle East. Inaugurated by Frederic Watrelot in November 2013, who became the company’s watch specialist for the US West coast, based in Los Angeles, the auctions have been taken to further heights by Remy Julia, Head of Watches Middle East, India and Africa since 2015. In this region, the market for watches has developed extremely fast.  Over five years the collector base has become increasingly sophisticated in their knowledge of not only modern and vintage watches but also rare and limited edition pieces. The announcement of the 3rd edition of “Dubai Watch Week”, supported by Christie’s from its inception, is another testament to this fast developing market.

A major development over the past five years has been seen in the field of vintage watches and the growing appetite of clients in the region for these kinds of pieces.  To emphasize this trend, Christie’s Geneva will once again bring an important selection of watches to their May auction.

The 19 March 2017 Important Watches auction will offer exceptional vintage pieces led by a Patek Philippe Ref. 2499/100 4th series as well as a Rolex Paul Newman Panda Dial ref. 6263 (estimate: $150,000-250,000) both offered with their original documents and box. The auction will also feature a refined private collection of Cartier timepieces either unique 1/1, number 1 or part of very limited editions.

Reference 2499, by Patek Philippe is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s greatest watch models ever created. Introduced in 1950, it replaced the legendary reference 1518, the world’s first perpetual calendar wristwatch with chronograph made in series. Over a period of 35 years, reference 2499 was made in 4 series with a total production of 349 pieces only, the majority cased in yellow gold. The rarity of this model becomes even more evident when considering that annually on average only 9 watches left Patek Philippe’s workshops in Geneva. Furthermore ref 2499 /100 fourth series, produced from 1980 to 1985, is considered as being the last true vintage perpetual calendar chronograph made by Patek Philippe (estimate: $400,000-600,000). It is the first time that such a timepiece is offered at auction in the Middle East.

Watches with royal provenance, or those made for important leaders, are always favored by collectors at auction. Christie’s will offer a skeletonized manual wind Breguet with custom made buckle with the emblem of King Hassan II of Morocco. The watch was retailed by Chaumet, delivered with the original box signed Chaumet and also features the royal emblem. Made in the 1990s this timepiece reflects the elegance and refined taste of Breguet’s modern era (estimate: $25,000-50,000).

An Important private collection of Cartier watches, either unique 1/1,  number 1, part of very limited editions or special orders made for the majority in platinum and palladium, will attract the attention of worldwide collectors. This dedicated Cartier section will start with fine and rare ultra-thin pocket watches including an ultra-thin minute repeater, and a sapphire set platinum set open case watch. Furthermore the Cartier selection will feature iconic designs and models with a selection of watches from the 90s to the early 2000s such as: 3 Asymetrique watches; 2 Santos Dumont, 2 Tank a guichet, a Tortue XL Tourbillon and a Tortue chronograph; a Crash London 001-91 and a Crash Paris 001-91 as well as a Santos 100, a skeletonized Santos 100 and a Santos mystery, just to name a few.

After the successful auctions Christie’s held across four sale venues to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Patek Philippe Nautilus model in 2016, Dubai responds to the ongoing demand for this model by offering reference 3800/108, an 18 carat gold Nautilus a full setting of diamond on the case, dial and bracelet with eye catching sapphire-set numerals. Reference 3800 has a case measuring 37mm and is estimated at $64,000-103,000.

In the field of vintage watches many Rolex models are highly sought after by collectors and the auction will offer important models from the early 1970s. The most important Vintage Rolex in this auction is reference 6263, a stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with “Panda” Paul Newman dial, made circa 1971, just a year after the models launch (estimate: $150,000-250,000). It is estimated that, over a 20 year period, only 24,000 examples of reference 6263 and 6265 were produced in stainless steel, and a very small percentage assembled with the exotic “Paul Newman” dials.

Reference 1803 was originally intended for the Middle Eastern market, this Rolex Day-Date Lacquered Stella was produced during the 1970s, identified as timepiece with special lacquered dials and produced in limited numbers. Highly collectable and rare, these timepieces were crafted with powerful colors and quickly became part of the most collectible Day-Dates. Two pieces are on offer, one lacquered in green and the other one in red, both estimated at $20,000-30,000. A second reference 1803, made for the Sultanate of Oman in circa 1974 was retailed by Asprey of London. This time the dial is lacquered in burgundy with diamond indexes and the calendar indications are in Arabic. The watch does not carry the the Khanjar dagger of the Sultan’s signature, normally found on all watches made by special order for the Sultanate (estimate: $30,000-50,000).

Other highlights of the sale include an important Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept tourbillon (estimate: $130,000-200,000) as well as a A. Lange & Söhne fine and rare platinum diamond-set flyback chronograph featuring an impressive diamond baguette set case and diamond set dial (estimate: $135,000-185,000).

Greubel Forsey is represented in the auction with the company’s “Tourbillon 24 Seconds Incline” watch, manufactured in 2010. The tourbillon mechanism is inclined at a 25 degree angle, which appears detached from the gear train. Completing a rotation in just 24 seconds, the tourbillon mechanism was crafted from extremely low-density alloys, stemming from the aeronautical and aerospace industries, in order to withstand the stresses imposed by the high speed of rotation. Characteristic of Greubel Forsey timepieces, the asymmetrical shape of the beautiful 18k white gold case enables the wearer to observe in detail the mechanism through a sapphire crystal opening in the band  (estimate: $140,000-240,000).


The proportion of women’s watches has increased dramatically since the first auction and now represents a quarter of the entire sale, not counting unisex examples. The March 2017 women’s watches section of approximately 40 lots is highlighted by the second most valuable watch of the auction: the ‘like new’ and unique creation Ladyhawke by Boucheron and Girard-Perregaux, marrying jewelry and creativity. Assembled with the highly complicated and iconic tourbillon with three gold Bridges, the movement provides the wristwatch with an exceptional aesthetical appeal due to its unique architecture. With animals being a predominant source of inspiration for the Maison Boucheron, the present unique creation offers enthusiasts of 'Haute Joaillerie' a magnificent falcon embellished with precious gems. Prince of birds, messenger of gods, this majestic creature is crafted out of 18k white gold and encircles the watch with elegance. Furthermore, the timepiece is set with rubies and a total of over 900 pink, yellow, fancy and white diamonds weighing a total of approximately 26.72 carats (estimate: $250,000-450,000).

The Cartier Crash was first introduced in the late 1960s, available only in yellow gold and sold exclusively at Cartier of London. With the first series comprising of only 15 examples, modern variations were introduced in the early 1990s as limited editions with a special Crash deployant buckle. Alluding to Salvador Dali’s painting The Persistence of Memory, 1931, exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, these highly desirable timepieces are highly coveted by collectors. Two Cartier Crash will be on offer, a yellow gold Crash Paris and a Crash London preserved in excellent overall condition with a beautiful platinum case (both estimated at: $20,000-40,000 each). The auction will also feature Manchette watches by Cartier, Chopard and Piaget from the 70’s, which were among the most desirable ladies accessories from that era.

Wanted by many, owned by a select few, the creations of the maison Harry Winston evoke passion for perfection and extraordinary luxury. Crafted in a beautiful 18k white gold case studded with baguette-cut diamonds and a pave-set mother-of-pearl dial, the present Harry Winston timepiece is offered in very good overall condition with its certificates (estimate: $25,000-45,000).

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. 

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