Lifestyle

Middle East's largest and most valuable watch auction is around the corner

Middle East's largest and most valuable watch auction is around the corner

Christie’s is organising what will be the largest and the most valuable watch auction in the Middle East over March and April. The auction house says the event, dubbed ‘Watches Online: Dubai Edit’, will offer the largest selection of extremely sought-after timepieces ever in the region. The scale of the event also highlights Dubai’s position as a global hub for vintage and contemporary collectible wristwatches. The auction involves close to 200 lots estimated to bring in $9 million to $15 million, and is open for bidding from March 24 to April 9, 2021.

“Watches Online: Dubai Edit is without precedent in the Middle East. This auction event is the perfect barometer for current collector demand, be it in the contemporary or the vintage watch space. It brings together into one place exceptional exemplars of watchmaking, in sync with the spirit and passion of the truly discerning collectors in the Middle East,” said Remy Julia, Chief Watch Specialist at Christie’s Dubai.

Among the watches that go under the hammer will be rare references from Patek Philippe and Rolex as well as some from independent watchmakers. One of the watches on auction, the exceptionally rare Ref. 5002P Sky Moon Tourbillon in platinum – at the time the most complicated watch ever produced by Patek Philippe and the first ever double-faced wristwatch in the Geneva manufacturer’s history – is estimated at $1 million to $1.8 million. It houses 12 of the rarest complications, including a tourbillon and minute repeater. This watch is joined by a selection of other Patek Phillipe minute repeaters, such as the Ref. 5074P minute repeater perpetual calendar (estimated at $400,000 to $700,000), the Ref. 5014P semi-skeletonised minute repeater perpetual calendar (estimated at $400,000 to $600,000), and the pink gold Ref. 5029 minute repeater (estimated at $250,000 to $350,000) made in 10 pieces per metal (yellow gold, pink gold, white gold and platinum) to commemorate the anniversary of the manufacture in 1997.

In addition to the four Patek Philippe minute repeaters, the sale will also feature three examples of Grand complication, and what was at the time among the most complicated and expensive wristwatches in the world: the Gerald Genta Grand Sonnerie and Petite Sonnerie timepieces made in 1994 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the manufacture.

Among the vintage pieces on auction from Rolex are a Rolex Dato Compax Ref. 6036, produced circa 1952 (estimated at $100,000 to $180,000), a Submariner “Big Crown” Ref. 5510 ($125,000 to $200,000), a Sea-Dweller Ref. 1665 “Patent Pending” ($90,000 to $120,000), and a well-preserved Ref. 3525 chronograph ($150,000 to $300,000).

watch auction
Rolex Ref 1804 in Platinum with Hindi numerals. Image Credit: Supplied

Apart from these, there is a selection of watches with particular relevance to the Middle East, including vintage Rolex Day-Date ref 1804 models with Eastern Arabic numerals (also called Hindi numerals) or featuring the official crests of regional royalty or armed forces. Prominent timepieces by independent watchmakers with a strong link to the UAE include MB&F LM1 M.A.D. Dubai limited edition and Richard Mille RM 010 MBZ Abu Dhabi Grand Prix edition.

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MB&F LM1 M.A.D. Dubai limited edition. Image Credit: Supplied

These watches will all be on view at Christie’s Dubai DIFC Gate Village 5, Podium Level, between 24th March and 8th April by appointment only.