Christie's Watches Spring 2023 Live Auctions in Geneva: How Rare Watches Stole the Show

Offering 199 lots over two days, the auctions generated sales worth US$ 45,027,826 in total
Christie's Watches Spring 2023 Live Auctions in Geneva: How Rare Watches Stole the Show
May 16, 2023
Christie's Watches Spring 2023 Live Auctions in Geneva: How Rare Watches Stole the Show

Christie's Watches Spring 2023 live auctions in Geneva have proved to be a grand success. Offering 199 lots over two days, these generated sales worth CHF 40,178,304 (US$ 45,027,826) in total. The auctions, which took place on May 12 and 13, featured two separate sections, namely The Art of F.P. Journe and Rare Watches.

Patek Philippe, ref. 5711/1A-018, created circa 2022, sold for CHF2,233,000 (US$2,498,876)

The Art of F.P. Journe

This inaugural auction was dedicated solely to a living independent watchmaker. It achieved a 100% sales rate and a total revenue of CHF 13,665,300 (US$15,314,702). This particular section comprised 24 lots, the highest grossing among which was a rare platinum Tourbillon Souverain ‘Souscription 2/20’ wristwatch, crafted circa 1999. It was sold for CHF 2,707,000/(US$3,033,735). This event set a new standard for independent watchmakers in the auction industry.

Rare Watches

The auction of ‘Rare Watches’ on May 13 presented 159 timepieces and achieved a sales rate of 98%, with proceeds totalling CHF 26,513,004 (US$29,713,124). The auction attracted bidders representing 47 nations, with 27% of them being new clients. Global buyers were active, with 52% hailing from Europe and the Middle East, 15% from the Americas and 33% from Asia. The event saw six watches selling for more than CHF 1 million each and four others selling for more than CHF 500,000 each.

Tourbillon Souverain ‘Souscription” 2/20, created circa 1999, sold for CHF2,707,000 (US$3,033,735)

The auction showcased iconic vintage watches, including a significant collection of Rolex timepieces, crafted for the Sultan of Oman, celebrated Patek Philippe wristwatches and watches from independent makers. Lot 84 was the standout piece — a limited-edition Patek Philippe in stainless steel for Tiffany & Co., which sold for CHF 2,233,000 (US$2,498,876). Lot 132, an extraordinary Patek Philippe Ref. 2499 first series, sold for CHF 1,618,000 (US$1,954,811) while Lot 138, Patek Philippe Ref. 3974 2497R, sold for CHF 1,918,00 (US$1,818,795).

In the Rolex section, Lot 31, an exceptionally rare Daytona chronograph watch, featuring a diamond-set bezel and a dial and a bracelet decked with diamonds and sapphires, was the cynosure of all eyes. It was created circa 1985 for the then Sultan of Oman and sold for CHF 1,134,000 (US$1,274,730). All six vintage and modern watches ordered by Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al Said of Oman from Rolex, featuring the Khanjar emblem or the Sultan's signature, were sold at 100% sales rate.

The Independent Watchmakers section once again featured a masterpiece by F.P. Journe. Lot 96, a rare, platinum, limited-edition Tourbillon Souverain Ruthenium wristwatch, number 6/99, produced circa 2003, was sold for CHF 529,200 (US$594,874).

The bidding for Christie's forthcoming Watches Online: The Geneva Edit will begin on May 18 and end on May 30.

Image Credits: Christie’s