This week, Christie's made history in the luxury watch industry. As per a statement from the auction house, a rare Patek Philippe watch — Sky Moon Tourbillon — was sold for a whopping US$ 5.8 million (HK$ 45.4 million) in Hong Kong. This was the highest price ever paid for a timepiece in an online auction, as per reports.
The auction, titled ‘Top of the Time Watches Online’, boasted sales touching US$8,420,555 (HK$65,811,600). It attracted bidders from 48 countries across seven continents. The record sale of the Patek Philippe watch also underscored Hong Kong’s pre-eminence as a major collecting hub for watches and the rising demand and growth of the luxury watch market in the city.
Patek Philippe 'Sky Moon Tourbillon'
The Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon watch that fetched the record-breaking price is crafted in 18 ct white gold. With a diameter of 44 mm, the stunning timepiece has such impressive features as a cathedral minute repeating function, tourbillon, perpetual calendar, retrograde date, moon phases, leap year indication, sidereal time, sky chart, phases and orbit of the moon. The blue cloisonné enamel dial is accentuated by a stylish dark blue crocodile strap and the 18 ct white gold hand-engraved Patek Philippe deployant clasp adds the final touch of luxurious elegance.
Top of the Time Watches Online Auction Highlights
The auction also showcased other exceptional timepieces, including a Patek Philippe Grand Complications (Lot 110) watch with minute repeating, instantaneous perpetual calendar, single-button chronograph, moon phases, leap year and day/night indication. It sold for US$999,541 (HK$7,812,000).
Additionally, a platinum skeletonised perpetual calendar wristwatch, designed by Gerald Genta (Lot 60), sporting a leap year indicator and moon phases, sold for US$104,791 (HK$819,000), over five times higher than the low estimate.
A unique 18 ct white and pink gold wristwatch, created by Andersen Genève (Lot 27),featuring a tapisserie-decorated 21 ct blue gold dial, historic LeCoultre minute repeater movement and perpetual calendar with a leap year indicator, sold for US$45,141 (HK$352,800), over seven times higher than the low estimate.
Finally, a limited-edition Jaeger Le-Coultre (Lot 72) 18 ct pink gold wristwatch with Reverso tourbillon and power reserve sold for US$ 45,141 (HK$ 352,800), more than twice its low estimate. It was limited to 500 pieces.
“The outstanding results established for Watches Online: Top of the Time demonstrate the power of Christie’s online sale platform to present exceptional lots and achieve top prices, on par with our live sales,” said Alexandre Bigler, Vice-President, Head of Watches, Christie’s Asia Pacific. “There continues to be an extremely vibrant market for watches across the world, evidenced through the avid global bidding this sale witnessed, which further cements Hong Kong’s status as an international epicenter for watch collecting. This sale lays a very strong foundation for our Spring Auctions in May at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, where we look forward to presenting more exceptional timepieces.”
Overall, 93% sold by lot and 131% hammered above the low estimate. The results testify to the popularity of watches as collectibles. With online sales becoming a key channel for millennials, the future indeed looks bright for the luxury watch market.