Sotheby’s scales up ‘Watches Weekly’ to three sales per week

Art Daily
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Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Astrotourbillon wristwatch in Pink Gold, circa 2016. Equipped with an Astro-tourbillon carriage, featuring a special rotational axis at the centre of the movement. Est. CHF 40,000 – 60,000 (US$ 41,000 – 62,000). Courtesy Sotheby's.
Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Astrotourbillon wristwatch in Pink Gold, circa 2016. Equipped with an Astro-tourbillon carriage, featuring a special rotational axis at the centre of the movement. Est. CHF 40,000 – 60,000 (US$ 41,000 – 62,000). Courtesy Sotheby’s.

GENEVA.- Following the global success and enthusiasm met by its Watches Weekly sales, Sotheby’s is expanding its new, fast and dynamic format to host three online sales per week. In addition to the existing Hong Kong weekly sales, which have set a number of records since their launch in early April, two new rolling auctions, curated by the Geneva and New York teams, will be added this month. These seven-day auctions will present watch lovers with enhanced opportunities to sell and buy some of the most sought-after vintage and contemporary timepieces on the market.

Sam Hines, Worldwide Head of Sotheby’s Watches said: “The ‘Watches Weekly’ sales were introduced to provide great responsiveness to trends in the market and a swifter turnaround between appraisal and sale. We also wanted to embrace the collectors’ increased confidence to buy high-value pieces online. The overwhelming response and results achieved in the past month have demonstrated the relevance of this approach: the sales set many benchmarks, including a world record for a watch sold in an online auction. They also attracted collectors from around the world, many of whom were young, completely new to Sotheby’s and returned time and again to participate in the weekly sales. As we gear up for a new season of live auctions and continue to develop our private and online sales, we are excited to push ahead with more innovative formats which are in tune with the collectors’ needs and aspirations.”

Josh Pullan, Global Managing Director of Sotheby’s Watches added: “We constantly explore new ways to connect with watch collectors and respond to this evolving market. With weekly online auctions, we can prepare, inspect and offer watches for sale almost instantly using our digital capabilities. The launch of new sales out of Europe, the US and Asia will enable us to provide even swifter and broader services to buyers and sellers in key markets.”

From this month, the New York, Hong Kong and Geneva watch teams will each unveil a new selection of timepieces once a week: New York sales will kick off on Tuesdays, Hong Kong on Wednesdays and Geneva on Thursdays. These 7-day sales will present a varied range of property, from blue-chip names and models, to independent watch brands, themed sales and more. The aim is to feature a highly curated selection of around 15 watches and clocks every week, which collectors will be able to explore by category on a new dedicated platform on Sothebys.com/WatchesWeekly

HIGHLIGHTS IN THE MAY SALES INCLUDE:

• Hong Kong Watches Weekly (13 – 20 May) PATEK PHILIPPE Reference 1177M, made in 1979. A unique gilt brass solar powered dome table clock with cloisonné enamel by master enameller Elizabeth Perusset Lagger. Est. HK$ 1-2m (US$ 119,250 – 238,500)

• Geneva Watches Weekly (14 – 21 May) CARTIER. Rotonde de Cartier Astrotourbillon wristwatch in Pink Gold, circa 2016. Equipped with an Astro-tourbillon carriage, featuring a special rotational axis at the centre of the movement. Est. CHF 40,000 – 60,000 (US$ 41,000 – 62,000)

• Geneva Watches Weekly (21 – 28 May) A. LANGE & SÖHNE Lange 1, Reference 101.026 in Stainless Steel, circa 1998. Exceptionally rare and collectible ‘Lange 1’ in stainless steel. it is thought that fewer than 30 examples were made in this material and only upon request. Est. CHF 150,000 – 250,000 (US$ 155,000 – 255,000)

• New York Watches Weekly (19 – 26 May) F.P. JOURNE Centigraphe Souverain “Ferrari” A limited edition platinum chronograph wristwatch with ‘Ross Corsa’ dial and bracelet, circa 2010. Est. US$ 120,000 – 180,000

WATCHES WEEKLY: STRONG PERFORMANCES IN APRIL
The first six Watches Weekly sales totalled over US$ 4.63 million and set new benchmarks for online watch auctions.

NEW AND YOUNG PARTICIPANTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
• Participants came from 40 countries from all continents, incl. from Asia, Europe, North and South America as well as the Middle East and Africa.

• New participants: 54 % of the buyers had never bought a watch at Sotheby’s before

• 40 % of participants were under 40

• The number of buyers under 40 increased by 60% between the first and the latest weekly sale.

RECORDS & TOP PRICES
• Record for a watch sold in an online auction: a brand new Patek Philippe Nautilus, ref. 5711 in platinum with blue jeans dial, circa 2014 fetched HK$ 3,750,000 (US$ 484,000) (lot 24, est. HK$ 3-5m / US$ 387,200-645,300) in the second sale which included 30 vintage and modern wristwatches by Patek Philippe

• A Rolex Paul Newman Daytona, reference 6241 in stainless steel, circa 1968 soared to HK$ 2,375,000 (US$ 306,518) in the first sale (lot 4, est. HKD 1-2m / USD 129,000 – 258,000)

• A Rolex Daytona, reference 6263 in stainless steel, made for Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum circa 1975, realised HK$2m (US$ 258,000) (lot 5 in the first sale, est. HKD 1.6-2.4m / USD USD 206,400- 309,500)

• Auction record for a F.P. Journe Tourbillon with brass movement 3rd series, set by a Tourbillon Souverain d’égalité which fetched US$272,400 – lot 84 in the 4th Watches Weekly sale (22-29 April)

• Auction record for a F.P Journe platinum with pink gold dial, set by a Chronomètre à Résonance which realised US$208,000 – lot 83 in the 4th sale (22-29 April)

• 100% of lots sold in the first Watches Weekly sale (1-8 April), which featured a selection of 19 stunning Rolex wristwatches and rare pieces by Audemars Piguet