Sun, Apr 16, 2023

Luxury Goods, Jewellery & Watches
Legends of time at auction

Christie’s Middle East will open its Spring 2023 auction season with an offering of contemporary and vintage timepieces carefully curated to capture the breadth of modern watchmaking culture.

The Watches Online: Dubai Edit (April 24 -May 4) will include wristwatches from the past half-century: from Richard Mille’s quirky and risqué complication, the RM 69 Erotic Tourbillon (estimated at $800,000-1,200,000) and must-haves by Patek Philippe, including a fabulous Nautilus Ref. 5711/111P-001, to a selection of iconic Daytonas, including a Ref. 6265 in a gold and black colour combination, to unique complications such as the Parmigiani Fleurier PF Tonda Split Seconds Chronograph Platinum, one of only 25 made and the first to be offered at auction.

Remy Julia, Head of Watches Christie’s Middle East, India & Africa: “Dubai’s central role as a business hub and as a cultural crossroads strengthens its position as a gateway into the watch universe for collectors and aficionados, whether based in the region or passing through. The incredible diversity and energy is something you always see reflected in Christie’s watch sales here. The Dubai Edit, live for bidding from 24 April is no exception with 138 lots for a total low estimate close to US$ 10 million mark – and we are already far in the consignment process for the second edition in October.”

The RM 69 is the brand’s take on the “Erotic Watches” genre, a category of timepieces that traces its origins back to the 17th century. Whilst pocket watches and even wristwatches of this ilk traditionally revolved around animated figurines that leave little to the imagination, Richard Mille’s reinterpretation takes a different, more subtle tack. Unveiled in 2015, the watch was produced in a limited run of 30 pieces, and the list of celebrities spotted wearing this watch include Travis Scott and Drake. Whimsical, ingenious and extremely exclusive, the RM69 is a wristwatch like no other and quite a find. (Est: $800,000-1,200,000)

If the Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711 established itself as the ultimate luxury sports watch from the outset when first introduced in 2006, it’s achieved icon status over the past decade beyond watch collectors alone. The platinum gem-set Nautilus Ref. 5711 models were never featured in Patek Philippe catalogues: they were reserved for Patek Philippe’s most exclusive clients. This particular Ref. 5711/111P-001 sports a bezel set with 32 baguette-cut blue sapphires, and the dial’s 12 sapphire hour markers add to its allure. Offered in like-new condition, this is a rare opportunity for Nautilus enthusiasts to claim a worthy addition to their collection. (Est: $500,000-$800,000)

The Four-digit Rolex Daytona is one of the most desirable and collectible wristwatches. Reference 6265 is carved from a block of 18k yellow gold, while the gold and matte black sporty styling provides a striking contrast. Another interesting and distinctive feature about Reference 6265 is the “Oyster” text below Rolex – it’s quite large and omits the mention “Perpetual”, and the watch is manually wound. At a diameter of 37mm, the watch is eminently wearable on a host of wrist sizes. (Est: $160,000-240,000)

Parmigiani Fleurier PF Tonda Split Seconds Chronograph Platinum, offered for the first time at auction, was introduced in 2021 to celebrate the brand’s 25th anniversary. It was based on the GPHG award-winning Parmigiani Tonda Chronor Anniversaire that was launched to mark the brand’s 15th anniversary. The most striking feature of this watch was the introduction of the maison’s first integrated chronograph movement, hand-crafted and finished in rose gold. One of only 25 produced, this piece is a true horological heavyweight – its platinum dial is framed by an all-platinum case, with a bracelet of the same metal – offered in like-new condition from the original owner. (Est: $120,000-220,000).

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