Saturday, December 12, 2009

Auctions work well for premium timepieces in a down economy

It's not just eBay that attempts to sell luxury items to the highest bidder.  Many other auction houses still run auctions the old fashioned way.  In fact, were any of the watches in your personal collection acquired through an auction like the one mentioned below?

Following recently successful auctions of fine and rare watches in Dubai, Geneva and Hong Kong, Christie’s New York will present a selection of over 380 fine and rare timepieces for auction on Tuesday, December 15. Vintage and modern wristwatches from major manufacturers as well as pocket watches, fine ladies watches, and rare signed clocks will be highlighted. Prices for the timepieces begin at $700 and range upwards to $350,000 for the most important signed timepieces.

The total sale is expected to achieve in excess of $4 million. Sam Hines, Head of Watches at Christie’s New York comments, “As our recent sales have demonstrated, demand for high quality timepieces continues to expand globally, as we welcome new collectors into this field.”

Among the top lots of the sale is a selection of Patek Philippe minute repeating wristwatches – a highly covered complication among devoted collectors of fine wristwatches.

The watches include a platinum minute repeating tourbillion wristwatch estimated to be from $350,000 to 550,000, a signed 18k gold minute repeating watch estimated to be between $280,000 to 350,000 and a signed platinum minute repeating watch with a handsome enamel dial coming at a price between $250,000 to $350,000. Also featured is the Cartier retailed Audemars Piguet wristwatch estimated to be between $120,000to 180,000.

Leading the broad selection of over 200 modern signed watches from top houses is a sleek platinum Girard-Perregaux, a fine and rare oversized tourbillion hour striking watch with a pink golden bridge visible though the aperture approximately priced between $100,000 to 150,000; a curved tonneau-shaped Richard Mille, a 18k pink gold tourbillion watch with a skeletonized dial estimated to be between $80,000 to $120,000; a very rare Franck Muller, the “Consquistador” model in 18K white gold and estimated to be between $80,000 to 120,000: and a Patek Phillipe with the rare and highly sought after black dial and white gold baton numerals costing between $80,000 and $120,000.

Havee you ever participated in a live auction for one of your timepieces?  What was the best part of the experience?  What could have been better?


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