Christie’s watch sales are off to a historic start this spring. Very recently, the luxury auctioneer set a new global record for the most expensive watch auctioned online with the US$5.8 million sale of an ultra-rare Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon. Offered in the Hong Kong outpost’s Top of the Time event, the 42 mm Ref. 6002G sports an 18-karat white-gold case and a striking blue champlevé and cloisonné enamel dial. Cathedral minute repeating, a perpetual calendar, side real time, a sky chart, and moon phases also adorn the timepiece, in a true piece of craftsmanship. Rarely seen at auction and nearly impossible to find on the market, the remarkable watch, with a whopping 12 complications, hammered down for more than half of the auctioneer’s final sales total of US$8.4 million.
By the final sale, 93 per cent of the auction’s 111 lots—including models from Rolex to Cartier—were sold with reportedly 131 per cent of them selling above low estimates. While Lot 111 (the Sky Moon Tourbillon) lead the pack, the runner up is another masterpiece from the Swiss luxury watchmaker. Dubbed the Patek Philippe Grand Complications, or Ref. 5208, the minute repeater and single-button chronograph showcases a perpetual calendar. Similar to the auction’s record-breaking tourbillon, the self-winding chronograph (Lot 110) is incredibly hard to get ahold of. One lucky collector, however, was able to take the platinum piece home for US$999,541.
Three additional timepieces from the Top of the Time auction also saw final prices realized up to seven times over their low estimates. Lot 60, for example, offered a skeletonised Gerald Genta perpetual calendar wristwatch with a minute repeater, a leap-year indicator, and moon phases. It sold for US$104,791, which was over five times its low estimate. In another offering, an 18-karat white-and-pink-gold wristwatch from Andersen Genève—designed by Jean Pierre Hagman—was snagged for seven times more than its low estimate, at US$45,141; the timepiece had a stunning 21-karat blue-gold dial, Art Deco hands, and a historic LeCoultre minute-repeater movement from the 1920s.
In another standout offering, Lot 72 placed an 18-karat pink-gold wristwatch from Jaeger-LeCoultre up for grabs. One of just 500 examples, the eye-catching timepiece features a reverse tourbillon and Jaeger-LeCoultre engravings on its openwork caseback. The watch sold for US$45,141, raking in over two times its low estimate.
“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,” Alexandre Bigler, Christie’s vice president and head of watches for Asia Pacific, said in a statement. “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 for our esteemed clients and watch enthusiasts.”
View every lot offered in Christie’s Top of the Time auction on the auctioneer’s website.
Previously published on Robb Report.