luxury watches Christie's
Christie’s Middle East opens its Spring 2023 auction season with an offering of contemporary and vintage timepieces carefully curated to capture the breadth of modern watchmaking culture, specifically wristwatches from the past half-century.

From Richard Mille’s quirky and risqué complication, the RM 69 Erotic Tourbillon (estimated at US$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.”

A preview of selected highlights…

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: US$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: US$500,000-$800,000)

vintage marvels…

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: US$160,000-240,000)

independent wonders…

Parmigiani Fleurier PF Tonda Split Seconds Chronograph Platinum. Offered for the first time at auction, this particular reference 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: US$120,000-220,000)

About Christie’s

  • Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).
  • Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. Christie’s has sold 8 of the 10 most important single-owner collections in history, including the Paul G. Allen Collection—the most valuable collection ever offered at auction (November 2022). In recent years, Christie’s also achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, 2017), for a 20th century artwork (Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, 2022) and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019). Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace.
  • Following the ground-breaking 2021 sale of the first digital art NFT ever offered by a global auction house (Beeple’s Everydays), Christie’s recently launched the first fully on-chain auction platform dedicated to exceptional NFT art. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including the use of hologram technology to tour life-size 3D objects around the world, and the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats.
  • Christie’s is dedicated to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide, including achieving sustainability through net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and actively using its platform in the art world to amplify under-represented voices and support positive change. 

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