Timekeepers Club / October 6, 2022

Christie’s Watches Online: The Dubai Edit, 12 - 26 October 2022

Dubai, 5 October 2022 – Having set the benchmark for online auctions at Christie’s with blockbuster sales in March 2021 (US$ 15 million) and March 2022 (US$ 12 million), Christie’s Dubai reaffirms its stature and position as a global hub. True to form, the region’s leading auction house kicks off the second half of the year with a selection of highly collectible modern and vintage timepieces offered in Watches Online: The Dubai Edit featuring Collectible Women’s Watches. All the watches will be on display at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) from 12 to 26 October with online only bidding. Over 300 watches are going on auction with an estimate ranging from US$ 14 to US$ 23 million.

Heading the sale is the exclusive Richard Mille RM 50-03 McLaren Tourbillon Split-Seconds Chronograph (Est: US$900,000-1,200,000), a technical tour-de-force from the avant-garde independent watchmaker, made in a limited edition of only 75 pieces.

Furthermore, this Dubai auction will also feature several timepieces with Middle Eastern résonance and the largest selection of gem-set and mother of pearl Rolex Daytona watches to ever be offered in the region. To meet the market demand, the team of specialists have prepared an important selection of independent watchmakers F.P. Journe and De Bethune among others.

A dedicated section of 60 collectible women’s wristwatches will open the show with a closing on the 25 October, 24hours before the main auction. This section is composed of two collection, one contemporary from a collector of the Middle East while the second is driven by bracelet watches from the 1970’s mostly by Piaget.

Remy Julia, Head of Watches Christie’s Middle East, India & Africa, shared: “Dubai is the confluence of all that counts in the world of exceptional modern and vintage watches. Over 300 lots have been consigned by the team of specialists at Christie’s Watches Dubai for the Fall’s first sale, which is a record for the region. With an estimate of US$14 million, the quality of all provenances is a milestone. Never so many rare watches have been consigned by Christie’s in Dubai before. The sale has established itself as unmissable global event for discerning collectors of exceptional timepieces around the world.”

The Sale Highlight, F.P. Journe and the Independents

Lot 71 - Richard Mille RM 50-03 McLaren Tourbillon Split-Seconds Chronograph. A technical tour-de-force from the avant-garde independent watchmaker. Manufactured in a limited edition of only 75 pieces, the RM 50-03 was the first wristwatch to use the proprietary composite Graph TPT (Graphene) a cutting-edge case material developed by The University of Manchester, McLaren Applied Technologies and North Thin Ply Technology (NTPT).
(Est: US$900,000-1,200,000)

Lot 61 - A platinum F.P. Journe Tourbillon ‘Jade’ with a sought-after jade dial leads a selection of timepieces from the independent watchmaker. Given the difficulties of producing dials in stone, notably the risk of chipping and cracking, most manufacturers produce their dials in circular disks, thus making the cutting action simpler and reducing the pressure on ‘stress-points’. However, given the tourbillon and the offset dial, F.P. Journe cuts his dials with two very intricate and complex shapes; a process which no doubt results in numerous failed attempts. This particular example is further distinguished by the matching solid platinum bracelet which gives the watch a suitably substantial feeling on the wrist.
(Est: US$650,000-1,200,000)

Lot 65 - The exclusive F.P. Journe Chronomètre Souverain UAE edition. Presented in an attractive and unusual green livery, the watch was launched in 2020, to celebrate the opening of the brand’s first Dubai boutique. All 99 pieces of this stunning timepiece were instantly sold out. The watch’s colour scheme is symbolic in the Middle East, representing chance, fortune and fertility.
(Est: US$200,000-300,000)

Lot 77 - A white gold De Bethune DBS Tourbillon launched to mark the 10th anniversary of the De Bethune DBS. Limited to just 10 pieces and featuring a high-frequency tourbillon, the case design is a nod to the early De Bethune timepieces with the characteristic conical lugs, the hinged link between the top strap and the case, and the crown at 12 o’clock. 
(Est: US$200,000-300,000)

"Treasures of the Middle East"

Lot 105 - Rare craftmanship and pocket watch aficionados will appreciate the Patek Philippe Ref. 982/104J-001 open-faced watch with power reserve indication depicting in enamel a “Bedouin on camelback traversing the Arabian desert”. The watch is fitted with a gorgeous translucent blue enamel dial applied over a gold guilloche dial and is delivered with its full set of accessories including a gem set chain.
(Est: US$120,000-180,000)

Lot 91 - A special edition platinum Parmigiani Fleurier Islamic Hijri Perpetual Calendar made for the UAE Government to mark the 50th National Day Celebrations of the country made in 2021. A traditional perpetual calendar’s gears are programmed, when continuously running, to account for the leap month once every four years and different length months in the Gregorian calendar. The Islamic Calendar is based on the lunar calendar with the Hijri Year being made up of 12 months of 29 or 30 days – depending on the moon phase. The lunar calendar uses the phases of the moon to measure time, usually measuring the time from new moon to new moon as one month.
(Est: US$70,000-120,000)

Lot 84 - A very rare platinum Ludovic Ballouard Upside Down with Arabic numerals. With the Upside Down, the maverick indie eponymous watchmaker created a unique complication to display time. Only the numeral for the current hour flips from its upside down position, to upright, the end of the 59th second of each hour. The other 11 numerals on the dial remain in their upside down position. The standard Upside Down is a talking piece among watch collectors, while the presence of Arabic numerals adds a whole new layer of rarity to this timepiece.
(Est: US$40,000-80,000)


Lot 122 - A hugely impressive Everose Gold Daytona Rainbow ref. 116595RBOW. The Rolex Daytona may have started off as a tool watch however over the years the brand has presented the iconic chronograph in many glamourous iterations starting with the Ref. 6269, Ref. 6270, and the Daytona “Beach” models in the 2000s. The Rainbow Daytona models in yellow gold and white gold were released in 2012, before the Everose gold reference in 2018. The Rainbow has since become the most desirable of the modern Daytona references. The bezel is set with 36 baguette-cut sapphires in a rainbow gradation, framing a black lacquer dial with counters made with gold crystals. The mid-case is also set with brilliant-cut diamonds. Due to the nature of its production, these models were made in very limited edition and have an artisanal-like quality, as evidenced by the gem-setting on the bezel. As a result, demand for these Rainbow Daytonas has far outstripped supply.
(Est: US$350,000-650,000)

Lot 123 - The flamboyant and in-demand Daytona “Eye of The Tiger” ref. 116598TBR. Following the success of the Daytona “Rainbow”, Rolex launched the Ref. 116588TBR in 2019 – a flamboyant yellow gold and diamond-set Daytona with a spectacular dial complete with swirls of black lacquer surrounded by 243 diamonds and set with diamond hour markers. The dial quickly earned this reference the nickname “Eye of the Tiger”, and today it remains one of the most sought-after modern Daytona references. The Ref. 116598TBR, is a more luxurious update to the original reference, with the full-gold and diamond-set Rolex Oyster bracelet and diamond-set crown guards and lugs.
(Est: US$300,000-500,000)

Lot 172 - The Rolex 6239 Paul Newman in steel with a black dial is leading the vintage section of Rolex at the Dubai auction.
(Est: US$150,000-250,000)

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak trio

In the late 1990s, Audemars Piguet introduced a new ultramarine blue dial in the Royal Oak series in a shade that was very similar to the deep hue first mixed by the French artist Yves Klein. This dial was quickly nicknamed “Yves Klein” by collectors and to this day, they remain extremely collectible.

In this auction, Christie’s is privileged to present a trio of stainless-steel Royal Oak models (from left to right):

  • Lot 113 - Ref. 14790ST (Est: US$30,000-50,000)
  • Lot 115 - A perpetual Calendar ref. 25820ST (Est: US$150,000-250,000)
  • Lot 114 - A Day Date Moon phase ref. 25594ST (Est: US$50,000-80,000)

Collectible Women’s Watches

For the first time at Christie’s, the auction will feature a dedicated section of 60 collectible women’s wristwatches. Featuring 2 main collections, one is contemporary, while the second is focused on the 1970’s with a majority of Piaget in impeccable condition and an inimitable style.

Lot 1 - An exclusive titanium and carbon TPT Richard Mille RM037 Ti-CA TPT. The brand may be best known for its avant-garde sports watches using cutting-edge technology, but with models like the RM037, Richard Mille demonstrated that they can still create timepieces for women that exemplifies the innovative style which is the brand’s hallmark.
(Est: US$80,000-120,000)

Lot 2 - A superb example of Cartier Baignoire S ‘Crash Circa 2013. A white gold and diamond-set manual-winding wristwatch. A variant of the classic Baignoire line, the Baignoire S can be sometimes confused with another classic Cartier model, the Crash, with many referring to the Ref. 3174 as the Baignoire S Crash model.
(Est: US$60,000-80,000)

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