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Sotheby's Strengthens its Commitment to Luxury in the Middle East
  • Dubai, 5 March 2019 – Following the successful launch of new watch sales in Dubai this autumn and  building on its tradition of world-class jewellery exhibitions going back 15 years, Sotheby’s is further strengthening its commitment to luxury in the Middle East in 2019 by appointing two leading watch and jewellery specialists. Based in Dubai, Watch Specialist Frederic Watrelot and Jewellery Specialist Sophie Stevens will travel throughout the region to meet collectors, advising them on selling and buying jewellery and watches and developing business opportunities for the company. Both of them will work closely with Katia Nounou, Head of the Dubai Office and Sotheby’s MENA teams. Their appointments come as Sotheby’s continues to grow its global watch and jewellery division, which includes many of the foremost experts in the field, and continues to broaden its activities with a wide range of new services and innovative online sales.

    These nominations herald a series of exciting events and exhibitions in Dubai next month, culminating with the second edition of Sotheby’s Watches auction in the Middle East on 24 March. Prior to this, from 18 until 24 March, all the timepieces to be offered in the sale will go on public view in our Dubai galleries, alongside art by Arab and Iranian Modern and Contemporary Masters. Sotheby’s Diamonds - the pioneering retail boutique specialising in the rarest and most beautiful diamonds in the world - will also makes its first appearance in the Middle East, with an exhibition of breath-taking designs.

    Laurence Nicolas, Global Managing Director of Sotheby’s Jewellery and Watches Divisions, said: “Jewellery and watch collecting has a centuries-long tradition in the Middle East, and Sotheby’s has been active in the region for many decades, both on the business side and the cultural and educational scene. As we see a marked increase in Middle-Eastern participation in our sales, the appointment of Frederic and Sophie is a further testament to our commitment to collectors in the region and an exciting opportunity to continue sharing our passion and knowledge with a young, savvy generation. We look forward to seeing them all next month in our galleries and salesroom.”

    Katia Nounou Boueiz, Head of Sotheby’s Dubai, said: “Since Sotheby’s opened the gallery in Dubai in 2017, we have been continuously looking to expand what we offer clients in the region, and to bring the expertise of our international specialists directly to their doorstep. With Frederic and Sophie joining us, watch and jewellery expertise become an integral part of the services we provide every day, not only in Dubai but in the whole region.”

    Frederic Watrelot joins Sotheby’s International Watch team as Senior Specialist based in Dubai, bringing with him 20 years of experience in the international auction market and watch industry, most notably in the Middle East. Prior to this, Frederic worked for an international auction house where he developed the watch business in key markets, including the Middle East, Hong Kong and the Americas. A Graduate from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in Santa Monica, California, Frederic started his career in the luxury Watch & Jewellery retail industry in the US and in France. He then went on to lead the activities of an exclusive Swiss watch company in the Middle East, India and Africa.

    Sophie Stevens has been appointed Jewellery Specialist for the MENA region, having consulted for the company in Dubai since 2016. Prior to this role, Sophie was a Jewellery Specialist with another international auction house in London, and had previously worked in the antique jewellery and gemstone trade. A certified gemmologist and diamond grader with the Gemmological Association of Great Britain, she completed her undergraduate degree in Theology & Religious Studies at the University of Bristol. She frequently writes for press in the Middle East, and is a regular watches and jewellery contributor for Harper’s Bazaar Arabia.