The fall sales season of important watches ended on a record-breaking note on December 15, as Christie’s New York presented its strongest and largest sale of fine and rare timepieces to date,
realizing $7.35 million in total, with sell-through rates of 92% by lot and 94% by value. This brings the global sales total for the watches category at Christie’s to approximately $67.2 million for the year, and re-affirms Christie’s market leadership in the category.
Aurel Bacs, International Co-Head for Watches at Christie’s, notes: “These outstanding results clearly demonstrate Christie’s dominance in the global market for fine and rare timepieces. Despite the continued volatility in the financial markets during 2009, all of Christie’s sales in this category performed above expectations, with sell-through rates consistently above the 90% mark. As we head into 2010, Christie’s is pleased to report that our broad global reach and market-leading success has already yielded exciting new consignments of rare timepieces, which we are ready to offer to our ever-expanding audience of collectors this Spring.”
Tim Bourne, International Co-Head for Watches at Christie’s, added, “2009 was notable for exponential growth in buyer participation from Asian countries, led by mainland China and Hong Kong. At the same time, both established and new collectors from private, trade, and institutional sectors in Europe and the U.S. were active in the market, generating many of the top prices and new auction records that Christie’s has achieved throughout the spring and fall seasons.”
Aided by the convenience of Christie’s LIVETM, the company’s global online bidding platform, bidders from around the world participated in all eight sales of Important Watches held this year, with an average of 200 online bidders registering for each sale. At the December 15 sale of Important Watches in New York, nearly 800 registered bidders from 31 different countries competed for items throughout the day-long event, submitting bids on the phone, online, in the salesroom, and by absentee bid. Christie’s presents two sales of Important Watches each year at its major sale locations in Geneva, Hong Kong, Dubai, and New York.