Christie’s is celebrating its 10th anniversary in the Middle East this year, and over the coming week, the auction house will be running education courses, and auctions in Dubai. The Important Watches Auction is the auction that interests us (obviously), and while there are numerous interesting modern and vintage timepieces up for grabs, we’ve listed the three that we’d love to add to our collection.
Gerald Genta Octo Perpetual Calendar (ref. OQM.Y.50)
Flipping through the Christie’s Important Watches catalog, we stopped dead in our tracks when we came across this distinctive pink-gold beauty from legendary designer, and watchmaker, Gérald Genta. Genta set up his own brand back in 1969 but he continued working with various watch brands over the course of his storied career. Bulgari acquired Genta’s company back in 1999, which means that this piece, which Christie’s says is from circa 2000, is a product of the brand while it was still independent.
The watch has the iconic Genta design traits, and while a 45mm case might have been considered large when this timepiece originally hit the market, it should fit right in with current tastes. This QP’s dial indicates the day, date, leap year, as well as the age of the moon, and it does so with serious style – we love the combination of gold and black lacquer, as well as the splash of red that’s visible on the moonphase and leap year indicators. The watch is in superb condition, and we’re very curious to find out how much this beautiful piece will hammer for at the upcoming auction.
Lot 36. Estimate: US $13,000 to $20,000 (AED 48,000 to 73,000)
Louis Audemars for Breguet Minute Repeater Perpetual Calendar
There’s a fair selection of pocket watches up for grabs but this complicated piece rules the roost. This timepiece was produced for Breguet (for the Turkish market) by Louis Audemars, and it’s absolutely stunning. Christie’s says the watch was sold on December 29, 1885 for 2,500 Francs (a princely sum in those days), which means this beautiful pocket watch is at least 131 years old.
The pocket watch features a double hunter 54mm case that has several beautiful engravings on it, and there’s a white enamel dial with four subsidiary dials. Considering its age, the case is in immaculate condition and the same can be said for that beautiful dial, which still has a fair bit of luster. The hand-wound movement also appears to be in great condition, and the piece pulled at our heart strings when we engaged the minute repeater.
Lot 60. Estimate: US $25,000 to $35,000 (AED 91,000 to 130,000)
Universal Genève Compax Chronograph (ref. 884.420)
We love vintage chronographs at Horology Middle East, so when we happened upon lot 102, we were ecstatic. In its heyday Universal Genève was world renowned for producing handsome watches that boasted in-house movements, and although the brand is now defunct, its timepieces are – even today – still very special.
According to Christie’s, this Compax Chronograph is from circa 1980, and while it isn’t as special as Universal Genève’s legendary Tri-Compax, it’s still a handsome thing with classic proportions. The watch features a 36mm stainless steel case, a black dial with a three register layout, screw-down crown and chronograph pushers, and we just love the red chronograph hand and minute markers.
Lot 102. Estimate: US $2,000 to $3,000 (AED 7,300 to 11,000)
If you’re interested in finding out what else Christies Dubai has on offer for its forthcoming auctions, visit their website here.
Our thanks to Christina Sang at The Portsmouth Group, to Remy at Christie’s Dubai and to Galinette who is interning at Christie’s Dubai and helped us with the watches.
Update March 15, 2016
The Gerald Genta Octo Perpetual Calendar sold for US $14,000, while the Louis Audemars for Breguet Minute Repeater Perpetual Calendar and Universal Genève Compax Chronograph hammered for US $60,000 and $1,000 respectively. Congratulations to Christie’s Dubai and the new owners of the watches.