Christie’s raises over $5.5 million in Dubai watch auction

The auction house's first entirely online watch sale in the region broke all expectations

A steel Oysterdate Rolex with the UAE crest sold for $10,000. Christie's
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The Christie’s sale, Watches Online: Dubai Edit, has finished selling an impressive $5,592,000 worth of timepieces, half a million dollars more than expected.

Eighty-four per cent of all the lots were sold to bidders from 38 countries, across five different continents, and almost 45 per cent of whom were new to Christie's. With watches such a key asset in the region, the auction attracted great interest from the GCC, and five of the top 10 lots went to Middle Eastern buyers.

As anticipated, the highest selling item was Lot 155, a Rolex steel Submariner 'MILSUB', custom made for the British Royal Navy. With an estimate of $140,000-240,000, it sold for $400,000, smashing the record for a watch sold online at Christie's.

Lot 155 was a steel Submariner Milsub Rolex, c. 1977, that was made for the British Royal Navy and sold for $400,000, well beyond its reserve. Christie's

Several pieces came with a special provenance to this region, including Lot 23, for example, that sold for $21,250. A gold day-date Rolex, circa 1994, its champagne coloured dial contains the UAE flag, and was estimated at US$12,000-18,000.

A steel Oysterdate Rolex, also carrying the UAE crest, was offered as Lot 22. With an estimate of between $7,000-14,000, it realised $10,000.

Lots 127 and 128 were both made especially for the Sultanate of Oman, as a white gold and diamond day-date Rolex with an oxblood dial and a steel Daytona Rolex. They changed hands for $81,250 and $50,000 respectively.

Custom made for the Sultanate of Oman, this white gold and diamond day-date Rolex with oxblood dial sold for $81,250. Christie's

Lot 109 meanwhile sold for $18,750. A pink gold and diamond Omega Seamaster, its dial carries a portrait of Sheikh Isa Bin Salman Al Khalifa of Bahrain, and was estimated to raise between $10,000-15,000.

Elsewhere, a Patek Philippe timepiece listed as Lot 26, sold for $40,000. An exceedingly rare 1982 steel and gold Nautilus, it is thought to be one of only 300 made, and the only one of twenty to have appeared at auction. It had an estimate of $25,000-35,000.