A tribe of luxury brands has banded together to put one-off watches, earrings, necklaces and hand jewellery on the auction block.
The non-profit Arab Fund Arts & Culture will receive the lion's share of the proceeds from the We Are All Beirut sale by Christie's (save for proceeds from the artworks donated by Arthaus Beirut, which will go to the Lebanese Red Cross). The auction seeks to aid the arts community in Lebanon following the August 4 port explosion, which obliterated the galleries and ateliers of many artists and designers, including Sursock Museum. Bidding is ongoing and open until Tuesday, November 24.
Watches at auction
Fashion seekers and collectors alike have plenty to pick from, all for a good cause. Horology hounds can hedge their bids on Audemars Piguet’s limited-edition Royal Oak Offshore Leo Messi Chronograph wristwatch, constructed from pink gold and tantalum. The piece has already shattered its $18,900 estimate with a current offer of $23,940.
Currently on par with its valuation is a steel green bezel Submariner wristwatch from Rolex, with its current bid matching its estimated price – $15,120.
The Cartier Pasha timepiece, meanwhile, is currently at an underbid of $2,772 against a high estimate of $6,700. The pink gold wristwatch comes with red and green leather bands, to represent the Lebanese flag. The same goes for the auction’s fourth and final watch, Bulgari’s limited-edition Arije Serpenti Tubogas, with gold, diamonds and a green lacquered dial; the current bid stands at $8,820 against a high estimate of $18,900.
Jewellery at auction
Jewellery-wise, the only lot bid for also carries the auction’s most expensive estimate: a pair of purple sapphire and aluminium earrings from Germany’s Hemmerle, a fourth-generation-run brand known for its one-off handcrafted pieces. The current claim is at $25,200, against a high estimate of $31,500.
An onyx Scaphandre ring from Parisian designer Elie Top carries the most conservative estimate among the jewels of this auction: between $5,040 and $7,560, with a permissible starting bid of $4,410.
Also available to start bidding for are a set of three Possession bangles, Piaget's signature design, with gold, diamonds and coloured gemstones. The minimum starting bid is $20,160, while the estimate price is up to $25,200.
Elsewhere, Geneva maison Boghossian offers two pieces from its Merveilles Icicle range for this auction: a pair of diamond earrings (estimate: $12,600 - $18,900) and a diamond necklace (estimate: $7,560 - $10,080).
From New York, jeweller Karma El Khalil presents a diamond Sunrise ear cuff, a delicate fan-like piece designed as a series of pave-set brilliant-cut diamond pyramids in the shape of radiating sunrays, with an ear-spanning length of 6.6 centimetres.
Closer to home, Lebanese jewellery designer Nadine Kanso puts forth the Kelna Beirut emerald and diamond cuff bangle from her brand Bil Arabi, which pioneered the use of Arabic calligraphy as wearable art. Carrying an estimate of $15,120 - $22,680, the openwork polished cuff is set with rectangular baguette-cut emerald and diamond repeating calligraphy translating to Kelna Beirut, or We Are All Beirut.