Christie’s upcoming online watch sale ‘The Dubai Edit’ – which has replaced the traditional annual live Important Watches auction – brings watch lovers in the region an exclusive opportunity to acquire some of the most sought-after and timeless pieces with specific relevance to the Middle East, ranging from a Rolex gold Day-Date made for the UAE Armed Forces to Piaget’s gold and diamond bracelet watch once owned by royalty in the UAE.
Since 2006, Christie’s has been building on the company’s leadership and has established itself as the first international auction house to host sales in the region. The upcoming auction, the Dubai Edit, runs from October 15-29, with the timepieces available to view by appointment at Christie’s office in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
Remy Julia, Head of Watches at Christie’s Middle East, commented: “The regional and global demand for rare and limited-edition watches remains robust, and we have sought a range of pieces that have specific relevance to Middle East collectors for this online sale. The MENA region is one of our fastest-growing markets globally, and we anticipate a strong outcome from emerging as well as established collectors.”
The upcoming watch sale include some high-end elegant collectibles such as the rare Rolex Gold Day-Date, reference 18038, with a beautiful blue dial embellished with a red khanjar, made for a collector in the Sultanate of Oman. The Day-Date line was introduced in 1977 – crafted with the Plexiglas crystal and the highly resistant sapphire crystal , and over the years, the model has enhanced waterproof abilities to 100 meters with an improved screw down crown and case back, plus shifting from a Caliber 1556 to Caliber 3055 with quick-set date (estimate: US$25,000-50,000).
Reference 116610LV is the Rolex Steel Submariner, also made for a collector in the Sultanate of Oman, with stainless steel and a royal khanjar engraving. The watch boasts a green dial and comes with international guarantee stamped by the Omani retailer Khimji Ramdas, dated 1 November 2011 (estimate: US$20,000-40,000).
Reference 1803 is a Rolex White Gold and Diamonds Day-Date also made for a collector in the Sultanate of Oman. Made with 18k white gold, it is distinguished by its elegant burgundy lacquered dial with an oxblood and green khanjar, diamond indexes, and Arabic scripture calendar indications (estimate: US$50,000-80,000).
A Rolex Oysterdate reference 6694 crafted in stunning stainless steel with a champagne dial features the UAE crest and signature of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Apart from the flawless condition, the 1974 timepiece has been consigned by the family of the original owner (estimate: US$7,000-14,000).
The present watch is one of the exceedingly few examples of a so-called "Omani" Daytona Cosmographs featuring the Khanjar symbol. It is preserved in exceptional unworn "new old stock" condition, retaining the plastic bezel protection ring, all factory protective stickers and complete set of accessories.
Another highly collectible Rolex is the Oyster Perpetual, reference 1002, one of the only three models known enhanced by the gilt signature of Sheikh Abdullah Al- Jaber Al-Sabah, member of the House of Sabah, the ruling family of Kuwait and the country’s first Minister for Education after independence in 1961. His far-sighted vision saw the importance of education and culture for the present and future of Kuwait from establishing public libraries to the first university and national museum in Kuwait. The unique vintage piece made with stainless steel and a mesmerising black dial, date from 1962, is categorised under Rolex’s specially produced signed dials for Middle Eastern dignitaries (estimate: US$15,000-25,000)
Reference BB 166.010, Omega Pink Gold and Diamonds Seamaster, was made as part of a small series commissioned with the portrait of Sheikh Isa Bin Salman Al Khalifa of Bahrain. With 18K pink gold and a silver diamond-set dial, this 1962 timepiece is accompanied with a black leather strap upon purchase (estimate: US$10,000-15,000).
Specially curated for the Royal Jordanian Air Force as part of a small order of personalised wristwatches for pilots and high officials, the Omega Speedmaster is extremely rare and collectable product. Reference ST 375.0032 is a well-preserved example of a military chronograph signed Omega piece, of stainless steel and a black dial. The masterpiece is easily distinguished by the Royal Jordanian crown engraving on the case back (estimate: US$8,000-12,000).
As demand surges for vintage Patek Philippe pieces, reference 2481 is a Pink and Gold Rubies Patek Philippe made in homage of King Saud Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. With white ruby-set hour markers and an enamel painting “Portrait of the King Saudi Arabia”, the watch has a highly attractive provenance and has been cherished throughout the years by the family – it was ordered as a series of 150 watches in commemoration of his accession in the throne in 1953. Adding to the rarity of the watch, this watch series are one of the largest wristwatches ever made by Patek Philippe. The watch is consigned by the family of the original owner, a companion of King Saud of Saudi Arabia (estimate: US$40,000-60,000).
“The provenance of these watches enables the collecting community to own a piece of history from the Middle East, and this curated section of the upcoming sale underscores the demand for timepieces that reflect the tastes and value that collectors in the MENA region places on vintage watches,” added Julia.