The pre-owned watch industry is gaining more traction as collectors seek out rare and high-quality investment-grade watches. At Christie’s “Top of the Time” online auction, a Patek Philippe “Sky Moon Tourbillon” sold for a record-breaking $5.8 million (HK $45.4 million) to an anonymous buyer. The auction set a new record for online sales and demonstrated that there is still a strong demand for expensive and unique timepieces.
The Patek Philippe ‘Sky Moon Tourbillon’ is part of the Grand Complications series and boasts 12 complications, including Cathedral minute repeating, perpetual calendar, sidereal time, and phases and orbit of the moon. The watch features a hand-made blue cloisonné and champlevé enamel dial and is encased in an 18-karat white gold case that took craftsmen more than 100 hours to make. Originally sold in 2015 at the Patek Philippe Salon in Geneva, the watch is a rare and complicated masterpiece.
While the pre-owned watch market has seen values drop from all-time highs, the industry is expected to continue growing at a compound annual growth rate of 10% through 2026, according to BCG. The Christie’s “Top of the Time” auction featured watches from Rolex, Audemars Piguet, A. Lange & Sohn, and Breguet, and pulled in $8.4 million in sales, with millennials making up 40% of the buyers.
“This sale lays a very strong foundation for our spring auctions in May at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, where we look forward to presenting more exceptional timepieces for our esteemed clients and watch enthusiasts,” said Alexandre Bigler, Christie’s Asia Pacific VP and head of watches.
Next week, the luxury watch industry is expected to get a boost with the big watch houses previewing their upcoming models at Geneva’s Watches and Wonders industry trade show. Industry king Rolex is already teasing some features of models it will have on display, and pre-owned watch dealers are anxiously awaiting to see which models will be discontinued as prices almost always jump about 10% on these models.