We were invited to Christie’s private preview of Jewellery and Watches in South Kensington, London. Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie’s is one among the world’s leading auction houses. It offers around 450 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, luxury watches, jewellery, and more.
Looking around the trove, we found some beautiful pieces priced in the mid range with no complications. All the watches were priced without reserves. Luxury never felt this affordable! Also read: dummies guide to buying a watch at an auction.
Here’s our choice of the top four ladies watches:
A diamond-set wristwatch, by Piaget
Estimated price: £1,500 – £2,000
This oval-dial bracelet ladies watch has a silvered finish. Baton-style watch hands point the hours and minutes. The bezel is adorned with brilliant-cut diamonds. The strap – an integral tapering flexible bracelet – is 162mm long. The movement is mechanical and the dial displays the Piaget mark. Case no.: 9338 A 6 243500.
A mother-of-pearl and diamond ‘Tank’ quartz wristwatch, by Cartier
Estimated price: £2,500 – £3,000
This ladies watch from the ‘Tank’ series has a mother-of-pearl-dial and a quartz movement. The hours are displayed, every quarter, in Roman numerals. Hours and minutes are pointed by baton-style watch hands. The centre has diamonds in pavé settings (a setting where stones are set together by tiny beads of the setting material) with pavé diamond shoulders, and an inverted diamond crown. The rectangular case (size 20mm) and buckle display the Cartier mark. Case no.: 660130199.
A lady’s 18ct gold, titanium and diamond-set quartz ‘Déclaration’ wristwatch, by Cartier
Estimated price: £2,500 – £3,000
This ladies watch from the ‘Déclaration’ series is a heady mix of 18-carat gold, titanium, and diamonds. The curvy titanium case has two parts vying for attention. One houses a brilliant-cut diamond, while the other houses the watch, which has a concealed sunburst-pattern silvered dial. In its heart is a quartz movement. Both are accentuated with alternate polished- and diamond-set mobile rings. The lugs are diamond-set as well and the case back is held in place by four screws. The fabric-covered straps join in a Cartier, diamond-set, 18-carat gold deployant clasp. The case is 16mm wide and displays the European Convention and Cartier mark. The clasp displays the Cartier mark. Case no.: 55683CE 2611.
An 18ct gold, sapphire and diamond quartz wristwatch, by Chopard
Estimated price: £8,000 – £10,000
This tonneau-dial ladies watch is a juxtaposition of diamonds and sapphires. It has a quartz movement in its heart. The hours are displayed every quarter in Roman numerals and the spaces in between them are adorned with gracefully tapering baguette-cut diamonds. Delightfully contrasting it is a calibré sapphire disc in the centre of the dial. The calibré sapphire bezel and brilliant-cut diamond sides are set in 18-carat gold. The straps embrace each other in a Chopard diamond-set buckle. The 32mm wide case displays the European Convention and Chopard mark; the glass, the Chopard sign, and the case interior has the maker’s L.U.C mark.
Estimated price: £8,000 – £10,000 [See it on the Christies website]