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Remy Julia, Head of Watches at Christie’s Middle East, India & Africa, shares his expertise on investing in a Patek Philippe watch.

Expertise

Patek Philippe has mastered every aspect of fine watchmaking – from the hand-winding two-hand watch and “usual” complications with functions like an annual calendar or second-time zone, to sophisticated masterpieces with minute repeaters tourbillons and split-seconds chronographs.

Tradition

This level of expertise can- not be achieved overnight. Patek Philippe has been in existence for 182 years and has produced the best and innovative watches during this time, resulting in a supreme experience and this heritage and savoir-faire is passed on from one generation of the watchmaker to the next.

Patek Philippe detail

Quality

 

Quality is the most precious re- source at Patek Philippe. The entire company is designed to support it and Patek Philippe places the highest standards on training – from watchmakers to sales personal. The spirit of innovation which reigns at the company’s workshops has been instrumental for the longevity and reliability of its watches. DEMAND. The rising demand from an ever-growing field of international new watch collectors adds to the wish of possessing a new or vintage Patek Philippe masterpiece of horology. Some Patek Philippe watches are so sought-after that buyers must submit to an application process to demonstrate that they are sufficiently high-calibre collectors.

The History

Patek Philippe started in 1839 and now for over 80 years has been owned by the Stern family, now in its fourth generation. This provides a high degree of consistency in the company’s philosophy and policies. It also excludes the possibility of radical shifts in direction imposed by a changing management, so the path of success will most certainly continue. The value of a Patek Philippe will most probably not degrade once purchased.

A reassuring fact, even when most people purchase a watch simply for their own enjoyment and don’t have immediate plans to resell. The number of watches produced and the growing demand to possess a Patek Philippe from all around the world don’t match and this is adding to the desirability of the brand. Waiting lists and preferred owners of certain pieces are other factors to maintain the prestige of the brand.

The First Investment

Study the brand, identify which reference you prefer, learn about the secondary market for that reference, get to know the specialists who could help you to locate the model via private sale or auction, absorb the offering of the main auction houses, buy the best model available on the market with the assets you have put aside for this purchase, enjoy the watch and do not forget to look after its condition.

Remy - Christie's

The Collectors

The above points are also applicable for the more advanced collectors, potentially knowing where to look for exceptional watches. In addition, Christie’s private sale team are always delighted to search for exceptional pieces for our existing and new clients. This little and still a secret service
had been introduced by the founder of the company James Christie in 1778 when he negotiated the private sale of 200 paintings to Catherine the Great of Russia.

Why Patek Philippe is so popular in the GCC?

Over the past few decades Christie’s, Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons and others have created a market for exceptional watches here in Dubai and slowly collectors of unique and more contemporary pieces were introduced to appreciate the beauty of classical and vintage watches, including these of Patek Philippe. The first watch which broke the $1 million barriers at auction in the Middle East was a Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon Ref. 5002P-001 (manufactured in 2004) sold for US$ 1,590,000, setting two new records simultaneously, for the most expensive watch sold at auction in the Middle East and for any watch sold online at Christie’s.

The quality and diversity of the pieces we are today offering in Dubai reinforces Dubai’s position as a global hub for the most desirable vintage and modern watches. The depth and breadth of the offering also testify to the rising level of knowledge and appreciation in the region as well as throughout the global and growing community of watch lovers and collectors to be found in the region.

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