Sotheby’s New York (NYSE: BID) is rolling out a collection of high end, mind boggling collectable watches and other mechanical marvels for a highly anticipated June 8 auction.
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Over 200 watches and other hand crafted automata are up for bid ranging from the early 19th to 21st centuries. Brands like Patek Philippe, Richard Mille, as well as a few prominent pieces once owned by the late King Farouk of Egypt. The showstopping "Magician Box" may get top billing for as much at $1.5 million.
FoxBusiness.com got a sneak peek of the collection when we caught up with Katharine Thomas, Vice President and Head of Department of Watches at Sotheby’s.
“We are collecting pieces from all over the world, all types of clients, new collectors and people who have inherited things. It’s really exciting because we are out there treasure hunting in unusual places on the planet finding these great pieces and excited to finally bring them to the public“ says Thomas.
So what do watch enthusiasts have their eye on this time around? We spoke with Ben Clymer, founder of the go-to watch website, HODINKEE.com for answers.
“The biggest watch on sale is the [Patek Philippe] World Time. It’s vintage early part of 20th century, something novel. World travel not many people did in 30s and the watch was truly designed for the upper tiers of society who could afford the international travel. In my opinion, it easily can go for one million dollars" says Clymer.
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But are people buying?
“It’s a very robust market. When one part of the world is softer in terms of the economy, other markets are stepping up. We have participants in North and South America, Europe, Asia, all over. It’s very, very diverse” Thomas says.
“The very important things will continue to sell no matter what the market is doing, People are seeking trophies, true master pieces no matter what,” she added.
“It’s a good bell weather for what’s going on with luxury from the United States to Hong Kong and across the globe” says Clymer. “I am seeing things that would have sold for thirty thousand dollars ten years ago are now going for three hundred thousand dollars.”
As more and more enthusiasts look into upgrading their watch game, is it really the smart way to invest financially for the future?
“I would never encourage people to assume there is growth. Buy the best quality and the most timeless, you will be OK” Clymer recommends.
“There is an element of buying for an investment but more because people are just passionate. You are buying something that you love” says Thomas.
If you are on the hunt for something timeless, be sure to check out Sotheby’s Important Watch Collection on view now.