The world is going through a state of chaos with the spread of the “Covid-19” virus, and countries are also facing an increase in the number of unemployed, and a huge increase in the number of deaths from the virus, without the presence of any effective vaccine in the near term.
Amid it all, someone recently paid $ 3.6 million for a used wristwatch, $ 9.2 million for a fancy blue diamond ring, $ 84.6 million for a plate, $ 795,000 for a rare bottle of drink, and $ 615,000 for a A pair of used Nike sneakers by Michael Jordan in 1984.
While retailers in America close their doors, or open them only to serve a small handful of customers, auction houses have become comprehensive virtual shopping destinations for lovers of luxury goods of all categories, thanks to the offers held on the “Zoom” platform and the ability to conduct and preview products and conduct electronic bidding easily. Where wrist watches are among the most sought-after categories.
30% increase in the number of participants
Last September, Sotheby’s auction house reported a 30% increase in the number of new bidders and new buyers in all sales categories, and said that 30% of all bidders are currently under the age of 40, and the company’s online bids have also exceeded the value of In 2020, the amount of $ 285 million, equivalent to three times the electronic bids during the full year of 2019.
The auctions that were broadcast live in June and July generated $ 1.2 billion in sales, with wristwatches being the category that attracted the most new customers, at 42 percent.
Just last July, Sotheby’s sold a special version of the John Player watch, which bears the reference number 6264 from Rolex Daytona, for more than $ 1.5 million, a price higher than any piece of this model previously sold. Christie’s also sold a rare Patek Philippe watch, with reference number 5033, with the feature of “repeat minutes”, for $ 1.95 million.
In June, Philips, in partnership with Bacs & Russo, made $ 3.6 million from wristwatch giant Jean-Claude Biver.
In that sale, a direct auction took place in Geneva, and seven watches were sold for more than one million dollars, including another wristwatch from the special edition of “John Player” for 1.1 million dollars (“John Player” watches are the special edition of watches. ” Rolex Daytona “made of yellow gold with a black dial, and manufactured between the 1960s and the 1980s to commemorate John Blair and his sons sponsoring the Lotus Formula One team). The highest ever recorded price for a wristwatch that sold at auction was $ 31 million.
“The prices are all high in general, and we have reached a lot of new customers through our online auction offers, which has made accessing auctions easier,” says Michael Walhagen, director of wristwatches at Sotheby’s in Geneva. “To be honest, the urge to bid can turn into an addiction,” especially during times of pandemics.