Hong Kong’s thirst at watch auctions is, no doubt, split down the middle with equal interest in vintage and contemporary. This is evident in the way the auction houses assemble their catalogs here. Thereafter, this is further fortified by the market’s response for the variety offered.
However, it is important to be aware that the crowd in the room is by no means an all local one. Plenty of prominent dealers were present, who aren’t from the region. And not forgetting the countless phone calls coming in throughout the sale duration, from as far off as California.
Perhaps another thing that becomes quite apparent from being in an auction room, is that the aggression from buyers online and on the phones, cannot be denied. This maybe explains why the room itself isn’t exactly bursting at the seams even with the pace at which bids are placed and lots hammered.
Curious enough, speaking to Nicholas Biebuyck, of Christie’s, at the end of the sale, he shared that there are even buyers in the room who prefer to have their bids taken over the phone rather than themselves hold a paddle.
So yes, as publicly as these sales are made and how much more publicly the pre-sale show and tell campaigns are run, the bidders and buyers do still appreciate the utmost discretion. And are today taking advantage of the technology available to them to remain discreet. Makes you wonder how many people must be tuning in to the live broadcasts of the sales online and what would happen if these broadcasts were turned into pay-per-view events, complete with ring side commentary.
But, back to the lots and the top five performers.