T his year sees Sotheby’s continuing its rapid growth in the Middle East with new appointments and an exciting programme of events and exhibitions. The Dubai gallery opened back in 2017 and last autumn, a successful new Watches sale was launched as the luxury market in the region thrives. Sotheby’s has started 2019 by appointing two new Dubai-based watch and jewelry specialists - Frederic Watrelot and Sophie Stevens - ahead of the forthcoming second edition of the Middle East Watches sale and the first appearance of Sotheby’s Diamonds in the region.
The highly anticipated second Watches sale will take place on 24th March and prior to this, all the timepieces offered in the sale will be on public view in the Dubai galleries alongside art by Arab and Iranian Modern and Contemporary Masters. Due to feature a fantastic selection of vintage and contemporary pieces from the world’s most renowned brands, highlights of the sale include a highly collectible Rolex with “Arab dials” and diamond-studded watches by Vacheron Constantin, Harry Winston and Cartier.
Excitingly, 2019 will also see the arrival of Sotheby’s Diamonds in the Middle East which will bring an exhibition of breath-taking signature pieces to Dubai. The pioneering retail boutique specialising in the rarest and most beautiful diamonds in the world was created in 2005 and matches individual diamonds with individual collectors on a peer-to-peer basis. It has been responsible for selling the rarest white diamond ever to come to market, and also collaborates regularly with some of the most revered designers working today like Eliane Fattal and Lily Gabriella.
The accompanying appointments see Watch Specialist Frederic Watrelot bring 20 years of experience in the international auction market and watch industry while Jewelry Specialist Sophie Stevens has been consulting for Sotheby’s in the Middle East since 2016. She is a certified gemmologist and diamond grader and a regular watches and jewellery contributor for Harper’s Bazaar Arabia. They will be working closely with Katia Nounou, Head of the Dubai Office and Sotheby’s MENA teams, bringing international expertise to the doorstep of Middle East clients.
Laurence Nicolas, Global Managing Director of Sotheby’s Jewellery and Watches Divisions, said of the moves: “Jewellery and watch collecting has a centuries-long tradition in the Middle East, and Sotheby’s has been active in the region for many decades, both on the business side and the cultural and educational scene. As we see a marked increase in Middle-Eastern participation in our sales, the appointment of Frederic and Sophie is a further testament to our commitment to collectors in the region and an exciting opportunity to continue sharing our passion and knowledge with a young, savvy generation. We look forward to seeing them all this month in our galleries and salesroom.”