Press Release

Sotheby’s Launches New Weekly Online Auctions - Watches Weekly

By Sotheby's

Sotheby’s Launches


New fast and dynamic format
to meet collectors’ needs and respond to the rapidly evolving market

First Auction Dedicated to Rolex and Audemars Piguet
Open for bidding 1 - 8 April 2020

Paul Newman Daytona, Reference 6241, circa 1968
To be offered in the first sale, open for bidding 1-8 April (est. HKD 1-2m / USD 129,000 – 258,000)

Sotheby’s Watch Division is to launch new weekly online auctions from 1st April, complementing its existing calendar of sales. The rolling sale format, with a new selection of watches being unveiled every seven days, will offer a fast and dynamic format for collectors to sell and buy watches.

The new weekly sales will provide great responsiveness to trends in the market and more ways for sellers to offer their property. They are also in tune with the increased confidence from collectors in buying important watches online. Sotheby’s digital offering is rapidly growing and this innovative format is a further development in the company’s wider strategy of constantly exploring new ways to connect with watch collectors and respond to this evolving market.

Sam Hines, Worldwide Head of Sotheby’s Watches said: “This move is grounded in countless conversations with clients over the course of recent months, and has only been reaffirmed by feedback received in recent weeks as a result of the current environment. Collectors are looking for more flexibility and a swifter turnaround between appraisal and sale. They are also increasingly confident to buy important pieces online. This was demonstrated last week, when we set a new record for a watch sold online at Sotheby’s (CHF 162,500 for a Rolex Paul Newman 6262). These new weekly online sales perfectly complement the calendar of live sales and other online auctions already planned for the rest of the year and fits naturally with our desire to provide the very best conditions for sale within a passionate and dynamic market.”

Josh Pullan, Global Managing Director of Sotheby’s Watches added: “We’ve seen our online business move from strength to strength since its launch in 2016 and we believe that now is the time to unveil the next iteration of this format. With weekly online auctions, we can prepare, inspect and offer watches for sale almost instantly using our digital capabilities and provide swift services to buyers and sellers.”

The new format will be launched on Wednesday, 1 April, with a selection of 19 stunning Rolex wristwatches and rare pieces by Audemars Piguet. Bidding will be open for 7 days, before a new selection is revealed on Wednesday 8 April, and each Wednesday thereafter (see calendar below). Highlights in the first sale include a rare Rolex Daytona, reference 6263 in stainless steel, made for Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, circa 1975 and featuring the highly collectible UAE Quaraysh Hawk dial (est. HKD 1.6-2.4m / USD 206,400- 309,500), and a Rolex Paul Newman Daytona, reference 6241, circa 1968 (est. HKD 1-2m / USD 129,000 – 258,000, pictured above).

The rolling weekly auctions will complement the existing schedule of auctions already in place for 2020, including several world-class private collections and a top-class range of rare timepieces. The aim is for these 7-day sales to present a varied range of property, from blue-chip names and models such as the Rolex Daytona and Patek Philippe’s Nautilus, to independent watch brands, themed sales and more.

These sales will build on the success of online watch auctions in recent years, which has been confirmed by the strong performance of our last two online sales this month.

Watches Online – Geneva – 17-26 March 2020
· Total: US$ 2.5m - Record for a watch online-sale at Sotheby’s
· 87% of lots sold
· Record for a watch sold in an online-only sale at Sotheby’s: a Rolex Paul Newman 'Panda' Daytona, ref. 6262 in stainless steel chronograph circa 1971 soared to CHF 162,500 (est. CHF 80,000 – 120,000).
· 50% of new participants
· 41% of lots sold above the high estimate

Watches Online – New York – 4-11 March 2020
· Total: US$ 1.7m
· 94% of lots sold
· Nearly half of all lots sold above the high estimate

Online Watch Sales in 2019
· Online-only sales doubled in value between 2018 and 2019
· 56% of lots sold online last year – 4x more than in 2018
· 80% of bidders participated online last year
· 65% of winning bids were online (+20% vs 2018)
· The proportion spent online has more than tripled in the past five years; +22% in the last year alone


1 – 8 April: Collectors Wristwatches Manufactured by Rolex and Audemars Piguet

8 - 15 April: Patek Philippe Design and Horology

15 – 22 April: A. Lange & Söhne and Swiss Wristwatches with No Reserve

22 -29 April: Refined Classics Manufactured by Piaget and The Atmos Clock


May | Hong Kong | WATCHES ONLINE
June | New York | MASTERWORKS OF TIME Part III – Abraham Louis Breguet, horologist extraordinaire

For more news about our watch sales, visit and follow us @sothebyswatches

Stay informed with Sotheby’s top stories, videos, events & news.

Receive the best from Sotheby’s delivered to your inbox.

By subscribing you are agreeing to Sotheby’s Privacy Policy. You can unsubscribe from Sotheby’s emails at any time by clicking the “Manage your Subscriptions” link in any of your emails.

More from Sotheby's