【英语中国】藏家推高香港手表拍卖行情 Newgeneration of collectors sets the pace in the saleroom

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所属分类:双语中国

2014-4-15 06:39

小艾摘要: While some believe Asia’s voracious appetite for buying luxury watches at retail might be receding, there seems little sign that the regional auction market for pre-owned pieces is in anything but ru ...
Newgeneration of collectors sets the pace in the saleroom
While some believe Asia’s voracious appetite for buying luxury watches at retail might be receding, there seems little sign that the regional auction market for pre-owned pieces is in anything but rude health.

Last year, Sotheby’s Hong Kong watch department recorded its best performance, shifting a record $58.8m of timepieces in four sales. On April 8, the house hopes to set the ball rolling on an equally impressive run of auctions, when it stages its first event of 2014 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The blockbuster catalogue contains 480 lots with a combined value of more than $12.8m, among them a broad selection of complicated pieces including tourbillons and minute repeaters carrying six-figure estimates.

Rival house Antiquorum tested the waters in Hong Kong last month with the first major international watch auction of the year, an event that grossed $5.3m for the 200 watches sold. Among timepieces crossing the block was a 2009 Patek Philippe tourbillon minute repeater, which went for $798,000.

The results gave Sharon Chan, the recently appointed head of the Asian watch department at Sotheby’s, good reason to be quietly optimistic for her sale on April 8. It is replete with the type of contemporary, high-end watch that holds strong appeal for the region’s collectors.

The star of the show is set to be a platinum-cased Patek Philippe minute repeating tourbillon with perpetual calendar, and day-and-night indication – the third most complicated wristwatch the prestigious maker has produced, and one that is virtually impossible to obtain new. The example on offer is a year old and has been consigned in its original, sealed packaging with a $790,000 high estimate – more than $100,000 below the retail price.

The piece is expected to be hotly contested, as is one of three platinum Breguets made in 1997 to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Abraham-Louis Breguet’s birth ($280,000-$410,000), a 2003 Girard- Perregaux Opera Two minute repeating tourbillon ($180,000-$260,000) and a six-year-old Greubel Forsey tourbillon, one of 11 white gold versions, which could realise $320,000.

“Increasingly, people are coming to our auctions in search of the very rare and very valuable pieces that even the absolute VIP clients can no longer get hold of direct from the brands,” says Ms Chan.

“The group of such collectors has become pretty large, but we are also seeing quite a few new clients in the middle and lower ranges. Asian buyers are now realising that it’s possible for a watch to be second-hand but still in excellent working order.

“Most, however, only want pieces that are in pristine condition. If they are buying for themselves, then they will accept watches that do not have packaging, but if they are buying for a gift everything has to be as it was when the watch was new.”

Ms Chan expects about one-third of the lots to be bought by local bidders, with a significant portion being snapped up by clients from around the world using Sotheby’s online bidding system.

“Many of the people who buy in this way are highly experienced,” she says. “As well as reviewing the largeformat, high-resolution images [in] our online catalogue, they frequently ask for more pictures of particular details. They are very knowledgeable in terms of design and technology.”

Ms Chan says she is seeing a marked rise in female bidders buying pieces for themselves as a result of the drive by high-end brands to increase their offerings of mechanical watches for women.

“Included in the April sale, for example, is a 2009 ladies’ Richard Mille tourbillon with a diamond-set dial in the shape of a celtic knot. It’s a design that symbolises longevity and the endless cycle of life, something that appeals to the Asian culture. Sophisticated women seem drawn to watches with complex movements, and we’re confident that this piece will fetch upwards of $180,000.”

According to Ms Chan, the buyer demographic is also changing.

“Until quite recently, I would say that buyers were invariably in the 40-plus age group,” she says. “Now, however, there are many more in their 20s and 30s who are buying out of an interest in horology rather than as a means of investment.

“One couple in their early 30s, for example, have consigned part of their collection of modern watches, which is made up of pieces by independent brands such as Urwerk and MB&F that are notable because they display the time in unusual ways. They now want to sell some of them in order to be able to buy others.

“It’s likely they will lose money on some of the watches they have decided to sell, but they don’t regard that in a negative way. They simply see it as the price that has to be paid in order to gain knowledge.”

尽管有些人觉得亚洲消费者到零售店购买高档手表的迅猛势头开始消退,但地区性手表拍卖市场却正处于野蛮增长状态。

去年,香港苏富比(Sotheby)手表拍卖部创下拍卖新记录,在四个拍卖季中,总拍卖额达5880万美元。今年四月八日,苏富比希望通过同样引人注目的拍卖会,延续这个迅猛势头,今年的春季拍卖会在香港会展中心(Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre)举办。

这批万众瞩目的拍品中,包括480件手表,总价值超过1280万美元,精挑细选的精品手表比比皆是,其中陀飞轮表与分钟报时表的预估价均高达几十万美元。

上月,知名手表品牌安帝古伦(Antiquorum)在香港举办了首届大型钟表拍卖会,算是试水了一把具体行情,整场拍卖会,共有200块手表竞拍成功,总金额达530万美元。其中有一款2009年制作的百达翡丽陀飞轮分钟报时表,最终拍得79.8万美元的高价。

如此骄人“战绩”,让苏富比新上任的亚洲区钟表部主管陈凯嘉(Sharon Chan)对4月8日的拍卖会大为乐观。一大批高档新款手表云集拍卖会,吸引亚洲各路藏家纷至沓来。

整场拍卖会的明星肯定是那款白金壳百达翡丽陀飞轮分钟报时腕表,它还有万年历及日夜指示功能————这是久负盛名的百达翡丽公司打造的第三款超精密腕表,事实上它是无法复制的“绝版”。这款挂拍手表去年制作,交付拍卖行时包装仍原封未动,预估价达79万美元————比其零售价低了10多万美元。

以下三块表也很抢手:第一块是纪念亚伯拉罕-路易斯?宝玑(Abraham-Louis Breguet)诞辰250周年、制作于1997年的三款白金壳宝玑(Breguet)腕表(预估价28万-41万美元)中的一款;第二块表是制作于2003年的芝柏“歌剧院2号”陀飞轮分钟报时腕表(Girard-Perregaux Opera Two,预估价18万-26万美元);第三块是六年前制作的高珀富斯(Greubel Forsey)陀飞轮人造白金腕表(当年这样的表总共打造了11块),预估价为32万美元。

“竞拍者纷至沓来,他们来香港苏富比拍卖会淘宝珍稀款名表,这些腕表即便正儿八经的VIP客户都无法直接从原厂家获取,”陈凯嘉说。

“这类藏家的规模越来越庞大,但我们也看到不少新面孔对中低档手表感兴趣。亚洲买家如今也意识到旧手表性能同样可以无与伦比。

“但是,多数竞拍者只喜欢质朴款腕表。手表若是自用,他们就不会在意它是否有包装,但若是作为礼物送人,他们希望它就得如同刚出厂时的原模样。”

陈凯嘉希望三分之一的拍品由本地买家拍走,如今很多拍品由使用苏富比网上拍卖系统的外国竞拍者买走。

“很多网络竞拍者很有门道,”她说。“除了仔细察看我们网上目录的放大版高清照片外,他们还不断要求拍卖行提供拍品更多细节的照片,他们对手表的设计与工艺了如指掌。”

陈凯嘉说由于高档手表公司不断推出女性专用机械手表,女性竞拍人数显著增多,她们竞拍的目的主要是自戴。

“比方说,4月8日拍卖会有一款2009年生产的理查德?米勒(Richard Mille)陀飞轮女性专用腕表,它带有形似凯尔特结的镶钻表盘。这种设计寓意长寿及生命周而复始的轮回,它们是亚洲文化所青睐的内容。精于世道的女性似乎对复杂机芯腕表情有独钟,我们相信这款表的拍卖价能达到18万美元。”

陈凯嘉说,买家的年龄层次也在不断发生变化。

“过去的买家几乎都已届不惑之年,”她说。“但如今,很多买家都是20多岁、30多岁的年轻人,他们是真心喜欢手表,而不是把它当作投资手段。

“举个例子,有对30多岁的夫妇把自己的部分时尚藏表拿来拍卖,其中有几款是Urwerk以及MB&F这类独立品牌,它们引人注目,原因是它们时间显示方式与众不同。这对小夫妻希望能出手部分藏品,以便有钱买进其它款式的手表。

“卖出藏表,他们很有可能亏钱,但他们并不消极看待这个问题,他们只把这视作累积知识须交的学费。”

译者/常和

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