November 20, 2018 / 1:18 PM / 2 years ago

Sotheby's holds its first auction for watches in the Middle East

A model displays the Richard Mille RM011 watch during Sotheby's auction in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, November 19, 2018. REUTERS/Satish Kumar

DUBAI (Reuters) - Sotheby’s held its first auction for watches in Dubai on Monday, fetching a total of $2.6 million with 121 lots.

“This region has been growing for the last five to ten years and an increasing number of the world’s biggest collectors are here,” said Sam Hines, worldwide head of watches at Sotheby’s and the night’s auctioneer.

Auction house Christie’s held an auction for watches in Dubai in March.

Monday night’s top seller was a Chopard wristwatch set in white gold, diamond and sapphire which was sold for more than $200,000.

“Prices used to be a bit silly,” said a Dubai-based prospective buyer, noting other auctions suffered from excess hype.

Greater knowledge means prices will not be astronomical, said Hines. “That’s a good thing for the market so it doesn’t overheat and burst.”

Reporting by Nafisa Eltahir; Editing by Alexandra Hudson

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