Phillips auction house make firsts ever Riyadh visit on luxury watches world tour

Some of the world's rarest collectors' watches will be on display for the first time in Riyadh as a major stop of the Phillips Watches Exhibition

  • The exhibition will showcase up to 100 watches from world renowned watch brands including Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Richard Mille, and F.P.Journe.
  • Exhibition cements the Kingdom’s burgeoning luxury fashion scene driven by the Saudi Fashion Commission.

RIYADH – Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo, the world’s leading auction house in the field of timepieces, will hold its first ever World Tour stop in Riyadh between 11-13 November at Tuwaiq Palace, with some of the world’s most important collectors’ watches on display.

Saudi watch enthusiasts will get to see and handle some of the world’s rarest watches from brands such as Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet and Richard Mille before they are auctioned during their in-person and online annual flagship auction taking place in New York on 11 and 12 December 2021. This unprecedented exhibition is part of Phillips’ World Tour featuring nearly 100 exceptional watches visiting cities including London, Geneva, and Hong Kong, with Riyadh being included for the first time - cementing the city on the luxury fashion and apparel map.

Burak Cakmak, CEO of the Fashion Commission said: “We are thrilled to be partnering with Phillips Auction House as part of their rare watches tour and to have them in Riyadh for the first time. We hope this will be the first of many luxury apparel events as we know there is a market here in Saudi. This auction kicks off an exciting bookend to 2021 for us at the Fashion Commission, with several events happening for the domestic, regional, and international fashion community over the next two months.”

Partnering with world leading organizations like Phillips Auction House is putting the Saudi fashion sector on the map. Paul Boutros, Phillips’ Head of Watches for the Americas said: “Phillips is honored and proud to partner with the Fashion Commission of Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Culture for this exclusive exhibition. We are dedicated exclusively to the world’s finest collectors’ watches, and Saudi Arabia is an extremely important region for this growing field.”

Phillips’ team of unparalleled experts will be on hand to walk watch enthusiasts and collectors through their most exquisite pieces. “The exhibition in Riyadh will provide an exciting opportunity for collectors to meet our specialists, see some of the rarest and most exclusive collectors’ watches in the world, and receive free valuations for their own timepieces,” added Boutros.

Horological masterworks on display include The Edward Hornby Tourbillon Pocket Watch by George Daniels, considered the father of modern independent watchmaking. From Rolex, a superb Paul Newman Daytona “John Player Special” and an extremely rare vintage Daytona “The Doctor” that features a pulsations dial will be on view. In platinum with an enamel dial, one of only five known Patek Philippe Calatrava ref. 2526 models is not to be missed, as is a Richard Mille RM 022 Tourbillion Aerodyne Dual Time Carbon watch – one of only five ever made.

Just scratching the surface, other brands on view will include Vacheron Constantin, A. Lange & Söhne, Cartier, and several independent brands. Now considered more desirable than ever, it’s no secret that the watch industry is on the rise. As demand for high-value collectables increased during the pandemic, with secondary sales of watches seeing in-demand models selling for 60 percent or more above their retail value.

The exclusive event is illustrative of the luxury fashion market’s growth and indicates a commercial opportunity for international luxury brands as the Saudi market continues to mature.

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