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Christie's to put Chinese enamelled watches on auction

(Xinhua)

11:14, September 26, 2012

LONDON, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- A collection of antique watches made for the Chinese market are to be auctioned by Christie's, according to sources with the world's leading art business on Tuesday.

The collection includes a pair of duplex watches from the 19th century, distinguished by their mirror-inverted enamel floral motifs and the rare element of identical numbers from their manufacturer Vaucher, Fleurier.

"More watches for the Chinese market were made in pairs, but many pairs later split," said Aurel Bacs, international head of Christie's watch department. "This pair survived even with their original box."

Made with 18K gold with matching enamel keys, the watches are believed to be sold between 80,000 to 120,000 dollars in Swiss francs (856,000 to 128,400 U.S. dollars).

Another one, an enamel and pearl open face quarter repeating center seconds cylinder watch featuring two young ladies and a child, was manufactured by Piguet & Meylan.

"It is so exquisite that you can see even the eyebrow of the ladies and their finger nails," Bacs said.

It is estimated to be worth of 80,000 to 120,000 dollars in Swiss francs as well.

"Chinese people love watches and we always have Chinese customers at watch auctions," he said.

On the one hand, clock is important in a Chinese household from ancient times. On the other hand, Chinese people like decorative staff, like watch, said Bacs.

These watches were brought to Europe by an old couple in the 1950s, and are to be auctioned in Geneva this November.

Also among the 310 lots on auction are "three of the world's most important Patek Philippe wristwatches in private hands", according to Bacs.

Many of the watches are to be exhibited in New York, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing before the auction.

"The Chinese market is growing," Bacs said, attributing the boom to a growth of intellectual group in China.

Christie's, founded in 1766, offers over 450 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including jewelry, photographs, collectibles, wine, etc. It had global auction and private sales in the first half of 2012 that totaled 2.2 billion pounds.

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