King Farouk’s Patek Philippe sells for Dh3.3 million

By Sheena Amos

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DUBAI 24 March 2018: A watch owned by the penultimate monarch of Egypt, King Farouk, sold for a whopping Dh3.3 million at an auction organised by Christie’s in Dubai on Friday.

King Farouk of Egypt’s personalized Patek Philippe had a pre-sale estimate of $400,000-800,000. Around 180 watches were on auction.

King Farouk’s Patek Philippe is engraved on the back with the letter “F” crowned by the star and half-moon from the Egyptian flag.

The watch was launched in 1941 and only 281 examples were made.

The original owner, King Farouk of Egypt (1920-1965), was the great-great-grandson of Muhammed Ali, and the tenth ruler from the Muhammad Ali Dynasty. The penultimate King of Egypt and the Sudan, Farouk held this position for 16 years and was a renowned collector of fine watches.

Inheriting his love of watches from his father, King Farouk commissioned many pieces from the greatest watchmakers, and the Patek Philippe, reference 1518 bears witness to his refined taste. This model was launched in 1941, and it is estimated that only 281 pieces were created. The Patek Philippe reference 1518 is celebrated as the first perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch produced in series by any watch company.

Personalizing the piece as part of King Farouk’s collection, this watch has an engraving on the case back of the Royal Crown of Egypt, with its star and half-moon (also found on the Egyptian flag), and the letter “F”. Farouk’s father believed that the letter F was lucky for his family and began the names of his six children with this letter.



What has been the priciest artwork sold by Christie’s in Dubai?

In her 10 year career Christie’s Hala Khayat has appraised over 5,000 works of art of which over half were offered for auction. She witnessed the highest price paid to date at auction for any Middle Eastern work of art when Parviz Tantavoli’s The Wall (Persepolis) reached $2.8 million.

She is also witness to the first and only private collection of Middle Eastern Art, which sold 100%.

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Now, Christie’s is holding its 22nd sale season in Dubai. Last year Christie’s moved the October sale season to London to allow Middle Eastern art to be seen and appreciated by a wider international collector group. The success of the move was demonstrated with sell through rates of 85% by lot.

“Christie’s continues its presence and activity in the Middle-East with two important auctions, contemporary art and watches, held to coincide with Art Dubai. This year the watches sale will be the highest value offering Christie’s has had in the region. Since last October’s sale in London, art from the region has attracted a wider, international group of collectors.

“The opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, and the recent acquisition of Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi from the region at Christie’s New York is a further indication of the importance of art and culture in the region”, commented David Earl of Snowdon, Honorary Chairman Christie’s Europe and Middle East.

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Since 2005, when Christie’s opened its representative office in Dubai, Michael Jeha has led Christie’s business in the region, by developing new sale concepts, including Christie’s Education into the regional weeks and help to raise over $20 million for charitable causes.

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Going forward Michael Jeha and Hala Khayat are working to develop two sectors:

First, the need for better research and reference materials about artists from the Middle East, including books and catalogues to help authenticate works from artists’ estates. This can only increase confidence in the market.

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Secondly, they would like to see an increase in the quality of contemporary works included for sale at auction so that the market for these works can become more varied and supported.

The evening auction of Modern and Contemporary Art from the region includes 79 works by artists from Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and Sudan. The Important Watch sale held the following evening continues to attract new collectors since it began in October 2013. In this category demand is for unique and vintage watches as well as a developing interest in ladies watches.

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