Christie’s | “A performance art”: The secrets of a Christie’s auctioneer

Hugh Edmeades is responsible for over £2.2 billion in sales at the world’s biggest auction house.

Here, he presents his expert advice for would-be auctioneers 

‘It’s showtime,’ declares Hugh Edmeades, Christie’s International Director of Auctioneering, who has conducted over 2,300 auctions since making his debut in August 1984 — selling over 300,000 lots for more than £2.2 billion.

‘Auctioneering is a performance art,’ Edmeades continues. ‘Our stage is our rostrum, and our only prop is our gavel.’ With over 20 years of experience in the industry, Edmeades is an expert performer, and now manages a select group of 65 men and women responsible for taking Christie’s sales across the globe. Many are graduates of his highly competitive ‘Auctioneering School,’ run every two years for Christie’s staff.

| Auctioneers must enjoy themselves, and the bidders will too |

In this video, Edmeades gives an exclusive insight into the rigorous training his potentials undertake. ‘If an actor doesn’t know his or her lines, then they cannot truly perform their part. And with auctioneers, if we don’t know our numbers and our increments then we cannot truly sell,’ he insists. 

His other nuggets of wisdom are more subtle, though no less important — from encouraging auctioneers to adopt bright accessories, to using hand gestures. Perhaps the most vital is a sense of enthusiasm. To succeed as an auctioneer, Edmeades says, requires speed and energy: ‘Auctioneers must enjoy themselves, and the bidders will too.’ 

As Edmeades approaches the 22nd anniversary of his first sale, that sense of enjoyment remains palpable — shining through a now expertly-polished performance.


After Christie’s thematic auction curated around the 175th anniversary of Patek Philippe in November 2014, the auction house will be holding this Fall an anniversary sale to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Patek Philippe Nautilus model. Christie’s international watch department will be holding sales in the four major auction venues – Dubai – Geneva – Hong Kong – New York from October to December and in each venue 10 exceptional Nautilus models will be presented as a section entitled Patek Philippe Nautilus 40. The 40 watches will cover the Nautilus production from the first model to the most recent, including many rare and fresh to market superlative examples of this beloved watch design.

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The Nautilus Model was launched in 1976, when Patek Philippe was looking for a ‘sports’ watch combining a strong design and an inimitable personality. The design was, and still is based upon the shape of a porthole found on virtually all maritime vessels. The original model was the Ref. 3700/1 made in steel, created 137 years after the founding of Patek Philippe and remains one of the most sought-after timepieces at auction. Christie’s offering of the Patek Philippe Nautilus 40 will present a selection of these exceptional collector items, including examples with rare variant dials and near mint and complete examples.

Today, the Nautilus is still in production and throughout time it has gained style through subtle and carefully calculated changes while preserving its original spirit of a classic, elegant sports watch. At the time of its original launch, the Nautilus had a key role in Patek Philippe’s overall marketing strategy in response to the quartz revolution and the evolving fine watch market of the 1970s.

Christie’s holds the record price for any Nautilus model sold at auction, when ref. 3700/031, made in 1982 sold for CHF845,000 / $909,319, against a pre-sale estimate of CHF200,000-400,000/ $220,000-420,000 on 11 May 2015 in Geneva.

Patek Philippe, the last family owned independent watch maker in Geneva, was founded in 1839. For over 175 years, it has perpetuated the tradition of Genevan watchmaking, producing and assembling what experts agree to be among the most sought after watches in the world.


DUBAI – Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel – 19 October 2016

GENEVA – The Four Seasons Hotel des Bergs – 14 November 2016

HONG KONG – Convention Center – 28 November 2016

NEW YORK – Rockefeller Center – 6 December 2016


Meridianaeshop | Have you ever seen a JLC like this?

IMG_8684Super rare JLC 70s in white gold cross mesh bracelet with its original night blue cortex dial. It’s powers with a Manual winding movement Ref.2181707, snap and oversize case. Completely original and in outstanding condition. Now for sale on the shop.


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More info on Bonhams

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Shop | Wyler Vetta “Cricchetto”

IMG_3266Oggi più che mai gli orologi d’epoca vivono una seconda giovinezza. La vastissima produzione che ha coperto il secolo scorso fino alla fine degli anni ’60 quando l’avvento degli orologi elettrici determinò la fine di un periodo aureo, ha lasciato in eredità ai collezionisti un patrimonio straordinario di creazioni. Un’eredita che è più una missione e che trasferisce al futuro di mano in mano, spesso di padre in figlio, oggetti unici, irripetibili.

Carica manuale, carica automatica, casse e movimenti dalle svariate fogge… Tanta e tale è la varietà che spesso non se ne conosce esattamente l’origine. Chi ha creato il primo movimento automatico? Le idee non arrivano sole al mondo, spesso sono il frutto di più progetti o brevetti messi insieme. Marconi invento la radio unendo ben 17 brevetti di Tesla…

Nelle foto uno dei primissimi brevetti al mondo di movimenti automatici. Prodotto nei primi anni ’30 da Wyler Vetta, la carica è attivata da un sistema a “cricchetto” che sfrutta la pressione esercitata sul fondello dell’orologio dal movimento del polso.

La cassa è in tre parti, vincolata da una cerniera a ore 12. Si può notare il foro attraverso il quale passa un piccolo pulsante che, premuto dal movimento del polso, riesce a far caricare la molla mediante un sistema di leve e cricchi.

Pochissimi sono gli esemplari superstiti al mondo e questo è uno di quelli. Ora nello shop di meridianae.



Amelia Island 2016: Results

RM Sotheby’s celebrated its 18th year in Amelia Island by presenting a terrific series of best-of-category automobiles across the block on March 12th. As one of the auction calendar favorites, our Amelia Island sale achieved a strong $38 million in sales to a standing room only crowd packed with bidders who journeyed from 20 countries. 


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Christie’s: James Bond Spectre – the auction


This February, Christie’s is to celebrate the release of the 24th Bond film with charity auctions, live in London and online. Here highlights – including an Aston Martin DB10 and Q’s laptop — and how you can bid.

The 24th film in the James Bond series, Spectre, is to be released on Digital HD, Blue-ray™ and DVD on 9 February in the US and on 22 February in the UK. To mark the occasion, Christie’s is to present a unique opportunity to acquire memorabilia from the film — with 24 lots straight from the archives of EON Productions, as well as donations from Daniel Craig, director Sam Mendes, actor Jesper Christensen (Mr White in Spectre, Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace), Bond producers Michael G.Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, and artist Sam Smith, who co-wrote the official award-winning Spectre theme song. All proceeds will benefit Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), other charitable organisations, and the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS).



The live auction on 18 February is led by an Aston Martin DB10, one of the series of DB10s designed and engineered by Aston Martin exclusively for James Bond, Spectre, illustrated above. Most of the DB10s were modified for use in the filming of Spectre, but two of those produced were kept back as show cars, for display purposes only, and this is one of them. The car is expected to realise between £1,000,000 and £1,500,000 and is to date the only DB10 to be released for public sale by Aston Martin and EON Productions. This is the only car that includes a special plaque signed by Daniel Craig and was displayed at the world premiere of Spectre at the Royal Albert Hall, London. Aston Martin has been associated with the James Bond franchise for over 50 years, with the DB10 model featuring in the latest Bond film, Spectre. 

Omega Seamaster 300 watch worn by Daniel Craig as James Bond. Estimate: £15,000-20,000. To be offered in Spectre — The Auction on 18 February at Christie’s in London

Additional highlights of the live sale include the Omega Seamaster 300 watch that was worn by Daniel Craig as James Bond, estimated at £15,000-20,000, while our online-only sale is to feature the laptop used by actor Ben Whishshaw as Q, estimated at £4,000-6,000, and a pair of Tom Ford ‘Snowdon’ sunglasses, worn by Daniel Craig as James Bond, estimated at £4,000-6,000.computer_new

Q (Ben Whishaw) using his laptop on set. To be offered in Spectre — The Auction, 16-23 February, online

Worn by Daniel Craig in the opening scene of Spectre, James Bond’s blue ‘JB’ Tom Ford cufflinks are to be offered in the live auction, along with the Spectre Blu-ray™, signed by Daniel Craig, estimated at £3,000-5,000. The live auction and online sale take place in the same month that Spectre is released on Digital HD, Blue-ray™ and DVD in the US (9 February) and UK (22 February).

Commenting on the sale, David Linley, Honorary Chairman, Christie’s EMERI, said: ‘As a life-long James Bond fan it gives me great pleasure for Christie’s to be part of this James Bond Spectre charity auction, celebrating the 24th film in the franchise. All proceeds of the auction will benefit Médecins Sans Frontières, other charitable organisations, and the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS). We are proud to continue Cubby Broccoli’s philosophy of giving something back.’


Spectre, is to be released on Digital HD, Blue-ray™ and DVD on 9 February in the US and on 22 February in the UK

The online-only sale is to feature 14 of the 24 lots available, with bidding open from Tuesday 16 to Tuesday 23 February at The remaining 10 lots will be presented in a live auction, held at Christie’s London on 18 February. Although the live auction is invitation-only, internet and telephone bids will be open to anyone who wishes to take part in the sale.

SPECTRE © 2015 Danjaq, MGM, CPII. SPECTRE, 007 and related James Bond Trademarks, TM Danjaq. © 2016 Danjaq and MGM. All Rights Reserved.