NEW YORK, November 13, 2020—FORTUNA’s November Jewels & Watches sale concluded last Thursday, affirming the return of the strength of the fine jewelry and watch market, despite a challenging year for the industry. The NYC-based boutique auction house was extremely well-positioned to tackle the changes in luxury shopping that 2020 has brought by bringing the excitement of an auction completely online. With its state-of-the-art website and growing social media presence, the boutique auction house attracted plenty of new bidders to their autumn auction.
NEW YORK, December 16, 2019—Fortuna, the NYC-based auction house specializing in fine jewelry and watches, concluded its final auctions for the year, Important Jewels and Important Watches, achieving over $1.8 million in revenue and setting a world record for the iconic Cartier Crash, one of the most unusual and intriguing watches on the market.
Created in 1967, legend has it that the Cartier Crash, which resembles the melting clocks in Salvador Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory,” was inspired by a timepiece recovered from a scorching car wreck. Reissued in 1991 in a limited edition of only 400 pieces, the rare timepiece is quickly achieving cult-status and has been spotted on the wrists of high profile celebrities, such as a style icon and avid watch collector, Kanye West. Yet, veteran collectors were shocked when the Crash flew by its high estimate of $50,000, achieving $81,250 at the boutique NYC auction house.
NEW YORK, NY— Fortuna Exchange: February Sale was a strong start to a new monthly auction series that Fortuna introduced in 2019, offering collectors a broad range of fine jewelry and watches from celebrated makers across all eras. The Fortuna Exchange was created to provide our sellers greater opportunities per year to sell their assets on a global platform, without the constraints or limitations of consigning their pieces to seasonal sales that are few and far between.
With the addition of regular monthly auctions, alongside our larger signature sales that occur biannually, we are excited to offer our clients a year that is overflowing with rare and exciting fine jewelry and watch offerings.
Estate and Signed Jewelry Lead the Sale
In fine jewelry highlights, signed jewelry performed very strongly—achieving a total sell-through rate by value of 85.4%. In particular, the cover lot, a very fine Cartier 6.69ct Burmese Sapphire and Diamond Ring, prompted a roar of competitive bidding. The property of a New York lady, the finely crafted ring achieved a final price of $65,625, exceeding a pre-sale estimate of $40,000-$50,000. All in all, jewelry by Cartier and Tiffany & Co. drew the attention of bidders across the globe, achieving sell-through rates by value of 81.5% and 84.6% respectively.
NEW YORK, NY—Fortuna’s highly anticipated three-part winter auction series took place on December 6-7, 2018, achieving a total sale revenue of around $4 million USD. The auctions offered an exemplary collection of jewelry and watches from the most prestigious makers in their craft, including Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Tiffany & Co., Rolex, and Omega.
Highlighting Fortuna’s first sale of the season, Session One: Magnificent Jewels, was an exquisite 3.05ct Fancy Intense Blue diamond ring. Naturally occurring blue diamonds are found in less than 0.02% of all diamonds mined and are one of the rarest gemstones in the world. This particular blue diamond ring was consigned by an important Asian collector and exhibited a gorgeous and vibrant blue hue that is rarely seen, even among blue diamonds. After a round of tense bidding that had the auction floor buzzing with excitement, the ring achieved $1,395,000, selling to a phone bidder.
In addition to colored diamonds, Magnificent Jewels also featured an exquisite assortment of rare estate jewels and signed pieces spanning many historical style periods. Of the many jewelry highlights, a stunning Art Deco Cartier sapphire and diamond bracelet truly evoked the classic glamour that is characteristic of the Roaring Twenties era. The piece achieved $76,800 USD against a pre-sale estimate of $60,000-$90,000.
Session Two of Fortuna’s fall auction series witnessed strong bidder activity from a packed showroom and oversea buyers.
On September 27, 2018 Fortuna’s IMPORTANT JEWELS sale, followed Session One: Important Watches, and achieved a total of $1,378,977 in sales revenue, with well over 150 lots selling for exceptionally strong prices. Of the many estate jewelry highlights, the most notable was the cover lot, a stunning rectangular cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire, weighing 4.30-carats, surrounded by eight old mine-cut diamonds, set in an 18K gold Victorian setting. This rare beauty achieved $187,500, against a $150,000-$200,000 estimate.
Additional highlights in colored gemstones included an Oscar Heyman & Bros. Sapphire and Diamond Ring, which sold for $40,625 against a pre-sale estimate of $30,000-$40,000, and a Tanzanite and Diamond Platinum Ring, which achieved $22,500 against a pre-sale estimate of $18,000-$25,000.
The NYC auction house cements its presence in the world of high-end watch collecting, selling 95% of lots.
On September 27 Fortuna held its second Important Watches auction in New York City, in which the sell-through rate exceeded 95% with a total sale value of $889,729. More than 600 registered bidders from 43 countries competed for 66 lots. The sale was lead by a Rolex “Paul Newman” Daytona reference 6239 that sold for $275,000 including premium. Fortuna has taken yet another strong step forward in establishing itself as a serious player in the high-end watch space.
“There was a lot of fierce bidding and excitement in the auction room. We sold 63 of the 66 lots offered, with many of the watches far exceeding their pre-sale estimates. Our consignors and buyers were very pleased with the results and the quality of watches offered, and we already have a flood of consignments coming in for our December sales.” said John Saxon, President & CEO of Fortuna.
Rolex Watches Soars
The Swiss brand performed very well at auction, with all 24 Rolex watches selling. The Rolex lots in the sale brought a total of $584,164, surpassing the combined pre-sale high estimates of $510,300.
Among the top performing Rolex watches were a “Four-Line” Daytona reference 16520 which brought $43,750 against a pre-sale estimate of $18,000–$28,000, a “Double-Red” Sea-Dweller reference 1665 which brought $31,250 against a pre-sale estimate of $14,000–$20,000, and an Explorer II reference 1655 which brought $21,250 against a pre-sale estimate of $12,000–$18,000.