Royal oak audemars piguet royal oak ref. 4100ba ‘maktoum dial 2 scaled

Sheikh Mohammed’s golden Royal Oak appears at Dubai auction

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak carrying the signature of Sheikh Mohammed at the top of its dial is being auctioned at the Christie’s Watches Online: The Dubai Edit Sale.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum is the architect of the modern miracle that is Dubai — transforming a city of around 400,000 in the early 1990s into the regional business hub and global tourism destination (population 3 million) that it is today.

An avid watch collector, who has had personalised timepieces made for him by a number of brands, including Rolex, Sheikh Mohammed could also be credited with firing up the passion of an entire generation of entrepreneurial Arabs who have become enthusiastic, and big-spending, horologists.

This month, an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak carrying the signature of Sheikh Mohammed at the top of its dial is being auctioned at the Christie’s Watches Online: The Dubai Edit Sale.

Bidding opens on April 24 and runs through to May 4.

The Royal Oak Ref. 4100BA ‘Maktoum Dial’ dates back to 1980 when the leader was Minister of Defence of the United Arab Emirates.

It was not uncommon at the time for watches to be presented as gifts to government officials and royalty (Sheikh Mohammed is son of Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai for 32 years from 1958 to 1990), and often had ministerial insignia or signatures on their dials that make them more valuable to collectors.

Royal oak audemars piguet royal oak ref. 4100ba ‘maktoum dial 1 scaled

The Royal Oak up for auction at Christie’s is particularly distinctive because Audemars Piguet moved its logo from the top of the dial to the bottom to make room for Sheikh Mohammed’s signature.

The 35mm watch — an increasingly popular size in today’s market — comes in a yellow gold case and bracelet with a golden dial.

It has a pre-sale estimate of $30,000 to $50,000.

Other selected highlights of The Dubai Edit include:

Richard Mille RM 69

Richard mille rm 69 largeLot 9 – The RM 69 is the brand’s take on the “Erotic Watches” genre, a category of timepieces that traces its origins back to the 17th century.

Whilst pocket watches and even wristwatches of this ilk traditionally revolved around animated figurines that leave little to the imagination, Richard Mille’s reinterpretation takes a different, more subtle tack.

Unveiled in 2015, the watch was produced in a limited run of 30 pieces, and the list of celebrities spotted wearing this watch include Travis Scott and Drake. Whimsical, ingenious and extremely exclusive, the RM69 is a wristwatch like no other and quite a find. (Est: US$800,000-1,200,000)

Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711

Richard mille 69413728 digital content jpeg scaledLot 33 – If the Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711 established itself as the ultimate luxury sports watch from the outset when first introduced in 2006, it’s achieved icon status over the past decade beyond watch collectors alone.

The platinum gem-set Nautilus Ref. 5711 models were never featured in Patek Philippe catalogues: they were reserved for Patek Philippe’s most exclusive clients.

This particular Ref. 5711/111P-001 sports a bezel set with 32 baguette-cut blue sapphires, and the dial’s 12 sapphire hour markers add to its allure.

Offered in like-new condition, this is a rare opportunity for Nautilus enthusiasts to claim a worthy addition to their collection. (Est: US$500,000-$800,000)

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona JPS

Richard mille elzuqcow 6265Lot 26 – The Four-digit Rolex Daytona is one of the most desirable and collectible wristwatches. Reference 6265 is carved from a block of 18k yellow gold, while the gold and matte black sporty styling provides a striking contrast.

Another interesting and distinctive feature about Reference 6265 is the “Oyster” text below Rolex – it’s quite large and omits the mention “Perpetual”, and the watch is manually wound.

At a diameter of 37mm, the watch is eminently wearable on a host of wrist sizes. (Est: US$160,000-240,000)

Parmigiani Fleurier PF Tonda Split Seconds Chronograph Platinum

Richard mille 69361005 scaledLot 57 – Parmigiani Fleurier PF Tonda Split Seconds Chronograph Platinum. Offered for the first time at auction, this particular reference was introduced in 2021 to celebrate the brand’s 25th anniversary.

It was based on the GPHG award-winning Parmigiani Tonda Chronor Anniversaire that was launched to mark the brand’s 15th anniversary.

The most striking feature of this watch was the introduction of the Maison’s first integrated chronograph movement, hand-crafted and finished in rose gold.

One of only 25 produced, this piece is a true horological heavyweight – its platinum dial is framed by an all-platinum case, with a bracelet of the same metal – offered in like-new condition from the original owner. (Est: US$120,000-220,000)

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