Luxury collectibles: 2017 in review

There’s no shortage of super rich buyers out there looking to buy luxury collectibles. Just look at the top sales in the watch, jewellery, and wine & spirits markets in 2017.

Billions was spent on these sectors this year, which have long been popular choices for storing large sums of money.

Top luxury sale of 2017

Pink Star diamond

The Pink Star is the world's most valuable diamond 

The Pink Star diamond became the world’s most valuable stone in April, pulling in a massive $71.2m.

For comparison, the previous record holder (the Oppenheimer Blue) went for a paltry $57.2m.

So what’s behind the result?

It’s all to do with the colour.

Pink diamonds are currently the most sought after variety, although that may well change in the next few years. Historically blue was always the most sought after, while red is the rarest.

2017’s most important luxury sales

Paul Newman Daytona

Paul Newman was an early adopter of the Rolex Daytona 

The Rolex Daytona is inextricably linked to movie star Paul Newman. So it’s no surprise Newman's own (get it?) watch would go for a lot. Few expected it to make a world record $17.8m though.

A case of 1999 Romanee-Conti burgundy sold for $97,994 in January, cementing DRC's place as the most sought after brand on the market.

It seems crazy that Japanese whisky was a niche concern up until a couple of years ago. Today it's as highly prized as the finest Scotch offerings. In April, a collection of 296 bottles from the Karuizawa distillery made an unprecedented £700,000 ($895,870).

A gold Rolex presented to Vietnamese emperor Bao Di realised a massive $5m in May. It’s one of only three to feature a black dial with diamond markers.

The Apollo astronauts were received as heroes across the western world. A Vacheron Constantin watch, specially designed with a space-themed dial, was a gift to the Apollo 14 astronauts from the people of Switzerland. It made $81,311 in October.

The most unusual luxury sale of 2017

George Daniels Space

George Daniels only made two versions of this watch 

George Daniels is celebrated as one of the last great watchmakers to work entirely by hand. The Space Traveller is one of two in existence.

It shows Earth time alongside side-reel time (tracking the movement of the Earth against the stars).

We’ve never seen anything quite like it.

It achieved £3.1m ($4.3m) at Sotheby’s in October.

It was a breakout year for…

Whisky barrels stock

Scotch sales soared this year

In the first six months of the year, the number of bottles of top Scotch whiskies sold in the UK hit the highest level since records began. Asian and US buyers helped push the value of the market to an impressive £11.7m ($15.1m) for the January to June period.

It was a year to forget for…                               

Fake wines are still a big problem, particularly in China. There were a number of major busts this year.  

One you may have missed

Laphroiag mini

This miniature dates to the 1960s 

You can bet the consignors of this rare Laphroaig miniature were glad they brought it to a valuation day at McTear’s.

The bottle ended up going for £830 ($1,089), far above its £600 ($788) estimate.

There’s nothing miniature about that result.

Please sign up to our free newsletter to receive exciting news about wine, whisky and spirit auctions.

Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock