Fortuna Focuses Efforts on Virtual Live Auctions
Amidst global shutdowns, Fortuna is able to offer a safe virtual alternative to auction buyers seeking a sense of normalcy in an abnormal time.
NEW YORK, March 24, 2019—Last Thursday, amidst the growing impact of the coronavirus on the jewelry and watch market, Fortuna held its first-ever virtual live auction. While most other auction houses have postponed sales or completely halted operations in New York, Fortuna expressed a great sense of responsibility to its consigners, who are understandably more eager to make a sale in these uncertain times. The March Fine Jewels sale, which was held exclusively online and over the phone, saw the greatest volume of online bidders in Fortuna’s history. In fact, nearly 90% of winning bidders came from online platforms; and Fortuna’s mobile app saw a 20% increase in use, compared to their previous auction in February.
The March sale promises to be the first of many in this new global landscape. With many major auction houses cancelling or indefinitely postponing their Spring auctions in New York and Geneva, Fortuna has announced that their upcoming April Important Watches and Important Jewels auctions will take place as planned. The boutique NY jewelry and watch auction house has turned their greater flexibility and lower overhead to their advantage during this unpredictable time, and as a result, has been able to keep their 2020 auction schedule intact. In just a matter of days, Fortuna has managed to make key adjustments to their operational structure to maintain the ability to accept consignments for future sales, as well as major improvements to their digital catalog viewing experience.
Fortuna’s digital efforts are hardly new, and their state-of-the-art bidding technology has granted the company the ability to reach buyers globally, regardless of lockdowns. Recently, the Fortuna has heavily ramped up its online presence, adding close-up video shots to each lot on their online catalog, video streaming the auction on their website and social media, and even introducing a new service, “Virtual Previews,” in which clients can video chat with specialists directly for a closer look at pieces of interest.
The new system, with various departments operating remotely, is just as seamless for clients as ever. “We’ve been getting great feedback” says John Saxon, CEO of Fortuna, “our clients are thrilled to see how we’re meeting the challenge head on and still going on with our sales. The key is not to go on as if it’s business as usual, but to adapt our business to thrive during this market shift.” At a time in which many are confined to their homes, Fortuna is making it possible to enjoy the excitement of the auction right in the palm of your hand.
Upcoming Fortuna Auction Sales
The upcoming Important Jewels and Important Watches sales, taking place on April 30th, will feature a wide selection of estate jewels, iconic watches, and rare vintage Rolexes—such as the famed “Paul Newman” Daytona and “Big Red” Daytona. If you have jewelry or watches you would like to submit for April’s auction, the last day to consign is March 30th. Visit www.FortunaAuction.com or call (212) 389-9040 for a free online valuation.