Rahul Kadakia, an Auctioneer Who Regularly Sets Records

Rahul Kadakia of Christie’s has sold the most expensive wristwatch, the priciest blue diamond and even, early on, a salad.

Rahul Kadakia may have brought the hammer down on the auction world’s priciest wristwatch sale — 31 million Swiss francs ($33 million) for a Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime — but an early career experience was far less lofty.

“Sell me this salad,” François Curiel, then Christie’s global head of jewelry and chairman of its European operations, instructed a 24-year-old Mr. Kadakia one day at lunch in Geneva.

Mr. Kadakia had announced his ambition to be an auctioneer. “I started conducting an auction and calling out bids — 3,000, 3,200, 3,500 — and

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