We like the AP Royal Oak of course, who wouldn’t? Classic design and it rivals the Rolex GMT II in terms of collector/investor appeal, especially a model like this with its camo style strap. Gives the watch a younger, fresher feel we reckon. Bidding is already over 10K by the way. Yeah. Better investment than Bitcoin some might say..here’s the word from the Watch Collecting auction site;
Introduced in 2019, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 44mm Camouflage Collection reveals the historic watchmaker in playful mode. Produced in brown, green, and blue camo patterns, the blue is the most vibrant and has proved the most popular with collectors. Keeping the classic Mega Tapisserie chequerboard guilloche dial, in the same cobalt blue as the ceramic bezel, the hands are given a lift with red to the 6 and 9 o’clock and to the tip of the chronograph seconds. Crown and pushers are also colour coded in ceramic.
Inside is the cal. 3126/3840, which is AP’s in-house automatic cal. 3120 topped with a Dubois-Depraz chronograph module. It has a 50-hour power reserve. The strap is closed with a substantial steel pin buckle and for days when a more consistent colour scheme is required, a plain blue rubber strap is also included. Bought in its launch year of 2019, the watch is still covered by its purchase warranty which can be extended by a further three years via the Audemars Piguet website. The box, papers and additional strap are complete and in immaculate condition.
We took a look at the Cadmore online auction, which is fast approaching and has some interesting watches on offer.
A 2010 Panerai Luminor with box and papers is worth a look, especially if you can get it for about £2600-£3200, as it is in mint condition. A new one is about five grand, so with the auction fees on top a final cost of £3600 isn’t too bad. If you like pocket watches there are several on offer and the silver Kendal and Dent, with a hefty 48mm case size is a good buy if you can get it for under £60 – assuming it works. There is no description on the auction website, so we don’t know.
An 18ct gold Rolex Datejust is another one that could be worth a look, although the gold Rolex is a bit of a Del Boy vibe these days. Good condition judging by the photos. No box or paperwork though. Say £2700 all in? Yep that’s where we would be too.
There is also a very blingy diamond bezel Rolex Datejust, no box or papers, but very nice condition.
More at the Cadmore website here. Auction is taking place next Monday.
If you want to sell a luxury Swiss watch then an auction can be a good way to do it, especially as the Covid restrictions make visiting watch dealers shops a non-starter. But what about the fees? Some auctions can take a hefty 15-30% from the sale price, in commission, buyers premiums, catalogue photos, secure packaging and consignment charges etc. so your Rolex Sub only realised say £7500, instead of the £10000 you thought it sold for on the day. Well, have a look at Watch Collecting, who aim to do a better job for sellers.
Welcome to Watch Collecting. A new 24/7 online auction platform devoted to collectible watches. We are preparing to shake up the auction industry with our first auctions in March 2021. Following the success of Collecting Cars, the team have been hard at work optimising the experience for watches.
Our fees are straight forward. Sellers receive 100% of the winning bid whilst buyers are charged a 6% fee on their winning bid (£600 minimum). Below are some examples of watches already consigned to our first auctions, will yours be next?
Verdict: If you own a seriously expensive watch then this is worth considering, as the savings are huge if you have a Daytona, Patek Nautilus or AP Royal Oak in your safe.
We took a quick look at the lots on offer tomorrow in the GH sale, which is of course online only. You need to register with an account before bidding by the way.
We like the Omega Seamaster Pro model, with box and paperwork plus warranty card. It lacks a spare link and has some wear, but worth a bid if you’re a fan of the reliable co-axial movement Seamasters. Will last a lifetime, low speed running and less servicing overall is the benefit of the co-axial in our humble opinion.
A 1990s Rolex Submariner, (pictured) with a 43mm case, classic black dial/bezel and very light marks on the case and bracelet would be a good buy – but there’s no box or paperwork, which makes reselling it a bit tricky. GH have set the estimate at up to 7K and we would agree, it’s too expensive to pay more than 9K overall, including auction fees, for a Rolex Sub that lacks any box/papers.
There’s a Rolex Oyster Yachtmaster, which also lacks box and paperwork – current pre-auction bid on that is 6K by the way.
If you like soemthing different there are mens and ladies Bulgari models, which feature some quirky case designs and offbeat dials. Bid estimates range from £800 upwards. There’s also an AP Royal Oak Offshore, blue dial, no box no paperwork, with a pre-submitted 6K bid on it. Got a bit of wear to the bezel and crystal however, needs some TLC.
Phillips has an auction in NYC coming up in December, with the highlight being the sale of a Heuer chronograph owned bty the late movie and racing legend, Steve McQueen. Yes, the watch actually worn in Le Mans, and glanced at by Steve before the famous flag dropping scenes, which we are predicting will make $1.3m inc buyers premium. (UPDATE 12.12.2020: We were way out on that guess, as it made $2.2million, which is about £1.6m.)
There are extra motorsport and celeb watches just added to this sale, so here is the latest from Phillips press room;
Watch the start scene from Le Mans again, because it is petrolhead magic;
Phillips has carefully chosen 138 timepieces – selected for their rarity, quality, state of preservation, provenance, and aesthetic beauty – spanning top collectors’ brands including Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, F.P.Journe, Richard Mille, Panerai, and Heuer, among others. The sale will also feature a special, charitable section titled, Time Counts, consisting of 12 lots donated by celebrated personalities, with all proceeds benefiting The One Drop and Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundations.
Phillips’ Head of Watches, Americas, said, “Receiving the gift of a fine watch from a loving spouse, driving at speeds over 200 mph with a great watch on the wrist, or the first unboxing of a long-desired timepiece – these are thrilling moments that cause one’s pulse to race. The watches of RACING PULSE were chosen with the same goal of getting watch enthusiasts’ pulses racing with their exceptional quality, aesthetics, or provenance. Our team has brought together some of the rarest and most important watches to ever be offered publicly – an extraordinary group that speaks to collectors around the world. From Paul Newman’s iconic Rolex “Big Red” Daytona, to the most important modern Panerai ever offered, to an incredible selection of watches donated by celebrities including Guy Laliberté and H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco to benefit noble causes, RACING PULSE will offer an epic collection of modern and vintage timepieces for the final live Phillips auction of 2020. We are proud to present this catalogue and look forward to sharing these watches with our community around the globe.”
Interesting Rolex will be on sale too;
Rolex Submariner “MilSub” reference 5517
An extremely rare and historically important stainless steel diver’s wristwatch with fixed lugs and military engravings, accompanied by Henry Hudson-signed letter from Rolex Bexley, UK, c. 1977
Estimate: $100,000 to $200,000
In the 1970s, the UK Ministry of Defence approached Rolex with specifications for a watch that met their requirements, including fixed spring bars welded to the lugs, (preventing the fitting of a reflective bracelet), a 60-minute bezel insert, large sword-shaped hands, and a luminous dial. The resulting watch is now known to collectors as the “MilSub.” Following decommissioning, these military wristwatches were either destroyed by the MOD, or purchased by civilians, with most being transformed by removing the military features. As a result, the present example is an incredible find. It is complete and in exceptional, unrestored, and fully original condition. Fresh-to-the-market, the watch is further remarkable for its very rare, 5517 reference. Uniquely made for the MOD, the present example is without a doubt the finest Rolex “MilSub” to be offered at auction in recent memory.
Gardiner Houlgate has another watch auction coming up and the star of the show is a 1961 Rolex Submariner, with the 3-6-9 dial, which is estimated to fetch over £150,000. It’s got the original box and paperwork too, which is very unusual for a 60s Rolex as many people simply chucked that stuff away back then.
UPDATED: The watch sold to a collector based in Hong Kong for £210,000 by the way!
Several watch collections are being sold at this auction, which suggests that some old collectors are thinking now is the time to cash on a lifetime’s collecting and relocate to a country like Sweden where the fun Police won’t arrest you for singing Boheamian Rhapsody.
A Rolex Oyster Perpetual with a starting price of £1500 is very fair and if you’re hankering after your first Rolex then that could be the one. Having said that, this model from 1978 is in need of a clean and service, judging from the photos. No box or papers either.
Other rare stuff? Bulova Accutron, which is working. Plus a couple of Derby Swissonic digital quartz models. Will the early quartz models ever achieve the prices that mechanicls do? Probably not, but they do have their fans and for a few hundred quid you could get into the game.
There are two Jaeger le Coultre models that caught our eye; an 18K Day-Date gold automatic with a starting bid of £720 is tempting and a bumper automatic for about the same money is also excellent value. Ball watches are growing in popularlity so it will be interesting to see how much the Engineer II and Fireman Ionosphere make. The Fireman has the full set of paperwork and box with it too, again starting bid of just over £700.
There are military watches, modern Omega, Zenith, TAG, IWC, vintage pocket watches and more. Online bidding only of course, no actual physical auction.
Sotheby’s has another prestige watch sale happening this week. Here are some highlights;
The Royal Oak Quantieme Perpetuel (header images) combines an iconic sports watch design with the most classic horological complication: the perpetual calendar.
The collection first launched in 1983 as the Reference 5554. The model was originally dressed in a 39 mm case and has since seen over 90 variations in style and size. Today’s rendition is upgraded with a large 41 mm case, new extra-thin in-house movement, and a multi-dimensional ‘Grande Tapisserie’ dial.
Rolex Daytonas Aplenty
This silver dial Daytona (pictured) has a cal. 727 mechanical movement, stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet with folding clasp and a 37 mm diameter case. Estimate is about $65,000 on that one. In fact there are several nice Daytonas, all on sale scheduled for the 4th September. Plus the usual Submariners, GMTs etc.
We also got envious over a Patek Philipe Calatrava with white dial and white gold case from 1966. Got some wear, but a classic watch that will probably only rise in value.
The auction is online and bidding closes on 4th September 2020 – you can bid now.
The Watches of Knightsbridge 18th July 2020 auction catalogue has now been published and can be viewed on our websiteor by clicking on the links below.
There is a physical venue: Michelin House, 81 Fulham Road, London, SW3 6RD, but viewing is by prior appointment of course.T
This sale happens on Saturday 18th July ~ Starts at 1pm BST and is wholly online – This auction will be conducted with live online bidding alongside telephone & absentee bids. Buyers premium is a hefty 25% by the way, which is a substantial icing on the cake when buying a Rolex for 10K.
We spotted a pair of very nice Breitling Top Time models, estimate at 2K-3K, 1964 model, running, some light wear and a 1969 Top Time in excellent condition with hardly a mark on it – must be worth 3K, maybe a bit more.
Rolex your thing? The Pepsi bezel 1979 Oyster Cal 1570 looks a good investment, even at 10K. Submariner from ’83 with a big font dial has some scratches on the bezel, but original hands too with some light patina.
Something different? Maybe a late 80s Domino’s Pizza Air King, presented to a hot sales frnachise holder as a prize is certainly unique. Maybe not wear to your wedding, but at £2500-ish it makes a collectable watch.
Gardiner Houlgate have another watch auction coming up this week. Lots include the ever popular Omega Seamaster and Constellation models, Rolex Oyster, Breitling Navitimer models, plus a pair of JLC bumper automatics, one of which has an 18ct gold case. We love the steel case example with the red power reserve indicator though – more wearable watch some might say.
We spotted a very nice example of the Panerai Luminor with PVD coated case, estimate about 4K on that one. If you like military watches the Navy issue Lemania, with stopwatch button/flyback on the case at the 2pm position is an interesting watch, that looks very genuine with patina, and fading on the original radiactive lume too. Estimate is about 1500-1800 on that one.
There’s an RAF Hamilton watch as well, classic looks, very clean movement inside the signed case and you probably won’t lose money if you can buy that one for £700 or so.
Follow GH Auctions on their Instagram page for some of the latest entries and highlights of watches that appear at GH
Gardiner Houlgate are reporting that they saw record levels of interest in their last watch auction, which took place last week. The next sale is due on 24th June and the deadline for entries is the 5th of May.
As well as Swiss watches from well known names like Omega, Rolex, Breitling, TAG, IWC and more, GH also have job lots of spare parts, watchmakers tools, pocket watches, accessories, books etc.
Register to bid online, find out more at the GH website.
Fellows has their next watch auction lined up for 22nd June, with a varied range of classic watches on offer. We spotted a very nice Tudor Grantour auto, 42mm, black dial model by the way.
McTears has their next watch auction on 28th June. Ewbanks down in Surrey have their next watch event on 22nd July.
Interestingly, at the top end of the auction market Sotheby’s has reported that they’ve been taking over $1 million a week at their specialised luxury watch auctions. Some record prices have been set, but things may well be different at the lower end of the collector market, especially when the free furlough and business grant cash begins to run out in the UK.