Bonhams held its Fine Watches and Wristwatches Sale which saw a Rolex Submariner ‘Explorer; with red depth rating dial Ref: 6538 sell for more than ten times its pre-sale estimate, achieving £181,250. The highly original watch was one of the watches presented to the crew of the clipper Sovereign which took part in the America’s Cup in 1964. It was offered by the son of the original owner and was bought by an international telephone bidder.
Rolexes were popular throughout the sale, with 7 of the top 10 lots coming from the Swiss watchmaker. A Paul Newman Cosmograph Daytona Ref: 6239 achieved £125,000, and a fine 18k gold manual wind chronograph wristwatch Cosmograph Daytona, Red: 6265 well exceeded its estimate when it sold for £81,250. Two highly sought-after Kew Rolexes attracted keen bidding: the stainless-steel example with ‘Especially Good’ Kew certification sold for £17,500 and the very rare 18k gold example achieved £31,250.
Several Patek Philippes were offered, a highlight being the fine and rare stainless steel automatic calendar bracelet watch Jumbo Nautilus, Ref: 3700/1 which sold for £150,000 against an estimate of £50,000-80,000. A fine, rare and unusual 18k white gold, diamond and lapis lazuli set manual wind bracelet watch, Ref: 4292/1 also sold above estimate, achieving £38,875 against £15,000-20,000.
From Cartier, the rare oversized 18k gold manual wind oval wristwatch Maxi Oval was a particularly strong performer, achieving £70,000 against a pre-sale estimate of £15,000-20,000. From Frank Muller, a rare and complicated 18k white gold minute repeating wristwatch with tourbillon and power reserve indication Imperial Tourbillon, Limited Edition No.55, Red: 6850 RMT/55 performed well, realising £31,250.
Jonathan Darracott, Global Head of Watches, commented: ‘We are delighted with today’s results, particularly the astonishing figure achieved by our top lot, the Rolex Submariner ‘Explorer’ with red depth rating. We had several very keen bidders registered all across the world, showing the continued demand for the very rarest and most original wristwatches rather than just those in mint condition. The top lots were all exceptional examples of their model with impeccable provenance, and thus drew attention from bidders across the globe – we had registered bidders from 35 countries. We are very proud of the sale that we put together, and we feel that the results achieved reflect the sustained interest among both established collectors and first-time buyers who made up 20% of today’s successful bidders. 2018 has been a strong year for Bonhams Watches, with very successful sales in five countries across three continents. We have offered 1,431 watches and achieved an average of 80% sell-through rate by both lot and value across our two London salerooms. We look forward to continued success in 2019.