All the latest from the auction houses; the best lots up for auction, the drama, and the characters.
Every month, London’s Watches of Knightsbridge hosts an online auction. Typically the lots are nothing too expensive; just good honest watches from a trustworthy house. This August’s online auction features about 50 lots, ranging from a Rolex GMT-Master 16750 Pepsi on the high end to a few little dress watches from Longines and Omega on the low end. It’s a great way to start paying attention to auctions (perhaps even picking something up) without being scared away by blow-out-your brains prices.
Let’s take a look at a few of the best lots from Watches of Knightsbridge’s August online auction. We’ve got a couple Rolexes and the world’s first wristwatch without a crown.
Fellows, a UK-based auction house, is hosting its Watch Sale on August 13, featuring some 400 lots. With that many timepieces up for sale, there’s a lot to sort through, so here are a few of the lots to pay attention to. There will be live and online bidding, if you’re not local to Birmingham, but looking to drop some pounds.
UK-based Wilsons Auctions is holding an auction on August 14 to auction off over £2.3 million of goods seized from a London-based drug dealer. In addition to some red bottoms, a villa in Spain, and other things people rap about, there are a handful of watches up for auction.
Since authorities seized this property and it’s now government property, everything is being sold without a reserve price. Wilsons is in the business of “asset realization” for public sector clients, meaning it manages everything from asset collection to valuation and sale, returning the proceeds to its government clients.
Those interested will be able to bid in person or online. With that, let’s take a look at a few of the watches you can get your hands on.
Christie’s is collaborating with The Keystone to present “The Keystone Collection”, an online auction with over 200 offerings. The Keystone is a Beverly Hills based dealer focused on rare and vintage watches, typically featuring a nice mix of modern and vintage watches across all price points. The collection offered here exemplifies that, with highlights including a rare Patek Philippe Reference 725 perpetual calendar pocket watch signed Tiffany & Co., a Rolex Reference 16758 GMT-Master ‘SARU’, and an A. Lange & Sohne, limited edition pink gold Lange 1 tourbillon.
Christie’s “The Keystone Collection” Auction runs from July 30 until August 13. Let’s take a look at a few of the highlights.
Maybe you’ve heard, but July 20 marked the 50th anniversary of mankind first stepping foot on the moon. From NASA’s Instagram:
Today, at 10:56 p.m. EDT 50 years ago, Apollo 11 took that one giant leap – making history for all of mankind. 🌔👨🚀 On the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing, we salute the heroes, visionaries and explorers who made the seemingly impossible, possible.
Pretty cool. People have been “celebrating” by posting wrist shots of their Speedmasters all week. After all, is there a more American way to celebrate one of the great achievements of this country than flaunting our blatant consumerism and a Swiss company’s opportunistic profiting off such an achievement?
Well, perhaps one: An auction where those who own the same watch the astronauts wore on that fateful day can resell their timepieces at heavily inflated prices because of a bubble fueled by the consumerist habit of buying and flaunting said watches mentioned in the previous paragraph.
Anyway, let’s take a look at some of the best Omega Speedmasters that sold at Sotheby’s “To the Moon and Back | Celebrating 50 years since Apollo 11” auction form July 19.
On Tuesday, July 9, Fortuna Auction hosted a “No-Reserve Watches” Auction, featuring 106 lots. Usually, lots offered at auction have a “reserve price” and if the final bid doesn’t meet or exceed that price, the lot will be pulled. Since all these watches had no reserve prices, they were all going home with someone new by the end of the night, like a puppy at an adoption center event. Let’s take a look at a few of the watches that sold.
Sure, Watches of Knightsbridge has its monthly online auctions, which often have some nice watches in their own right. But a few times a year, they offer a larger platform, hosting a live auction in their native London. The next live auction is July 20’s Fine, Rare, and Collectible Timepieces, featuring 217 lots. There are three Rolex Submariners on the catalog cover, which might hint at the general theme of this auction. Let’s take a look at a few of the best watches up for auction.
Bonhams is hosting a number of wristwatch auctions this summer, but the most lots are on offer in its two-part “Vintage Wristwatches from a Private Collection”. Part 1 ended on June 27, while Part 2 is open until July 3. There are no headliner grabbers here, just some decent, honest watches that will all likely sell for under $5,000 to $6,000. The auction is full of Movado, Omega, Universal Geneve, and Vacheron — the collector here seemed to know what he or she liked, and went in deep. There’s also a lot of gold watches, with some exceptions (which I’ll highlight below).
As I previously wrote, this blog’s goal for the rest of 2019 is to cover more watch auctions. The good, the bad, the ugly — whatever may come. Lucky for us, there’s a great online auction from Christie’s going on from now until June 25. With 232 lots, there’s a lot to get to, so let’s dig right in.
Just for Fun
Lately, I’ve noticed that there seems to be a real lack of watch auction coverage around the internet. When I wrote my preview of Christie’s spring 2019 auction, there wasn’t much else out there covering the offerings at Christies, or the competing spring auctions from the other large auction houses, namely Sotheby’s and Phillips (I even tried to cover Antiquorum’s auction in our weekly newsletter because it seemed like no one else was). Sure, the sale of Andy Warhol’s Rolex garnered some headlines, but that’s little more than clickbait.
Say what you want about watch auctions, but they still bring some much-needed transparency to the market, help identify and define trends, and help advance scholarship, especially on rare and unique watches. And on a selfish level, learning about watches up for auction forces me to take the time to understand these new pieces and argue why one is worth highlighting in an article over another.
So, I’ll be making a concerted effort over the rest of the year to cover all the watch auctions I have time for. The first step in this is gathering up all the auctions from the various houses to make sure they’re on my radar for the second half of 2019
The approaching of May means the approaching of the spring auction season in Geneva. Christie’s, Phillips, and Sotheby’s are all hosting equally exciting auctions between May 12-14. Today, I’m taking a look at the lots coming up at the Christie’s sale. Christie’s has a bunch of exciting watches on the high end: Daytonas and Pateks of course, but also this a watch owned by Andy Warhol (more on that below), as well as an online-only auction with a bunch of accessibly-priced vintage timepieces. I’m going to highlight a few of my favorites from each auction. So let’s dig through all the “fine and rare” superlatives these auction houses love to shower upon their lots and see what’s actually worth a look.
This week, eBay is auctioning off (click to check it out) a group of luxury watches in its “Time to Treat Yourself” auction. There are 51 watches total, ranging from Oris to five-figure timepieces from Rolex, Patek Phillipe and Audemars Piguet. Frankly, I see a lot of nice watches on eBay every day (and a lot more duds), and it’s unclear why some of the watches were included in this promoted auction. But, there are a few headliners in the auction worth pointing out.
The Rolex Paul Newman Daytona had another record-breaking year in 2018. Here’s what happened in the fall auctions.
Previewing one of the season’s biggest horology auctions.