Bonhams Fine Watch & Wristwatch Auctions worldwide, June 2011

London Lot 240, Rolex Cosmograph: £30,000 - 40,000 London Lot 262, Patek Philippe platinum tourbillon chronometer with 10-day power reserve: £140,000 - 180,000 London Lot 220, Rolex Submariner, 'Comex 6150': £20,000 - 25,000

Bonhams’ Watches & Wristwatches department will hold two top-level sales this June. First off will be a sale in London on 8 June, closely followed by a US-based ‘simulcast auction’ on 16 June.

Needless to say, both catalogues are packed with the horological equivalent of an Alfa 8C, Maserati 250F or Ferrari 250GT. A leading entry for the 8 June, London sale is Lot 215, a Patek Philippe 18ct gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon phases, originally sold 31 October 2008 (£60,000 - 80,000).

Other Pateks include Lot 262, a platinum tourbillon chronometer wristwatch with 10-day power reserve still sealed in its factory plastic, together with fitted presentation box (first sold 16 December 2006, est. £140,000 - 180,000), and an unusual 18ct gold Patek Philippe Tie Pin with fitted presentation box (ca. 1970 and estimated at £700 – 900). Just the thing for keeping your kipper tie under control on a windy day.

For the more sporty collector, there is a good selection of Rolexes to choose from including a 1968 Milgauss (£10,000 - 15,000), a ca. 1964 Cosmograph (£10,000 - 15,000) and a rare 1984 Submariner 'Comex 6150' for £20,000 - 25,000.

USA Lot 154, Universal Genève. A fine stainless steel automatic centre seconds diver's wristwatch: $3000 - 5000 USA Lot 6, Louis Vuitton. A stainless steel dual time zone centre seconds automatic wristwatch with date: $1500 - 2000 USA Lot 160, Rolex. A fine stainless steel GMT-Master: $6500 - 9000

Just eight days later, the British company’s US offices will hold a three-location (New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco) ‘simulcast auction’ on 16 June. There’s more from our friends Patek and Rolex, as well as vintage Breitling, Heuer and Omega watches in the 185-lot catalogue.

Looking outside these well-known brands, the vintage stainless steel chronographs from Gallet (Lot 135, $500 – 1000) and Wittnauer (Lot 136, $500 – 800) would make an economical alternative to the throng of loose-fitting Daytonas and Subs one sees at motoring events.

There’s also a subtle diver’s watch by Universal Genève, featuring the innovative 1960s Super Compressor screw-back case, a method whereby the seal comes under higher compression as the water pressure increases. When new, these watches were water resistant to 600ft. The 1960s watch, Lot 154, retailed by Tiffany & Co is estimated at $3000 – 5000.

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Text: Steve Wakefield
Photos: Bonhams

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