Ever been to a watch auction? Contrary to what you see in James Bond movies you definitely don’t have to be a multi-millionaire with someone in a Savile Row suit making telephone bids for you as you sip dry Martini’s on your super yacht.
Many watch auctions are low key affairs, auctioning watches which may have sat unloved in pawnbrokers shop windows for a considerable time, or for which the owner desperately needs the extra cash the sale of the watch will bring.
It’s possible, with care, research and iron discipline, to walk away with a bargain if the bidding is light.
Established in 1876, Fellows is one of the UK’s most respected firms of Auctioneers and Valuers. The company’s origin can be traced back to the collapse of an order for bicycles. When William Henry Fellows, was left with the unwanted order he decided to sell the bicycles by auction. The family, who were also pawnbrokers, used auctions to sell uncollected pledges.
Their next watch auction is on Thursday November 29th at 10:am, with viewing starting on November 24th, which gives you plenty of time to find the focus of your attention.
When it comes to the auction, it’s important before you raise your hand to bid, that you have done your homework. You need to determine how much the watch is really worth on the open market. You might be able to pick up a similar model on Ebay or in your local pawnshop or better still a street market for considerably less.
On the other hand, you might just get lucky at the auction. Many of these watches are scarcely vintage at all, some were brand new within the last ten years. Decide on what you’re really after and give a watch auction a go. It’s exciting, sometimes nerve wracking, and occasionally desperately difficult not to get carried away. If you’ve been looking for a watch for yourself or as a gift for Christmas, why not give this auction a try.
Here is a small sample of what’s on offer.
Audemars Piguet 18k gold manual watch
A stunningly elegant watch from Audemars Piguet with an asking price starting at around £1,800. The champagne tone dial features black Roman numerals, inner minute track, circular shaped case, stamped 18k with poincon, fitted to an integral bracelet with clasp, signed calibre 2003/1. The case diameter is 32mm, small by today’s standards.
Breguet Classique Grande Complication
Breguet, a grail brand to many watch collectors. This could be a chance to acquire something of a Breguet bargain. An 18k gold manual wind Classique Grande Complication , ref 5357. The silvered gold guilloche dial has an offset main dial to twelve o’clock with black Roman numeral hour markers on a silver chapter ring, cut away to six o’clock to reveal the one minute tourbillon carriage. Bidding is at £25,000 to £35,000.
Breitling Chronomat Evolution
Dating from 2004, this is a bi-metal automatic chronograph gentleman’s Breitling Windrider Chronomat Evolution bracelet watch. The blue dial features hourly applied gilt batons, date aperture set to three o’clock, subsidiary champagne tone recorder dials positioned to six, nine and twelve o’clock, bordered by a minute track and tachymeter scale, unidirectional bezel with 18k gold rider tabs, tonneau shaped case. The auction listing is £2,000 to £2,500.
Cartier Tank bracelet watch
The ever popular Cartier tank, with an asking price of around £2,000. This is a bi-metal automatic Tank Francaise bracelet watch, the silvered guilloche effect dial with hourly applied black Roman numerals, date aperture set to six o’clock, inner minute track.
Patek Philippe Ellipse
Originally designed by Gerald Genta, this elegant version of the Patek Philipe Ellipse comes in 18k. It’s a gold automatic watch with a gorgeous blue sunburst effect. The dial has hourly applied gilt batons, with an oval shaped case, fitted to an authentic blue alligator strap with an 18k gold pin buckle, signed calibre 240. The case width is 31mm, and the watch comes with box and papers. Needless to say, you pay a premium for a Patek, so this starts at £7,000 and is sure to rise with heavy bidding.