2017 has picked up where 2016 left off for sales of vintage luxury watches, with strong demand for Cartier, TAG Heuer, Omega, Breitling and the ever-reliable Rolex at the first Fellows Watch Sale of the year.
The auction, held on January 31, saw 91% of lots exceed their reserve prices, with bidders in the sale room competing with telephone and online buyers.
The Cartier section proved particularly popular in this auction with strong prices achieved across the range of models and all lots selling.
A Tank Americaine watch in 18ct white gold (pictured above with two yellow gold examples) achieved £6,700, well above its estimate of £2,200 – 2,800. Cartier is celebrating the 100th anniversary of Tank this year.
Omega’s Speedmaster is also in an anniversary year – its 60th – which may have explained increased prices at the Fellows auction.
Rolex shows no sign of fading in popularity. An Oyster Perpetual Monometer watch sold for £27,000, surpassing its estimate of £20,000 – 25,000.
Despite sharing a model number with, and being identical to some versions of the more common Turn-o-graph, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Monometer is its own watch and its rarity appealed to Rolex enthusiasts on the day.
Another rare watch that went under the hammer was the ‘American 21’ watch from Vacheron Constantin, which sold for £28,000. With its iconic off-set crown, this watch has been thought by many to have been designed as a ‘Drivers’ watch with the alignment of the dial making the watch easier to see when holding the steering wheel.
However, evidence suggests that this design was more likely inspired by US trench wrist watches which used fob watch movements to fulfil pre-WWI demand quotas, Fellows experts explain.
The next Fellows Watch Sales takes place on February 28.