17th century Thomas Tompion clock watch stars in Bonhams Watches and Wristwatches Sale


A fine and rare gold key wind pair case clock watch by Thomas Tompion is the stand out lot at next week’s Bonhams Watches and Wristwatches Sale on 22 May, online and at the company’s London sale room.

Thomas Tompion (1639-1713) is among the greatest of early English clockmakers and is considered the greatest watch and clockmaker of the 17th century with his workshops among the first the first to use balance springs in his creations.

The case clock watch on sale at Bonhams is described by the auctioneer as a particularly fine example from the period showing the finesse needed to make a watch that truly strikes the hours.


Estimated at $27,000-$40,000, the clock watch is in very good original condition with blued steel work and exceedingly fine arbors.



Penny Morris, head of watches, at Bonhams Knightsbridge said: “It is a rare opportunity to be able to offer such a significant and beautiful piece of horological history. This is a particularly striking example of Tompion’s legendary craftwork, and we look forward to helping it find its next custodian on 22 May.”

A contrasting piece from next week’s catalog is an IWC ‘Plastiki,’ a limited edition stainless steel automatic calendar wristwatch (estimate: £4,000-6,000) that is named after a unique catamaran made of 12,500 recycled plastic bottles. It was sailed by David de Rothschild and his team from San Francisco to Sydney in a bit to highlight the terrible plastic waste blighting our oceans.



Other highlights of the Bonhams sale include:

  • Breguet. A fine and rare continental gold key wind open face repeating atoc pocket watch. Sold 2nd July 1806. Estimated at $13,500-$19,000.
  • Breguet & Fils. A fine and rare 18ct gold key wind quarter repeating pocket watch. Circa 1815. Estimated at $10,000-$15,000.
  • Rolex. A Lady’s 18ct rose gold diamond set automatic calendar bracelet watch. Estimated $7,000-$9,000.


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