In an auction featuring a George Daniels Millenium, Patek Philippe grand complications and an F.P. Journe Centigraphe Souverain Sport, it will be a surprise to some that Bonhams is promoting its June Fine Watches sale with a 1975 quartz watch by Cartier as its headline lot.
But such is the current hype around watches made by Cartier’s London workshops in the 1960s and 70s, an ultra-rare Cartier Pebble with turtle lugs has every chance of smashing its pre-auction estimate of $210,000 to $280,000.
Earlier this year, Philips Geneva Watch Auction XIII set a record for the sale of a Cartier London Pebble Baseball with a hammer price of CHF 403,000 ($450,000).
Only six of that 18ct gold Pebble Baseball reference are thought to have been made — five in yellow gold, one in white gold with black dial — and only two are thought to have been given the distinctive turtle feet lugs, one of which is currently in the Cartier Collection archive.
Other fine watches in the sale include:
George Daniels Millennium wristwatch, estimate £250,000 – £300,000.
George Daniels is recognized as one of the 20th century’s greatest watchmakers, responsible for the revolutionary Co-Axial escapement.
After two decades of persuasion, Omega adopted this design and introduced it into select models in 1999.
As a celebration, Mr Daniels and his apprentice Roger Smith spent three years creating the Millennium wristwatch series of only 48 yellow gold pieces, which they hand-finished together in the ‘English Style’. This example is the ninth watch produced in 1999.
Patek Philippe Ref. 5074R -001, estimate £300,000 – £400,000.
This 2009 timepiece is one of only 100 rose gold variants and is offered by its original owner.
Behind its black dial is the celebrated calibre R 27 Q – at just a mere 6.9mm high, 8mm across and comprising 467 parts, this calibre features perpetual calendar, moon phase, 24-hour indication, plus a minute repeater with high tone and low tone ‘Cathedral’ gongs.
Fitted to the company’s most exclusive models, this calibre was one of the most complicated of its day ever fitted to a wristwatch by the manufacturer and is still among the most sought-after.
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ‘Paul Newman’, Ref: 6263, Circa 1970. Estimate: £ 220,000 – £280,000.
An example of the ever popular ‘Paul Newman’ Daytona, as worn by the American actor, reference 6263 was introduced in 1969 featuring a bezel with black Bakelite insert and printed tachymetre.
F.P. Journe aluminium Centigraphe Souverain Sport, Ref: No.072-CTS, circa 2012, estimate £60,000 – £80,000.
A lightweight aluminium variant of the celebrated Centigraph which has its chronograph system separate to its timekeeping function, which allows measurement from 10 minutes down to 1/100th of a second without draining the watch’s power.
The Bonhams Fine Watch takes place from 1pm in London (6pm EST) on June 16, with bids also accepted online, by phone and using the Bonhams App.