Bonhams June sale offers 400 years of horology


Bonhams June watch sale tomorrow will offer timepieces from the last 400 years of horology.

Jonathan Darracott, newly appointed Head of Watches at Bonhams, said: “The Bonhams Fine Watch Sale offers examples from as early as the 1600s up to the present day. Leading the sale are complicated Patek Philippe wristwatches, finely crafted timepieces from a brand recently celebrated with their incredibly successful Watch Art exhibition in London’s Saatchi gallery.”

The sale will be hoping to continue the run of record-breaking prices being paid for exceptional pieces by Patek Philippe and Rolex at auctions internationally.

The top lot is a ‘very fine’ Patek Philippe manual wind platinum wristwatch, reference 5970P-001. Produced in 2009, this complicated wristwatch features a perpetual calendar, chronograph, phases of the moon and leap year indication and is estimated at £120,000-180,000. The 5970 was the fifth in Pateks series of perpetual calendar chronographs and the platinum edition was eagerly awaited by collectors around the world.

Also from Patek is the ref. 1463 chronograph, pictured, crafted in 1946. Estimated at £80,000-120,000, and being offered with its Extract from the Patek Philippe Archive, this model was the first chronograph produced with a water resistant case by Patek Philippe, recognisable by its very distinctive early Dec nut case back and large star burst engraved chronograph pushers.

Making its auction debut is a 17th century oval silver alarm clock watch. Made in the early 1600s in Blois, France, but heavily influenced by German silverwork of the same period, the finely engraved watch is one of the earliest watches ever offered at Bonhams and is estimated at £4,000-6,000. Depicting allegorical scenes of Apollo and Daphne and Mars and Venus, engravings of this period were designed to be instructional and encourage good morals.

Bonhams is also offering a highly collectable Rolex ‘MilSub’. Ordered directly by the British Military through the Ministry of Defence these watches were manufactured with specific enhancements that set them apart from their civilian equivalent. With an estimate of £30,000-50,000, Bonhams is offering a reference 5513 example made in 1972 and issued in 1975.

Another important Rolex is the ‘Paul Newman’ Cosmograph Daytona, so called after the actor famously wore the model in the 1969 film Winning. Typified by an ‘exotic’ dial with black subsidiary dials on a white background, the ‘Paul Newman’ is on the wish list of many avid Rolex collectors and the popularity of the model has skyrocketed over the last few years. This example, reference 6239, dates from 1963 and is estimated at £30,000-50,000.

The sale also includes a Rolex Big Crown Submariner, reference 6538, estimated at £20,000-30,000, one of the most iconic watches ever made (nicknamed the ‘James Bond’ after its appearance in the 1962 film Dr. No) as well as fine examples from brands like Breguet, Vacheron Constantin and Jaeger-LeCoultre.

Bonhams Fine Watches & Wristwatches auction takes place at 101 New Bond Street at 2pm on Wednesday 10 June.



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