British-based Fellows, which holds an auction for fine watches every month online and in its sale room, might have wondered whether the current Coronavirus lock down would stop people from bidding for the rare timepieces it sells.
The business need not have worried as watch collectors are an obsessive breed, and hunting down fine pieces to add to their cabinets is a passion they will not give up in the face of a global pandemic.
In fact, more of them than ever took part in the latest Fellows watch auction, which took place on April 20 and attracted more than 1,600 people across its own online auction platform and the third party The-Saleroom.com.
“We received record registrants in our Watches sale and I am thrilled there is still a demand for all kinds of timepieces. So many items flew above their estimates and I enjoyed watching people bid on the auction even down to the wire. Our watch auctions at Fellows continue to go from strength-to-strength and even with the way the world is at the moment people still seem to be taking part in our auctions,” says Steven Yambo, senior watch specialist at Fellows Auctioneers.
There were 377 lots on offer at the auction, which ran for almost 8 hours. It had a sell rate of 87%, demonstrating how resilient demand has been during the current crisis.
Many watches, most notably from Rolex and Omega, exceeded their auction estimates and they often received 20-50 bids each.
Highlights, described by Fellows, included:
Lot 9 – BLANCPAIN – a gentleman’s 18ct yellow gold Villeret chronograph wrist watch. Estimate: £1,200 – £1,800. Price realised: £3,381.40
Lot 64 – CARTIER – a mid-size bi-metal Ballon Bleu bracelet watch. Estimate: £2,500 – £3,000. Price realised: £5,295.40
Lot 98 – FRANCK MULLER – a lady’s 18ct white gold Cintree Curvex wrist watch. Estimate: £2,000 – £3,000. Price realised: £4,721.20
Lot 178 – OMEGA – a gentleman’s stainless steel Speedmaster chronograph bracelet watch. Estimate: £1,200 – £1,800. Price realised: £4,657.40
Lot 292 – ROLEX – a gentleman’s 18ct yellow gold Oyster Perpetual Day-Date bracelet watch. Estimate: £4,500 – £5,500. Price realised: £13,079.00