Summer break fails to take the steam out of fine watch demand at Bonhams

rolex and patek

The first watch auction of the new Bonhams season suggests that demand for vintage timepieces is as strong as ever.

Estimates were exceeded across the board in Bonhams Watch and Wristwatches sale on 12 September, with 85% of lots exceeding their reserve.

An 18ct gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual Ref:6105 was the star lot in the sale, beating its estimate four times over when it sold for £12,500.

Story continues below


Rolex. An 18K gold automatic calendar bracelet watch Ref: 6105, Circa 1952 sold for £12,500
An 18ct gold automatic calendar bracelet Rolex Ref: 6105, Circa 1952, sold for £12,500


Half of the top 10 lots were from Rolex, including a stainless steel Submariner Ref:5508 which sold for £11,250.

An 18ct gold automatic Rolex Day-Date Ref:1803 was bought for £9,375.

An 18K gold automatic calendar bracelet watch Day-Date, Ref: 1803, Circa 1970 £9,375
An 18ct gold automatic calendar bracelet watch Rolex Day-Date, Ref: 1803, Circa 1970, sold for £9,375.


Other strong performers in the Bonhams sale included a fine gold key wind open face repeating pocket watch with enamel and stone set reverse Circa 1790 from Journier, Geneva which sold for £8,750.

An 18ct gold automatic Royal Oak from Audemars Piguet went under the hammer for £7,500.

Audemars Piguet

Patek Philippe and Cartier also performed strongly. An 18ct Cartier Ballon Bleu achieved £6,875 whilst an 18ct gold Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref: 3588 sold for £5,625.

Patek Philippe. An 18K gold manual wind wristwatch Calatrava, Ref: 3588, Manufactured in 1970. £5,625
This 18ct gold manual wind Patek Philippe Calatrava, Ref: 3588, Manufactured in 1970 sold for £5,625.

Penny Morris, head of Bonhams Watch Department, commented: “This was a fantastic start to our auction season after the summer break. We had assembled a typically broad sale, and bidders across the world responded enthusiastically to both traditional and more unusual pieces. To exceed so many estimates throughout the sale and to achieve such a high sell-through rate was terrific, and we look forward to building on our successes throughout the season.”

The next auctions for the department are Watches and Wristwatches at Bonhams’ Knightsbridge saleroom on 21 November, and Fine Watches and Wristwatches at the New Bond Street saleroom on 13 December.


Leave a Response

Tags : bonhamswatch auction
Rob Corder

The author Rob Corder