Watches of Knightsbridge May Auction: Last week we spent some time over at 64 Knightsbridge to get hands-on with some of the timepieces in the upcoming May auction on the 10th. There were quite a few we picked out that I’m sure would be a good addition to your collection. We have highlighted some of the more interesting pieces below consisting of; a 1960’s Longines Super Compressor Diver, a 1970’s Rolex Comex Submariner, a simply to die for 1970’s Tudor Submariner “Snow Flake” and one that didn’t make our pick but we just love the dial – a solid 18 carat white gold Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph, you may be thinking it doesn’t sound that special but just wait till you see the dial!
LONGINES SUPER COMPRESSOR DIVER
Lot 192: Longines recently released a re-issue of this iconic diver’s timepiece called the Legend Diver. Longines executed the re-issue of the Super Compressor in 2007 quite well and in 2009 Longines re-introduced the Legend Diver with a date window at 3 o’clock. Since the re-issue, interest in the original Super Compressor has increased, making them just that little bit harder to find (as if there weren’t hard enough to find in the first place). This Longines Diver is definitely one of our favourite compressor-cased Neptunian timepieces alongside the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris.
This Longines Super Compressor which is up for grabs features a black dial with applied silver Arabic numerals & markers and a 60 minute inner rotating bezel. Inside is an automatic caliber 290 movement which is signed Longines and also numbered. It also features the famous circular screw back case with an embossed “Scuba Diver” emblem. The case measure approximately 41mm in diameter and this example comes on a rather dinky little expanding steel bracelet but I’d be tempted to switch over onto a black leather strap. This 1965 Longines Super Compressor Diver is up for auction at an estimated price of £2,500 – £3,000.
ROLEX COMEX SUBMARINER
Lot 347: Next up is this extremely rare 1972 Rolex COMEX Submariner Ref. 5514. Now, just a few weeks ago we were talking about COMEX’s influence on the Sea-Dweller and other designs, you can read that post here. However, what you are looking at here is one of the few Submariners that didn’t actually feature the COMEX signed dial. As you may be aware COMEX conducted deep sea diving operations based on oil rigs; Rolex were commissioned to make specially made Submariners solely for the Compagnie Martime d’Expertises that featured HEV’s (helium escape valves) and therefore making these Rolex Submariners rare as they were never sold to the general public.
This Rolex COMEX Submariner Ref. 5514 features a matte black dial with applied luminous markers and the original iconic Mercedes hands. Inside is the calibre 1520 26 jewelled automatic winding movement, which is signed Rolex and numbered accordingly. Being a COMEX Submariner the Oyster case features, as mentioned, a helium escape valve and the case is also signed Montres Rolex S.A, dated I.72 – with matching serial numbers. The case measures approximately 39mm in diameter and is also signed Rolex COMEX on the case back, numbered 4xx. This Rolex COMEX Submariner 5514 is up for auction at an estimated price of £20,000 – £30,000.
Lot 391: Finally, another iconic timepiece that we’ve ear marked, is this beautiful 1976 Tudor Prince Submariner Ref. 9401/0. Just a few weeks ago we introduced you to the new Tudor Heritage Black Bay, in Midnight Blue – which is a distant relative of the Tudor Submariner 7922, launched in 1954. This Submariner, however, is a much closer descendant of the 7922. When launched circa 1975 – 76 the 9401/0 featured an option of either blue or black dials, so they exist in various configurations. The ones with blue dials and no date window, in our opinion, are probably one of the nicest Tudor Submariners. A Tudor used to be known as a poor man’s Rolex but in regards to vintage models, this statement isn’t so true anymore.
This vintage Tudor Submariner features a matte blue dial with applied square luminous markers, with its original “Snow Flake” luminous hands. Beating away inside is an automatic winding 26 jewelled ETA 2776 based calibre movement modified by Tudor. The Rolex Oyster case features a rotating bezel with original blue insert and Rolex locking crown. The case measure approximately 39mm in diameter and comes on a rather fetching blue NATO strap. This Tudor Submariner is currently up for auction at an estimated price of £2,000 – £3,000 and in all honesty if you could get it for this price it would be money well spent.
AUDEMARS PIGUET ROYAL OAK CHRONOGRAPH
Lot 27: Made in 2010, this Audemars Piguet ROC in 18 carat white gold features an absolutely gorgeous salmon pink ‘Clous de Paris’ dial with square luminous inlaid white gold markers and all the usual jazz found in a Royal Oak Chronograph. This AP ROC is up for auction at an estimated price of £16,000 – £18,000.