Last week we picked a few lots that caught our eye at Watches of Knightsbridge’s winter auction, and it seems that we weren’t the only ones that thought they were noteworthy. The overall results of the auction were fantastic with 70% of lots sold and of those that sold, many achieving above their estimate. It is interesting to note that while vintage continues to soar, and rare modern pieces remain desirable, it is the average modern pieces, especially those below £10,000 that suffered the most, making up a good proportion of the unsold lots. Times are certainly changing and I am very interested to see how vintage watches fare over the next few years.
Anyway, let’s get straight into our recap beginning with the Heuers. Lot 110. The star of the Autavias, was the first execution cased 3646 that hammered for £20,000 before premium (£24,320 with premium), completely brushing aside the conservative £12,000 – £16,000 estimate. It certainly shows that the appetite for rare Autavias is still growing with collectors willing to fork out for quality examples. Lot 113, the Autavia 2446C hammered for £7,000 before premium (£8,512 with premium), which is fairly consistent with the current market trend. That being said, they are continuing to slowly creep up in price as these 2446Cs have slightly plateaued after its meteoric rise in 2016.
What was surprising though, was Lot 112, the 2446 ‘Rindt’. I would go as far as to say that it somewhat disappointing Citing a poor bezel in my highlight two weeks ago, I did say that this might be off-putting to collectors and despite everything else in tip-top condition, someone may be in for a bargain. True enough, it sold before premium for £12,000 (£14,592 with premium), a very reasonable price in today’s market. While this might lead me to suggest that there is a softening in the market and a price correction, Lot 111 prior to this, the 3646 ‘Andretti’- a watch that is valued far less than the ‘Rindt’, sold for £2,500 more at £14,500 before premium (£17,743 with premium). Therefore, this instead points towards the direction serious collectors are heading, with condition at the forefront more than ever.
On the other side of the Heuers, was the rare Carrera 2447 NST selling for £13,000 before premium (£15,808 with premium). A very healthy price indeed, it was only a few months ago that there was an even rarer 2447, a ‘SN’ version that sold online for around £12,000. Carrera prices continue to grow, once again with the priority placed on the rarest pieces.
While the Reverse Pandas mostly kept in line with what I was expecting, it was the second round of watches highlighted last week that seriously over performed. Lot 230 was the Omega Seamaster 300 ‘Big Triangle’ that hammered for £12,500 before premium (£15,200 with premium)! I knew it was a quality watch with an all original rare dial and original parts, but £15,200 for a Seamaster 300! The Seamaster 300 as mentioned is one of the more dangerous watches to buy, so I guess when one comes up in such condition, it only takes two guys who want it bad enough. I forgot to mention too, that a nice and easy way of telling if these have its original lume is through the dots you see in the big triangle and at 6 o’clock- of course, this one ticked that box with visible dots.
The rare steel and gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual with its ‘fantasie’ bezel sold for £3,400, another healthy price, especially for a time only Rolex. I mentioned last week that Tudor is no longer seen as Rolex cheaper sister brand and boy did this week prove that- with the Snowflake M.N (Marine Nationale) stealing the show, achieving a price of £20,000 before premium and £24,320 with! There’s everything to love about military pieces and with this Tudor M.N., it shows just that. I do think that we will see military prices on the whole continue to rise, as collectors are beginning to realise the value in their history and rarity.
The two Zeniths we looked at performed well, with the A 279 selling for £2,675 and the El Primero Ref. 01.0140.415 for £7900. For the A279, that was very impressive as I did think the estimate was fairly high and for the latter El Primero, well above the high estimate of £5,000.
That takes us to the end, and I must say I’m pretty proud of our picks here at Bexsonn! 100% of the lots we highlighted sold with most over performing, could it be that someone was reading our articles?! Just kidding, and in all honesty, I continue to enjoy the auctions at Watches of Knightsbridge, who deserve applause for their great selection.
To see the full list of results, head over to the Watches of Knightsbridge website.