Watches of Knightsbridge: originating from the hustle and bustle of the antiques quarter of Portobello Road over 50 years ago, a family business now spearheaded by Simon Sutton, has grown and evolved to find its niche in the watch industry. Specialising in quality modern and vintage timepieces, based in the heart of Knightsbridge.
You may not find those super rare Patek’s and Rolexes in the upcoming auction but what you will find are those rare oddities of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s in the likes of Blancpain, Omega, TAG Heuer and Universal. Flicking through their catalogue you may even spot the odd military issued IWC, Lemania or Longines?
Last week I spent some time over at 64 Knightsbridge to get hands-on with some of the timepieces in the upcoming September auction. There are quite a few I would not mind adding to my collection but two of the most personally interesting pieces I came across were a 1960’s Blancpain German Navy issued Fifty Fathoms and a rather Rare 1940’s Rolex Chronograph.
The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms is the original divers watch. It was actually released before the Omega Seamaster and Rolex Submariner and it is for this reason that Blancpain recently re-released the Fifty Fathoms modern version based on its original with that unmistakable bezel.
Lot 49: This one was built for the German Bundeswehr and the case back bears its military issue markings. The watch is sized at a very large 41mm, also setting a future trend for diving watches. The watch is in good condition for its age with rotating bezel still working nicely, it also has that very cool “no radiation” symbol at 6 o’clock adhering to the luminous markers. The watch is powered by a 17 jewel automatic, Blancpain Rayville, calibre A.S. 1700/01 movement.
Although this may not be the best example of a Blancpain Fifty Fathoms that I’ve seen in the past, it is still in pretty good nick. The price of this timepiece is at an estimated £5,000 – £6,000.
Lot 372: Another piece that caught our attention is this rare gentleman’s 1940’s Rolex Chronograph Ref 3780 signed and retailed by Giudici Milano. It may not have the same price tag attached to those signed by the likes of Cartier or Tiffany & Co. but it is very, very cool indeed.
It features a silver dial with applied luminous Arabic numerals, 60 minute outer track and 1 mile base scale. Three sub-dial registers, recording hours, minutes and continuous seconds. Inside is a manual wind Valjoux 71 movement signed by Rolex. The case diameter measures approx. 36mm and it comes on a, rather classy but unlikely original, old brown leather Rolex strap with Rolex pin buckle to match. The price of this timepiece is at an estimated £8,000 – £10,000 which seems pretty good.
Make sure you visit the official Watches of Knightsbridge website for this month’s full catalogue.