We are a week and a half away from the second auction of the year by Watches of Knightsbridge and as usual here at Bexsonn, we headed over to WoK to see some interesting lots. I’ve noticed that this auction has a smaller quantity of watches on offer and I somehow like it this way, as the lads there mentioned they were focusing more on quality rather than quantity. Let’s dive right in to the lots that I think will do well.
HEUER CARRERA 7753 SNT
Lot 39: A couple of years ago, vintage Heuer in general had a meteoric rise, led by the likes of the Autavia and Carrera and it is no secret that it reached its peak at the 2017 Phillips Heuer Parade thematic auction. Ever since, prices have corrected quite sharply which have led a lot of collectors to dismiss Heuer in general as a ‘bubble’ brand.
I’d like to say that I do think that prices got way out of hand 2 years ago, but the aftermath is not so much of a bubble bursting, but more of a correction. Fundamentally, Heuer as a brand has everything going for it, heritage, model variation and high quality design and build.
Putting speculation aside, the Carrera irrespective of price remains one of the most elegant designs to come out of the 20th century and Jack Heuer to this day is revered for creating design that is truly timeless. The way the turned, elongated lugs hugs the wrist and the minimalistic dial design, at the time, was a real revelation and today, at the top of the tree are the Panda variations.
The Heuer Carrera 7753 SNT is a rare variation of the Carrera and one of the most attractive, with its classic panda layout. While it is significantly lower value that the three register, Valjoux 72, 2447 SN, you get the same great look at a fraction of the price.
Estimate: £4,500 – £6,500
Lot 65: The Dirty Dozen is a group of watches that I am fondly familiar with, having been my first written and published article back in 2015. Mind you, no one gave a second look at these beat up looking military watches back then and I’d like to think that I have contributed to the appreciation of these historically important pieces. Since then, there has been a whole host of articles talking about the Dirty Dozen.
Right from the start, I said that my favourite was the Longines, and for good reason. With a 37.5mm stainless steel stepped case, black radium dial with cathedral hands and 12.68z movement, it is one of the most high quality of the dozen and also one of the rarest. Mind you, that if this was a civilian 37.5mm Longines with a stepped case, you would be looking at multiples of the W.W.W.’s market value, so I do think this presents great value with a nice added bit of history.
This example has a nice patina to the luminous material, original crown and most importantly, the number engraved on the caseback of ‘393’ matches the number engraved on the back of the lug. These were often changed around during service and to find one in an original state is always great.
Estimate: £3,500 – £4,000
TUDOR SUBMARINER 7928 PCG
Lot 168: Up next is a stunning Tudor Submariner from the early 60’s that I am sure will be the interest of many. Tudor prices have shot up in recent times as collectors finally saw the quality and value of Rolex’s younger sibling. As with Rolex, there are a few characteristics that make a watch valuable and with this Tudor Submariner 7928, it displays a good range of those.
First of all, this Ref. 7928 comes with a pointed crown guard case, characteristically belonging only to that era along with a glossy gilt chapter ring dial. The condition on this example is great to, with a dial that remains nice and glossy and beautiful patina on the luminous material as well. The case retains its strong bevels on the lugs and the crown guards are sharp. Flip the watch over and you can see that the inside of the caseback is correctly stamped ’63’, denoting its year of manufacture, matching the serial in between the lugs.
Estimate: £8,000 – £12,000
ROLEX OYSTER PERPETUAL DATE 15008
Lot 206: If you ask me where I’d put my money right now, it would have to be gold. I’m crazy about gold at the moment and while traditionally it has always been about steel, I do notice other collectors getting on board the gold train as well. There is a magical feeling about wearing gold that I really don’t feel when I wear steel watches, and while it is louder and more ‘showy’, when worn in the right context, I do think it can be a very elegant choice.
This Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date 15008 is the perfect example. Elegantly sized at 34mm, this is the perfect dress watch. Do not be put off by the sizing as under a cuff, this will not look small at all. This example looks to be in a very clean example with a beautiful dial displaying all lume plots intact and a warm matching patina. Finally, the cherry on top would have to be the riveted Oyster bracelet it comes with. The rivet bracelets are much thinner than the later folded or solid link bracelets and for a dress watch like this, it is the perfect accompaniment.
Estimate: £5,000 – £6,000
UNIVERSAL GENEVE MEDICO COMPAX SPILLMAN
Lot 207: Continuing on the theme of gold is this stunning example from Universal Geneve. Beginning with the model, the Medico-Compax is one of the rarer variants of the Universal chronograph range and this design is one of my favourites. Designed for doctors to measure a patient’s heart rate, this particular dial design features a huge outer ring for the pulsations relative to the dial. If you think about it, this makes sense as legibility is improved dramatically for the doctor, not to mention a pretty unique aesthetic appeal.
On top of this, this Medico Compax is housed in a solid gold Spillman case, most recognisable by the angular downturned lugs. Spillman cases are generally quite rare but to have one in solid gold and housing a Medico Compax? Insane.
The condition on this example looks to be excellent, with a beautiful patina on the dial and the luminous material and a nice thick case with its gold dustcover intact. This would have to be my favourite lot in the whole auction.
Estimate: £5,500 – £6,500
Overall, as usual, I think it is a pretty strong auction and with the markets in general softening, the result of this auction will be a good indicator on collector sentiment. Quality still sells irrespective of the market condition and I am sure that the aforementioned lots will fly.
The Watches of Knightsbridge auction will take place on the 20th July 2019, make sure you visit the official website for this month’s full catalogue.