Tennants Auctioneers have set a new house record for a sale of watches, when they achieved an impressive total hammer price of £415,870 for 115 watches and pocket watches in the Jewellery, Watches and Silver Sale on 13th November. A busy room packed with private buyers helped secure top prices and prove demand remains high.
Tennants’ Watch Specialist Adam Wasdell said of the sale: ‘We had a very exciting range of watches on offer, with rare models by the leading names such as Rolex, Omega, Patek Philippe and Cartier. Whilst we expected the sale to do well, we were absolutely delighted to achieve such fantastic prices for our vendors’.
The top lot of the sale, selling for £85,000 (plus buyer’s premium), was an extremely fine Omega First Generation Exotic Red Racing Professional Speedmaster, ref:145012 made in 1967. The watch, which more than doubled its bottom estimate, had been in the same family since it was purchased from Bagshaws of Liverpool in 1970 and was sold with original paperwork. This very rare exotic ‘Racing’ dial was only produced by Omega in 1967 and 1968, in two generations and three executions in total. The present lot is a second execution variant, of which only approximately six examples have appeared on the market before.
Outstanding prices were also achieved for a 2013 Patek Philippe “Jumbo” Nautilus ref:5711/1A-011, one of the most prestigious and desirable sports watches (sold for £57,000), a 1988 Rolex Day/Date ref: 18388/18200 with an unusual ‘Red Vignette’ dial (sold for £13,000), and a rare 1965 Enicar Sherpa Graph 300 ref: 072-02-01 (sold for £6,800). Diamond-set lady’s watches also sold well, with a 2008 Cartier White Gold and Diamond Pasha De Cartier 32 Joaillerie ref: 2813 selling for £24,000.
Elsewhere in the sale collectable Military vintage watches sold well, such as a circa 1944 World War II Eterna, one of the so-called ‘Dirty Dozen’ watches (sold for £1,200). 'The Dirty Dozen' is the name given to a group of 12 watches commissioned by the Ministry of Defence for use by soldiers during WWII. Pocket watches performed well, too, and interestingly, smartwatches are gaining a foothold at auction, with a 2020 Tag Heuer Connected OS by Google selling at top estimate for £800.