Boom time at Bonhams NY watch sale as London looms

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By Kathryn Lewis

Bidders crowed into Bonhams on Madison Avenue in New York last week for the annual fine watches, wristwatches and clocks sale.

The auction house reports that several lots far exceeded pre-sale expectations.

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A boudoir clock sold for US$95,000 (£59,000), almost four times its pre-sale low estimate. The Art Deco piece is considered one of Cartier’s most successful designs.

Bonhmas is due to open its London fine watches sale at 2pm today. 

“In today’s highly selective marketplace, the fine and rare pieces always encourage active bidding and command high prices,” Bonhams director of watches and clocks Jonathan Snellenburg said in a statement.

Rolex watches and Patek Philippe wrist watches performed particularly well in the sale. A Rolex wristwatch in 18ct gold from 1977 sold for US$10,625 (£6,500) exceeding expectations.

Bidders were similarly taken with the sale’s cover lot, a rare 18ct gold chronograph wristwatch with registers, perpetual calendar and moon phases, from 1955. This watch, produced during Patek Philippe’s so-called golden age, went for US$422,500 (£260,000).

“The sale of the 2499 Patek is the crowning jewel for Bonhams New York Watches and Clocks department’s excellent year,” Bonhams specialist and consultant William Rohr said in a statement.

The London fine watches and wristwatches sale takes place today at Bonhams on New Bond Street.

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