Rolex are the star of Bonhams June watch sale

Bonhams’ June watch sale proved that the demand for Rolex exotica is still high with excellent prices achieved for a MilSub and Paul Newman Daytona.

Rare Rolex timepieces made up seven on the top 10 lots with a MilSub, or military Submariner, ref. 5513, achieving £68,500. MilSubs, with their distinctive encircled T on the dial, were originally ordered by the British Military through the Ministry of Defence and specced to include specific enhancements.

Another star of the London sale was a Rolex ‘Paul Newman’ Cosmograph Daytona, so called after the actor famously wore the model in the 1969 film Winning. Purchased by an auction room bidder, the Cosmograph, reference 6239, sold well over top estimate, achieving £67,300.

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Jonathan Darracott, Bonhams Head of Watches, said: “The sophistication of the market never ceases to increase, with our buyers willing to go that extra bid for the exceptionally rare and unusual, which in the case of London’s sale was the selection of sought after Rolex watches."

Meanwhile Patek Philippe watches were the stars of the show in sales at the auction house’s New York and Hong Kong salerooms on June 9 and June 4 respectively.

Leading the New York sale, which achieved over $1million, was a rare 18ct rose gold Patek Philippe, reference 1463, which sold for $353,000 (£226,714), more than double the high estimate of $150,000. The winning bid was placed over the phone after a prolonged bidding war.

The watch, which was accompanied by its original box and Certificate of Origin, features a water resistant function and rose gold material, both rare for the 1950s as was the use of luminous material on the gold hands.

The star of the Hong Kong show was a platinum manually wound, split-second chronograph perpetual calendar from Patek Philippe (ref. 5004P) which sold for 2,080,000 HKD (£172,276).

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