Gardiner Houlgate has titled its upcoming watch auction on May 26 a Private Collection of a Gentleman.
It includes 67 watches from a single collection amassed by the vendor during the late 1990s, mostly from auctions at Sotheby’s, Christies and Bonhams.
There are rare vintage pieces that will appeal to serious collectors and dealers from the world’s most prestigious Swiss watchmakers including Audemars Piguet, Cartier, Rolex, Patek Philippe, IWC and Vacheron Constantin pieces.
And there are some items with cross-category appeal, including an Ebel watch owned by five time World Snooker Champion Steve Davis. The lot includes a signed photo of the player and pundit wearing the watch whilst holding the world snooker championship trophy.
Other star lots at the Gardiner Houlgate auction include:
Audemars Piguet, Genéve 18k gentleman’s wristwatch, circa 1950, silvered dial with applied baton markers and subsidiary seconds dial, 18 jewels nickel plated movement, monometallic balance and micrometer regulation adjusted to temperature and to four positions, screw back with inner dust cover, tan leather strap, 37mm
Cartier, Paris 18ct tonneau gentleman’s wristwatch, case no. 2016xx, circa 1970s, tonneau signed dial with Roman numerals and blued steel hands, sapphire cabouchon crown, 18 jewel manual wind movement numbered 5411, fitted black leather strap with 18ct folding clasp, ref. 1060, marked ‘JC’ and hallmarked London 1966, 26mm x 34mm
Patek Philippe Genéve Calatrava 18k gentleman’s wristwatch, ref. 5023, no. 18605xx, signed silvered dial with applied chamfered gilt batons and subsidiary seconds, dauphine hands, cal. 215 18 jewel movement adjusted to 5 positions and free sprung gyromatic balance wheel, stamped with the seal of Genéve, screw back, case no. 29923xx, brown leather strap, 33mm
Rare Rolex Prince Brancard ‘tiger stripe’ 9ct bicolour gentleman’s wristwatch, ref. 971A, import hallmarks for Glasgow 1931, case no. 5170, silvered dial with Arabic numerals over subsidiary seconds, Observatory quality Extra Prima 15 jewels movement adjusted to 5 positions, with movement dust cover, bicolour striped gold case with flared sides, leather strap, 26mm x 43mm – ** with the original Rolex Prince fitted leather case with hinged cover and easel stand verso; also the original rating certificate dated 1932 ** Ex lot 172 sold for £10,000 – Sotheby’s March 1997
Rare Rolex chronograph stainless steel antimagnetic gentleman’s wristwatch, ref. 3335, circa 1940s, case no. 0493xx, signed silvered telemeter dial with Arabic numerals, triple subsidiary dials, chronograph centre seconds and blued steel hands, signed 17 jewel nickel movement, tan Rolex leather strap, 37mm. The rare ref 3335 is the first Rolex chronograph produced with 30-minute and 12-hour registers
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date GMT-Master ‘Pepsi’ stainless steel gentleman’s bracelet watch, ref. 1675, circa 1968, serial no. 1870xxx, ‘Pepsi’ bezel insert, ‘Swiss -T<25’ black dial with twenty-four hour hand, dot markers, Mercedes style hands, sweep centre seconds and date aperture, cal. 1570 26 jewel movement, no. D167xxx, expanding bracelet, the inside case back stamped ‘1675’ and dated ‘I.68’, bezel 40mm diameter
Sold with the original box, guarantee booklet and chronometer certificate, Rolex service receipt for 1989, and tag.
Watch belonged to Commander John R Carr, who was born in 1912 in Patagonia. Following the death of his father John returned to Britain and served at the Dartmouth Naval College. He served the navy during the war, rising to the rank of Commander, and retired in 1962. He then went to work for Shell in Europe as Superintendent of Diving, and was the project director of an international group investigating the effect of mixed gas diving on the ability of men to work at great depths, called Capshell. It was a collaboration of the Italian, US and British Navies, Shell and Italian diving firm Micoperi. This project was at the forefront of modern oceanography and paved the way for the oil industry to work in the deep sea. The medical side of the research took place in Zurich and after the project was finished John was gifted this Rolex from the team. He passed away in 2001.
Owned and worn by six time world snooker champion and former world number one Steve Davis – Ebel Wave stainless steel and gold gentleman’s bracelet watch, ref. 183903, no. 1467xxxx, circular white dial with applied gilt Roman numerals, date aperture and centre seconds, gold bezel, gilt hands, Ebel bracelet, quartz, 36mm.
This watch was purchased by Barry Hearn for Steve Davis in the early 1980s and worn by Steve Davis winning three World Championships and other snooker titles. Steve sold the watch in October 2014 to Dominic Dale, fellow professional snooker player, along with a signed photo, included with the lot, with a message to the front: ‘To Dom, Look After My Ebel! Cheers!, Steve’. Dominic Dale presented the watch to the current owner in 2020 with a signed message to the back of the photo frame
(all descriptions are provided by Gardiner Houlgate)