An unremarkable auction house in Exmouth, Devon, claims to have set a new world record price for a Heuer Watch Company timepiece.
The 1969 Heuer Skipper ‘Skipperera’, was sold to a New York buyer for £60,000 by Piers Motley Auctions.
Another example of the same watch, although in worse condition, sold at Fellows last year for £19,000 despite a pre-sale estimate of just £400-600.
Jonathan Scatchard, co-founder of VintageHeuer.com, told Salon QP at the time that the watch is highly prized by collectors.
“The estimate was very, very low as the condition was so dreadful. That being said, it’s what we call a Skipperera. So it’s a Carrera, with a Skipper dial and movement and very, very rare. I’ve never had one; they just don’t turn up. It’s a bit of a holy grail watch and they so seldom turn up on the market that it is kind of name your price. It does beg the question, if you’ve got a good condition one what is it worth?”
There were only 20 examples of the concept timepiece made and only 16 are thought to have survived today. The founder of Lotus Sports Cars, Colin Chapman, is thought to own one.
The Heuer Watch Company timepiece was sold at Piers Motley Auctions, in Bicton Street.
Auctioneer Mr Motley told local newspaper The Exmouth Journal that the watch’s owner, from Exeter, was expecting it to sell for £3,000 – £5,000.
“We had massive interest online and, after a lot of research, I discovered it would go for a lot more than the seller thought. Interest in big name vintage watches has grown massively in recent years, but for Heuer collectors this has been more recent. Fellows Auction Rooms sold an example last year with an estimate in the low hundreds for £19,000, but this had a badly corroded dial, so we knew our example was going to fetch much more than that,” Mr Motley added.