IN PICS: Bonhams to auction the Alphabet of Time


Bonhams is cleverly showing off the breadth of its 2,000-watch Collection of a European Nobleman with two sales that will feature an entire Alphabet of Time.

The 2,000 strong collection – formerly the property of the late Jan Willem Frederik baron van Wassenaer – features watches from brands starting with every letter of the alphabet.

“The Alphabet of Time is part of the collection of a European Nobleman, one man’s 2,000 piece collection, believed to be the largest ever offered at auction,” said Jonathan Darracott, Bonhams Global Head of Watches. “Looking through this assortment of watches, we realised that due to its sheer size and diversity, we were able to assemble the ‘A to Z’ of watch brands.

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“We’ve secured the world’s largest watch collection for auction, with many rare and beautiful pieces. The A-Z of watch brands is a delightful discovery, and the perfect way to highlight just how diverse it really is.”

While Arnold & Son and Zenith might be easy to work out, arriving at watch brands starting with certain letters might even leave watch aficionados scratching their heads.

A Patek Philippe perpetual calendar chronograph, Ref. 5020R, is set to be the highlight of the sales in June and November with an estimate of £20,000-30,000. Nicknamed the ‘TV watch’ due to its rounded square face, the watch was produced in very small numbers from the mid 1990s to 2002. Rarer still, it is believed that only a mere 25 were made in rose gold, making this example particularly unusual.

Further highlights include a limited edition manual wind tourbillon wristwatch from Saint Honoré, finished in rose gold and titanium, estimated at £10,000-20,000; a Rolex Daytona wristwatch, reference 116528, estimated at £8,000-12,000, an Arnold & Son Double Balance Sidereal Time, reference 1DGAP.W01A, estimated at £8,000-10,000, and a Romain Gauthier Prestige HM, estimated at £8,000-10,000.

Fine Watches & Wristwatches will take place on 22 June at Bonhams, New Bond Street, while Watches & Wristwatches takes place on 22 November at Bonhams, Knightsbridge.


The Alphabet of Time includes:

Arnold & Son



Daniel Roth


Franck Muller

Romain Gauthier

Saint Honoré




  1. Lange & Söhne

Marc Brogsitter

Nienaber Bünde


Patek Philippe




Tag Heuer

Urban Jürgensen & Sønner


  1. J. & T. Windmills




Tags : alphabet of timebonhamscollection of a european noblemanjonathan darracott
James Buttery

The author James Buttery

Editor of WatchPro, the WatchPro Hot 100 and The Luxury Report.

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