With the gift-giving season in full swing, we’re watching an upcoming watch sale that Sotheby’s could hardly have timed better. On December 6th, Sotheby’s Important Watches auction will take place in New York and online, and it’s the perfect opportunity to buy-in to a potential classic, or a reasonably priced pre-loved model in time to dazzle your Christmas dinner guests with your latest purchase.
With a recent Panerai auction in the books, the watches by this fabled brand available in this sale might actually offer a better chance to get a good watch at a fair price. Panerai has quietly become one of the more popular brands with collectors, thanks in large part to the company’s excellent record keeping, and the joy taken by many oversized dive watch aficionados in the subtle differences between an ever-expanding list of references.
Pleasingly, Panerai keep things very simple. The brand is incredibly limited in terms of case silhouette – a trait no doubt facilitated by the fact they are owned by the Richemont group, meaning mono-brand diversity is not as necessary as it would be for a stand alone marque.
There’s a particularly good piece available during Sotheby’s Important Watches auction: Lot 721 is a pink gold, classic cushion shaped case with an 8-day power reserve and a day/night indicator, estimated to go for between $6-8,000 (£4,500-£6000), which is a steal, especially towards the lower end of the estimate.
Big Hitters Take to the Plate
We’ve had a frenzied year regarding the sales of Paul Newman Daytonas from Rolex, and right before 2017 bows out we will see yet another pair of these desirable chronographs hit the market. Lots 755 (dark dial) and 969 (light dial) are both excellent examples of the style. The estimates for both are $70-120,000 (£52,000-£89,000) and $80-100,000 (£60,000-£75,000) respectively.
Selected Pieces to keep an eye on
Of the 291 lots available during Sotheby’s Important Watches auction, there are a few tasty choices I think it’s worth paying attention to. Estimated at $7-9,000 (£5,200-£6,700) there is a beautifully vintage Longines available under Lot reference 739. For my money it’s an unusual and enticing piece from a brand whose retro collection knocks the socks off the modern output.
Similarly, Lot 741 is a great piece from Heuer (pre-TAG), which is a classic reminder of what this now ubiquitous brand achieved before their worldwide explosion.
And if you’re after something a little different, Lot 802 is a Tiffany’s pocket watch that has all the romance of the historic retailer, and a great deal of horological clout to boot. Predicted to sell between $12-18,000 (£9,000-£13,400), this is a great heirloom piece or an intriguing gift for a lover of timeless watchmaking.
About the Author: Fell Jensen is a Swiss-trained watchmaker working as an industry analyst.
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