Audemars Piguet Holds Court at Bonhams Knightsbridge Watches Sale

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, Ref: 25594, c 1987, sold for £35,063

A rare Audemars Piguet Royal Oak wristwatch Ref: 25594 was the surprise star and top lot in yesterday's successful Bonhams Watches and Wristwatches Sale, selling for three times its estimate, achieving £35,063.

The first 'live auction' for the watch department at Knightsbridge since its February Sale achieved an impressive sale rate of 94 per cent, with many lots selling above their top estimate, including all watches in the 'top ten'.

Penelope Morris, Head of Department, Bonhams Watches Knightsbridge, said: "We're really pleased with these results. We had some competitive bidding on the lots, notably from online and telephone bidders. We also welcomed new bidders to the sale, with a third of the bids coming from first time buyers."

The Royal Oak, one of the first luxury sports timepieces, was the subject of much interest, in part due to its unusual bespoke black dial, put on especially for the client by Audemars Piguet, which led to a spirited two-way bidding battle.

Another classic Audemars Piguet wristwatch caught the interest of the Bonhams bidders and was the subject of competitive bidding, also selling for three times its pre-sale estimate. The circa 1975 Beta 21 Ref: 6001, the first watch Audemars Piguet ever produced with a quartz movement, housing the most accurate calibre available at the time, the calibre 2510, sold for £13,183.

Other highlights of the sale, which offered a diverse mix of commercial and interesting pieces representing different categories, include:

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, Ref: 116523, purchased 11 October 2006 sold for £17,65 (estimate £6,000 – 8,000). The perennially popular Daytona was another classic timepiece which performed well, doubling its pre-sale estimate.

Heuer Carrera Ref: 1158, with a London import mark for 1971, sold for £11,938. This was the model given personally by Jack Heuer to Ferrari Formula 1 drivers of the 1970s, when Heuer was Ferrari's official timekeeper.

Piaget, retailed by Asprey. A lady's 18K white gold and diamond set bracelet with turquoise hardstone dial. Sold for £9,437, three times its low estimate. Reflecting the growing interest in co-signed timepieces, this was the subject to a five-way bidding battle between telephone and internet bidders.

Jonathan Darracott, Bonhams Global Head of Watches, added: "I'm very pleased with the latest results. So far this year, our sales in London – in both our New Bond Street and Knightsbridge showrooms – have an average sale rate of 89 per cent which is very strong."

The department is now inviting consignments to its final Watches and Wristwatches Sale of 2020 in Knightsbridge on 17 November and the Fine Watches Sale at New Bond Street on 9 December. The closing dates for consignments are 23 October and 2 November respectively.

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