Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is on Cloud Nine at Bonhams Watches Sale



An exceptionally rare example of the celebrated Audemars Piguet Royal Oak wristwatch with a 'cloud-like' mother of pearl dial was the star and top lot of yesterday's Bonhams Fine Watches Sale, selling for £275,250 after a telephone bidding battle, considerably above its £180,000 high estimate.

The Bond Street auction, which achieved an 83% sell-through rate, was the finale to a busy year for the Bonhams Watches teams in Europe, which introduced regular live sales at its Paris saleroom, resulting in Bonhams Watches Europe's best result to date.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Automatic Perpetual Calendar, Ref: 25686PT, circa 1992, sold considerably above estimate for £275,250

The Royal Oak Automatic Perpetual Calendar, Ref: 25686PT, circa 1992, was one of just 233 produced and one of only 26 executed in platinum. An outstanding feature was its mother of pearl dial with exceptional colour and a cloud-like appearance.

Circa 1968 Cosmograph Daytona, Ref: 6241, sold for £162,750

As ever, Rolex timepieces dominated both the auction and the top ten results, which comprised no fewer than four Daytonas. One of the rarer Ref: 6241 examples, and one of very few made in 14k gold, with the even more exclusive black dial, sold for £162,750, doubling its pre-sale estimate. This watch was offered by the family of a private and distinguished collector who had the normal plunge pushers changed for screw down pushers at some point to make it more water resistant.

Another stand-out Daytona was a 1970 example of the first Daytona series model, Ref: 6239, also sold for twice its estimate, achieving £75,250. This watch, purchased as a belated 21st birthday present, was offered by its original owner together with the original receipt and guarantee. It was regularly serviced by Rolex until 2000 since when it has been kept in a safe unused.

circa 1930 Cartier Grand Tank Cintrée, sold for £94,000

Cartier watches, which have been in the ascendancy this year, ended 2021 on a high note, with an early circa 1930 Grand Tank Cintrée which attained £94,000, surpassing its top estimate. This extreme example of the Cartier Tank was one of a small quantity produced. Its 'pair', a circa 1930 lady's platinum and diamond cocktail watch also topped its estimate, making £21,500.

Circa 1974 Rolex Datejust, Ref: 1601, with hard stone lapis lazuli dial, sold for £60,250

Hardstone dial watches also performed well at Bond Street, indicating another trend among collectors. A circa 1974 Rolex Datejust, Ref: 1601, with lapis lazuli dial, sold for £60,250, while a circa 1990 Rolex Day-Date Ref: 18238 with diamond set bloodstone dial made £45,250, nearly double its pre-sale estimate.

Jonathan Darracott, Bonhams Global Head of Watches, said: "This is a welcome result for a very strong sale which presented an extraordinary selection of interesting watches. It is also a fitting end to an exceptional year for Bonhams Watches Europe, in which we set a new auction world record for a British-made wristwatch, the George Daniels Millennium, and sold a watch worn by Pablo Picasso for nearly €220,000 at our debut Paris sale."

The Bonhams Watches 2022 European calendar will open on 3 February with a new sale running alongside the renowned Grand Marques à Paris motor car sale at the Grand Palais Ephèmere in the heart of the city.

Consignments of fine and collectible watches are being invited now. For further details contact: [email protected]


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