new bonhams feature

Today, we have sent one of Time Journals writers into Central London to attend the final major watch auction of 2017, the Bonhams ‘Fine Watches And Wristwatches’ Auction. Our writer will report to us with LIVE updates from the auction room, allowing us to bring you information on how each of the ‘top five timepieces to watch’ performed FIRST! Look out for the final realised price updates in RED.

The auction will begin at 2:00pm (GMT) this afternoon (Wednesday 13th December).

The following list of the ‘top five timepieces to watch’ this afternoon has been chosen by the watch experts at Bonhams.

Lot. 139 Rolex Stainless Steel Manual Wind, Triple Calendar Chronograph Bracelet Watch Ref. 6036

The first timepiece on our list is the extremely rare Rolex Dato-Compax stainless steel manual wind chronograph. As with many Rolex models, the chronograph has become closely associated with a particular celebrity of its time. In this instance, the certain famed individual is the French Olympic alpine skier, Jean-Claude Killy. The “Jean-Claude Killy” chronographs were first released in the 1940’s and peaked in popularity in the 1960’s; the decade Jean-Claude Killy was most active in alpine skiing.

The exceptional timepiece offers its wearer a wealth of information without compromising the legibility of the watch face. The vintage wristwatch is one of the more expensive lots present at this afternoons auction, with estimates starting from around £90,000.

Rolex steel manual wind ref. 6036

Watch specifications:

  • Case: Stainless steel
  • Model: Jean Claude Killy
  • Size: 36mm
  • Date: 1953
  • Calibre: 72C
  • Movement: Manual wind
  • Dial: Silvered dial, square hour markers, Arabic numeral 12, black outer 1/5th second divisions, blue outer calendar markers, three sub dials located at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock, polished baton hands with luminous coated inserts, month indicator located below the 12 o’clock marker
  • Bracelet: Brushed stainless steel bracelet with signed Oyster folding clasp
  • ESTIMATE: £90,000-£120,000

LIVE UPDATE: Realised price: £72,000, the Rolex did not reach its estimate


Lot. 147 Patek Philippe Platinum and Rose Gold Automatic Astronomical Wristwatch with Sky Chart, Phase and Orbit of the Moon, Time of Meridian, Passage of Sirius and the Moon Wristwatch Ref. 5102PR-001

A ‘fine watches’ auction wouldn’t be the same without a number of Patek Philippe’s dominating the top spots for the highest lot estimation and realised price. One of the more complex and sophisticated designs from the Swiss manufacture is ref. 5102.

The model was produced in extremely limited numbers, and so it’s unique and intelligent design, paired with the rarity of the timepiece guarantees that there will be plenty of bidders attempting to purchase the stunning timepiece at today’s auction. If there has to be one wristwatch that will change your collection altogether, it would be this attractive and distinctive Patek Philippe.

Patek Philippe Astronomical

Watch specifications:

  • Case: 18-carat Rose gold, platinum, signed screw crowns at 2 and 4 o’clock for time setting
  • Size: 43mm
  • Date: 2009
  • Calibre: 240/165
  • Movement: Automatic
  • Dial: Midnight blue depicting planisphere of the Northern Hemisphere, outer blue chapter ring with silvered roman numerals and inner minute indicators, sapphire crystal layer, revolving moon phase, pierced white-lacquered leaf hands and the Patek signature located above the 6 o’clock marker
  • Bracelet: Black Patek Philippe alligator leather strap with signed 18-carat rose gold buckle
  • ESTIMATE: £80,000-£120,000

LIVE UPDATE: Realised price: £85,000, the Patek achieved the lower end of its estimation


Lot.81 Patek Philippe 18-carat Gold and Diamond Set Automatic Calendar Bracelet Nautilus Watch Ref. 3700/013

Next on the list is another truly stunning and elegant design from Patek Philippe. The iconic “Jumbo” Nautilus model ref. 3700/013 is set with an 18-carat yellow gold bezel, which is embellished with approximately 112 flawless diamonds.

The yellow gold hour markers stand out perfectly against the black patterned dial; allowing the wearer to read the time and date with ease. The Nautilus design is unique and can easily be recognised as one of Patek Philippe’s all-time best selling models.

Patek Philippe gold nautilus

Watch specifications:

  • Case: 18-carat yellow gold with diamond bezel
  • Size: 42mm
  • Date: 1979
  • Calibre: 28-255C
  • Movement: Automatic
  • Dial: Black ridged dial, applied luminous filled baton hour markers, white outer minute divisions and a date indicator at 3 o’clock, diamond set bezel
  • Bracelet: Fitted 18-carat yellow gold brushed and polished Patek Philippe link bracelet with a signed 18-carat gold folding clasp
  • ESTIMATE: £40,000-£60,000

LIVE UPDATE: Realised price: £40,000


Lot.111 Breguet Ladies 18-carat White Gold and Diamond Set Automatic Wristwatch – Reine de Naples Ref. 8918

The only timepiece on this list not to be created by the two leading luxury watch manufacturers, Rolex and Patek Philippe, is the ladies Breguet 18-carat white gold automatic wristwatch. The oval shaped timepiece was inspired by the design of Abraham-Louis Breguet’s specially commissioned wristwatch for the Queen of Naples, Caroline Murat, in 1812. The timepiece is often described as “the first wristwatch in horological history”.

The stylish model features hour numeral markers that gradually become larger, with the 12 o’clock numeral being the largest. The dial is elegantly surrounded by an 18-carat white gold bezel set with a number of beautiful diamonds.

Breguet ladies

Watch specifications:

  • Case: 18-carat polished white gold with diamond set bezel
  • Size: 29mm
  • Date: 2005
  • Calibre: 537/3
  • Movement: Automatic
  • Dial: Mother of pearl dial with exploding black Arabic numerals and a diamond set ‘6’, with blue steel hands
  • Bracelet: Black Breguet fabric strap with diamond set and signed 18-carat white gold buckle
  • ESTIMATE: £8,000-£12,000

LIVE UPDATE: Realised price: £11,000


Lot. 50 Rolex Stainless Steel Automatic Divers Bracelet Watch made for Comex Ref. 5513

The final timepiece on our list is the rare Rolex Stainless Steel Automatic Divers Bracelet Watch. This particular piece is unique as it represents an almost 50 year long collaboration between Rolex and the French Comex (Compagnie Maritime d’Expertise) company. Rolex formed the collaboration to test their Submariner’s with the use of professional divers. The vendor is the original watch owner who, over the years, has worn the timepiece throughout his professional diving career.

The lucky buyer will not only walk away with this exquisite diving wristwatch, but will also be eligible to take home an extensive collection of Comex paraphernalia and dive log books. Collected and preserved by its former owner, the assortment includes items like a functioning Comex engraved Zippo lighter and a group of Comex golf tees.


Watch specifications:

  • Case: Stainless steel
  • Size: 39mm
  • Date: 1970
  • Calibre: 1520
  • Movement: Automatic
  • Dial: Black dial with a Comex signature located above 6 o’clock, luminous dot hour markers, baton quarters, white outer minute divisions, polished Mercedes hands with luminous inserts
  • Bracelet: Fitted brushed 93150 Oyster link bracelet with signed folding clasp and diver’s extension link stamped MA8
  • ESTIMATE: £30,000-£40,000

LIVE UPDATE: Realised price: £48,000, the Rolex Comex performed well!

If you’re interested in the realised prices of the remaining lots present at today’s auction, simply click here, and you’ll be directed to the Bonhams official ‘Fine watches and wristwatches’ auction page.