Wednesday 20th September 2017
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Words: William Gregory MRICS Golding Young and Mawer
Featured in the June 2017 issue

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Fashion and trends are often seen at auction, but the consistently high demand for luxury gentlemen’s watches sees no sign of diminishing. Each and every time one appears in an auction the auction house is inundated with enquiries, requests for condition reports and of course, provenance. Once potential buyers have satisfied themselves as to quality and condition, telephone bids, internet registration and front seats are booked and the competitive bidding takes place.

Of all the luxury brands offered for auction Rolex and Omega are consistently on the most desirable list. Different models with special features of sporting technical excellence all increase the desirability. Automatic movements, chronograph, which allows the watch to function as a stopwatch, moon phase display, which shows the lunar cycle, are highly prized. Other complicated features such as calendar and repeater, which gives the watch a chiming function, are sought after by technical enthusiasts. For those who want to combine sporting features with sporting pursuits, many of these watches are now water resistant to a depth of 200 metres, allowing for swimming and deep sea scuba diving.

Another feature that should affect the auction price is what the watch is made of. Nine carat and eighteen carat gold are often used and it would seem that these watches should sell for more than those made of steel or are gold plated. However, true values of provenance, desirability and scientific excellence prevail in this competitive market, illustrated by these three examples recently sold by Golding Young & Mawer, all making sizable amounts but all for different reasons.

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