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Exceptional Patek Philippe leads Bonhams Fine Watches and Wristwatches Sale
MOD comissioned Omega. Est: £20,000-30,000. Photo: Bonhams.

LONDON.- The Bonhams Fine Watches & Wristwatches auction to be held 14 December at Bonhams New Bond Street, features an array of exceptional watches, with notable examples from Patek Philippe and Rolex.

Featured in the sale are a selection of watches from the private collection of the late Jan Willem Frederik Baron von Wassenaer. A member of one of the oldest noble families in Holland, he created a collection that spans over a century and contains a watch by a manufacturer of every letter in the alphabet. Bonhams have had the privilege of offering this vast collection of nearly 2000 watches over the course of 2016, and the current selection on offer will be one of the last opportunities to purchase a watch from such a fascinating collection.

The top lot in the sale is a very fine Patek Philippe with an engraved case, the very height of sophistication. Each example is entirely hand engraved, therefore distinct and different in the very sbubtlest of ways. This exceptional 18K white gold automatic perpetual calendar wristwatch, Ref:5160G-001, features moon phase, leap year indication and retrograde date and is estimated at £100,000-150,000.

Another surprising and dramatic offering is the 18k gold, green enamel and diamond set automatic calendar bracelet Rolex. With diamond set bezel, gold baton hands and screw down Oyster back and crown, this lot is estimated at £30,000-50,000.

The same sale also features an Omega stainless steel military issue watch (estimate £20,000 - 30,000) which was designed for the British forces under strict MOD guidelines during the 1960s. These specifications included Tritium luminous paint and oversized hands for clear legibility in time-sensitive combat situations. Since they were originally created as simply a functional tool, most were discarded or destroyed, making this a highly sought after complete example.

A piece of racing history is being offered in the form of the Heuer chrome plated Jacky Ickx Easy-Rider (estimate £2,000-£3,000), which is accompanied by its very rare miniature racing helmet display box in which the visor opens to reveal a display stand for the watch – this example is signed by Ickx himself, the six-time winner of Le Mans 24 Hours. The perfect Christmas present for the boy racer in your life.

Also to be offered at the sale:

• Very fine and rare 18k rose gold manual wind watch handmade by Voutilainen, one of the most exciting independent watchmakers of today. Very rarely seen at auction and highly sought after, this watch is a fine example of his remarkable talent and flair. (£25,000-35,000)

• Rolex Double Red Sea Dweller previously owned by professional diver, accompanied by a rich history of his career and dives taken whilst wearing the watch (estimate £12,000-18,000)

Speaking of the sale Jonathan Darracott, Head of Watches at Bonhams, said: 'We are very pleased with this sale/ there is a depth and breadth to the watches offered that is rarely found in a single auction. The variety of watches is always a pleasure to see once all displayed in the catalogue. These pieces have been sourced from all over the world, with many rare pieces that have never before been offered for sale.'

Bonhams Fine Watches & Wristwatches auction will be held at 101 New Bond Street on Wednesday 14 December.

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