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scottswatches

Auction excitement at the weekend

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At a local auction house, that tend to have a few watches in each sale, this came up last weekend

964.jpg

Now the guide price was £5-7,500, so initially I didn't look twice.  Nice watch, but I have recently spent a lot on stock and this would be the most expensive watch I would have bought.  Bu then I noticed something extra

964-2.jpg

It was issued to the British Army (W10) in 1967.  This elevates the watch into a different level.  So I hit the books, checked the details, viewed the watch, and took some brave pills and checked the childrens piggy banks.  The only thing 'wrong' with the watch is that the crown has been replaced.  Otherwise it didn't look touched.  At this sort of money you have to do a lot of research, so the bezel is from the right series (flat 1 and 4, luminous on numerals and every five only, checked with UV).  The big triangle dial has tiny holes on the triangles at 12 and 6, as they should (and it is clearly old).  The hands were right, and the case has fixed bars.  The serial number dated the Caibre 552 movement to 1967 too.  The auction house confirmed it was from a family selling off Dad's watch (not evidence, but circumstantial information).

Saturday morning I went back to bid live.  I had my list of watches I wanted, and the ones to avoid (an mid 1950's explorer with new dial and 1968 bracelet, for example).  As I waited for lot 964 and watched the swatches, citizen and accurist lots pass by this surprised me

952.jpg

I saw it at viewing.  It looked nice, but nothing was working and the back was too tight to release.  It could have been empty.  It is a 1973 Seiko 7106-8000, and the bidding opened at £85.  I thought that was a good result for the seller TBH, but it hammered at £682 inc fees!  What do I know?!!

 

The time came for the SM300.  Bidding started at £6,000, and I put my hand up.  Within seconds we were at £8,400 with me, and the auctioneer was looking round for extra bids.  That's nearly £10,500 including fees, massively more than I have ever paid for a watch before, and I was excited to say the least.  

Then the big boys joined in :(, and I sat back to watch.  Bids went past £10k, and started going up in £500s.  Past 15k, and then past 20k, it finally hammered at £25k (£31,000 inc fees) to a London dealer stood next to me.  Retail it will probably be £45,000, so if he has a client with pockets that big then he will do well.  If however Omega do not confirm it was supplied to the British Army he has taken a big risk.  I suspect he knows what he is doing.

I came home with some 1960's Omega and Longines, so I can not complain.  But for a few seconds I was top bidder on that SM300, and will probably never get that close to owning one again.  C'est la Vie!

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I was excited, just reading this!

Sorry you lost out, but that all seemed crazy prices - when viewed from the cheap seats.

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You can get bargains at auction but all too often there is no meat left on the bone. 

An interesting read though. 

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2 minutes ago, Mrs Wiggles said:

I have a Parnis very similar to that Omega, but my Parnis is in far better condition. I wonder what it is worth ?

Why don't you put it under the hammer to find out??? 

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6 hours ago, scottswatches said:

came home with some 1960's Omega and Longines, so I can not complain.  But for a few seconds I was top bidder on that SM300, and will probably never get that close to owning one again.  C'est la Vie!

Not a total loss then, but a shame you couldn't net the big prize. Anything worth showing of the ones you did get?

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7 minutes ago, spinynorman said:

Not a total loss then, but a shame you couldn't net the big prize. Anything worth showing of the ones you did get?

They all need some work before they are presentable.

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Haha I was also getting excited when reading this, and was hoping you had actually bagged it Scott. 

Great read anyway :)

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9 hours ago, Boots said:

I was excited, just reading this!

 

Me too!!! I was really rooting for you until I read " Then the big boys joined in :(, "

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Had me on the edge of my seat reading that @scottswatches, but saying that what you picked up needed work to make presentable, it struck me that the Omega was in a pretty rough state to pay £31k for.  Yeah, I get the military side of it, it being virtually untouched, etc., but still I guess the rarity is the key thing - so few were issued.

Then I came across this auction listing of a sale in New York just over a year ago with a similar watch (although with two Omega CoO);

https://www.phillips.com/detail/OMEGA/NY080118/20

It sold for $68,750 + fees + taxes, which would have been around £70,000 all-in equivalent :scared:.  Starts to make the one you missed out on look cheap!

Is the Ministry of Defence entitled to any of this money, I wonder? :hmmm9uh::laugh:

And then I found another one;

In a Geneva sale sold for CHF87,500 + fees + taxes (£68,000 + fees + taxes)  https://www.phillips.com/detail/omega/CH080117/103

I'll get my coat...

:laugh:

 

 

 

Edited by RTM Boy
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Ironically if it looked like new then it would probably be worth less, as it would look too much like it was a Franken or outright fake

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1 hour ago, scottswatches said:

Ironically if it looked like new then it would probably be worth less, as it would look too much like it was a Franken or outright fake

Actually, thinking about it, given the sums of money these Seamasters are going for, it must be tempting for counterfeiters to make very good copies of them (there are plenty of detailed photos on t'internet) and deliberately distress the fakes to make them appear genuine (as is common in the antiques trade).  Certainly a CoO from Omega might be an issue, but then again that could be faked too, or simply sell without one and take a chance...

Like you said, the buyer must be hoping Omega will confirm its authenticity.  The auction house will have worded the description very carefully to ensure no come back.  Clearly you'd need to be very knowledgeable, very brave and have very deep pockets.

Luckily I'm limited on the first and have none of the last two :laugh::laugh:

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