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A short review about my favourites at the upcoming Bonhams Fine Watches Action about the Rolex Sea-Dweller “Comex”, a Cartier Tank and a Patek Philippe.
A vintage Rolex Sea-Dweller is a pretty cool catch, but a Rolex Comex Sea-Dweller from the original owner who was a Comex diver is pretty hard to beat. Rolex and specialist diving company Comex share a long story that started in 1971. At that time, Rolex started supplying professional dive watches to them. Celebrated for the high quality Rolex watches were preferred by professional divers. They used the watches as professional tools in private and military applications.
The presented lot was owned by Comex diver Graham Rowley. Rowley has used this watch during his active years at Comex between 1979 to 2013. However, this watch not only comes from the original owner, it is also accompanied by 11 dive log books. Rowley not only documented the dives that this watch has undertaken. He also added the service documentation and the famous Comex keyring.
Coming in a 40mm stainless steel case, the Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref. 1655 is water resistant to 600m and is fitted with a stainless steel bracelet. The black aluminum bezel insert is unidirectional turning and the large hands and indexes offer optimal legibility. With the last service being performed this year, the watch is in full working condition. This concerns the movement as well as the water resistance.
LOT 15 is estimated to sell between £80,000 – £120,000.
A fine watches auction without a masterpiece from Patek Philippe would not be a fine watches auction. The Patek Philippe Ref. 5101P immediately jumped into my top three list when I was browsing through the catalog, as it is one of my favourite pieces the manufacture has ever made. For me this watch ticks all the boxes that I desire in a Patek: Rectangular platinum case, hand-wound movement, salmon colored dial, simplistic design, yet with a hidden complication. I think it is clear why the 5101P fits these criteria so well.
On the outside it is a white metal watch in a rectangular case with a power reserve indicator and small seconds indication, but when you look closer you’ll realize it is nothing standard. Indicated by the ‘Tourbillon’ wording as well as the 10-day power reserve on the dial, you get a tease of what you can expect when turning the watch around.
The sapphire caseback offers a complete view of the movement that is built to fit the shape of the case and bears the Geneva seal, which is one of the most prominent marks of high horology. Furthermore, you get a view on the beautifully executed tourbillon that is held in place by a mirror polished bridge.
Originally purchased in 2009, lot 70 is estimated to sell between £80,000 – £120,000.
The Cartier Tank is a well known icon for sure, but the Tank à Giuchets is one of the lesser known pieces, yet it is one of the most exclusive. Featuring a rectangular case that encloses most of the dial as well, this piece will certainly make people look twice.
Being one of the rare mechanical watches with a ‘digital’ display, the watches hour indication is positioned at twelve o’clock featuring a jumping hour mechanism and the minutes being displayed at six o’clock. The original Cartier Tank à Giuchets were made in 1928 and Cartier revived the complication from 1998 to 2008 with the Collection Privée that focussed on the most exclusive pieces of the maison. Limited to 100 pieces, even the new piece is highly exclusive and rarely seen outside of a museum.
LOT 8 is estimated to sell between £20,000 – £30,000.
For further information on the auction, the rest of the lots for sale and registration to bidding follow the link below!