Join us as we look at a selection of some of the wonderful watches which form Fellow’s forthcoming January auction. In a meeting of minds we have been lucky to secure the expertise of Laura Bishop, the Watch Manager at Fellows. Following Laura’s thoughts are our own view on these much sought after models.
LOT 2 – AUDEMARS PIGUET - a limited edition stainless steel Royal Oak "Leo Messi" Special Edition. Estimate £18,000 - £22,000
Laura: Royal Oak remains one of the most iconic watch designs ever, and one of the most popular. To mark the Royal Oak’s 40th anniversary, Audemars Piguet created the Leo Messi reference - just one part of a long-standing relationship between the footballer and watch. With Messi (and Argentina) just winning the World Cup in December 2022 we are excited to see how this impacts the sale of this watch.
WatchGecko: A giant of the watch world the AP Royal Oak has been a favourite for over 50 years. Taking inspiration from a diving helmet with bold screw heads and a classic octagonal shape the original Royal Oak cost ten times the price of a Rolex Submariner when introduced in 1972. The first model was waterproof to 150ft and only 1000 were made. This much newer model is a Messi special edition will be hugely desirable since he lifted the 2022 Copa Del Mondo.
Lot 25 HEUER - a PVD-treated stainless steel Pasadena chronograph. Estimate £900 - £1,400
Laura: The Heuer Pasadena marks a turning point in the style and design of watches in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The black PVD-treated case and the dashboard style of dial stand this model apart from previous Heuers. Heuer is often considered one of the coolest watch brands in history and the Pasadena is possibly the coolest of the cool.
WatchGecko: Even though its not the watch Tom Cruise wore we think this vintage Heuer has a distinctly Top Gun look. The Pasadena maximises legibility and the lug free case design places the watch firmly in a cool era. Powered by the bullet proof Valjoux 7750 automatic movement this watch will never let you down. There is something wonderful about seeing the original HEUER name alone on a dial and this is a classic well worth securing.
Lot 33 - OMEGA - a stainless steel 38mm Speedmaster chronograph. Estimate £1,000 - £1,500
Laura: Probably the most iconic chronograph ever created, the Omega Speedmaster is known around the world and has a huge cult following. They are fairly easy to come by on the second-hand market making this a relatively affordable option for a famed piece of history. This model is ever so slightly smaller at 38mm making it suitable for anybody on any occasion.
WatchGecko: We love a Speedmaster and it is always a treat to look beyond the Moonwatch. The reduced 38mm case is a really contemporary size which will add to the appeal. It is less common to see a Speedy with a light dial and slightly reminds us of the elusive Apollo 13 Special.
Lot 56 - OMEGA - a stainless steel Speedsonic chronograph. Estimate £900 - £1,400
Laura: One of the more unusual Omega references, the Speedsonic was Omega’s response to the 1970s quartz revolution. The battery powered movement in a Speedsonic utilises a tuning fork to ensure accuracy of timekeeping. This is a little piece of history at a very affordable price.
WatchGecko: Honestly, this was a new one on us, but we really like it! Powered by Omega’s quartz electronic calibre 1255 this gem will be a unique item in any serious watch collection. Part Speedmaster with more than a hint of 70s retro technology the Speedsonic has a well earned place in Omegas history. A pioneer super-quartz model.
Lots 71 & 81- Both ROLEX - stainless steel Oyster Perpetual Air-Kings. Estimate £1,600- £2,400
Laura: Lot 71 is effortlessly classy and perfectly simple. The Air-King design has been popular for decades and it is easy to see why. This black dial with lozenge shaped hour markers is eye-catching for all the right reasons. A great entry level Rolex for new collectors and old-timers alike. LOT 81 is also a perfect example of a vintage watch in great condition and at a very affordable price point. The Air-King range is one of the longest running collections of watches by Rolex and is a firm favourite for its minimalist time-only display and simple design.
WatchGecko: Entering the world of Rolex is not easy but with either of these models you could begin a collection, or add to one, and benefit from owning a timeless classic vintage watch. The Air King has long been the entry level to this exclusive brand, and these two watches hark back to then golden era of Rolex where they were smaller and less ostentatious. There is also the additional interest factor with both of these watches being from the iconic Ian Fleming Rolex era so they may be similar to the model actually worn by our most famous literary secret agent.
Lot 87 - ROLEX - a stainless steel Oyster Perpetual Explorer. Estimate £9,000 - £14,000
Laura: Over the past few decades vintage watches have really taken off in popularity and the Rolex Explorer 1016 reference has become one of the most sought-after models for most collectors. This example is in such amazing condition and totally original, with original box and papers too. I can’t see a better piece in this auction for a collector.
WatchGecko: Laura has said it all. This is a stunner which will fulfil all your desires to own a vintage Rolex Explorer. In superb condition this 1016 will be a standout in any collection. We would expect this to go for a relatively high price. There is much written about runaway prices for Rolexes but occasionally one comes up where you can truly appreciate the value.
Thank you to Laura Bishop for her thoughts and Alexandra Whittaker as always for her help. If you want to follow and bid on this auction, click here. Good luck….and we already envy the future owner of the Explorer!