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Timely warning! Vintage watches can be worth a fortune

Posted on 09/01/2019 in Press Coverage

If a spring clean beckons and an old watch is discovered in a dusty drawer, never dismiss it because it might just be worth a life-changing sum.

One example, worn down the garden and at work – in construction – by its owner sold for a phenomenal £51,100 at our last Fine Art auction. The original estimate for the 1960s Tudor Rolex steel Oysterdate wristwatch was £3,000-£5,000.

It was bought for a few hundred pounds in the early 1970s but sparked an international auction room bidding battle eventually selling for more than 17 times its low estimate.

So, when Hansons come to The Coach and Four in Wilmslow on March 21 for the venue’s first free valuation event of 2019, set the alarm on your clock and dig out those treasures to show Hansons’ associate director Adrian Rathbone.

He is an expert on vintage designer watches which are highly collectable right now and we witnessed some remarkable sale prices in 2018.

Such was the battle to own the Tudor watch, which is related to superstar brand Rolex, six phone bidders from the UK and around the world, including Hong Kong, competed against internet and advance bidders to secure the item.

The watch was finally sold to a French internet bidder competing against a UK phone bidder. Though the hammer price was £51,100, the buyer’s premium took the total price to £63,364.

Rare watches, especially early Rolex models, are a major success story of recent years. Desirable watches are likened to rare cars and wealthy collectors will stop at nothing to acquire the best examples for their collection.

The watch belonged to the late husband of a 74-year old retired office worker. Naturally, she was over the moon. Never in her wildest dream did she expect it to fetch that kind of money.

Her husband was a keen collector of watches and paid around £300 for it in the early 1970s. It soared at auction because it was a rare and early example of a Tudor watch in exceptional condition.

Tudor launched in 1946 when Hans Wilsdorf, creator of Rolex, wanted to create a watch brand that would offer the precision and reliability of a Rolex timepiece at a more accessible price. The association with Rolex gave Tudor watches instant credibility.

As well as Rolex, Omega, Cartier or Longines watches are also sought after. We’re currently inviting entries for our March 28-April 4 Spring Fine Art Auction. To find out more, email [email protected]

Hansons will be offering free valuations at The Coach and Four, 69/71 Alderley Road, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 1PA, on March 21 and April 18, 11am-2pm. Donations are invited for Francis House Children’s Hospice in Didsbury. To find out more, email [email protected] or call 01283 733988.