News & Insights

Preview: Fine Jewellery and Watches

21st February 2023.

A host of rare luxury and vintage wrist and pocket watches are coming up in Tennants Auctioneers’ Fine Jewellery, Watches and Silver Sale on 18th March. One of the most interesting watches in the sale is a fine and rare Patek Philippe & Cie silver open-faced keyless lever deck watch, reference 739 (estimate: £2,500-3,000 plus buyer’s premium). Patek Philippe introduced this reference in the 1930s as navigation aids, using movements that were made earlier; the present example has a movement dating from circa 1916, and a case dating from the late 1930s/early 1940s. A precision instrument, it features the high quality calibre 21 Guillaume balance, which was designed to be unaffected by changes in temperature during use at sea. Also of note to collectors is a rarely seen World War II RAF Spitfire pilots watch, the Omega ‘Weems’, made in 1939 and issued in 1940 (estimate: £1,000-1,500). The Weems system, named for the designer Philip van Horn Weems, was made to be as simple to read and use as possible and be more accurate when navigating and timing missions.

Rolex continues to be the name to watch at auction, and two of the top examples in the sale include a rare 1954 Rolex Turn-O-Graph ref: 6202 (estimate: £8,000-12,000), and a 2008 Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ref: 116520 (estimate: £14,000-16,000).  Also of interest to collectors is the highly desirable 1988 Audemars Piguet 18 carat gold Royal Oak ref: 25572BA, known to collectors as ‘The Owl’ due to the placement of the subdials (estimate: £8,000-12,000). The iconic Royal Oak was first released in the 1970s, designed by the renowned Gerald Genta.

A selection of jewels by Boodles, one of the leading British jewellery designers, will be offered from a private collection. Boodles was established in Liverpool in 1798 and have become synonymous with luxury gems. They are perhaps best known for their iconic ‘Raindance’ collection, first released in 2000, and an example of their ‘Raindance’ ring is held in the permanent collection of the V&A. In 2020 Boodles released a 20th Anniversary ‘Raindance’ ring, an example of which is included in the sale, with fancy pink diamonds to represent the company’s signature colour, as well as white diamonds. The ring is offered with an estimate of £15,000-20,000. The ‘Raindance’ ring is joined by a pair of platinum and diamond ‘Raindance’ earrings (estimate: £3,000-5,000), and an 18-carat white gold and Tahitian pearl and diamond ‘Circus’ necklace (estimate: £6,000-8,000). Two lots by Theo Fennell, another leading name in British jewellery are also on offer; they comprise a pair of diamond earrings (estimate: £400-600), and a set of two diamond pendants and a pair of matching earrings (estimate: £1,200-1,500).

Further notable pieces of jewellery in the sale include a platinum solitaire ring (estimate: £12,000-15,000), a striking emerald and diamond crossover ring (estimate: £4,000-6,000), and a diamond snake ring (estimate: £2,000-3,000). The latter is composed of two pear-cut diamonds, each set into a snake’s head, which cross-over facing away from each other.

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