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.