This year was challenging for everyone, but we were fortunate to be able to continue our online auctions throughout the year to the delight of our friends and clients. Many commented that our watch lots were a source of true enjoyment of the hobby during a time that the NAWCC and other watch shows had to shut down.
We were again honored to sell an iconic watch this year, a Waltham minute repeater with split-seconds chronograph and 60-minute register, in very heavy 18K gold hunter case. This is one of only two total examples of which we are aware! It sold for $100,000, making it one of only three American pocket watches to sell for $100,000 or more at public auction. We have now sold two of those three watches!
We have asked our staff to select their favorite timepiece from this past year, NOT including the above obvious choice!
Here are the chosen ones:
Owner and auctioneer, George Jones, chose the magnificent 18K & amethyst Alfred Dunhill lighthouse lighter; this particular piece was sold in Dunhill's 1985 Christmas collection for $56,000 and held the Guinness world record for decades for the most expensive table lighter in the world! As Lot 45 in our November 1, 2020 semi-live auction, it hammered for $110,000. George said what strikes him about this piece is the remarkable amount of gold used back then. Indeed, the total gross weight of the combined 18K gold material with attached switch and wiring is 1017.6 dwt (1582.7 g, or 50.88 troy oz.) He feels the way it was fitted together on the amethyst base was truly incredible.
The full description with photos can be found by clicking here
Owner/auctioneer Patty Jones’ favorite is Lot 113 from our November 1, 2020 semi-live auction, the Cartier watch with sundial. Patty said, "I admire the Cartier brand and love that this is a beautiful example of their workmanship in that it functions not only as a watch, but also as a compass and sundial."
Hammering at $8,400, full details can be seen by clicking here.
Chief operating officer/auctioneer Diana Kelly chose the Viennese Renaissance verge fusee in our November 1, 2020 semi-live auction. She said, "I fell in love with the marriage of verge fusee timekeeping with a case that is true art, made up of Renaissance-style enamel scenes reminiscent of Rembrandt's works, including one that can only be seen once the watch is opened."
The watch sold for $1,700 and can be viewed by clicking here
Pocket watch expert, Fred Hansen, picked the Waltham "Sporting Watch" sold in our November 1, 2020 semi-live auction for $5,600. He explains: “I've always really liked these as they were America's first machine-made complicated watches and are early, rare, and have a unique appearance. This particular example is from the earliest production run and stands out from most as it features an unusual original open face case with an American Indian engraving to its rear and with the very rarely seen feature of a slide to its band to prevent the user from accidentally stopping the watch."
Click here to view Fred’s full catalog description, as well as our photos
Our wristwatch specialist, Tyler St. Gelais' favorite is Lot 145 sold in our November 1, 2020 semi-live auction. He said, “This beautiful oversized vintage Longines with the legendary flyback movement is, in my personal opinion, the perfect chronograph. The proportions are fantastic. The movement is fantastic. The dial is fantastic. The faceted lugs of this 18K gold case are...you guessed it...fantastic! This watch will wear just as well with jeans and a sweatshirt as it would under the cuff of a fine suit. It will remain timeless and elegant until its dying days.”
This Longines sold for $9,600, exceeding even Tyler's high expectations!
Click here to view the full listing
Assistant cataloger and online store manager, Amanda Kelly, chose a pendant watch with gorgeous case from our November 1, 2020 semi-live auction, Lot 37, the Emile Jacot pendant watch in 14K and enamel hunter case. She has always loved enamel details, and she especially loved that this case had a Celtic style on one side and a very well done lute player on the other side.
Full details can be seen and read by clicking here!
Marc Bourque, our festive IT manager, chose the same as Patty Jones, the Cartier rare oval watch with sundial and compass. He said: "I like the old school technology of the sundial, not relying on the new-fangled watch movement stuff!"
This watch garnered $8,400 in our November 1, 2020 semi-live auction.
Click here for the full writeup and photos!
Receptionist and assistant cataloger, Courtney St. Gelais, chose Lot 65, an antique horological book entitled "The Detached Lever Escapement, 1886," which was sold in our November 1, 2020 semi-live auction. Courtney felt privileged to catalog the two antique books that were sold in that auction, and this was her first time "in print" in our hard copy of the catalog for this live auction. She said: "I believe the knowledge contained within these books is just as important as the watches themselves. In preparation for writing up these books for auction, I dove deep into the antiquarian book world. I am happy to have learned these new skills through that research and even happier to have put those new skills into action here at Jones & Horan!"
The book achieved $425 in that auction, and Courtney's write-up can be seen by clicking here!
Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to all of our clients and friends!
We are thrilled to have worked with you all in 2020, a crazy, uncertain year but you all made it enjoyable and gave us purpose. The response to our online auctions this year was overwhelming and gratifying!
We look forward in eager anticipation to 2021!