NEW HAMBURG, Ontario, Canada – Rolex ruled the roost in Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.’s online-only Luxury Watches sale, as 14 of the top 20 finishing lots were made by the renowned Swiss watchmaker. The top earner was a Rolex Ref. 116515 Cosmograph Daytona, a model first introduced in 1963 to meet the demands of race car drivers. It sold within estimate for $54,870.
All prices quoted are in Canadian dollars and include an 18 percent buyer’s premium.
The Cosmograph Daytona featured a black monobloc Cerachrom bezel in ceramic with an engraved tachymeter scale, and an 18kt Everose gold case. It was powered by calibre 4130, a self-winding mechanical chronograph movement developed and made by Rolex. The chocolate dial with black Arabic numbers accented the gold case and alligator strap.
It was a tidy sale, with just 78 curated timepieces coming up for bid, but it featured luxury makers such as Rolex, Patek Philippe, Omega, Heuer, Cartier, Hublot, Tiffany & Company and IWC, among others. Just under 200 registered bidders placed a combined online total of 2,685 bids, and by the time it was all over the auction had grossed a robust $418,959.
“The market for quality luxury watches has remained strong, with major brands holding their ground while demand for many assets has fallen,” said Justin Miller of Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. “Four contemporary Rolex Daytonas in the sale sold for way more than one would pay for a brand-new example from an authorized Rolex dealer, should they be so lucky to acquire one.”
Miller added, “For vintage watches, the highest demand remains for examples that are untouched and fresh-to-the-market. These watches are usually consigned by either the original owner or a relative of the original owner. A good example was Lot #53, which came to us with a letter of provenance from the second owner linking it to the 1972 Olympic Games. It sold for $14,160.”
He was referring to the circa 1971 Rolex Ref. 5513 Submariner with a stainless-steel case on a stainless-steel oyster band. The caseback was engraved with the name of the current owner. This Submariner was originally awarded as a prize for qualifying as the Canadian sailing participant in the 1972 Olympic games. The trials were held in Kingston, Ontario.
Following are additional highlights from the auction, in which 80 percent of lots were sold. Online bidding was via by LiveAuctioneers.com and MillerandMillerAuctions.com.
The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, regardless of year, movement or reference, is one of the most desirable watches in existence. There were several other examples in the auction. They included:
- 116520, circa 2008-2009, in a stainless-steel 40mm case, box and papers included ($32,450).
- 116523, circa 2002, an exceptionally well cared for example offered from the original owner, complete with box and papers and the receipt from a 2019 service by the original retailer, Ashley Jewellers, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada ($24,780).
- 116520, circa 2009, has a stainless-steel case on a stainless-steel oyster band, complete with box and papers ($26,550).
The Rolex Day-Date “President” wristwatch is another classic that was represented more than once in the auction. The model made its debut in 1956 and was the first wristwatch to display the date and day of the week spelled out in full in a window on the dial. The elegant design and precious metals conspired to make the Day-Date a most desirable wristwatch among celebrities.
Two Day-Date “Presidents” in the auction included Ref. 18038, circa 1988, with an 18kt yellow gold case and bracelet and champagne diamond dial, in excellent condition, serviced by Rolex in August 2002 ($23,600); and Ref. 18238, with 18kt yellow gold case on an 18kt yellow gold President band. A recent service included new crystal, crown, crown tube and gaskets ($14,160).
Rolexes were plentiful on auction day, but so were watches by other famous makers, such as:
- De Grisogono, Grande ladies’ watch, Swiss, circa 2001, with an 18kt rose gold case and pink sapphires ($20,060). The Grande has a gently curved silhouette. It was designed with proportions and balance of size and volume, making it very comfortable in wear.
- Tag Heuer, Ref. 2446C Autavia GMT, Swiss, 1972, with a stainless-steel case on a leather strap and a Mark 4 dial ($11,800). This model had steel hands with red accents, red chronograph hand and stepped sub-dials. The color still popped on the Pepsi bezel.
Returning to Rolexes, a circa 1972 Ref. 1675 GMT-Master watch featuring the original black aluminum GMT bezel, and original matte black dial, the case and bracelet in impeccable shape, brought $20,060. The original GMT-Master, designed in 1954, was a collaboration with Pan Am Airways. It was issued to their crews on long-haul flights and was later embraced by other pilots.
A circa 2001 Rolex 2016 Ref. 80319 Datejust Pearlmaster with an 18kt rose gold case and factory diamond dial and bezel, the smooth lines of the case and bracelet creating a feminine interpretation of the Datejust, reached $11,505. Also, A circa 2005 Rolex Ref. 116203 “Tuxedo” Datejust wristwatch with a two-tone, 18kt yellow gold and stainless-steel case and oyster band, black and white “tuxedo” dial and black and red “roulette” date wheel, topped out at $10,030.
A circa 1991 Rolex Ref, 16613 Rolex Submariner wristwatch having a stainless-steel case with an 18kt yellow gold bezel and crown and a stainless-steel oyster band went for $12,980. Also, a circa 1976 Rolex Ref. 1680 Submariner wristwatch with a stainless-steel case on a stainless-steel oyster band, the clasp date stamped “A” for 1976, weighing a total of 101 grams, made $11,210. Included was the invoice from a March 2020 service by Humberton Jewellers in Toronto, Ont.
Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd., has three major auctions planned for the rest of this year and early next year. They include an Automobiles, Advertising & Toys auction (featuring The Gary Archer Collection) on Saturday, December 3rd; an Advertising & Historic Objects auction on Saturday, January 21st; 2023; and a Canadiana & Folk Art auction on Saturday, February 11th.
Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. is Canada’s trusted seller of high-value collections and is always accepting quality consignments. The firm specializes in watches and jewelry, art, antiques and high-value collectibles. Its mission is to provide collectors with a trusted place to buy and sell.
To consign a single piece, an estate or a collection, you may call them at (519) 573-3710; or, you can e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. and the firm’s upcoming auctions, please visit www.millerandmillerauctions.com.
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Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.
59 Webster Street
New Hamburg, Canada