NEW HAMBURG, Ontario, Canada – A platinum ring with 11-carat diamond center stone sold for $103,250, a circa 1960s Rodania Geometer gentleman’s wristwatch in remarkable condition brought $25,960 and an actual World War II-era Omega ‘Weems’ Royal Air Force pilot’s watch soared to $8,260 at Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.’s Jewellery & Watches auction held Nov. 24.
The 311-lot auction featured a curated assortment of antique and modern jewelry and watches, to include a generous selection of fine gold estate jewelry by makers such as Tiffany, Cartier and Bvlgari, plus vintage and modern wristwatches by Rolex, Tudor, Omega, Piaget and others. By the time the gavel fell on the last and final lot, the sale grossed $446,269, with buyer’s premium.
“Prices were strong and continually exceeded expectations, especially on untouched, unrestored wristwatches with historical significance,” said Ethan Miller of Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. “The Weems RAF pilot’s watch is an example. There was spirited phone bidding for the major lots. Eight phone bidders showed interest in 40 lots, with a fair amount of overlapping interest.”
For instance, the Rodania watch had phone bids from the U.S. and Asia, but ultimately it sold online. “The pre-auction buzz surrounding the Rodania was unmistakable,” Miller said. “The ‘tropical’ dial exhibited the perfect degree of uniform degradation, signifying it was worn but never abused. With vintage wristwatches, it’s all about ‘the look,’ and that watch had the look.”
Easily the auction’s top lot was the stunning platinum diamond ring, with the massive 11-carat scissor cut diamond boasting SI1 clarity and J color. The band was surrounded by 14 straight baguette cut diamonds having a total weight of 1.87 carats. The ring, a size 6 ½, came with a GIA grading report from 1985 and a Gem Service appraisal from 1993, attesting to its quality.
The circa 1940-1941 Omega ‘Weems’ Royal Air Force pilot’s watch was truly a watch with history and a back-story. “All original examples like the one sold are becoming increasingly difficult to find, which explained in part why the final price was double the estimate,” Miller said. The manual-wind watch, ref. #CK2129, had a stainless steel case and a canvas bracelet.
Following are additional highlights from the auction. About 60 people were at the gallery to bid in person, while 650 others bid online, via LiveAuctioneers.com and Invaluable.com, as well as the Miller & Miller website (www.millerandmillerauctions.com). Telephone and absentee bids were also accepted. All prices quoted are in Canadian dollars and include the buyer’s premium.
Ladies’ watches were led by a gorgeous circa 1990 Piaget 18kt diamond and sapphire watch, ref. 8480 H69, quartz movement, with an 18kt white gold diamond and sapphire bracelet ($26,550). The same amount was paid for a Cartier 18kt, diamond and sapphire “Arcadie” bracelet having 14 links, each link pave-set with 140 round brilliant-cut diamonds weighing 9.08 carats, of good color and quality, and accented by 75 mixed, fancy-cut blue sapphires that weighed 6.89 carats.
The auction featured 21 estate fresh Rolex watches. “With three-year waiting lists on popular new Rolex models, buyers are quickly discovering value in the booming vintage market,” Miller pointed out. The top achiever was a Rolex men’s red Submariner wristwatch, ref. 1680, circa 1972, with stainless steel case and bracelet, automatic movement and fitted to a modern oyster band. The watch, with box and service history, brought $22,420. Other Rolexes included these:
- Rolex men’s day-date President wristwatch, ref. 1807, circa 1973, with 18kt yellow gold case and bracelet, automatic movement, with box, papers, service records ($15,340).
- Rolex blue Submariner men’s wristwatch, ref. 16113, circa 2009, with stainless steel and 18kt yellow gold case and bracelet, automatic movement, box and papers ($10,620).
- Rolex Datejust “Turnograph” men’s wristwatch, ref. 116263, circa 2015, with stainless steel and 18kt yellow gold case and bracelet, unworn, with box and papers ($8,555).
A graduated, single-strand necklace featuring 31 South Sea cultured pearls and pave set with 54 brilliant cut diamonds weighing approximately 1.90 carats, of an average VS grade, went to a determined bidder for $6,490. Also, Also, a custom-designed, hand-crafted Mia Brattan 18kt, diamond, onyx, lapis lazuli eye-shaped brooch, with 100 round brilliant cut diamonds of VVS-VS clarity and G-H color and one 1.03-caat pendeloque cut diamond, hammered for $4,720.
An Italian-made 18kt gold and diamond clutch made from polished, woven 18kt yellow gold and having a closure set with ten brilliant cut diamonds, including a fine leather case by Esquire of Germany, changed hands for $7,670. Also, a Girard-Perregaux Equation Perpetuelle watch, ref. 864409, made circa 1994, with 18kt yellow gold case and bracelet and quartz movement and featuring moonphase, date, month, perpetual calendar and skeletonized case back made $6,785.
A pair of Bvlgari South Sea cultured pearl and diamond drop earrings, claw-set in a curve and drop design with 28 round brilliant cut diamonds weighing 1.99 carats (with VS1 clarity and H-I color), plus two pear-shaped cut diamonds weighing 0.37 carats (VS1 clarity, H color), pave set on the cups for the pearls with 55 round brilliant cut diamonds weighing 1.12 carats, hit $4,248.
Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. will conduct an auction dedicated to the Aarssen Collection – Automobilia, Bronzes & Americana on Saturday, December 8th, online and in the New Hamburg gallery. After that, the next big auction is scheduled for Saturday, February 9th, 2019 and will feature Canadiana & Historical Objects. The deadline for consignments is January 10th, 2019.
Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. is a seller of high-value collections between $200,000 and $3 million. Individual items of merit are always considered. It is Canada’s most trusted place for collectors to buy and sell. The firm is always accepting quality consignments for future sales.
Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.
59 Webster Street
New Hamburg, Canada