A single-owner collection of thousands of watches, clocks and parts made just over £88,000 at auction on November 29th, beating the total sale estimate of £52,000 by £36,000.
The result came despite the fact that the collection, which was amassed over the lifetime of Kettering-based enthusiast Ronald J Pace, largely consisted of watches and clocks that were no longer in working order.
The standout lot in the auction was a Longines World War II RAF pilot’s watch which was offered in a lot of three wristwatches and sold for £2,200 in a bidding war that reached over tenfold the original estimate of £100 - £200, despite no longer working.
“We’re thrilled with the result of the sale of this extraordinary collection of horological history dating from the late 18th century all the way through to the 1990s,” comments director Mark Gilding. “Ronald Pace’s expert eye and lifelong passion for collecting watches, clocks and their associated parts resulted in a deep treasure trove for enthusiasts. Indeed, such was the interest in his collection, we had bidders from all over the world, including Germany, France, Eastern Europe, New Zealand and the USA.”
Another notable result in the auction was an Omega Seamaster 300 wristwatch. This highly sought-after 1960s watch sold for £2,200 on the day, doubling its estimate of £800 - £1,200 despite lacking its bezel and original bracelet.
Of the hundreds of pocket watches in the auction, a highlight was a silver cased open faced pocket watch originating from Birmingham in 1901, which sold for £1,300 against an estimate of £80 - £120. Unusual in being fully dustproof, it’s thought this watch may originally have belonged to a miner.
The First World War saw the transition from pocket watches to wristwatches for practical reasons. A fine example in the sale was a World War One trench watch with Swiss silver case and black strap by Birch & Gaydon, London, which sold for £400.
“The extraordinarily high bids achieved for so many of the lots in this auction really does show the extremely high value collectors place on these kinds of rare items, whether that’s for them to restore and perhaps sell on or to add to their own collections,” adds Mark Gilding. “So, as well as the brilliant result achieved, it’s great to think of this very special lifetime collection finding a new home with people who will treasure it all over the world.”
The full catalogue and results can be found HERE