Time flies at Lichfield auction as rare watches go under the hammer

A Lichfield auction proved to be the one to watch as bidders from across the world battled over a ‘timeless’ collection.

Richard Winterton’s sale from The Lichfield Auction Centre, Fradley Park, included a 1973 Rolex Explorer II which sparked international interest, selling to a telephone bidder for £18,500.

The stainless steel Rolex was part of a private collection of 11 wristwatches including a rare Eterna ‘Dirty Dozen’ World War Two British military timepiece – running and functioning well despite being almost 80 years old – which sold for £700.

The entire collection totalled £22,360.

Other watches in the July 5 auction included a Rolex GMT-Master dating back to 1985 which sold for £9,800 including premium.

Auctioneer Richard Winterton said: “Following its launch in 1971, the Rolex Explorer II was less popular commercially but it’s a very different story today, with the watch highly sought after by connoisseurs and collectors.

“The distinctive orange 24 hour hand was originally intended to help the intrepid wearer keep track of day and night in dark places such as caves or extreme environments where the sun never sets.

“A large triangle marker at 12 o’clock, cyclops eye for the date aperture at 3 o’clock and ‘frog foot’ coronet marked this model out as a watch somehow simultaneously atypical of the brand and quintessentially Rolex.

“In fine functioning condition and presented on the original Oyster bracelet, we expected this to be another timeless example of how vintage watches can powerfully accumulate in value and we weren’t disappointed.”

The same sale saw a 4.31ct three stone diamond ring sell for £8,400 and an emerald cut diamond solitaire make £4,800.

Also going under the hammer was a large collection of ceramics including five large Royal Doulton Prestige figures depicting The Charge Of The Light Brigade, jester Jack Point in three colourways and a limited edition King Charles I, totalling £3,490.

The auction success coincided with the family firm’s return to The Hub, above Lichfield Library in the Market Square, for free valuations.

Ben Winterton will be offering advice on watches, jewellery, silver and antiques between 10am-12.30pm on Tuesdays, and people can also drop off general consignments for auction.

For more information, email ben@richardwinterton.co.uk or call 01543 251081.

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