Bonhams Bond Street Auction

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A record breaking sale hit Bonhams Fine Watch and Wristwatch auction at Bond Street. The stainless steel Amagnetic Patek Philippe 3417 model was manufactured in 1958 with a calibre 12-400 AM movement, the model was later fitted with a calibre 27-AM 400 up until it was discontinued in the late 1960’s. They appeared around the time radiology was introduced and were popular with doctors because they were said to be unaffected by magnetism and therefore avoided problems with timekeeping. At the time, demand was limited for these types of watches as there were so very few people in the medical profession. The timepiece was given an estimate of between £10,000 and £15,000, coming complete with the original box and papers from the owner’s family and ended up being sold for £28,750.

Also of note, was a Panerai wristwatch made my Rolex for the German Navy in 1940. Panerai watches were originally made for the Italian Navy in the 1930s and had to be resilient under extreme conditions; they also had to be exceptionally accurate. The stainless steel cushion shaped case military divers watch was estimated to fetch between £18,000 and £22,000. It has an unusual type of lattice engraving and an engraved caseback with the word “Kampfschwimmer”, which is the German word for “combat swimmers”; the name given to Germany’s commando frogmen. This watch comes with a fascinating background; it had been in the same family since World War II when it was exchanged by the owner for two packets of cigarettes while he was crossing the Kiel Canal at the end of the conflict. The very rare wristwatch ended up being sold for an amazing £56,250. 

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