NEW HAMBURG, Ontario – A platinum ring with 11-carat diamond center stone sold for $103,250, a circa 1960s Rodania Geometer men’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 jewelry & watches auction held Nov. 24. All prices quoted are in Canadian dollars and include the buyer’s premium. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.
The 311-lot auction featured a curated assortment of antique and modern jewelry and watches, which included 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 and Piaget. 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 (below) had phone bids from the U.S. and Asia, but ultimately it sold online. “The preauction 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 6½, 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 an item 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.
Women’s watches were led by a gorgeous circa 1990 Piaget 18K diamond and sapphire watch, ref. 8480 H69, quartz movement, with an 18K white gold diamond and sapphire bracelet ($26,550).
The same amount was paid for a Cartier 18K 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 Rolex models included the following:
– Men’s day-date President wristwatch, ref. 1807, circa 1973, with 18K yellow gold case and bracelet, automatic movement, with box, papers, service records ($15,340).
– Blue Submariner men’s wristwatch, ref. 16113, circa 2009, with stainless steel and 18K 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 18K 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 for $6,490. Also, a custom-designed, hand-crafted Mia Brattan 18K, diamond, onyx and 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.
For details contact Miller & Miller Auctions at 519-573-3710 or 519-716-5606 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.