Jewelry, watches provide solid 2018 finish for Moran’s

E. Howard Watch Co. Pocket Watch, No. 198, price realized: $15,000. Moran’s image

MONROVIA, Calif. – John Moran Auctioneers wrapped up 2018 with a flurry of successful sales Dec. 11-12. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.

Rare and Important Timepieces from a Private Collection on Dec. 11 was Moran’s first stand-alone watch sale and proved to be a grand success, achieving strong prices realized for quality timepieces. The well-kept timepieces were a hit with bidders around the world, drawing keen interest to the auction.

American watches from some of the country’s best watchmakers sold well throughout the auction. A stellar E. Howard Watch Co. pocket watch, No. 198 in an 18k yellow gold open-faced case inspired an intense bidding war when it came to the block, selling above its $5,000-$7,000 estimate for $15,000 (above). All prices realized include Moran’s 25 percent buyer’s premium.

An early pocket watch from the San Francisco shop of J.W. Tucker & Co. is steeped in California history. Produced at the height of the gold rush, the hunter cased watch and fob chain sold above its $3,000-$5,000 estimate at $5,937.

A rare Ball & Co. Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers pocket watch with white porcelain dial and open-faced case roared past its $2,000-$4,000 to sell for $6,250.

European watchmakers achieved the most robust prices of the sale, showing the enduring popularity of the precision craftsmanship. A Patek Philippe wristwatch made in the 1970s with a silvered matte dial set with day/date apertures, moon phase dial and date indices sold at the top of its estimate of $60,000-$90,000 for $90,625.

A modern A. Lange & Söhne platinum automatic wristwatch with date aperture, sub-dials for day of the week with day/night 24-hour indicator created a stir during previews before the sale. The beautifully crafted wristwatch sold above its $20,000-30,000 estimate for $34,375 (below).

A. Lange & Söhne platinum automatic wristwatch, price realized: $34,375. Moran’s image

The Fine Jewelry & Timepieces auction Dec. 11 offered a strong selection of pieces from the world’s most respected makers and was brimming with a dazzling assortment in every style.

French, Italian, and American jewelers were amply represented in the sale and proved the enduring popularity of timeless design. A glamourous rainbow-hued suite of a bracelet and earrings from Italian maker Bulgari was one of the most hotly anticipated lots heading into the auction with the suite rising above its $5,000-$7,000 estimate to sell at $10,625. A beautifully made pair of onyx and diamond ear-clips from Van Cleef & Arpels New York designed with stylized clouds blew past its $6,000-$8,000 estimate, selling for $15,625.

Timeless and opulent design from the first half of the 20th century proved popular, especially those featuring colored gemstones. An exquisite Colombian emerald and diamond pendant in a 1950s setting achieved one of the highest prices of the day. Centering a luscious green natural Colombian emerald with little evidence of treatment, the pendant created an intense bidding war among a full phone bank of bidders which drove the price from its $20,000-$30,000 estimate to sell for $100,000.

Colombian emerald and diamond pendant, price realized: $100,000. Moran’s image

Timepieces were among the most popular lots of the auction, with examples from European makers achieving some of the most robust prices. Patek Philippe perpetual calendar pocket watches are scarcely seen on the auction block making lot 1030 one of the most highly anticipated lots of the sale, soaring above its $20,000-$30,000 estimate to sell for $40,625. An Audemars Piguet Royal Oak wristwatch was the one of everyone had to try on in the previews leading up to the auction. After protracted bidding the watch sold for $25,000 (est. $15,000-$20,000). A stunning women’s Patek Philippe Twenty-4 wristwatch with “chocolate dream” dial sweetened the deal for one bidder who succeeded in taking it home for $16,250 (est. $8000-$12,000).

Jewelry and watches weren’t the only items on offer, an array of objects made their way into the auction as well. The top lot of the day was a stunning Patek Philippe ”Mrs. Butterfly” pendulette dôme clock designed with enameled geishas and flowers on a luscious pink ground. A  phone bidder took home the clock for a stunning $118,750 (est. $60,000-$90,000).

Patek Philippe ‘Mrs. Butterfly’ Pendulette Dôme Clock, price realized: $118,750. Moran’s image

Luxury Accessories on Dec. 12 was the first standalone luxury goods auction Moran’s has offered. The successful 69-lot sale bodes well for future auctions featuring luxurious objects and couture.

Selections from Louis Vuitton sold well throughout the auction. A highly coveted Empreinte Artsy MM Hobo bag in a wearable beige monogram leather was one of the most coveted bags leading into the sale, selling above its $700-$900 estimate for $1,875.

Bags by Chanel were among the most popular lots. An immaculate Chanel Jumbo Classic Flap shoulder bag in cream quilted caviar leather came with its original box and paperwork. The classic bag was highly sought after in the auction, selling above its $2,000-$3,000 for $3,750.

Chanel Jumbo Classic Flap Shoulder Bag, price realized: $3,750. Moran’s image

Hermès proved ever-popular during the sale. A stunning Hermès 40cm Kelly bag in a striking blue hue sold within its $5,000-$7,000 estimate bringing $5,312 at auction.

Hermès 40cm Kelly Bag, price realized: $5,312. Moran’s image

For inquiries, contact John Moran Auctioneers via email: or phone: 626-793-1833.