9th Oct 2023
Weekly Wind Down | Sales Highlights including watches from Audemars Piguet and Rolex
by Nick Bennett
2002 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
We’re kicking off this week’s wind down with a Royal Oak that proves a vibrant dial can completely transform a watch’s personality. This ref. 14790 features a distinctive ‘Yves Klein’ blue dial, earning its nickname from the striking resemblance to the vibrant blue shade initially concocted by the renowned French artist bearing the same name.
The ref. 14790 first debuted in 1992 as a more modest alternative to the larger 39mm ‘Jumbo’. Over the course of its production run, Audemars Piguet explored various bold design directions, with none more sought-after than this vibrant blue finish. Technically speaking, this Royal Oak’s internals are equally impressive, being fitted out with an ultra-thin calibre based on JLC's venerable 889. With the popularity of the 'Jumbo' reaching fever pitch, this is the perfect option for the collector seeking something a little different. Recently sold on Watch Collecting for £23,500.
2021 Rolex Cellini
It’s time to show a little love to one of the most underappreciated watches on the market. The Cellini’s had it rough for a long time now, sitting in the Rolex catalogue alongside Submariners, GMT-Master IIs, Daytonas and Day-Dates, offering a dressy option from a company that has built its entire legacy on robust waterproof sport watches.
However, if you assess the Cellini in isolation, it is objectively a great watch, and thanks to its lack of popularity, has become a fantastic value proposition. Take this reference 50505, for example. Its 40mm case is crafted from solid 18K rose gold and features an elegant double bezel that blends smooth and finely fluted finishes. At a third of the price of an equivalent Day-Date, we think this a compelling option for anyone looking for a dressy Rolex. Recently sold on Watch Collecting for £9,400
1984 Rolex Submariner 'Comex'
From under-appreciated to super-hyped, there aren’t many Rolexes that send watch geeks into a frenzy like a ‘COMEX’ Submariner. The Crown’s association with Compagnie Maritime d’Expertisesin (COMEX), a deep sea diving and exploration company, dates back to 1970 with both brands sharing a common pursuit of progressing underwater exploration. Watches were supplied to the company at zero cost in return for insight and analysis of their performance underwater.
Produced in limited numbers, they feature the French brand’s logo on the dial, a small detail that takes a regular Submariner into stratospheric heights in collectability. (It’s always about the small details when it comes to watch collecting). This example also has the added desirability of being sold by the original owner who was gifted it for ten years of service to COMEX and is accompanied by the diving log books. Recently sold on Watch Collecting for £48,250.