10 Perfect Watches to Begin a Collection

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July's Watches Online presents a superb opportunity to find vintage watches at attractive price points and begin a timepiece collection in style. With exceptional provenance, and prestigious retailer signatures, the sale features lots from sought-after manufacturers including Rolex, Omega and Patek Philippe.

Click through for ten highlights with estimates under £10,000.

10 Perfect Watches to Begin a Collection

  • Rolex Submariner, reference 16800
    Stainless-steel wristwatch with date and bracelet, circa 1980.
    Estimate £5,000–7,000
    This almost 40-year-old Rolex Submariner stands as a great entry to the world of vintage Rolex, combining strong case proportions with a homogeneously patinated dial. It is furthermore offered with the original guarantee, dated from 1982.
  • Rolex, Sea-Dweller Great White, reference 1665
    Stainless-steel wristwatch with helium escape valve date and bracelet, circa 1978.
    Estimate £5,000–8,000
    Vintage Rolex watches are strong propositions for aspiring and experienced collectors. The present Great White Sea-Dweller is offered on behalf of the original owner. Its mark I dial is completed by a strong and bevelled case. The watch comes with its original guarantee, booklets and presentation case in addition to its most direct provenance. In times where most sports Rolex models keep appreciating, the present lot is a solid opportunity with a very attractive estimate.
  • Omega, Seamaster Planet Ocean Xl, 22 Special Air Service, reference 22005200
    Military stainless-steel wristwatch with date, helium escape valve and bracelet, circa 2011.
    Estimate £7,000–10,000
    The present military-issued wristwatch is offered on behalf of the original owner. It bears all the attributes collectors are looking for in a rare watch: a unique and direct military provenance, an unworn condition and all its accessories. This SAS Seamaster Planet Ocean XL is indeed a great opportunity to own a highly desirable modern piece with a great story.
  • Patek Philippe, Retailed by Beyer, reference 3393/1
    White gold diamond-set bracelet watch, made in 1970.
    Estimate £7,000–10,000
    This beautiful Patek Philippe ladies’ bracelet watch offers tremendous value. In addition to being fully crafted from 18ct white gold, its delicate case boasts a factory baguette diamond-set bezel and the most sought-after Beyer retailer signature. The watch is offered with its original Certificate of Origin confirming Beyer as the original retailer, making this lot an extremely attractive opportunity.
  • Rolex, Retailed by Bucherer, Prince, reference 1490
    Stainless-steel rectangular wristwatch, circa 1937
    Estimate £3,000–5,000
    Finding an honest 1930s Rolex Prince has today become a difficult endeavour. The present Brancard-shaped stainless-steel reference 1490 bears the Bucherer retailer’s signature, an additional collectible element. Offered at £3,000–5,000, this rare piece stands as a most interesting opportunity to acquire an early and collectible Rolex.
  • Patek Philippe, Top Hat, reference 1450
    Yellow gold rectangular wristwatch with bracelet, 1945
    Estimate £3,000–5,000
    The reference 1450 is nicknamed “Cinesino” by Italian collectors as its case profile is reminiscent of a Pagoda. The present case was made by Markowski and is fitted with an 18ct yellow gold Patek Philippe bracelet, making this lot a genuinely accessible entry to vintage Patek Philippe collecting.
  • Rolex, GMT Master II, reference 16710
    Stainless-steel dual-time wristwatch with date and bracelet, circa 1998
    Estimate £5,000–8,000
    The Rolex GMT Master II reference 16710 was produced in several iterations, the present one being among the rarest. The ‘Swiss only’ dial was fitted to this reference between 1998 and 1999 only and displays Luminova indexes. This sought after 20-year-old Rolex GMT Master is offered with its original guarantee and stands as a great opportunity for the new and experienced collectors alike.
  • Blancpain, Leman GMT Alarm, reference 2041-1127M-53B
    Stainless-steel dual-time wristwatch with date, alarm and power reserve indication, circa 2007
    Estimate £2,600–3,500
    The Leman GMT was released in 2004 and offers a rich assortment of complications in a compact stainless-steel case. Offered with its complete set of accessories, this well-preserved timepiece is a great opportunity for new collectors to enjoy high-grade Swiss watchmaking at an accessible price.
  • Omega, Yellow gold chronograph wristwatch, circa 1950
    Estimate £2,600–3,600
    The present Omega chronograph bears all attributes which collectors are looking for in a vintage wristwatch: a sharp and interesting 18ct yellow gold case, the French import “Fab. Suisse” signature as well as the legendary caliber 321. This lot is offered with its presentation case and represents a great chance for any chronograph and Omega collector to acquire a wonderfully preserved collectible piece.
  • Rolex, Day-date, reference 18038
    Yellow gold diamond-set wristwatch with day, date and bracelet, circa 1986
    Estimate £5,000–7,000
    The present Rolex Day-date reference 18038 offers the quintessential configuration for the model: a yellow gold Oyster case and matching three-link President bracelet, paired with a signature diamond-set champagne dial. This highly luxurious Rolex is offered with its presentation case and represents a great opportunity.
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