Bought 20 years ago for £80 a Super Rare Heur Skipper 'Skipperera' sold for over £60,000! A World Record.
Twenty years ago our vendor from Exeter had the opportunity of buying a Rolex Submariner for £150 or an obscure Heur Yachting watch for £80. Having limited funds he opted for the Heur.
When this was brought into us by a keen watch and clock collector we initially thought it might be worth £3-5k. However, it was not long before the rarity of this watch became apparent. Only one had ever previously been sold: a very poor example with water damage to the dial had sold at Fellows for £19,000. With only 25 or so known examples and a very recent change in the focus of some watch collectors. Even two years ago this watch would only have made a few thousand.
Extensive advertising was undertaken and interest on social media was boiling. Before the sale numerous condition reports were issued discovering a replacement crystal and a suspect crown. However, overall with its original strap it was in excellent order.
On saleday there were seven phone lines booked and all were ready for a surprise! With no serious interest in the room the two live internet sale platforms took precedence over the phones and that was where it stayed.
In less than ten seconds it was all over, something of an anticlimax as an auctioneer, but not the hammer price. Bidding began on the saleroom.com and flashed between that and Invaluable. The online bidding was over and I turned to staff on the phones to see what interest there was. The speed of the bidding had shocked them and there was no further interest, so the hammer went down at £48,000! A World Record Price
By the time the online bidder had paid commissions his final bill was just over £60,000. It had sold to a New York banker and two weeks later we delivered it to him by Taxi to The May Fair Hotel.
A few weeks later we were contacted by a gentleman in Australia who had another Skipperera. Despite offers to collect it free of charge it was sadly not consigned...
Recently our World Record was beaten at Bonhams by a pristine example making £81, 250 including premiums.