Watches Of Knightsbridge Sale 12 September 2015

Results added:

I quote the hammer price, then including all charges, then USD equivalent at 1.54.

The London (UK) Auction house has a sale of watches on 12 September, and in it are several Speedmasters.

Catalog is here

The premiums and charges by this establishment are extraordinary (Buyers commission and VAT 21.6%), and the charges pile on as one uses the internet, (+3.6%) and a credit card (+2%). So a 1000 bid could cost you 1277.  Edit: See below for methodology. (Bear that in mind – auctions can be intoxicating. I have reproduced the charging regime below at the end of the post.

All images are from the WoK site and the full catalog can be seen here. All estimates are in pounds sterling, without commission.

The first watches are relatively modern but still with Tritium, normally outside the scope of this site but worth mentioning, as I feel these should be the cheapest 861 Speedmasters out there. A baseline, if you will.

Lot 225 – 145.022

Sold For £1300 bid, £1660 incl ($2565)

Lot 225 Est 1300 – 1600

This is a 1991 watch, still with T marks on the dial. All looks pretty good and might be a great buy at the low estimate.

Lot 226 145.022

Sold for £1200 bid, £1532 incl ($2366)

Lot 226 Est 1200 – 1500

Made in 1990. I like this one better, a little vintage aging makes it more attractive than Lot 225. Remember that at the high estimate, it will be nearly STG2000. At the low estimate I think it is good value.

Lot 228 145.022

Not Sold

Lot 228 Est 1500-1800
Lot 228 Est 1500-1800

1984. This watch looks as though the hands and dial plots are very white – they may be newer service replacements although the dial still carries the T marks. It all looks correct, but I find this over white furniture too much. The bracelet is a bonus, and is a rare 1479. I don’t like it, but someone will quite understandably enjoy it.

Lot 229 145.022

Not Sold

Lot 229 Est 1300 – 1600

Made in 1990, the lack of bracelet means a lower estimate. Again this one appeals more than the previous lot in terms of patina and charm, based on the photos. Some people call this dirt and degradation, I call it attractive(!).

Lot 230 145.022-69 (Engraved back)

Sold for £1900 bid, £2426 incl ($3747)

230 front

230 back
Lot 230. Est 2000 – 2500

This is a rare watch, made in 1970 with the early commemorative case back – this one is the slightly more common version, for more details on this reference look here.

It all looks correct, if a little polished on that rare back. The bezel is grey, and I am always a little suspicious of these – there have been several examples lately on the market and I think some are heated. I am not saying this one is, but in any event I do not find them worthy of a premium. A replacement correct DN90 bezel will not be trouble if needed.
The watch is showing chrono creep so it will need a service (STG 400) and this watch might end up costing the buyer over 4000 with a replacement bezel, after bidding the high estimate. Not a bargain in my book, because of that polished back.
At the low estimate, 2000, plus commission and a service and a bezel, it will be about 3100 which while high, is not mad.  It depends how badly you want one. They do come up from time to time.

Lot 231  145.012-67

Sold for £2800 bid, £3575 incl ($5521)

Lot 231 Est 2500 - 3500
Lot 231 Est 2500 – 3500

Correct dial, bezel and case, but possible service hands, they look very white. Something to check. It doesn’t appeal to me so far – perhaps, like many, it will look better in the metal. Also as we get into the 321’s I really would want to see the movement and check the serial before bidding hard. Unless there is something I am missing, this is expensive.


Lot 232 145.012-67

Sold for £2750 bid, £3511 incl ($5422)

Lot 232 Est 2500 to 3500
Lot 232 Est 2500 to 3500

At first glance this looks interesting. (But it is not).

Dial, bezel and case are correct, as are the hands. However the lume in the spear chrono is very smudgy, and on close inspection the plots also show the same. All the lume matches so well, I want to satisfy myself this is not a re lumed watch. This colour responds very well to darker photography and the sellers have not missed this opportunity, showing a dark broody photograph with the lume showing an attractive orangey brown:

Lot 232 in the dark
Lot 232 in the dark

Schoolboy error however on the serial. A 2208xxxx number is too early for a 145.012. The bracelet is the later 1171 fitted to 145.022 and frankly the whole watch smells. I think it is an assembled, relumed piece – a total con.

I would not be happy to buy this watch at any price.

Lot 233 105.003-65

Not Sold

Lot 233 Est 2500 - 3500
Lot 233 Est 2500 – 3500

This is a more honest watch. The crystal is heavily scratched and it is possible that it is from a private source – the estimate would suggest it. However the problems that I can see is wrong size pushers, and another of those terrible faded bezels.

The entire watch is tired and needs a sympathetic service, and this reference is rising in popularity, so that this watch may sell for over estimate.

There are no photos of the movement and that would need to be inspected.

Lot 234 105.003-64

Sold for £3200 bid, £4064 incl ($6276)

Lot 234 Est 3000 -3500
Lot 234 Est 3000 -3500

Correct parts – note the pushers compared to Lot 233. Bezel is tired, but I think the watch is honest. The movement number fits, and the movement looks nice and clean from the photos on the site. Hands have lost paint at the pinion holes, presumably from service when they were pushed back on.

The dial, while correct, has some possible damage or corrosion near the lower edge near the T SWISS T marks. It could be rust or some other problem. Together with the hand damage I wonderi f the watchmaker was just a careless worker – Surprising because the movement is so clean.

It is a little higher than Lot 233 but a better buy in my opinion – but still not a great watch given the dial and hand issues, and the tired bezel.

Lot 235 105.003-65

Not Sold

Lot 235 Est 5500 - 6500
Lot 235 Est 5500 – 6500

So called Tropical dial hence the enthusiastic estimate. To me the dial simply looks tired. The plots are badly discoloured and blurred. It is not attractive to my eye. The bezel is too late for the reference and the central Chrono second hand looks like a newer, whiter replacement. The hour subdial is not quite central, could indicate need of service.

No photos are shown of movement and no confirmation of the date stamp but from the serial on the extract it is a -65.

You never know, but to achieve this price I would want to see the dial being a really attractive brownish body colour, and this in my mind would offset the other problems. The only way to tell is to see it in the metal, but I don’t think it does.

Lot 236 2998-62

Sold for £6000 bid, £7662 incl ($11,833)

Lot 236
Lot 236 Est 6000 – 8000

2998’s have become hot. There are several assemblies around and great care must be taken when assessing them as the increase in value has brought out all sorts of rubbish. This one is better than most. The -62 is at the bottom of the value table for 2998’s but it is still a 2998.

This one has the more attractive triangular lume hour hand and the correct layout hands for a 2998-62. It also has a movement which while not the cleanest I have seen, looks correct in terms of serial and clutch bridge.

The dial is quite marked. This often shows up worse in photos than in real life, but the damage still reduces the value. The plots are almost perfect and made me look twice, but I think they are OK. The dial is not as I would want, but not bad enough to exclude it from consideration.

The bezel is too late for the reference and as these now cost more than 500 – 1000 pounds that should be remembered when valuing.

Methodology for price calculation

Amount Rate
Bid £1,000.00
Comission £180.00 18%
Vat on Comission £36.00 20%
Online Surchage £36.00 3.60%
Total £1,252.00
Credit Card Charge £25.04 2%
Total Payable £1,277.04


Charges copied from WoK site:

Every sale will be subject to a buyer’s premium of 18% + VAT (21.6 % inclusive) on the hammer price.Bidding online will hold an additional 3.6% premium. 

VAT can be excluded or refunded on items shipped to outside of the EC.

All estimates are excluding premium.

All descriptions and condition reports are solely our own opinion and made by our experts.

Condition Report Grading (Mint, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor).

Dials are only believed to be original (not refinished) if stated.

Please contact us if you would like additional images of lots.

We aim to give buyers the most accurate information before purchase and pride ourselves on this.

We only consign watches of a quality and standard that we are happy with.

The ALR (The Art Loss Register) provide Watches of Knightsbridge with a due diligence service for every catalogue searching their database to discover whether an item has been registered as missing, fake or stolen. All lots with a higher estimate of £1000 and above are checked.

We must be informed if anyone with disabilities wishes to attend the auction or viewing days so that the required arrangements can be made.


We do not automatically charge the card registered online, therefore successful bidders must settle invoices via the following methods:

Streamline Debit and Credit card processing (chip & pin):
This can be done at the sale after the auction. There is no additional charge for purchases made with Debit cards unless drawn on an overseas bank or deferred debit cards which will be subject to a 2% surcharge.

Please note there is also a 2% surcharge when payments are made using credit cards and a 1.9% surcharge for American Express. It may be advisable to notify your card provider of your intended purchase in advance to reduce delays caused by us having to seek authority when you come to pay.