Why are you working within the auction world?
One day it’s a large 11.00ct emerald cut diamond or an incredibly rare Omega Military Service watch the next, couple that with seeing so many items of historical importance pass through our doors, to be just a small part of the history of an item is why the auction world is so alluring.
Within your career to date, which item would you class as your favourite?
I absolutely love fine jewellery and have been fortunate to work for some of the greats, the likes of Stephen Webster and Theo Fennell… but I have a real passion for watches especially Haute Horlogerie, and I remember one timepiece specifically, a Piaget Polo Tourbillon-Relatif on white gold with a black PVD bezel limited to 20 pieces; it was simply a masterpiece of engineering, as the carriage containing the tourbillion moved around the hour markers on the rear of the minute hand… and with some change for lunch from £250,000 it was a pleasure to sell.
What first attracted you to your speciality?
I was viewing watches in a Jewellers in Birmingham, when I got talking to the shop manager about a career in the industry… following his advice, I successfully applied for a role as a Diamond Dealer in London. 20 years later, what started out as a love of watches has taken me around the world as a diamond dealer and watch dealer, selling and buying such brands as Rolex, Patek Phillippe, Vacheron Constantin, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Omega, IWC and Breguet and trading diamonds from Mayfair to Monaco.
What aspect of your job do you find most satisfying?
Without doubt, visiting clients and helping them with their precious belongings, whether it be a simple valuation for auction, an insurance valuation, or helping a client with a probate valuation. Hearing the clients’ stories, the history of the items and helping treasures find a new home is humbling… Discovering hidden gems tucked away in the back of a draw is everyone’s idea of satisfying but telling the client how well they have done after the auction is equally satisfying, if not more so.
If money were no object, what would you most like to buy?
A Franck Muller Casablanca Black knight PVD watch designed by Theo Fennel, the ‘one that got away’ you might say.
What should a potential collector/buyer look to purchase? Why?
From a wristwatch point of view Omega are performing well and very neatly filling the sports watch bracket for both practicality and investment opportunity.
A Gemstone choice would be large Aquamarines, either loose or set into jewellery, the larger stones are becoming harder to source. I would also suggest any natural pearls, the rarity will only ever increase.
What are the best items to sell via an auction house?
We are seeing gold jewellery and watches performing very well, with brands like Tiffany & co, Cartier and FOPE seeing fantastic results. Watches from the late 60's and early 70's from brands like Omega and Rolex are seeing a constant demand, whilst all vintage military timepieces are always popular with collectors - especially watches - either issued or purchased from the Armed Services.
Request a complimentary auction estimate from our team of specialists, or contact us to book an appointment. If your item is suitable for auction, we will provide you with a valuation and further details of how to sell with us.