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Vintage Heuer Discussion Forum
The place for discussing 1930-1985 Heuer wristwatches, chronographs and dash-mounted timepieces. Online since May 2003.
Just saw your posting & comments on the Bonhams online sale so thought I ought to add a reply given most of it came from me.
I had a large collection of Heuers & passed the lot to Bonhams with no comments on quality or condition deciding to leave it to their experts to judge the prices & conditions (& I did get handed back some by them). I readily accept your comments on the condition of some of the items & indeed the integrity of some is clearly questionable & I certainly made some beginners mistakes in the early years when there wasn't as much info available on OTD (away from mainstream models) which has always been the only source of reference for me. However "recent supply has been awful" & "trainwrecks" are rather sweeping statements & focus on the smaller number of lower quality items at the expense of the larger number of nice watches & 3 record prices (in June) backs that up. Yes they weren't all top of the range but Temporadas & Jacky Ickx are still part of the Heuer heritage & at the price remain of interest to some who cant afford the perceived more desirable models. I was always interested in the whole range.
I don't think Bonhams rank as a second tier auction house & suspect Arno would agree. You cant expect every watch to be a highly valued & collectable item & the cheaper lower priced (& often poorer quality) watches are at least accessible to those that cant afford £80,000 on a skipperera. It does however appear they should have put more effort into marketing & presentation & i'll pass those comments to them to learn from too.
Its really disappointing when I see that experts & collectors like you were unaware of the sale - I tried to keep out of things leaving it to Bonhams to do their job & I did wonder why there were no posts on OTD. Lesson learned I guess to do it yourself.
Lousy photos is again disappointing to hear & I hope they learn from it, albeit at my expense.
I note your comment on condition on some watches like lot 255 - but look at the price it went for with a bracelet & I think the generality of some of your comments are unfair in highlighting only the negative - there were a number of good watches that were picked up at a steal by some people - lot 248 had more than £1625 of work done on it by Abel (who I bought it from) & was in immaculate condition. Lot 318 was predominantly corfam straps worth £225 each never mind 7 of them. Lot 261 was in amazing condition & again a bargain for anyone liking solid 18k watches. Lot 262 I bought from you at a price above its reserve & I paid duty on top but that went unsold so is still looking for a good home:) Lot 266 - I hadn't realised it was a refinished dial so lesson learnt there on this one I bought in the early days (ps can you highlight how you can tell so we can learn).
Id agree overall they were disappointing prices not helped by me putting so many for sale over the last few months & id agree Ebay may be a better outlet for smaller value & poorer condition models but from my perspective I didn't want the hassle of individually selling 100+ items with all the inherent time wasters & scammers & Bonhams were happy to take the rough with the smooth. Their online sale seemed a good idea with the quantity involved & is that any different to ebay apart from the fees aspect which is very transparent anyway?
In the June sale I think that 3 went for record prices & certainly the skipperera exceeded all expectations - it was always my favourite watch even when it only cost me £2000 (If only I had 2). The weird thing about the skipperera is that I actually bought another on ebay Germany for £1800 at the same time. The chap refused paypal despite his listing saying he accepted it so I withdrew (damn!).
A few people have asked why I sold them - its a tricky one to answer but I guess the fun went out of it when everything decent was costing well in excess of £5,000 so my spur of the moment (& clearly often misguided) daft bids became a thing of the past. Oh - plus a saw a tangerine Porsche 911E.
Don't worry - I haven't taken anything personally & generally agree with just about everything you write but maybe add a bit of balance & comment on some of the positive elements as I am sure there are some happy people out there enjoying a lovely watch/helmet/clock bracelet that was available at an affordable price. Even the LCD watches were all working (sadly Bonhams dont seem to have pointed out that rather crucial fact).
If anyone does fancy anything that is unsold then contact Bonhams with an offer.