The largest independent, non-commercial, consumer-oriented resource on the Internet for owners, collectors and enthusiasts of fine wristwatches. Online since 1998.
Informational Websites ChronoMaddox -- the legacy of Chuck Maddox OnTheDash -- vintage Heuer website Zowie -- Omega information
Discussion Forums ChronoMaddox Forum Heuer Forum Omega Forum
Counterfeit Watchers ChronoTools Forum ChronoTrader Forum
Vintage Heuer Discussion Forum
The place for discussing 1930-1985 Heuer wristwatches, chronographs and dash-mounted timepieces. Online since May 2003.
OnTheDash Home What's New! Price Guide Chronographs Dash Mounted Collection
Re: Bonhams Online Sale -- 8 Reasons for the Awful Results

Hi John,
Ultimately I feel sorry for you, even if you don't, because all the pitfalls you listed could have easily been avoided if Bonhams had done their job. Even the most obscure auction house at the end of the world today will have a number of people posting their upcoming sales on social media (FB and IG at least) and they will most likely post about their upcoming sales themselves. A sale of this importance should/would have been covered by OTD, Hodinkee and what have you. Clearly they have failed cruelly in their pre sale coverage. Look at WoK or any of the Scandinavian and indeed much smaller British auction houses... All collectors are well aware of sales way ahead and, on top of making coverage, usual forum discussions, or even IG posts will reveal possible problematic issues that, left unadressed by the auction house itself, lead to uncertainty or even worse distrust. To make a long story short, Bonhams should stick to selling cars, which they've done pretty well up till now, but refrain from entering into a thematic watch auction, which can be a clear minefield,as we've now witnessed again, unfortunately at your expense, but also clearly at the expense of Heuer's global stance in the non-specialised collectors' market. And I do want to discuss these Jacky Ickx' watches with you, not with some nitwit @Bonhams

: Hi Jeff

: 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.

: Best
: John

Current Position
Chronocentric and zOwie site design and contents (c) Copyright 1998-2005, Derek Ziglar; Copyright 2005-2008, Jeffrey M. Stein. All rights reserved. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the terms of use. CONTACT | TERMS OF USE | TRANSLATE