While in usual watch auction, we are expecting Rolexs and Patek Philippe wathces to hammered at a massive price, this time Bonham hit us by surprise. In this Seiko only auction, you can find extremely rare holy grail Seiko, such as the Seiko 5718-8000 Chronograph made for 1964's Tokyo Summer Olympic and a rare Seiko 6215 Diver. There are also accessible watches up for auction too, we have look through the catalog and selected a few examples worth you to check out and we have attached the link below.
After the announcement of the auction, there were multiple news including potential buyers spotting the watch fitted with incorrect or aftermarket parts. This cause Bonham wanted to pull back the auction but finally decided to put forward the auction due to strong demand from the bidders. So below are some thought from us about the auction:
1) Lot 717 — Seiko 5718-8000
Similar to other auction, there is always a catalog cover piece. This time it is the Seiko 5718 Chronograph that makes it to the cover. Manufactured in 1964 for the Tokyo Summer Olympics, it is estimated that only around 50 were ever made making it one of the rarest 5718 Seiko in the market. With its clean white dial and big date wheel in the middle of the dial making the watch exceptional among other Seiko collection too. However, there are some issues we spotted from this Seiko, there is a visible tachymeter ring damage, and the hour and minute hands are incorrect for the reference. These look similar to a large degree, but the correct hands have different tips and the minutes hand does not extend into the minutes ring. Even with these issues, the watch is expected to be a hot piece and we’ll see things head toward the upper end of the $13,000 – 26,000 range. In previous auctions, 5718 in nice conditions was hammered for over $30K, so let’s see how this piece ends up in. But anyhow this is truly a grail watch for Seiko collectors.
2) Lot 703 — Seiko 6215-7000
You don't see a 6215 very often, but when one shows up in the market it will always be a go-to piece for collectors of vintage Seiko diver collectors.
This 6215-7000 (Lot 703) within the Bonhams Seiko Auction have triggered some discussions on the bezel of the watch as some collectors said they have never seen a 6215 bezel in Gold font and compare to the general condition of the watch, the bezel looks like it have its life in a dark place separate from the watch untill recently. Comments form the internet indicated that the hands of the watch have been redone as well. While I will comment the print on the dial of the watch is very much faded away and makes the gilt dial not as sharp as before. Then again, 6215’s come around somewhat infrequently. Bonhams has the listing at $6,500 – 10,000. We personally don't recommend this lot as the dial is quite washed out and with the premium you have to pay to Bonham it is overpriced in the market.
3) Lot 721 — Seiko 6138-0040
This Seiko 6138 Bullhead is what we think you should look at among the lot. Manufactured in the 1977, the 6138 is the early automatic chronograph movement that Seiko manufactures. The tobacco brown dial with its yellow second hand certainly creates a contrasting pop for its look. The bezel looks to be nicely preserved and is not an aftermarket bezel fitted as a replacement. The watch even comes with its original bracelet and is estimated to bid hammered at $510 – 1,030. With the condition of the watch, it is considered as a good deal among the auction. If you want a 6138, you can certainly consider this.
Link to the auction:
Although there were many issues about the watch dig out during after the announcement of the auction, it is certainly a moment worth celebrating as the establishment of this auction certainly means that the watch collecting world is putting an increasing spotlight on the vintage Seiko community. We should certainly feel proud as part of the community, but even the auction house is unable to spot the issues on these watches, means that we should be extra careful when we are looking for our next vintage Seiko or just find a re-seller with enough reputation and let them handle the watch sourcing process.
Thank you for reading, catch you guys on the next one.
Links to the Bonham Auction: (you will need to register to see the auction content):