We typically hit estate sales and the such on weekends looking for things to put in the antique malls, and watches as usual. We had just finished going through a sale and there was a estate auction no less then 3 blocks away. We had already resigned ourselves to not bothering but in the auction listing there was a 3.15 cttw antique diamond ring with appraisal. With the only page I could see on line of the appraisal it showed 5 stones and 4 were .05 ct. The math in my head says that is a .20 cttw so the main stone is like a 2.95 ct. That is huge and well worth a chance. Called up my diamond buyer and was told that depending on the 3 c's I could get $45k or so for it.
We take our haul back home and then hot foot it back to the auction. I finally get a chance to see the ring and the appraisal and something does not sit right with me. Maybe I am bad with math but when the report says that the main stone is a 2.3 ct and the 4 side stones are .05 each....to me that is 2.5 cttw. What the :( So the paperwork may be wrong on that but they said they had a jeweler look over everything and they said all the cut color and clarity are right. Well with a K color and an I1 clarity I could only get $4.5k for it. I figured I would register anyway just in case it went for cheap...then the guy in front of me in line getting a number turned out to be a family member and the executor of the estate.
I so hate auctions where all the family member go bidding stuff up to increase what they get directly out of the sales of the items. I call this blatant shill bidding and most honest auction houses I know don't allow this kind of situation. So I have the number but am at the "screw this crooked setup I am out of here" feeling and get ready to leave and then I spot an Omega pox on a table about 40 feet away...I make a b line to that table. In a carboard flat there is a JJ (modern quartz) watch in box, a Elgin pocket watch, a ladies Bulova they called 14K (was GF), a mens Longines, the Omega box with an Omega Seamaster in it, and a few other random watches (junk).
So while I was waiting for them to finally get to the box of watches they were doing choice out of other boxes on the tables of jewelry in flats as well. I was bored but made the best of it by buying silver for under scrap price. Low and behold in one of those flats was a brass metal watch box...I open it up and find some beat up worn down Clinton in an amazing Longines box. There was little interest in the watch box so I snagged it for $15 with a hope it went to the Longines I saw in the watch box.
The time finally came and I could see some others eyeing up the watches. They did choice again. The issue with choice is you never know if the person you are bidding against is after the same item. Being the Omega and Longines were in the running I refused to not be the one who did not win. My wife knows that I will try and never over pay but when I finally nailed the first bid to $210 she was a bit concerned. Snapped up the Omega and it started again....she kept saying "You do know most of these people bidding are most likely after the pocket watch." It did nag me in the back of my head that this could be true and they are after a 15 jewel Elgin because people over pay for stuff like that at auctions here. That said I still went ahead again...landed at $175 and snapped up the Longines. AT this point I was done bidding. The pocket watch went for $85 and by this time the table looked like a ghost town because the Omega was gone.
As for that big diamond...that came up while my wife was bidding on choice for jewelry out of a box. She managed to get more silver and a 18K bar pin for $5 :) The main auctioneer's hammer fell on $5,800 for the big diamond and apparently it had a $5000 reserve to begin with. So the item we went back for was not worth it to us and in the end I got these two beauties.
The Longines box did indeed belong to the watch and confirmed it later by the serial on the price tag matching the movement serial. It is a 1947 Mainliner with a replacement leather strap in good working order. I went and got a new black leather strap for it as the old one was kind of grubby and not original anyways.
The Omega is a 1970's automatic Seamaster Deville with warranty book and paper slip for service center locations. I need to take it to the watchmaker for a new Omega crystal as the original one is cracked around the edge and the bezel is popping up because of it. We have yet to find out what the movement is. Based on the back engraving, the slight wave to the case and the flex I could feel on the back as I was trying to get the bezel to stay snapped down, we suspect the watch is 14K. The auction house never got into the watch because they don't know how a snap stem works and it is a open through the crystal. May explain why the bezel was not sitting right and the crystal is cracked, someone playing watchmaker without the right tools. Still not a difficult fix. :)
And without further ado.....PICS!!!!
There is a auction coming up in like 2 weeks of a local watch and clock collector that passed away recently. The auction house called my father in law the other day asking if he could come help with a clock this Thursday. I was invited to come along so I can have a look at what will be going up for sale. There are supposed to be over 100 pocket watches and the collector was fond of RR watches from what we know....I will post what I find.