The Watch & Jewellery Auction Worth Knowing About
The Watch & Jewellery Auction Worth Knowing About

The Watch & Jewellery Auction Worth Knowing About

Auctions can be a more affordable and without doubt sustainable way to buy unique pieces you won’t find elsewhere. Next month, leading independent auctioneer and valuer Cheffins is holding its largest sale of jewellery, silver and watches – all of which have been vetted by some of the leading experts in the field. Here’s what you need to know ahead of time…

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Buying At Auction

“The joy of auction sales is you can find jewellery pieces that are a one-off, that you’re highly unlikely to see anywhere else. It’s also worth noting that jewellery at auction tends to sell for around a third of the price it would in a retail environment,” explains Cheffins watches and jewellery specialist Fay Roach.

What’s On Offer

Auctions are a great place to pick up hard-to-find pieces – among the highlights at the Cheffins auction next month is an 18ct gold Rolex Submariner watch. If rare jewellery is more your thing, the offer also includes a 11ct Old European cut diamond ring with an estimated value of £40,000-£60,000. But don’t fret – there’s also more affordable jewellery up for sale.

“We’ll be auctioning both antique and modern pieces at various prices, with a good contingent of sapphires, emeralds, rubies, pearls and diamonds all on offer. We have rings, brooches, bracelets, earrings and lots of other one-off pieces. As well as the jewellery, there’ll be several second-hand watches for sale, too, with examples from Jaeger-LeCoultre, Rolex and Vacheron Constantin all in the mix,” adds Fay.

An Early 20th Century Diamond Solitaire Ring
An Early 20th Century Diamond Solitaire Ring

How To Prepare

The best way to find out what’s coming up is to visit the showroom anytime within four days of the sale, or by browsing the catalogues. The catalogues are available online and cover basic descriptions of lots, including information on size, date or age, and quantity – plus, most lots will carry a pre-sale estimate. These are usually based on prices recently paid at auction, and factor in considerations like rarity, condition, quality and provenance. Specialists are also available if you want to discuss any purchases, or if you’re looking for someone to guide you through the bidding process. If you’re unable to attend the sale in person, you can request a Condition Report, which assures the quality and condition of items bought. 

“Don’t be nervous about auctions,” says Fay. “Many people think that auction sales are reserved solely for those with incredibly deep pockets, but that isn’t necessarily the case. At Cheffins, we’ve got a great mix of pieces, ranging in value from £80 right up to £60,000 and everything in between. My advice? Decide which lots you are interested in by looking at the catalogue prior to sale day and work out what your budget is. It’s very easy to go overboard on auction day when competitive natures kick in. We have detailed condition reports for everything on offer, so it is worth checking those out ahead of sale day, too. If you see something you love, go for it.” 

An Art Deco Diamond Set Double Clip Brooch
An Art Deco Diamond Set Double Clip Brooch

How To Bid

In the sale room: In person is best if you want to experience the buzz and atmosphere of bidding in a live auction. Just arrive in ample time to register at reception. If you haven’t bid before, you’ll need to bring some form of ID such as a driver’s licence or passport. 

Online: This allows you to see and hear the auction in progress, giving you a real-time link to the sales room. Just remember to pre-register. 

By phone: Talk directly to a Cheffins member of staff live during the auction who will relay progress back to you and, on your instruction, bid on your behalf. 

By commission bid: Contact the Cheffins office by phone or by emailing and you can leave an absentee or commission bid. This will be your maximum bid and will be executed for you by the auctioneer.




What Happens Next

Successful bids are confirmed by email. Once you’ve paid for your lot, you can either take it home or arrange for it to be delivered. 

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