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Discover Dazzling Watches and Jewellery up for Auction Worth Millions

South Africa’s Strauss & Co is auctioning off watches and jewels from Rolex, Cartier, and more

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By Kimberley Schoeman  | November 17, 2023 | Shopping

Strauss & Co, Africa's leading fine art auction house, is delighted to announce two sales encompassing luxury timepieces and dazzling jewellery. Both sales conclude in late November, providing ample time for collectors and enthusiasts to browse and bid in time for the festive season.

“Buyers have a wide range of options, from affordable pieces for first-time enthusiasts to aspirational investment pieces for seasoned collectors. Whether shopping for yourself or seeking the perfect gift, the sales feature everything from up-and-coming young designers to European luxury fashion items,” says Strauss & Co jewellery specialist Kim Goeller, spearheading the two sales.

The watch sale opened on 13 November and closes on 29 November. It showcases an impressive selection of 30 timepieces from renowned brands such as Cartier, Rolex, Piaget, and Vacheron Constantin. Concurrent with the watch sale, is the sale, running from 13 – 28 November which features a wide array of jewels from local and international design houses.

Curated Precision

The watch sale features , chronographs, wristwatches, divers' watches, and a pocket watch. "With an emphasis on authenticity and provenance, Strauss & Co ensures that each piece undergoes rigorous vetting to guarantee its integrity and historical significance," says Goeller.

Cartier 18k yellow gold ‘Baignoire’ wristwatch, ZAR60 000 -80 000. Image: supplied.

Two of the star lots from the watch sale are a one-of-a-kind Piaget and a limited edition IWC Schaffhausen Platinum 'Da Vinci Chronograph' wristwatch. The 18k yellow gold and diamond-set 'Tradition' Piaget wristwatch (estimate R280 000 - 300 000) blends the allure of diamonds with the impeccable artistry of a fine timepiece. Its rectangular dial is adorned with black 'swallow'-shaped hour and minute hands, and the bezel is encrusted with 18 vibrant fancy natural colour diamonds. The craftsmanship of this remarkable Piaget watch, the only one of its kind in the world, is a testament to the artistic vision of Schwartz Jewellers. At the time, they were the sole agents for Piaget in South Africa (since 1965), and the Swiss watchmaker permitted Schwartz to embellish this timepiece with fancy natural colour diamonds, elevating it to a masterpiece and a one-of-a-kind collector's piece.

Enriching the sale is a curated selection of Cartier timepieces, including the iconic Cartier 'Baignoire' wristwatch in 18k yellow gold (estimate R60 000 – 80 000) and the Cartier 'Tank Americaine' in 18k yellow gold (estimate R100 000 – 120 000).

925 silver, 7.83 ct diamond solitaire ZAR 2 200 000 - 2 500 000. Image: Supplied.

The Cartier 18k yellow gold Baignoire wristwatch, with a leather strap and gold Cartier deployment buckle, dating from the 1970s, is one of the highlights. The design of the Baignoire is more than a century old. It was envisioned in 1912 by Louis Cartier, grandson of the founder of Cartier, for a Russian duchess. It made its debut in the 1950s and quickly propelled to classic status.

The watch's distinctive oval-shaped case, nicknamed “baignoire”, the French word for bathtub ("echoes the shape of a bathtub. The popularity of the Baignoire collection has surged in recent months, driven by the launch of the Baignoire Mini bangle watch in late June. The 18k yellow or rose gold Baignoire Minibecame so popular that a waiting list of potential buyers formed. By mid-August the range had sold out, and searches on second-hand e-commerce sites for these watch models nearly doubled, according to a recent New York Times article.

Piaget 18k yellow gold and diamond-set 'Tradition' wristwatch, ZAR 280 000 - 300 000. Image: Supplied.

Another iconic Cartier watch for sale is an 18k yellow gold Tank Américaine wristwatch, a variation of the watchmaker’s classic Tank watch, known for its distinctive rectangular case. Launched in the 1980s, the Américaine version reimagines the classic Tank with a sleek and elongated case, presenting a more modern and sophisticated take on the original.

This sale presents an exceptional opportunity for collectors seeking rare and discontinued timepieces. The Rolex Genève, a distinguished timepiece that debuted in 1929 and was discontinued in 2012, is a coveted piece among enthusiasts. A lady's watch in 18k yellow gold (estimate R80 000 – 100 000) is also included in the auction, promising to be a valuable addition to any collection.

“Discerning clients cannot go wrong when they purchase a timepiece from this sale. These classic watches offer long-term value appreciation, thanks to their enduring designs and rich heritage. Passed down through generations, these watches are solid and enduring investments,” Goeller emphasises.

All that glitters

The jewellery sale presents a stunning variety of necklaces, earrings, rings, and pendants, all expertly crafted from precious metals and adorned with quality gemstones. The sale consists of five sessions where local artisans and brands such as Charles Greig, Browns, and Shimansky shine alongside international names like Bulgari, Georg Jensen, and Chopard.

The jewellery sale presents a stunning variety of necklaces, earrings, rings, and pendants, all expertly crafted from precious metals and adorned with quality gemstones. Image: Supplied.

Highlights include:

18k White Gold and Swiss Blue Topaz Pendant by Charles Greig (estimate R15 000 - 20 000): This pendant, designed by South African jewellery legend Charles Greig, features an extraordinary, large, cushion-cut Swiss blue topaz, weighing approximately 75 ct.

Platinum and Diamond Tiered Ring (estimate. R 190 000 - 200 000): This meticulously crafted ring is a dazzling work of art. A double-tiered halo of pavé-set round brilliant-cut diamonds surrounds the centrepiece, an emerald-cut, D-coloured diamond, weighing approximately 1.25 ct. Round brilliant-cut diamonds set into the shoulders complete the piece.

7.83 ct Diamond Solitaire ( estimate R 2 200 000 - 2 500 000) The star and highest-valued lot of the jewellery sale is a magnificent 7.83-ct solitaire diamond of excellent cut, polish, and symmetry—an epitome of brilliance and elegance.

Cartier 18k yellow gold ‘Tank Americaine’ wristwatch, ZAR 100 000 - 120 000. Image: Supplied.

For enthusiasts of designer names and statement pieces, Strauss & Co presents two exceptional items from the House of Bulgari, including a Bulgari B.Zero1 Bracelet (estimate R 12 000 - 16 000). This iconic piece, crafted from stainless steel and 18k gold, is engraved "BVLGARI BVLGARI" on its sides and evokes the grandeur of the Colosseum in Rome.

Bulgari B.Zero1 Pendant (est. R4 000 - 6 000) is another exquisite piece by Bulgari The 18k white gold and onyx pendant bears the brand's engraved double logo, inspired by ancient Roman coins.

Strauss & Co prides itself on showcasing the innovative works of young South African and international designers and consigning emerging talent. This sale features eight outstanding pieces by Capetonian designer Taz Watson. One of the highlights is a pair of 14k yellow gold tanzanite and emerald earrings (estimate R18 000 - R24 000). These earrings feature checkerboard oval-cut tanzanites and round-cut emeralds, with the tanzanites emanating a captivating sky- blue hue.