Dutch Baron’s Watch Collection Up for Auction
You may think your own collection of watches is pretty impressive but when it comes to amassing thousands of fine timepieces, few could top the Dutch nobleman whose collection is being auctioned off next month.
The late Jan Willem Frederik baron van Wassenaer came from a Dutch family that can trace its roots back to the 13th century but even more impressive than his heritage was his massive collection of watches numbering 2,000—all from prestigious names like Omega, Audemars Piguet and IWC. In fact, this collection is so huge that it will take several auctions starting in December and going through 2016 to sell all of them.
The first batch, which will be going on the block at Bonhams next month, includes such impressive pieces as the rose gold Glashütte tourbillon, the 18K rose gold Audemars Piguet Grande and Petite sonnerie watch and the rose gold IWC Spitfire Perpetual Calendar Chronograph pictured. These watches are expected to bring sums estimated at $18,500 to $92,500.
The Baron, who was born in 1933, began collecting watches and other valuables in his 20s, showing a preference for the most complicated manual winding mechanical timepieces. His collection of Longines watches is believed to be the largest in the world for a private owner.
The head of watches for Bonhams, Jonathan Darracott, released this statement about the enormous collection: “What makes this collection so special is not simply its vastness, but the extraordinary variety of watches included. From the most renowned and exclusive watchmakers in the world, to independent manufacturers who produce only a few pieces per year.
“Owned by a European nobleman, they’ve been stored all around his home, with new ones still untouched in boxes, vintage ones in drawers, further pieces in the safe, and others piled up high in cupboards, or on his desk. A fantastic medley of watches, a collection consisting entirely of the things he adored.”