A great silence prevailed across the room. The frustrated auctioneer offered that he would accept a lower bid than catalogued and suggested a still three-figure starting price. Silence remained in the room and at the telephones. Down went the auctioneer’s suggested starting prices, lowering each several times and it became obvious to we silent bidders there was no minimum reserve on this lot.
I took more interest because by now this lot became attractive. I would maybe “rescue” this, by now bargain, to wear in the garden or elsewhere where damage would not matter too much or maybe make a present of the watch to a needy youth where I did voluntary work. It was a Longines with a good reputation for its movements. Those were my brief thoughts.
When the auctioneer’s suggested starting price reached a mid-two figures level, I put up my paddle. Immediately followed a couple of other bidders, each with two-figure bids incremented by £10 on the previous bids. I again put up my paddle and down came the hammer! The “bargain” watch was mine!
Later, my bids on the two G-P’s were also hammered to me, so I went home with three watches to add to my small collection.
For the purists, the Longines dial was obviously refinished and to a good standard but with strictly “artistic licence”. I have never found the signature other than Longines printed in upright capital letters instead of inclined as here, the script name “Jamboree” is missing (good!) from the space between the centre and 6, the minute markers are printed 1mm radius too far from the centre and “SWISS MADE” should be printed smaller at 6 outside the minute markers. The lot came fitted with a new but very cheap low quality black strap, which I replaced as shown. I managed to find and replace the then generic crown with a signed one and a NOS signed pin buckle. The watch keeps good time and dates from about 1963.
I quite like auctions with the associated bid-making adrenalin uplift. I have learned that if you want to increase the chance of winning a bid against the online bidders, you must attend the room in person. Catch the eye of the auctioneer as you bid. I proved this during covid restrictions where only six people were in the room and I won my price-limited bid for a Must de Cartier Tank against a lot of online interest.