Rolex Daytona sells for almost double top estimate


A gentleman’s stainless steel and yellow gold 'Cosmograph Daytona' bracelet watch by Rolex (lot 224), was the top performing lot at Mallams’ Jewellery, Watches and Silver Sale which took place at the Oxford saleroom on 23 March. First introduced in 1963, the Rolex Daytona was designed to meet the demands of professional motor racing drivers by measuring elapsed time and calculating average speed, and is still considered in a class of its own amongst sporting chronograph timepieces.

Estimated at £5000-£7000, competitive bidding meant this watch soared well above expectations, eventually selling for £13000 to a UK phone bidder.

Other watches in the sale were also hotly contested, with lot 233 - a gentleman's 18ct gold 'Calatrava' automatic bracelet watch by Patek Philippe - selling for £7400, and lot 225 - an 18ct gold 'Speedmaster Day-Date' automatic bracelet watch by Omega – achieving £5400, both lots making just under their top estimate.

Strong prices were also achieved for jewellery, with a diamond single stone ring (lot 172), set with a round brilliant-cut diamond weighing approximately 1.64ct, making £5800 against its £3500-£4500 estimate.

A striking emerald fringe necklace and ear pendants suite (lot 185) and an aquamarine brooch/pendant (lot 184), both of typically abstract, three-dimensional design by the renowned British jeweller, David A Thomas (b.1938), sold for £5800 and £3400 respectively. A contemporary of Andrew Grima and John Donald, Thomas learnt his craft in Stockholm at W A Bolin, the Swedish Crown Jewellers, earning a scholarship at the Royal College of Art, before exhibiting at Goldsmiths’ Hall and establishing his own workshop in London, where he still works today alongside his daughter, Jessie.

The silver and objets de vertu section opened with a Swiss gold and enamel snuff box (lot 301), dating from the 19th century and designed for the Turkish market, vibrantly decorated with panels of flowers and complete with its original leather case. Much excitement amongst telephone and online bidders elevated the hammer price to £5400, just above top estimate.

An unassuming dark green metal ‘Jacobite’ snuff box (lot 329), revealed a wonderful surprise when opened – a secondary secret lid painted with an enamel portrait of Charles Edward Stuart. This clearly captured the imagination of bidders, with a long bidding war pushing the eventual selling price to a staggering £5400, well past its £500-£800 estimate.

The sale closed with overall sales of almost £248,000, approximately 15% above top estimate, with an impressive 96% of lots sold.

Mallams is now accepting entries for its next Jewellery, Watches & Silver Sale on 27 July 2022 (closing date 24 June). If you have any items of interest, please call 01865 241358 or email Mallams' jewellery and watches specialist, Louise Dennis at or Alicia Rogers, silver specialist at

All prices are subject to a 30% buyers' premium (VAT inclusive).

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