A year of global success for the Bonhams Watch Department culminated in June with a sale in London at which an 18ct gold George Daniels Millennium wristwatch went under the hammer for a record-breaking price of £146,500.

Moments later, another record fell when a Rolex automatic bracelet watch with roulette date wheel, sold for £18,750, over six times its highest estimated value.

Paul Maudsley enjoys the thrill of a high profile auction, but knows that years of work behind the scenes is what has brought Bonhams to this golden moment.  In particular, the company puts enormous energy into selling the historic stories of watch brands that collectors prize. “We are the market leaders of watches and wristwatches here in the UK. Even though we are not doing retail sales, what we do plays a part and assists peoples’ perception of the brands, showing their heritage side or their DNA,” he explains.

A Tag Heuer sale this year was a good example. “We were proud of our ability to bring to market the most significant collection of Heuer watches in the world with the Haslinger Collection. This sale changed the perception of the brand and set benchmarks for quality and prices achieved,” says Paul.