Alan “Hammer” Bloore collection at Sotheby’s Important Watches achieves US$1.6 million

Alan “Hammer” Bloore collection at Sotheby’s Important Watches achieves US$1.6 million

Zach Blass

We recently went hands-on with a curated selection of impressive lots from the Sotheby’s Important Watches auction, which was held on December 7 a few weeks back. The sale netted an impressive total result of US$14.5M, with 91% of the 157 lots sold, bidders participating across 60 countries, and more than a third of buyers electing to purchase online. I do want to highlight which ten lots achieved the highest results, these are certainly figures we watch geeks are interested in knowing. But, even more interesting is that a sizeable portion of the overall lots belonged to Australian collector Alan “Hammer” Bloore – accounting for US$1.6M of the Important Watches sale.

The top ten lots by final result

Sothebys top ten dec 7 2023

Watch Result
Rolex Daytona ref. 6241 ‘John Player Special’ US$1,512,000
Patek Philippe ref. 1518R US$1,512,000
Patek Philippe ref. 1463 ‘Tasti Tondi’, retailed by Tiffany & Co. US$596,600
Cartier ‘Mystery Clock’ circa 1925 US$596,600
A. Lange & Söhne ref. 706.025FE Tourbograph Perpetual ‘Pour le Mérite’ US$355,600
F.P. Journe Chronomètre à Résonance Ruthenium US$342,900
MB&F HM9 ‘Sapphire Vision’ Flow US$317,500
Ferdinand Berthoud ref. FB 2RSM.1 US$254,000
Richard Mille ref. RM002 AF PG US$241,300
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak ref. 26522CE.OO.1225CE.01 US$241,300

It is certainly no surprise that Rolex and Patek Philippe were the strongest performers in the auction. Both brands are known to be the most safe to own from an investment perspective, and collectors seem to always be chasing coveted references from both brands. Interestingly, quite a few “John Player Special” Daytona watches have come to market as of late. Back in May, Sotheby’s set a record for the reference with a 6241 JPS that sold for nearly US$2.5M. This record-breaking lot, however, was offered on its original yellow gold bracelet versus a leather strap.

Cartier also once again proved that – in the words of Will Ferrell’s Jacobim Mugatu character – they’re so hot right now, as the brand not only soars in its market position at retail but on the auction block too. With an emphasis on designs that are timeless and will stand the test of time for one hundred years, their timepieces have never, and likely never will, go out of style. But, the focus on Cartier watchmaking, past and present, has certainly garnered more attention from collectors and enthusiasts – and rightfully so. F.P. Journe is certainly no surprise, yet another auction powerhouse brand and Richard Mille and Audemars Piguet are both no strangers to top-performing lots. But it is great to see pieces from A. Lange & Söhne, Ferdinand Berthoud, and MB&F crack the top ten in an auction with hundreds of very strong and desirable lots.

Australian collector Alan “Hammer” Bloore’s 37 watches achieve US$1.6M

 

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For those unfamiliar, Alan “Hammer” Bloore has been a fixture of the watch-collecting community for decades. The Australian collector is known as an early “Panerista”, ahead of the curve in collecting coveted references from the legendary Italian dive watch brand Panerai. Sadly, Bloore would find himself paralyzed below the armpits after a boating accident in the early 2000s. This, however, did not break his spirits nor extinguish his enthusiasm for collecting watches.

Sotheby’s explained at the close of the sale: “Today’s auction was further distinguished by the extraordinary Collection of Alan ‘Hammer’ Bloore, comprising Panerai’s rarest and most coveted watches. Hammer is one of the very first ‘Paneristi’ and is commonly considered the single greatest collector of the brand since its inception. The 37-piece collection offered in today’s sale, including numerous serial no. 1 limited editions as well as important military-issued watches spanning 50 years of history, earned an impressive US$1.6 million, with 95% of lots sold. Hammer’s collection was led by a Rolex Reference 6263 Daytona, which earned $171,450 (est. $100,000 – 200,000).”

Geoff Hess, Head of Watches, Americas added: “I am extremely humbled to have had the honor of presenting Alan ‘Hammer’ Bloore’s collection to the world, a revered collector whom I have had the pleasure of calling a dear friend for more than 15 years. Hammer’s personal story and his deep connection to the watch community around the world has served as a much-needed reminder of the greatness of our hobby: watch collecting rests far more in the human element of the owner than the actual watch itself.”

An additional 20 watches from his collection were offered in Sotheby’s Fine Watches auction, the results of which we will recap soon.