Although it was the clock section that provided the lion’s share of the money generated by Sotheby’s Olympia’s June 19 horological sale (largely thanks to their £800,000 Tompion), the bulk of the content was provided by wrist and pocket watches. Offered in a separate afternoon session, they accounted for 264 of the 395 lots.

The highest price was provided by this rare automatic white gold, ruby and diamond world time wristwatch by Breguet, c.1994, right, which sold to the European trade for £40,000.

At Christie’s South Kensington in a 202-lot morning session of watches on July 16, there were high hopes for a much older example of Breguet’s watch making – a gold, diamond and
emerald set pocket watch bought by Empress Marie Louise of France in 1813. It failed to match its estimate of £25,000-35,000, however, with bidding halting at £22,000, leaving it unsold. This left the Rolex pink gold chronograph wristwatch of c.1945, right, as the most expensive watch in the sale selling for £16,000. The watch has an unusual feature of hollow lugs thought to have been carried out as a cost rather than a weight-saving exercise.