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Omega watch found in Swede's attic SMASHES auction world record

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Omega watch found in Swede's attic SMASHES auction world record
The unique wristwatch. Photo: Bukowskis
11:25 CEST+02:00
An ordinary wristwatch has fetched a record-breaking sum at an auction in Sweden.

The Omega Speedmaster 2915-1 went under the hammer at Bukowskis' auction 'Important Timepieces' in Sweden. It was bought for 2,266,250 kronor (more than $276,000), the highest ever bid at any auction in the world for a watch of its kind and the most expensive wristwatch ever sold by Bukowskis.

The wristwatch was made on June 6th 1958 and was handed in to the Swedish auction house after the owner's son – unaware of its enormous value – found it tucked away in a small box in the attic.

"It's extremely rare. This watch wasn't made as a super exclusive, fantastic watch that you have in a bank vault or anything like that. This was an ordinary watch from 1958. He (the father) used it every day. That it is in this condition, this marvelous condition, that it has not been tampered with or repaired, it's fabulous!" Björn Extergren, head of consignment and sales, told The Local on Thursday.

"One part of that is that it was in the attic, and it had been forgotten. The person who found it was cleaning his father's attic after he died, and found it alongside around 20 other watches. The other watches were ordinary watches as well, and had not reached this level. This one had come much longer in its life process and become this iconic star."

The wristwatch broke the previous record set by an Omega Speedmaster 2915-1, which was sold at Christie's in New York in 2015 for $137,000 (around 1.1 million Swedish kronor).

"Many people think that to sell something like this, you have to go abroad to London or New York, but that's not the case," said Extergren.

"The thing is, if the item is good, you can put it to auction in Stockholm. You know, it's not a Swedish person who buys these items, it's international buyers. We find them, and they find us. The market is global today. Twenty years ago, you had to be at the spot – you had to be in New York or London. Today, that's not the case."

Extergren, Bukowskis' expert on furniture, oriental design and works of art, was in the room during the bidding for the record-breaking watch and said it was a thrilling experience.

"It was very exciting! The thing is, it is not one person, it's six people bidding. It's a true auction, and you don't know even seconds before if the item is going to be sold or not. Everything happens in the room, and I love that. It's like winning a gold medal, down to the last second."

Interview by Eugenia Tanaka.

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