Inheriting a magnificent late 19th-century clock, originally from the Brighton Pavillion, started Henry Dent-Brocklehurst’s horological fascination. With the help of his watch-dealer friend Tom Bolt, son of the film producer Robert Bolt and the actress Sarah Miles, he is now creating the Sudeley Castle Horological Collection.
Both love vintage Patek Philippe, for the workmanship and unique movement, and Rolex watches (‘definitely pre-70s’) for their investment potential. Mr Dent-Brocklehurst’s personal favourite is a Rolex Daytona from the early 1960s but he never wears any of his collection. ‘It’s too dangerous. I’m security mad, so they are kept firmly under lock and key.’
A consultant for Christie’s and Sotheby’s, Mr Bolt contributes to magazines such as International Wristwatch and works with the vintage department of The Watch Gallery in London. He even has a website (www.watchguru.co.uk). His choice for the ultimate girl’s watch is a vintage Cartier: ‘It’s a beautiful piece of jewellery, rather than having the most sophisticated movement.’ For quality and value for money, he recommends Omega watches, both past and present.
Mr Dent-Brocklehurst warns novice collectors: ‘Beware sharks! Watch dealers can be like used car dealers.’ Of course, it helps to have your own watch guru.
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Like the reintroduction of the Mini motorcar over a decade ago, this reinterpretation of Big Pilot by IWC is better than the original. This 1st series Platinum example is of course the top of the top.