Antique and Vintage Watches


Alexander Barter watch expert, antique and vintage pocket watches books


Specialising in the research of antique and vintage watches, Alex has an extensive horological resource library and a comprehensive collection of auction catalogues comprising almost 2,000 volumes. This archive includes catalogues dating back to the 1940s for auctions held at Sotheby’s, Christie’s, Antiquorum and Crott.

Antique and vintage pocket watches, Alexander Barter watch expert

Alex’s career began in 1996 at Sotheby’s auctioneers in London. In 2002 he was posted to Geneva to run Sotheby’s watch auctions in Switzerland. Spending most of his time travelling around the world, viewing, valuing and selling antique and vintage watches, Alex returned to London in 2005, becoming Deputy Worldwide Head of Sotheby’s watch department. In 2009, Alex left Sotheby’s to become an independent watch consultant and acts as such to auction houses and art-based institutions; in 2011, he also co-founded Black Bough. Alex is a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers, the oldest surviving horological institution in the world, founded by Royal Charter in 1631.

Antique and vintage pocket watches books

Catalogues & Publications

Over the last decade, Alex Barter has been responsible for researching and writing the catalogues for several important pocket watch collections including:

The Henry Graves Jr. Patek Philippe Supercomplication (Sotheby’s Geneva 2014)
George Daniels Masterpieces
Including the Space Travellers’ Watch
(Sotheby’s London 2017)
The Yellow Gold Patek Philippe Calibre 89
(Sotheby’s Geneva 2017)
The Celebration of the English Watch:
Part I – David Ramsay and the First Clockmakers’ Court Part I (Sotheby’s London 2015)
Part II – John Harrison’s Enduring Discovery
(Sotheby’s London 2016)
Part III – The Genius of Thomas Tompion
(Sotheby’s London 2016)
Part IV – George Daniels Twentieth Century Innovator (Sotheby’s 2017)
Masterworks of Time:
Part I – George Daniels Visionary
(Sotheby’s London 2019)
Part II – Adolf Lange, The Golden Era of Glashütte
(Sotheby’s Geneva 2019)
Part III – Abraham-Louis Breguet, Horologist Extraordinaire (Sotheby’s London 2020)
Part IV – Splendours for the East
(Sotheby’s Geneva 2020)
Part V – Masterworks online
(Sotheby’s London 2022)
The Collection of a Connoisseur
(Sotheby’s London 2020)
Centuries of Time
(Sotheby’s Geneva 2023)
Roger Smith’s Personal White Gold Daniels Millennium & George Daniels Anniversary No.1
(Sotheby’s Geneva 2023)

Alex has published two books and written numerous essays and articles for a variety of publications. His first book, ‘The Watch – A Twentieth-Century Style History’ was launched in 2019 with a new edition released in September 2023. Alex’s second book, ‘500 Years | 100 Watches’, which he has written and produced with Daryn Schnipper, Chairman of Sotheby’s watch division, will be published by Prestel on 7 November 2023.


For all enquiries
Phone: + 44 (0)1584 877948