Our fine watches and timepiece specialists picked their favorite items from our upcoming Watches & Fine Timepieces Signature Auction, taking place live in NYC on June 6.
Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 2508 Fine 18K Gold Wristwatch: This is THE watch. It looks incredible and feels even better. The first moment my fingers glided with the crown, all I could say was “butter”. Yes, that smooth. It’s a classic, in both name, and design. The center seconds, raised lettering, water-resistant screw back, and metal dust cover are a few of the small details that show how they went the extra mile when producing this piece. I’ll take a bow to the savvy collector that leaves the auction owning this fantastic watch.
Rolex Exquisite Stainless Steel Chronograph Ref. 6034, Circa 1952, Originally Purchased at West Point Military Academy Cadet Store & Used In Field Through Military Career: Vintage sport Rolex watches have clearly established their spot in the sun, but it is a wonder to me that the Rolex Ref. 6034 has flown well under the radar, relative to some other references. The multi-color dials have so much character. In my conversations with Jim Wolf and Jonathon Burford, I have grown accustomed to calling this specific piece the “red, white, and blue” referring to the colorful dial and patriotic US military history of this watch. What could be cooler than knowing that this piece was worn appropriately as a tool in the field? It accompanied the original owner through military maneuvers on over 30 parachute jumps, and was used in the adjustment of artillery fire. This was no paperweight… And you know what? It still looks great!
Audemars Piguet Ultra Rare Early Two Tone Gold Vintage Triple Calendar Wristwatch Retailed by E. Gubelin Circa 1928: We are approached almost every day with people boasting that they have an “extremely exciting rare item”; but much more often than not, it isn’t. However, that only makes us more excited when we unexpectedly come by a piece like this. At first glance, it’s a very interesting and well-made vintage wristwatch retailed by Gubelin. Gubelin is triple signed on the dial, case, and movement. Still, those of us who live for vintage know that there was one company making these types of calendar watches better than the rest. Audemars Piguet! After reaching out to the Audemars Piguet historians and archivists, they not only informed us that they sold this item to Gubelin in 1928, but that there are only 11 documented watches that they sold between 1928-1938 with a similar (not identical) case. Now this is truly rare, and exciting!
Jaquet-Girard Rare 18K Pink Gold Triple Calendar Moonphase Square Vintage Wristwatch: This final pick is for you collectors who are yearning to find that something “different”, and special. Well here you go. We have for you this crispy, large format square case, black dial, triple calendar, moonphase. You’re welcome.
Rolex Very Fine & Rare Ref. 6241 “Paul Newman” Cosmograph Daytona, circa 1965. To the uninitiated, it makes no sense. A sports watch named principally after a Florida raceway, and secondarily a screen actor, with a relatively simple Valjoux Caliber 72 chronograph movement housed in a steel case. How did this initially slow selling watch become the holy grail to many in the watch community and the most iconic and mythical vintage watch? The reasons are many, a perfect storm created from rarity, complexity of variation’s, beauty, desirability and downright coolness. A watch that looks as fresh and new today as any eponymous contemporary offering. There is little rational explanation of their current value and standing, but there is little rational about watch collecting in general, but I know that given the opportunity and the means, a Paul Newman exotic dialed Daytona would be number one in my collection.
Patek Philippe & Cie Rare & Very Fine Gold Trip Minute Repeater, Two Train Tandem Wind Pocket Watch, circa 1901. This is a complicated version of my favorite horological complication. Not satisfied with standard minute repeating mechanism where a sliding side bar on the rim of the watch case winds the repeater spring before deploying the chiming hammers, this has a superior double barreled system with tandem winding and a single push button deployment, meaning the chime function can be deployed multiple times prior to requiring a rewind. First produced in 1900, this is one of possibly only 30 ever made over the subsequent 25 year period, with its hammer mechanism still producing the most wonderful and clear chimes.
Rolex Ref. 5513 Rare Submariner Gilt Underline Dial, Meters First, Pointed Crown Guard, circa 1963. The sad death of Roger Moore has brought vintage Bond memorabilia to the fore again. Live and Let Die from 1972 was Moore’s first outing as Bond, accompanied by Jane Seymour as the unforgettable Solitaire, the first appearance of Sheriff J.W. Pepper and a beautiful Rolex Reference 5513 Submariner. This one does not have the Bond “buzz-saw bezel” that he uses to free Solitaire, or of the ‘hyper intensified magnetic field’ he uses to lower the zip on Madaline Smiths dress using ‘Sheer magnetism, darling!”. This is, however, a classic and stunning #5513, gilt underlined dial, pointed crown guard, beautiful patina, rhodium finished movement on a spring loaded bracelet.