One of the highlights in our Important Watches auction, this sublime, nearly mint condition, Richard Mille RM-07 Ladies’ Watch in 18K White Gold was offered for an estimated $50,000 and achieved $93,750, more than tripling its starting bid. Richard Mille is one of the most desired and groundbreaking modern watch brands. Their watches are iconoclastic in design, use manufacture movements and have been popularized by countless style icons, celebrities, and professional sports players.
Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona is something of a legend in the watch community. Newman’s iconic wristwatch singlehandedly saved an entire series of Daytona watches, before setting records itself when it sold. In a high-profile auction, the 1968 Oyster Cosmograph Daytona Paul Newman wore over the decades sold for $17.5 million, setting the record for the highest price ever recorded for a wristwatch to date.
Not only is the original watch Newman wore highly valuable, but it has also raised the value of similar models of Daytona watches. As an example, a watch of the same reference number as Newman’s Daytona recently sold for $275,000 at auction.
Who Is Paul Newman & Why Is the “Paul Newman” Daytona So Valuable?
Paul Newman, the famous American actor and philanthropist, starred in classic films like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Color of Money, The Sting and Cool Hand Luke. Many people know him for his movies, but he also put his stamp on history as a professional race car driver and getting a collection of Rolexes to carry his namesake.
One of the highlights of our past Important Jewels auction, this stunning Tiffany & Co. Art Deco Diamond and Emerald Bracelet, the property of an esteemed Arkansas lady, flew past its offered estimate of $35,000–$50,000 by achieving $68,750.
The Cartier Crash is one of the most iconic watches made by the legendary jeweler. The original Crash was made by Cartier craftsmen in the UK after seeing a colleague’s watch that was badly melted in a car accident. The resulting Crash reminded many of Salvador Dali’s surrealist watches in one of his most well known works, “The Persistance of Memory,” and a legend was born that is associated with the “Swinging London” of the 1960s.
The Important Watches collection is led by an exceedingly rare and fresh-to-market Rolex Daytona “Paul Newman” Ref. 6239, known amongst watch enthusiasts as the most desirable and valuable vintage sport watches. It will be offered for an estimate of $150,000–$250,000 at auction. Famously worn by the actor and race car enthusiast, the watch has become just as legendary as the man who it is associated with.
The Rolex Daytona is an iconic success story that began as a tool of ambition. First introduced with the “Daytona” signature in 1965, the watch proclaimed Rolex’s sponsorship of the celebrated sports car race in Daytona Beach, Florida. For the Daytona specifically, Rolex had introduced a couple of major stylistic changes from its earlier chronographs, drastically improving the utility of the watch with a race car driver’s needs in mind. First, the inverse colors of the main dial and registers provided the watch with a sportier look and clear contrast to read elapsed times in each sub-dial. Second, the tachymeter scale was removed from the dial and engraved onto the bezel, allowing for greater legibility.
Yet despite its durability, aesthetics, and reliable movement, the Daytona was not hugely in demand when produced. In fact, many sat at retailers before they were sold, and often at steep discounts. At the time, Rolex was competing with a host of other watch brands that had already been well-known for creating chronographs. Furthermore, the Daytona remained a manually-wound timepiece until 1987, during the height of the world-wide craze for quartz movements.
Renowned for his unabashed love of ornament and theatricality, Tony Duquette’s inimitable design is one of the highlights of Fortuna’s September sale. A well-known painter, sculptor and jeweler, he was renowned for his over-the-top style in interiors, jewelry, costumes, and set design.
With the creation of pieces that are filled with such awe-inducing whimsy and wonder, it is no surprise that this American style icon started his career in costume and set design for theater. As a young man, Tony Duquette was awarded scholarships to the renowned Chouinard Institute in Los Angeles and the Yale School of Theater. Growing to become one of the most recognized LA designers of the time, it was through the patronage of Sir Charles and Lady Mendl, the then international arbiters of taste, that Duquette was able to establish himself as a designer for the film industry. He created both costumes and sets for theater, opera and ballet, as well as many Metro Goldwyn Mayer films.
Taking inspiration from Grecian, Byzantine and a variety of other ancient jewelry styles to create contemporary pieces, the Athenian goldsmith Ilias Lalaounis has gifted the world with an appreciation for the venerable art of adornment.
Lalaounis started working as an apprentice in his family’s jewelry company in 1940. In 1969, he decided to separate from the family business to start his own production. Focusing mainly on the fabrication of chains, Lalaounis would later introduce ancient Greek revival pieces to incredible success. The jewelry house achieves the international recognition that it was striving for when in the 1960’s, Aristotle Onassis started purchasing pieces for Maria Callas, as well as his later wife, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy.