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Cartier Crash 1991 Limited Edition - Fortuna December 2019 Important Watches

Record Breaking Cartier Crash Leads Fortuna’s December Sales

NEW YORK, December 16, 2019—Fortuna, the NYC-based auction house specializing in fine jewelry and watches, concluded its final auctions for the year, Important Jewels and Important Watches, achieving over $1.8 million in revenue and setting a world record for the iconic Cartier Crash, one of the most unusual and intriguing watches on the market.

Created in 1967, legend has it that the Cartier Crash, which resembles the melting clocks in Salvador Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory,” was inspired by a timepiece recovered from a scorching car wreck. Reissued in 1991 in a limited edition of only 400 pieces, the rare timepiece is quickly achieving cult-status and has been spotted on the wrists of high profile celebrities, such as a style icon and avid watch collector, Kanye West. Yet, veteran collectors were shocked when the Crash flew by its high estimate of $50,000, achieving $81,250 at the boutique NYC auction house.

“The record-breaking price achieved for the Cartier Crash, once again affirms our belief that people should always opt for the auction house that specializes in a particular field,” said Seth Holehouse, Auction and Head of Jewelry & Watches, at Fortuna. “In a market as complex and ever-changing as that of watches and jewelry, it pays to partner with auction houses that are completely tuned in to what the market is willing to offer.”

Sold alongside the Crash was an exceedingly rare Rolex Daytona “Paul Newman” Ref. 6239—the king of vintage sport watches. After the historic sale of Paul Newman’s own Rolex Daytona, which achieved over $17 million in 2018, prices for the ref. 6239 have stabilized at around $100,000–$180,000 across all major auction houses. However, the timepiece achieved a remarkable $200,000 at Fortuna—the strongest price seen globally this year.   

In jewelry highlights, a gorgeous Tiffany & Co. Art Deco Diamond and Emerald Bracelet, property of an Arkansas lady, achieved $68,750 against a pre-sale estimate of $35,000–$50,000, while a Retro Van Cleef & Arpels Diamond Bracelet sold for $43,750, surpassing its estimate of $20,000–$30,000—once again confirming the strength in the market for period style jewelry from the major design houses. This December, Fortuna offered an extensive collection of over 400 lots of fine jewelry and watches from private estates and collectors, and achieved a phenomenal sell-through rate of over 71%. 

When asked about the trajectory of the jewelry and watch market in the new year, the CEO of Fortuna, John Saxon expressed high hopes for the company. “It’s no secret that the strength of the jewelry and watch market wax and wane with economic cycles, but Fortuna continues to keep their finger on the pulse. Jewelry and watches are all we do, and we are determined to enter 2020 with the ability to achieve the highest possible market prices for our clients, as we have unquestionably proven in our recent December sales.”

We Invite You to Auction!

We are always accepting fine jewelry and watch consignments for upcoming auctions, whether it is a single item or an entire collection. Check out our upcoming auctions here. Please contact our office or fill out our web form for a complimentary auction appraisal. Our specialists look forward to helping you understand the value of your pieces.

Cartier 6.69ct Burmese Sapphire and Diamond Ring - Fortuna Exchange: February Sale

Fortuna Exchange: February Sale Highlights

NEW YORK, NY— Fortuna Exchange: February Sale was a strong start to a new monthly auction series that Fortuna introduced in 2019, offering collectors a broad range of fine jewelry and watches from celebrated makers across all eras. The Fortuna Exchange was created to provide our sellers greater opportunities per year to sell their assets on a global platform, without the constraints or limitations of consigning their pieces to seasonal sales that are few and far between.

With the addition of regular monthly auctions, alongside our larger signature sales that occur biannually, we are excited to offer our clients a year that is overflowing with rare and exciting fine jewelry and watch offerings.

Estate and Signed Jewelry Lead the Sale

In fine jewelry highlights, signed jewelry performed very strongly—achieving a total sell-through rate by value of 85.4%. In particular, the cover lot, a very fine Cartier 6.69ct Burmese Sapphire and Diamond Ring, prompted a roar of competitive bidding. The property of a New York lady, the finely crafted ring achieved a final price of $65,625, exceeding a pre-sale estimate of $40,000-$50,000. All in all, jewelry by Cartier and Tiffany & Co. drew the attention of bidders across the globe, achieving sell-through rates by value of 81.5% and 84.6% respectively.

A Cartier Unheated Burmese 6.69ct Burmese Sapphire and Diamond Ring. Achieved $65,625 at auction, against a pre-sale estimate of $40,000-$50,000.

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Fancy Intense Blue Diamond Ring- Fortuna Fine Jewelry and Watch Auction NYC December 2018 Magnificent Jewels

Fortuna Breaks Major Ground with Biggest Sale Ever—Selling $4 Million in Jewelry and Watches

NEW YORK, NY—Fortuna’s highly anticipated three-part winter auction series took place on December 6-7, 2018, achieving a total sale revenue of around $4 million USD. The auctions offered an exemplary collection of jewelry and watches from the most prestigious makers in their craft, including Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Tiffany & Co., Rolex, and Omega.

Highlighting Fortuna’s first sale of the season, Session One: Magnificent Jewels, was an exquisite 3.05ct Fancy Intense Blue diamond ring. Naturally occurring blue diamonds are found in less than 0.02% of all diamonds mined and are one of the rarest gemstones in the world. This particular blue diamond ring was consigned by an important Asian collector and exhibited a gorgeous and vibrant blue hue that is rarely seen, even among blue diamonds. After a round of tense bidding that had the auction floor buzzing with excitement, the ring achieved $1,395,000, selling to a phone bidder.

In addition to colored diamonds, Magnificent Jewels also featured an exquisite assortment of rare estate jewels and signed pieces spanning many historical style periods. Of the many jewelry highlights, a stunning Art Deco Cartier sapphire and diamond bracelet truly evoked the classic glamour that is characteristic of the Roaring Twenties era. The piece achieved $76,800 USD against a pre-sale estimate of $60,000-$90,000.

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Victorian Kashmir Sapphire and Diamond Ring - Fortuna NYC Fine Jewelry & Watch Auction

Fortuna Achieves Nearly $1.4 Million in September 2018 Important Jewels

Session Two of Fortuna’s fall auction series witnessed strong bidder activity from a packed showroom and oversea buyers.


On September 27, 2018 Fortuna’s IMPORTANT JEWELS sale, followed Session One: Important Watches, and achieved a total of $1,378,977 in sales revenue, with well over 150 lots selling for exceptionally strong prices. Of the many estate jewelry highlights, the most notable was the cover lot, a stunning rectangular cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire, weighing 4.30-carats, surrounded by eight old mine-cut diamonds, set in an 18K gold Victorian setting. This rare beauty achieved $187,500, against a $150,000-$200,000 estimate.

A rare Victorian 4.30-carat Kashmir Sapphire and Diamond Ring. Achieved $187,500 at auction, against estimate of $150,000-$200,000.


Additional highlights in colored gemstones included an Oscar Heyman & Bros. Sapphire and Diamond Ring, which sold for $40,625 against a pre-sale estimate of $30,000-$40,000, and a Tanzanite and Diamond Platinum Ring, which achieved $22,500 against a pre-sale estimate of $18,000-$25,000.

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Rolex Paul Newman Daytona - Fortuna NYC Fine Jewelry & Watch Auction

Rolex “Paul Newman” Daytona Fetches $275,000 at Fortuna’s Important Watches Auction

The NYC auction house cements its presence in the world of high-end watch collecting, selling 95% of lots.

On September 27 Fortuna held its second Important Watches auction in New York City, in which the sell-through rate exceeded 95% with a total sale value of $889,729. More than 600 registered bidders from 43 countries competed for 66 lots. The sale was lead by a Rolex “Paul Newman” Daytona reference 6239 that sold for $275,000 including premium. Fortuna has taken yet another strong step forward in establishing itself as a serious player in the high-end watch space.

“There was a lot of fierce bidding and excitement in the auction room. We sold 63 of the 66 lots offered, with many of the watches far exceeding their pre-sale estimates. Our consignors and buyers were very pleased with the results and the quality of watches offered, and we already have a flood of consignments coming in for our December sales.” said Seth Holehouse, Auctioneer and Head of Jewelry & Watches.

A fresh-to-market Rolex Daytona “Paul Newman” reference 6239 achieved $275,000 against a pre-sale estimate of $150,000-$250,000.

Rolex Watches Soars

The Swiss brand performed very well at auction, with all 24 Rolex watches selling. The Rolex lots in the sale brought a total of $584,164, surpassing the combined pre-sale high estimates of $510,300.

Among the top performing Rolex watches were a “Four-Line” Daytona reference 16520 which brought $43,750 against a pre-sale estimate of $18,000–$28,000, a “Double-Red” Sea-Dweller reference 1665 which brought $31,250 against a pre-sale estimate of $14,000–$20,000, and an Explorer II reference 1655 which brought $21,250 against a pre-sale estimate of $12,000–$18,000.

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