DECEMBER 2018 IMPORTANT WATCHES
Thursday, December 6, 2018 at 2pm EST | New York City
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- Auction of Important Watches on December 6, 2018
- Featuring a rare 1976 Omega Speedmaster Apollo-Soyuz, one of only 500 pieces ever made
- Fine watches by the major watch houses and brands of the world, including Rolex, Patek Philippe, Omega, and more.
NEW YORK, NY—Fortuna’s Important Watches auction took place on December 6, 2018 at 2PM EST, in their 5th Avenue showroom. The auction presented an exciting collection of vintage and contemporary timepieces from the most respected watch houses and brands of the world, ranging from Rolex, Patek Philippe, Omega, and more. Highlighting the sale was an exceedingly rare 1976 Omega Speedmaster Apollo-Soyuz, one of 500 limited edition timepieces especially created to commemorate the first joint U.S.A. and Soviet space flight. Omega Speedmasters have long been known for its strong association with NASA and the moon landing, being the only watch to pass NASA’s rigorous testing for flight qualification. Thus, while nearly every Omega Speedmaster is undoubtedly a fine piece of machinery, this particular model marks a significant point in history—the beginning of the end of the Cold War. The watch achieved $40,625, against a pre-sale estimate of $15,000-$25,000.
In other vintage watch highlights, an original Blancpain Fifty Fathoms MILSPEC I from the 1950s achieved $46,875 at auction. It is widely considered to be the first modern dive watch, and like the Omega Apollo-Soyuz, this watch is a true testament to mankind’s history as daring explorers. In the times before computers and advanced diving equipment, Captain Robert Maloubier and Lieutenant Claude Riffaud, commanders of the French Combat Diving School, found that there were no watches suitable for the needs of their elite dive soldiers. They drafted some requirements for an ideal dive watch and went to various companies, all of which declined, believing it would be unwise to invest in such a niche market. However, Blancpain CEO Jean-Jacques Fiechter was an avid diver and took on the project with commanders Maloubier and Riffaud. The result was a pioneer in all tool watches, equipped with innovations that would influence all other dive watches to come. It was the first watch to introduce a unidirectional rotating bezel, allowing divers to easily keep track of the elapsed minutes underwater. Some model variations, like the one Fortuna offered in December, even featured a color-changing humidity indicator on the dial that could alert the diver of a breach in the case’s seal. The watch was first released in 1953 with only about 1000 pieces ever made, and is quickly becoming one of the most desirable watches among vintage collectors.
For the experienced Rolex collector, the sale also featured a strong selection of iconic Rolex timepieces—most notably a vintage Rolex Submariner Ref. 5512, with square crowns. This watch represents the evolution of the modern Submariner, one of the most recognized watches worn today. The reference 5512 with square crown guards was launched in 1959 to replace earlier models without crown guards, as a way of protecting the crown from impact that could result in water damage to the watch. It is thought that less than 100 examples of the Submariner with square crown guards were made, with only 30 pieces known to the market. This rare vintage timepiece achieved $93,750.
To view the full sale catalog or register to bid for December 2018 Important Watches, please click here.
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P: (212) 389-9040