Christie’s will be hosting its Exceptional Watches Auction in New York at its Rockefeller Center headquarters on June 13. On the block are several extremely rare, mint-condition (and, in the case of the Rolex Paul Newman Panda, barely worn) historical timepieces that should add some serious clout to the collections of prominent collectors. “This sale is particularly important as we have two Rolex watches which can be considered, amongst the most discerning collectors, as the ‘holy grail’ of vintage collectability for the brand,” says Christie’s New York watch specialist Rebecca Ross. Rolex watches, particularly Daytonas, have been fetching record prices at auctions, and the hunt for rare timepieces from the brand has become particularly competitive among the watch auction houses.
Some particularly important Patek Philippe watches and pocket watches will be up for sale, including a perpetual calendar reference 2499—the ultimate grail in the world of watch collecting. Other top lots include a complicated Zenith pocket watch formerly belonging to playwright Sholem Aleichem as well as a Charles Frodsham pocket watch once owned by Tiffany & Co. founder Charles Lewis Tiffany that was subsequently passed down through several generations of Tiffany descendants until now. Here is a preview of five of the top lots out of 95 that will be offered on Wednesday at Christie’s.