Paul Newman’s $ 5.four million Rolex Daytona surpasses Phillips’ ‘Racing Pulse’ sale in New York
A Paul Newman Rolex Daytona sold today for $ 5,475,000 at Racing Pulse, a New York auction held by Phillips in association with Bacs & Russo. It was a gift from his wife, Joanne Woodward, and has the words “Drive slow, Joanne” on the case back. While it doesn’t nearly come close to Newman’s Daytona, which sold for $ 17.8 million in 2017, it was still a notable hammer price, especially given the current climate.
The sale also included a Heuer Monaco Ref. 1133 owned by Steve McQueen, which sold for $ 2,208,000 – more than ten times its estimate – setting a world record for any Heuer. McQueen, who wore it in the famous’ 70s film Le Mans, gave it to his trusted mechanic Haig Alltounian after filming was over. It is inscribed on the case back along with the message “Thank you for keeping me alive all these months.” Paul Boutros, senior vice president of Phillips and head of New York’s watch division, said he first heard about it in 2018 and met with Alltounian several times to bring it up for auction. “People love watches with stories to tell,” he says. “They want to own watches that are worn by their heroes.”
There were many other hero trophies in the provenance-heavy auction. In addition to the relics of Newman and McQueen, these included pieces by Sylvester Stallone, John Lennon, Andy Warhol, Prince Albert of Monaco, Kevin O’Leary of Shark Tank, Bono, Prince Albert of Monaco and Guy Laliberté, founder of Cirque du Soleil.
Stallone was nowhere to be seen, selling five of his tough timepieces that totaled $ 3,117,400 (more than three times the estimate). Most famous was the Panerai Luminor he wore in the movie Daylight. The model is commonly credited with introducing the modern Panerai brand in the 1990s, and it sold for $ 214,200. The other four were all Richard Mille’s, including the RM 032 Stallone wore in the film Consumables III ($ 816,500); an RM 52-01 with a tourbillon bridge in the shape of a skull ($ 998,000); Number 11 of the 50-piece tourbillon RM 59-01 Yohan Blake “Beast”, named after the Olympic sprinter (USD 816,500); and the ultra-complicated RM 25-01 Adventure Tourbillon Chronograph designed to answer the question, “What watch would Rambo wear?” ($ 937,500).
The story goes on
In keeping with the spirit of the holiday season, eleven clocks grouped under the Time Counts banner raised $ 2,107,350 for the One Drop Foundation, a charity that provides clean water to disadvantaged communities. A Rolex Daytona Ref. 116500LN owned by O’Leary known as “Mr. Wonderful ”by Shark Tank, which sold for $ 56,700, while a Jaeger-LeCoultre by Bono that he gave to his father and then inherited fetched $ 60,480. Several Audemars Piguets were also offered, including one from Prince Albert of Monaco ($ 163,800) and four Grand Complication models, all of which have the same reference, but in different cases metals, from Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté. The four spectacular skeletonized pieces sold for a total of $ 1,745,100, including a rose gold version that was one of only four made and a rare stainless steel version that was one of only five made. Both were sold for $ 504,000.
A sentimental favorite on sale was two white gold pocket watches, both made by American companies, one owned by John Lennon and the other by Andy Warhol, who, as you may be surprised, had an impressive collection of watches. Both sold for $ 50,400. The Lennon piece produced by Howard was originally sold at an estate auction in 1984 by his wife, Yoko Ono. It is the only watch that has ever been sold to the public and is directly related to John Lennon. Warhol’s Elgin was originally sold at an estate auction of the artist’s belongings in 1988. “Lennon and Warhol were good friends in the 1970s, and the mail-order company spent years tracking down these pieces as some sort of token of their friendship,” says Boutros. “It was inspired by a photo of the couple taken by Bob Gruen, a photographer known for documenting rock and roll history.” The photo that was part of the package for the buyer shows the two of them meeting on April 13, 1972 at the Record Plant, a recording studio in New York City. A portion of the proceeds will go to the charity Give Peace a Chance, an organization that raises awareness for human rights.
Always on the lookout for the next showpiece, Boutros says the hunt for another major Lennon acquisition continues – a Patek Philippe arbitrator. The chronograph of the perpetual calendar 2499/100 is said to have been given to him by his wife Yoko Ono a few months before his death on his 40th birthday. “That would be my Grail find,” he says.
The spotlight on origin overshadowed the other lots on sale, but some are noteworthy: A Rolex Ref. 5517 Military Submariner, manufactured in 1977, sold for $ 567,000; a Patek Philippe ref. 3448 Padellone perpetual calendar from 1967 in unusually good condition (Paul Boutros’ favorite lot) sold for $ 529,200; and a FP Journe ref. R Chronomètre a Rèsonance “Souscription” number 4 of 20 sold for $ 403,200. Finally, in what could be considered a bargain on sale, a Patek Philippe ref. Sold for $ 504,000 in 1518. It is a rare example of Patek’s first perpetual calendar chronograph, of which only 218 were made. According to Phillips, 90 percent of the 1518 are either damaged or have obviously been mended over time. The other 10 percent, including this one, are in near pristine original condition.
The Phillips Racing Pulse sale raised a total of $ 27.6 million.
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