Bonham’s June 2017 Auction Features Eric Clapton Rolex Daytona, Jaeger-LeCoultre Gyrotourbillon 2, Blancpain L-Evolution Carrousel Saphir Volant Une Minute, And Patek Philippe Ref. 5004P
Rare and unusual watches continue to pop up at auction this spring, and here I’d like to highlight a few that caught my eye coming up in the June 21, 2017 “Fine Watches and Wristwatches” London sale at Bonham’s.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Gyrotourbillon 2
Lot 115 is a Jaeger-LeCoultre Gyrotourbillon 2 from around 2009. This watch is historically significant because it added a second exquisite model to the manufacture’s Gyrotourbillon line that kicked off in 2004, but also because it was the first wristwatch to utilize a cylindrical spring with a multi-axis tourbillon.
This watch is described in detail in Beautiful Contrasts: Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Gyrotourbillon 2.
Quick Facts Jaeger-LeCoultre Gyrotourbillon 2
Case: 36 x 55 x 15.8 mm, platinum
Movement: manually wound Jaeger-LeCoultre Caliber 174 with double-axis tourbillon and cylindrical balance spring; JLC 1000-hour test; 50-hour power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; 24-hour indication, power reserve
Limitation: 75 in platinum and 75 in pink gold; this is number 52/75 in platinum from 2009
Original price: €266,000
Auction estimate: £100,000-£120,000
Blancpain L-Evolution Carrousel Saphir Volant Une Minute
Lot 58 is a true specialty for connoisseurs: the L-Evolution is a manually winding flying carrousel/karussel wristwatch developed by A.H.C.I. co-founder Vincent Calabrese for Blancpain. The beauty and elegance of the complicated movement created in 2010 is highlighted by the extraordinary use of sapphire crystal for the movement’s plates and bridges.
Learn more about this rare mechanical specialty’s evolution in L-Evolution Tourbillon Carrousel By Blancpain: Whirlwind And Karussel Converge.
Quick Facts Blancpain L-evolution Tourbillon Carrousel Saphir Volant Une Minute
Movement: manually wound Caliber 2322V2 with one-minute flying tourbillon and one-minute flying carrousel with differential; sapphire crystal plates and bridges; 70-hour power reserve
Case: 43 mm, pink gold
Functions: hours, minutes; power reserve indication on back
Limitation: 50 pieces; this one is number 31/50 from about 2010
Original price: $228,300
Auction estimate: £50,000-£60,000
Eric Clapton Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Reference 116528H
Eric Clapton has emerged as one of the auction world’s most influential fine timepiece owners in addition to his day job as a world-renowned guitarist, helping to pique the interest of prospective and existing collectors at auction.
Clapton has put his Rolex Cosmograph Daytona (Lot 88) into this auction, but you will note it doesn’t have the usual metal bracelet attached to the watch head. That is because the guitar god known as Slowhand requested a rubber strap be specially made for it. The original gold bracelet with Easylink comfort extension and Oysterlock safety clasp, never worn, comes with the lot purchase. This watch was manufactured around 2014, just before the new Rolex Daytona was introduced on a serial rubber strap.
At Phillips inaugural Geneva Watch Auction: ONE, an “Albino” Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Reference 6263 from 1971 once owned by Eric Clapton went way over its estimate and achieved a sale price of 1,325,000 Swiss francs, breaking existing world auction records as the most expensive Rolex ever sold (see Steel Patek Philippe And Eric Clapton’s Rolex Daytona 6263 Oyster Albino Smash World Auction Records) at the time. That record has since been broken by the “Bao Dai Rolex” and is likely to be broken again by Paul Newman’s own Rolex Paul Newman, which is set to go under the hammer in October 2017 (see Paul Newman’s Own Paul Newman Rolex Daytona To Go Up For Auction).
Quick Facts Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Reference 116528H
Case: 40 x 12.8 mm, yellow gold
Movement: automatic Caliber 4130 with balance with Microstella regulating screws, power reserve approx. 72 hours, C.O.S.C. chronometer certification
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; chronograph
Original price: approx. $32,000
Patek Philippe Reference 5004P
What is expected to be the top lot of the auction is number 60, a delicacy from Patek Philippe.
This seriously rare Patek Philippe dates from the first series of a very limited production line – it is believed only 12 examples were manufactured each year before being discontinued in 2009. This example, manufactured in about 1995, was previously sold at Bonham’s on December 17, 1997.
Interestingly, a uniquely customized Patek Philippe Reference 5004P previously owned by Eric Clapton was offered by Phillips in 2016 at Hong Kong Watch Auction: TWO, where it sold for an impressive HK$6,280,000 (approx. £632,640).
Quick Facts Patek Philippe Reference 5004P
Movement: manually wound Caliber CHR27-70Q (base Lémania Caliber 2310), stamped with Seal of Geneva, Gyromax balance
Case: 36 mm, platinum
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; split-seconds chronograph, perpetual calendar with moon phases and leap year indication, second time zone
Limitation: only about 12 pieces manufactured per year between 1995 and 2009
Original price: approx. $365,000