Phillips "Game Changers"

This Watch Auction Has Heavy Hitters from Rolex, Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin


November 11, 2019 Watches By

Waves of excitement ran through the watch world when it was announced that Marlon Brando’s personal Rolex GMT Master ref. 1675 would be hitting the auction block at the Phillips “Game Changers” auction on December 10th here in NYC. Though far and away the star lot of the show, Brando’s 1675 isn’t the only interesting piece coming under the hammer next month, however. Check out some of the other significant watches that are up for grabs — provided you have the funds, of course.

Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 Perpetual Calendar Chronograph

Significant for being the first perpetual calendar chronograph produced in series by any brand, the 1518 was first released during the early 1940s. Less than 300 examples were made in all metals (including only four in steel), and this particular example, in beautiful 18k pink gold with a pink dial and dating from circa 1947, comes from the family of the original owner.

Estimate: $1,200,000 — 2,400,000

Patek Philippe Ref. 2499 Perpetual Calendar Chronograph

The 2499 is one of the most desirable complicated vintage wristwatches ever made. They were produced in four series in various metals and feature both perpetual calendar and chronograph functions. This example, from 1951, is possibly unique — in yellow gold, it’s the only known version cased by Vichet to feature round pushers. Case and pushers aside, it’s also one of the most beautiful vintage watches ever designed.

Estimate: $1,000,000 — 2,000,000

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Dual-Time Prototype Ref. 7910V/000T-B603

This Overseas is a unique prototype made for American explorer and photographer Cory Richards to use during his third attempt climbing Mount Everest. Made of titanium with tantalum reinforcements, it features dual-time zone capabilities as well as an AM/PM indicator. Proceeds of the watch will benefit the National Geographic Society.

Estimate: $20,000 — 40,000

Jack Nicklaus’s Yellow Gold Rolex Day-Date Ref. 1803

Presented to famed golfer Jack Nicklaus by Rolex in 1967, proceeds from the sale of this remarkable all-yellow-gold wristwatch will benefit Nicklaus’s Children’s Health Care Foundation. Worn almost daily by Nicklaus since he received it, the 1803 has been present during 12 of 18 of his major championship wins.

Estimate: None available, but Phillips is “hoping for seven figures”

Marlon Brando’s Rolex GMT Master Ref. 1675

Produced in 1972, this Rolex GMT Master was Marlon Brando’s personal watch that he wore on the set of “Apocalypse Now,” the iconic Vietnam war film from Francis Ford Coppola based loosely on Joseph Conrad’s classic “Heart of Darkness.” He famously removed the bezel to give the watch a grittier feel, more authentic to his character of the deranged ex-Special Forces colonel Kurtz.

Estimate: Will be offered with a starting bid “in the six figures”

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