13 Highlights from the Fortuna “Important Watches” Fall Sale
Back in June, we introduced you to Fortuna Auction House, a new presence in the watch auction sphere that distinguishes itself through a straightforward pricing strategy and a hands-on, no-risk approach to buying and selling vintage timepieces. After a successful summer sale, the seven-year-old, New York-based company has returned for its sophomore watch auction with a very impressive selection.
The 66-lot sale that goes down on Thursday, September 27, features a wide range of watches from vintage Rolex Submariners to a fresh-to-market Paul Newman Daytona that has one of the cleanest dials we’ve ever seen. All in all, it’s another strong sale for Fortuna as the house continues to solidify its place in the watch auction world.
Just as in previous sales, Fortuna has published the starting bid on all of its lots, a move that offers a level of transparency rarely seen in auctions of any kind. This allows the inexperienced buyer the opportunity to feel out how much money they want to commit to the sale without being intimidated.
Without further ado, here are our 13 highlight watches from Fortuna “Important Watches – Sale 1026.”
Auction Preview for Fortuna “Important Watches – Sale 1026”
This Audemars Piguet Skeletonized Chronograph comes from a time when there was a middle ground between the worlds of Royal Oak, Millenary and the ultra-complex timepieces found inside the Jules Audemars line. It’s a stunning representation of AP’s prowess in finishing and a reminder of just how difficult it is to decorate a skeletonized watch to this degree. Estimate: $14,000 – $18,000; Starting bid: $12,000
Similar to the previous lot, this Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Ref. 47200/1 recalls simpler days when influencer-based marketing campaigns were not necessary and a watch could speak for itself. A stunning guilloché dial pairs with a power reserve indicator, small seconds, and date to form a simple-yet-complicated dress watch. Estimate: $8,000 -$12,000; Starting bid: $7,500
There are a countless number of Royal Oak iterations on the market at any given time. What makes this Dual Time Ref. 25730ST special is its size at 36 mm and its lack of a day/night indicator which all recent Royal Oak Dual Time models include next to the second time zone. Estimate: $7,000 – $12,000; Starting bid: $5,000
The Patek Philippe Nautilus is the hottest watch on the planet right now and it continues to perform above expectation at auction. This 5712/1A from 2010 is in excellent condition and should have no problem reaching the high side of its estimate. Estimate: $30,000 – $50,000; Starting bid: $25,000
Louis Cottier invented the world time complication as we know it for Patek Philippe in 1931. His design has proven itself again and again as brands from across the spectrum borrow it for their travel-time models. This Ref. 5110 from 2002 in 18K white gold is a strong example of what has become the archetypal world time watch. Estimate: $15,000 – $25,000; Starting bid: $12,000
Anybody that is a fan of vintage timepieces knows the importance of a good nickname. Reference numbers are tough to remember and a memorable nickname can make a big difference in the lifespan of a watch from a collector’s perspective. This Rolex Ref. 5513 was given the nom de guerre “Bart Simpson” due to the dial’s stubby crown insignia that resembles the world-famous cartoon character’s head. Reference 5513 is also renowned for the fact that it was the last glossy dial Submariner produced. Estimate: $5,000 – $9,000; Starting bid: $4,000
Red Submariners are some of the most sought-after Submariners around. Produced over an eight-year period in the 1970s, the watches were the first Submariners to feature a date complication. This specific model has what is known as a “Mark 4” dial due to the “feet first” depth rating and the “open six” number in the depth rating. Estimate: $12,000 – $18,000; Starting bid: $10,000
Rolex Explorers are somewhat sleeper hits in the world of vintage Rolex collecting. While the rest of the enthusiast world focuses on Daytonas and Subs, there is a substantial group of people that are totally concentrated on building out a collection of Explorers. This Ref. 1655 from 1973 is in fantastic condition and features the “Freccione” 24-hour hand that collectors have come to appreciate. Estimate: $12,000 – $18,000; Starting bid: $10,000
One of the main attractions of the auction is this Patek Philippe Ref. 2526. The 2526 was the first automatic watch released by Patek Philippe in 1952. This specific model up for auction comes from 1955 and was the first series with a domed caseback, enamel dial, and riveted numerals. Under each numeral, you can actually notice flared indents to allow the number to be applied. Estimate: $35,000 – $50,000; Starting bid: $30,000
This Rolex Daytona from 2001 is noteworthy due to its position as one of the first Daytona references to receive an in-house Rolex movement rather than a modified Zenith El Primero caliber. What makes this specific model even more special is the unique pink discoloration found in the bottom half of the dial. This one-of-a-kind Daytona has a certain appeal that should attract the collector that has everything. Estimate: $10,000 – $15,000; Starting bid: $8,000
Rolex Daytona models with four lines of text on the dial come from a rare time of experimentation for the brand. It is believed that Rolex was testing out the removal of text on the dial so you’ll notice the watch only reads “Superlative Chronometer” without the “Officially Certified” attached. This model from 1988 also uses the modified Zenith El Primero movement. Estimate: $18,000 – $28,000; Starting bid: $15,000
“Patrizzi Dial” Daytonas are notable for the silver subdial registers that have developed a “tropical” brown patina over time. They are named after Osvaldo Patrizzi, a watch auctioneer that helped raise the profile of these rare chronographs in the mid-2000s. This specific watch is an early series model from 1993 with a modified Zenith El Primero movement and an inverted six in the hour subdial. Estimate: $25,000 – $35,000; Starting bid: $20,000
The final lot of the sale is a Rolex Paul Newman Daytona Ref. 6239 and it’s one of the finest versions we’ve ever seen hit to market. Coming from its original owner, this PND is near identical to the model that sold last fall at Phillips for a record $17.7 million. It’s been serviced only once since it was purchased in Fiji in the early 1970s and its dial and crystal are in stunning condition. It’s a remarkable example that should attract considerable attention on auction day. Estimate: $150,000 – $250,000; Starting bid: $110,000