A 1972 Rolex ‘Paul Newman’ Daytona and 30 More Exceptional Watches Are Heading to Auction This Month

Spring is bringing hot temperatures and even hotter wrist candy.

Bonhams is auctioning off 31 exceptional timepieces at its upcoming Fine Watches sale. Running from April 20 to 30, the online auction will include lots that range from a mere $2,500 to a hefty $250,000. As such, every type of collector should be able to find something to bid on.

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The auction will be led by an iconic Rolex Daytona Cosmograph “Paul Newman” from 1972 (pictured top). Combining parts from references 6262 and 6239, the vintage chronograph features a stainless-steel case and a classic “Panda” dial with a cream backdrop and black subdials. Offered with the original box, paperwork, and receipt, the watch is expected to sell for between $150,000 and $250,000.

Rolex GMT Master
Rolex GMT Master.

Fans of the Crown will also be able to bid on a Rolex GMT Master from 1960. This example showcases a stainless steel case, a black dial with the signature date aperture at three o’clock, and the famous “Pepsi” bezel. The blue and red colorway was originally a nod to PanAm’s logo, as the GMT-Master was created for the crew of that airline in 1955. The dual time watch also allowed the crew to keep track of both GMT and the local time at their eventual destination. Again, the timepiece comes with the original box, paperwork, and receipt. The lot is expected to fetch between $50,000 to 80,000.

F.P. Journe Chronomètre Bleu “Byblos”
F.P. Journe Chronomètre Bleu “Byblos.”

Rarities by independent watchmakers will be up for grabs, too. A limited edition by Francois-Paul Journe’s eponymous brand is expected to hammer down for between $150,000 and $250,000. Released in 2014, the F.P. Journe Chronomètre Bleu “Byblos” celebrated the opening of the watchmaker’s 10th boutique in Beirut. Named after the ancient city of Byblos, the timepiece features a tantalum case and a striking open-worked dial inspired by the blue Mediterranean sky. The blue chapter ring that sits between six and seven o’clock glimpses the 18-karat rose-gold movement with barleycorn guilloche decoration. The watch was limited to just 99 examples, rendering this lot exceedingly rare.

Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars minute repeating tourbillon
Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars minute repeating tourbillon.

Another piece on offer pays homage to one of the founders of Audemars Piguet. Produced in 2000, the coveted Jules Audemars minute repeating tourbillon (Reference 5982BC) features an 18-karat white-gold case and dial set with mesmerizing diamonds. The watch is also fitted with the complications Audemars helped pioneer after he cofounded the Swiss brand in 1875. The glitzy grail has a pre-auction estimate of $70,000 to $120,000.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon
Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon.

Several modern designs will also go under the (digital) gavel, such as one of the sought-after Bulgari Octo Finissimo tourbillons. Made in 2023, the limited edition (Reference 102900) is distinguished by an 18-karat gold case and an elegant skeletonized dial. The piece will be offered with an estimate of $65,000 to $85,000.

Bonhams says more details on the auction will be shared soon. Stay tuned.

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