Specialists Pick: Six Watches From GAME CHANGERS

Specialists Pick: Six Watches From GAME CHANGERS

We asked our New York specialists to highlight some of the watches from GAME CHANGERS ahead of the auction on 10 December. Here are the six they picked.

We asked our New York specialists to highlight some of the watches from GAME CHANGERS ahead of the auction on 10 December. Here are the six they picked.

Lot 54 – Rolex Submariner Ref. 6205

The Rolex Submariner ref. 6205, lot 54, is my specialist pick as it is a “Game Changer” for its historical significance as being one of the first three references of the iconic Submariner, and an “outlier” for its utter rarity, total originality, and remarkable state of preservation. Produced for only approximately one year in 1954, this particular ref. 6205 is so early, it was made before the name ‘Submariner’ was selected for the model by Rolex – there is no ‘Submariner’ designation to be found on the dial. Fitted with its original, early rotating bezel with no minute sub-divisions, early pencil-style luminous hour and minute hands, a seconds hand with a luminous dot at its very tip, examining its details and comparing them with later Submariner references allows one to understand the model’s evolution. The original dial has developed a beautiful, consistent patina throughout, having aged from the radioactivity of luminous hour markers and hands. All of the luminous hour markers are intact with no losses, having aged to a pleasing shade of cream – and all original, as are the luminous hands. The case is exceptional – totally unpolished and hardly ever worn, retaining all of its original factory finishing, with sublime polished chamfers between the tops of the brushed finished lugs and the brushed finished central caseband. Remarkably, the caseback still retains the original and fine “stainless steel” factory engraving – still perfectly crisp, illustrating how little wear the watch has seen. It’s completed with its factory original, riveted Oyster bracelet with correct ‘65’ endlinks and 1954 date code. The Submariner reference 6205 is amongst the rarest of all Rolex Submariner models produced, and this example being offered in our Game Changers sale is, without any doubt, the finest and best preserved example to be offered at auction in recent memory. - Paul Boutros, Head of Watches, Americas & International Strategy Advisor

Lot 53 - IWC B-Uhr Reference 431

The mid-20th century was the golden age of tool wristwatches, which today have become icons known for their modern appeal, classic aesthetic and utilitarian function, and they are still in style today. Swiss manufactures produced watches that serviced a purpose whether a dual-time, dive watch or like the IWC reference 431 a timing device for pilots, and 80 years later they are cherished by collectors. While there are many tool watches in the Game Changers sale, my favourite is the IWC B-Uhr pilots watch with hack mechanism and center seconds. A monster at 55mm diameter, it is oversized even by today’s standards, but the watch has a cool appeal with large numerals, luminous triangle at the 12 o’clock for orientation, and center seconds. The watch is in excellent overall condition, and while there were only approximately 1000 example produced in the 1940s, it is the model for which another IWC icon was born the modern “Big Pilot”. - Doug Escribano, Senior International Specialist

Lot 42 – Universal Genève "Exotic Nina Rindt" 

A year ago, I was speaking to one of our members of the board after our Geneva Watch Auction: EIGHT. I had recently written an article about the watch he was wearing, and he was surprised I had noticed it. He said that of his many watches, this one was the one that made him happy when he looked down at it, and indeed, it was a watch of technical elegance but also, and most importantly for me, held a certain whimsy. There are many watches that speak to me emotionally, or interest me for historical reasons, but at the end of the day, life can be quite serious – perhaps too serious. This watch, a Universal Genève Compax with tropical exotic “Nina Rindt” dial, coming from the original owner no less, provokes the wearer to “find the happy” as a college friend of mine would say. The future owner of this watch needs only to glance at their wrist in order to find their little piece of happiness. - Isabella Proia, Specialist

Lot. 55 -  Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref 1665 made for the Sultan of Oman

My “pick of the sale” is surprisingly an easy one for me. The late 70s Oman gold Khanjar 1665 is a treasure of blended rarity and provenance unlike most vintage watches I’ve ever seen. With its serial number perfectly consistent with other “gold” Khanjars that have surfaced, and with its typical lighter application of lume on the dial, it represents a new addition to an already very rare register of known examples. In this instance, the extensive, unimpeachable documentation and pictures accompanying the watch are a marvel to browse. A gift from the Inspector General of Oman, the watch was worn by its owner for forty years. Indeed a “game changer.” - Geoff Hess, Consultant, Watches

Lot 18 - Rolex Day-Date 1803 in yellow gold, belonging to golf champion Jack Nicklaus

As an avid golfer and a general lover of gold, this watch is, without a doubt, a Game Changer in my book! The story behind this watch begins in 1967 when the Golden Bear himself, Jack Nicklaus, received this watch as a gift from Rolex. The story spans over a period of 50 years with this watch accompanying Jack throughout many career and life-changing events. Yes, the provenance of this watch is incredible, but my favorite part of this story is how much Jack cherished and cared for this watch over the years. He held a high regard for this item, along with a gold money clip that he consistently carried in his pocket, and he has even spoken of the watch as an ‘old friend.’ I resonate with this idea as I too have a favorite watch that I wear almost every day and cherish as a prized possession (a 1978 Rolex Datejust with black glossy dial)! To top it off, we already know that Jack is truly an icon for his athletic abilities, but he is also known for his generosity and passion for children’s health care. As the proceeds for this sale will directly benefit the Foundation that Jack started with his wife, Barbara, this watch embodies more than a simple timepiece, but a lifetime of commitment to children’s healthcare across the globe. - Daniella Rosa, Business Development Manager, Watches​​​​​​

Lot 65- Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711/1P

One of the most coveted timepieces in today’s market with a notoriously long waitlist, the Nautilus has firmly maintained its crown on my list. Among the various Nautilus models we are offering this season, the present reference 5711P/1P is undoubtedly one of my personal grails. With its striking blue dial, subtle diamond hour-markers, display case back, all cased in platinum, the timepiece instantly took my breath away at first sight. Released in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Nautilus, only 700 examples of this special limited-edition watch are known! The piece is a superb embodiment of elegance, luxury and exclusivity all the while channeling a sporty aesthetic that suits any occasion. - Jennifer Chung, Administrator, Watches