Clapton’s Rolex, Wiesenthal’s Patek Going Up for Auction

WatchesMar 24, 2022

Clapton’s Rolex, Wiesenthal’s Patek Going Up for Auction

The timepieces, once belonging to men with very different public images, are part of Phillips’ upcoming watch auction in Geneva.

The three watches leading Phillips’ upcoming Geneva watch auction are, from left, a Rolex chronograph “Crazy Doc” Ref. 6239 that once belonged to Eric Clapton, a Patek Philippe Ref. 1503 originally owned by Simon Wiesenthal, and a Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 in pink gold with a pink dial.
Geneva—Luxury watches that once belonged to men with near-polar-opposite public images are expected to be among the top lots at an upcoming Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo auction in Geneva.

“The Geneva Watch Auction: XV” is scheduled to take place in May, led by a “Crazy Doc” Rolex once owned by Eric Clapton, a Patek Philippe originally owned by Simon Wiesenthal, and an “outstanding example” of a pink gold Patek Ref. 1518 with a pink dial.

The “Crazy Doc” Rolex is a Rolex Daytona Ref. 6239 with a pulsations scale, the only known yellow gold Ref. 6239 with the pulsations scale on the dial.

The watch is estimated to sell for more than CHF 1.5 million ($1.6 million).

Regarded as a music legend and one of the greatest guitarists of all time, Clapton’s image has taken a hit recently after he spoke out against lockdowns imposed to curb COVID-19 and publicly expressed skepticism about vaccines, befuddling and alienating longtime friends and fans.

Clapton’s stance on vaccines had some recalling another controversial incident from the musician’s past—a racist rant he went on at a 1976 concert in Birmingham, England, that he later apologized for, blaming it on the severe drinking problem he had at the time.

The watch going up for auction in May is not being sold by Clapton personally. Phillips said Clapton bought the watch in Italy in the 1990s and sold it at auction in 2003, the first time the musician, a noted watch collector, ever publicly sold watches under his name.

It is being marketed as a Rolex “Crazy Doc” that was “formerly part of the collection of Eric Clapton.”

The Patek Philippe once owned by Wiesenthal is a Ref. 1503 in stainless steel with a black glossy dial and Breguet numerals that was made in 1941. It is one of only two known examples of this configuration.

Born on Dec. 31, 1908, Wiesenthal was a Jewish-Austrian Holocaust survivor who dedicated his life to championing justice and human rights, bringing Nazi criminals to justice and making sure the Holocaust and its victims were never forgotten.

Wiesenthal died in 2005, but his name and work lives on in the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a global Jewish human rights organization.

Phillips said Wiesenthal’s Patek Philippe Ref. 1503 first appeared in the market in 2007, consigned by his family. It has not been seen on the market since.

The watch is expected to sell for CHF 250,000-500,000 ($268,000-$536,000). 

The final watch rounding out the auction’s top three is a Patek Philippe pink gold Ref. 1518 with a pink dial. 

Phillips said the pink gold/pink dial is one of the most wanted versions of the Ref. 1518, a reference that has generated a “market increase” in interest among collectors recently. 

The estimated sale price on the Patek pink gold Ref. 1518 is CHF 1.2 million-2.4 million ($1.3 million-$2.6 million). 

All three watches are pictured above.

 Related stories will be right here … 

The Geneva Watch Auction: XV is a live sale scheduled for May 7 and 8 at Hôtel La Réserve.

It follows another Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo auction, “The Royal Oak 50th,” a sale of 88 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watches, on May 6.

Like most of the fine jewelry and watch markets, Phillips is coming off a strong year, with sales for its Watches department totaling $209.3 million in 2021 and selling 100 percent of lots across all sale locations.

Alexandre Ghotbi, head of watches for Phillips in continental Europe and the Middle East, and Tiffany To, Geneva’s head of sale, said the Geneva sale is a “tightly curated” selection of timepieces that demonstrate the savoir-faire, and technical and design prowess of the watch industry.

“These are watches that will attract the budding enthusiast and speak to the seasoned collector. However, what they all have in common is their rarity, state of preservation, and relevance.”

For more on the upcoming Geneva auction, visit the Phillips website.
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

The Latest

MajorsNov 29, 2022
LVMH Acquires Jewelry Manufacturer Pedemonte Group

The strategic acquisition will bolster the luxury titan’s production capacity in its watch and jewelry division.

CollectionsNov 29, 2022
Alex and Ani Founder Carolyn Rafaelian Has Launched a Fine Jewelry Line

The new brand, Metal Alchemist, focuses on unisex, classic jewelry designs.

IndependentsNov 29, 2022
Reinhold Jewelers’ Holiday Book Is an Ode to an Important Beverage

The 2022 edition of the retailer’s annual publication pays homage to the coffee farms and shops of Puerto Rico.

Brought to you by
Knowledge and Skills for Today’s Hot Topics

From laboratory-grown diamonds to design to country-of-origin, GIA's Alumni Collective™ has a seminar to suite your needs.

CollectionsNov 29, 2022
Gabriel & Co.’s ‘Fashion Book’ Is Out

Not a catalog, the magazine is a tool for Gabriel & Co. retailers to connect with their customers.

Weekly QuizNov 18, 2022
This Week’s Quiz
Test your knowledge of the latest jewelry news with this quick test.
Take the Quiz
MajorsNov 29, 2022
Claire’s to Open Shop-in-Shops in Select U.S. Macy’s Stores

The partnership brings Claire’s jewelry and accessories to 20 Macy’s locations in time for the holiday season.

MajorsNov 28, 2022
Pomellato’s New Videos Raise Awareness of Violence Against Women

Starring CEO Sabina Belli and other celebrities, the videos emphasize the importance of supporting women who have experienced abuse.

Brought to you by
Diamond Shoppers’ 2022 Holiday Wish List

Give your customers the best diamond buying experience this holiday season.

IndependentsNov 28, 2022
Bert Kalisher, an Industry Veteran Who Loved Making Connections, Dies at 97

Kalisher started out manufacturing watch bands and later got into publishing, authoring two books and serving as publisher of Chronos.

Events & AwardsNov 28, 2022
Registration Is Open for AGA’s Annual Tucson Conference

Scheduled for Feb. 1, the event will feature six gemological education presentations and three hands-on sessions.

MajorsNov 28, 2022
The Kingswood Co. Is One of U.S.’s Fastest-Growing Companies Again

The jewelry cleaner manufacturer jumped up to No. 3066 on the Inc. 5000 list.

AuctionsNov 23, 2022
This Sapphire Tiara Once Owned by a Danish Princess Is Going to Auction

The Dec. 1 jewelry sale at Bonhams-owned Bruun Rasmussen will have several other pieces of royal jewelry on the block.

FinancialsNov 23, 2022
Movado Lowers Guidance Amid ‘Uncertain’ Retail Environment

Its Q3 sales dipped as inflation took its toll on shoppers in the U.S. and Europe.

MajorsNov 23, 2022
De Beers Jewellers Is Popping Up in Connecticut

The temporary store is the result of a collaboration with Betteridge.

CollectionsNov 23, 2022
Piece of the Week: Rembrandt’s Turkey Charm

Charm fans will gobble up this festive “Piece of the Week” pick.

AuctionsNov 22, 2022
Jewelry Recovered from Sunken ‘Ship of Gold’ Heads to Auction

The S.S. Central America sank in 1857 off the coast of South Carolina, carrying tons of gold from the California Gold Rush.

IndependentsNov 22, 2022
See the Greek Jewels Going to Auction for Charity

Several Greek jewelry designers have donated pieces to the annual Hellenic Initiative silent auction.

Events & AwardsNov 22, 2022
Hodinkee to Receive Gem Award for Watch Excellence

Plus, see this year’s list of nominees for the Jewelry Design, Media Excellence, and Retail Excellence awards.

SourcingNov 22, 2022
Head of Australian Miner Burgundy Diamond Resigns

The company announced the resignation of Peter Ravenscroft late last week, effective immediately.

SourcingNov 21, 2022
Provenance Proof Launches Online Marketplace for Traceable Gems

Debuting today, it is open to Provenance Proof blockchain users.

TechnologyNov 21, 2022
Version 2.0 of the NDC’s ‘Assure’ Directory Is Now Live

Assure is the program the Natural Diamond Council launched in 2019 to test lab-grown diamond screening devices.

MajorsNov 21, 2022
JK Findings Acquires Intercept Silver & Jewelry Care

Intercept Silver & Jewelry Care distributes anti-corrosion and anti-tarnish products.

MajorsNov 21, 2022
David Yurman Just Opened a Palm Beach Outpost

It’s located on famed shopping street Worth Avenue.

EditorsNov 18, 2022
9 of My Favorite Pieces from the AGTA Spectrum Awards Editors’ Day

Senior Editor Brecken Branstrator’s highlights include a chrome tourmaline ring, a giant opal necklace, and an American mined stone.

CrimeNov 18, 2022
Jewelry Store Security Guard Killed in Armed Robbery

Police in Calumet City, Illinois are looking for several suspects involved in the robbery of a jewelry store in the River Oaks Mall.

MajorsNov 18, 2022
AGS Adds Sumit Dangi to Board of Directors

Dangi is global chief financial officer and treasurer at Jewelers Mutual Group.

CollectionsNov 18, 2022
Piece of the Week: Tabayer’s ‘Oera’ Pendant

The brand’s signature shape is rendered in an autumn-appropriate color palette.


This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy