A circa 1958 very rare Rolex Ref. 5510 Oyster Perpetual Submariner wrist watch, famously known as the James Bond Big Crown Wristwatch, is expected to bring $70,000+ as the centerpiece of Heritage Auctions May 19 Timepieces Signature Auction, taking place at Center 548, 548 West 22nd Street, in New York.
The 5510 is by far the rarest of the Submariner models, said Jim Wolf, Director of Fine Timepieces at Heritage Auctions. This reference was in production for approximately one year only and made in very small numbers. This particular watch is an extremely fine example of this iconic timepiece.
The auction offers tremendous variety, with nearly 400 watches showcasing the finest craftsmanship in horology, spanning a 350 year period, with a featured grouping from a Mid-Western family leading the way.
Wristwatch collectors will have a tough time deciding which of the 100 plus Rolex watches to focus on, said Wolf, as well as choosing from among the superb examples from Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet and many others.
A very fine Audemars Piguet Quantieme Perpetual Equation of Time wristwatch, self-winding and made of 18k White Gold, carrying a $40,000+ estimate, is expected to garner much collector attention. An important and rare circa 1954 Patek Philippe Ref. 2549 Devil’s Horns Gold Wristwatch, a beautiful and beloved timepiece from one of the great watchmakers of the world, should prove quite popular, with a $30,000+ estimate. Another Patek Philippe highlight is a Ref. 5135 P Gondolo Calendario, with a diamond-set platinum annual calendar, moon phases and 24-hour indication, which is expected to bring $25,000+, while a rare circa 1951 Rolex Ref. 6034 Pre-Daytona Anti-Magnetic Oyster Chronograph, estimate $20,000+, has already elicited much collector buzz.
Fine pocket watches figure prominently in the May 19 Heritage event, with a very rare circa 1870 Waltham KW16 American Watch Co. 19 Jewel Nickel Key Wind pocket watch, No. 501551, topping the list. It carries a $12,000+ pre-auction estimate. A very fine and rare circa 1730 Julien Le Roy Paris gold and enamel quarter hour a Toc repeater carries an $8,000+ estimate, while a circa 1902 Patek Philippe & Co. gold minute repeater, made for Tiffany & Co., is expected to bring $8,000+.
A rare and historically important Elgin National Watch Co. watch, No. 4, presented circa 1867 to F.F. Low, then the American Minister To China, which should prove attractive to collectors and history buffs both, carries a pre-auction estimate of $7,000+ and a circa 1820 Swiss gold skeletonized quarter hour repeater with automaton comes with a pre-auction estimate of $6,000+.